Telecom operators may have to refuse operation on Apple iPhones if the Cupertino giant doesn’t install a DND app on its devices to counter the problem of pesky calls and to allow its users a method to report spam calls and messages. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has locked horns with Apple over this issue for almost a year now. The California based phone manufacturer has refused to install such an app citing privacy concerns. However, the problem might take a quick turn after the Trai’s decision on the matter.
On Thursday, the regulator will be coming out with new norms which will dictate the companies to provide a DND app on their phones to report pesky calls and messages. However, parties will be given a “reasonable opportunity of representing against the contravention of regulations.”
Apple has also proposed an in-house solution to Trai. However, the answer was trashed by Trai later on. Apple has said that the privacy of its customers “cannot be compromised”. Now Trai’s regulations which will be laid down in the 113 page ‘Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation’ outlines “Every access provider shall ensure, within six months’ time, that all smart-phone devices registered on its network support the permissions required for the functioning of such apps.”
The regulation further reads “Provided that where such devices do not permit functioning of such apps as prescribed in regulations… access providers (mobile operators) shall, on the order or direction of the (telecom) authority, de-recognise such devices from their telecom networks.”
It’s also noteworthy that Google has agreed to ship the DND app according to Trai’s request on its Android platform. In August last year, following the struggle RS Sharma, Trai Chairman also accused Apple of ‘data colonisation’.
One more condition which is making things tough for Apple is the decision of Trai which says that the app should be developed either by Trai “or by any other person or entity and approved by the (telecom) authority.” Now Apple will have two options, either to allow Trai to go on and develop an app for the platform, or to develop it themselves and then obtain the approval from the regulator. This news was reported by Economic Times.
Trai claims that its DND app, launched in 2016 will help the authorities better deal with the issue of pesky calls and it will allow a channel for subscribers to report pesky calls. While Android did not object to this request, Apple has said that sharing call logs and SMS data would mean a breach of privacy for its users.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.