India's telecom regulator has come up with a list of registered telemarketers and their SMS codes used for sending unsolicited commercial communication (UCC). The move is aimed at helping customers to raise complaints or grievances against telemarketers who spam them using the short message service (SMS) service.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had last week issued a direction regarding the implementation of the telecom commercial communications customer preference regulations (TCCCPR), 2018. The regulator said that the objective of the regulation is to effectively deal with the nuisance of spam experienced by the subscribers.
The regulation makes it mandatory for all telemarketers or principal agency to register with a telecom service provider (TSP) and obtain a specific code or header.
The headers, in the current set-up, are prefixed by two alpha characters separated by a hyphen from the header, which is used to identify originating access providers (OAP). Also, a fixed length of six alphanumeric characters are currently being used to assign headers and a total of nine characters including prefixes and separator are being used.
The regulations provide for the registration of senders through an easy registration process so that the business will be able to assert their identity and build the trust of the clients. "This shall prohibit unregistered senders to initiate any commercial messages and shall also deter the registered senders to send fraudulent messages or messages of dubious nature," Trai said.
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Bharti Airtel/Bharti Hexacom, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone Idea, Aircel/Dishnet Wireless, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Mahanagar Nigam Telephone Ltd (MTNL), Reliance Communication, Tata Teleservices/ Tata Teleservices (Mah), Reliance Telecom, Quadrant Televentures and V-CON Mobile & Infra are the only services providers, or access providers, in India that facilitate telemarketers, the regulator said.
Trai has also released area-wise codes for 22 cities, regions and states in the country, including Delhi, Mumbai Uttar Pradesh (east and west), West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, northeast, Tamil Nadu, among others.