The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) yesterday released a circular informing about the activation of new SMS regulations. For the unaware, the new regulations are a part of the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations (TCCCPR) order released on July 18, 2018.
As per the rule, the telcos will verify and scrub through every SMS that a verified or registered business/institution is trying to send its customers. If the SMS template isn’t registered, it will be blocked.
The regulatory provisions for SMSes are introduced to reduce the amount of spam and fraudulent messages that are sent to the people of India every day. The telcos will leverage a blockchain system to scrub through the SMSes and will block every message that doesn’t fulfil the regulatory obligations.
The new SMS regulations have been activated since April 1, 2021, as per a Trai order. It is worth noting that last month, on March 8, Trai had to intervene and relax the SMS regulations since millions of important messages from businesses and banks were blocked for the customers.
The regulator had asked the telcos to keep scrubbing the SMSes but not block them until directed otherwise. An earlier statement from Trai revealed that big banks and businesses such as SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, LIC, and Samsung were on the list of defaulters who hadn’t followed the regulations.
Trai has been at the forefront, asking the businesses to follow the SMS regulations, but it seems like the businesses are facing a lot of hardships when it comes to registering with new templates.
Multiple businesses have made a case that millions of SMS templates flow in every day; thus, it is not a ‘one-time compliance’ act for them. It will require a lot of time, and thus it is wrong of the regulator to block their messages if they don’t meet the new regulations.
No Major Issues With SMS Regulations, Says Trai
The Trai circular details that the operators saw no ‘major issue’ with the implementation of the new SMS regulations in India. There were a few odd cases, but apart from that, everything went smoothly.
This is good news not only for the banks and businesses but also the end customer, who had to face the biggest issues with not getting OTPs, important information, and more. The SMS delivery rate was not what it used to be during late Thursday, but it is better than what happened back on March 8, 2021.
With time, more businesses should be able to adapt to the regulations, and the SMS delivery rate will shoot back up.