Policy

Apply new SMS rules by March 31: TRAI

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 26, 2021

TRAI said it has analysed the scrubbing data, reports submitted by the TSPs   -  Getty Images

Lists 80 defaulters; says their messages will be deleted failing compliance

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday requested the Principal Entities (PEs) and telemarketers to fulfill the regulatory requirements before March 31, to avoid any disruption in the communication with the customers from April 1.

Regulatory bodies such as RBI, SEBI, IRDA, Central and State government departments, other autonomous bodies and other establishments have been also requested to impress upon PEs under their jurisdiction to follow the regulatory requirement strictly, it said.

The regulator has also furnished the names of the 80 defaulters (PEs and telemarketers) including Axis Bank, Bandhan Bank, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, Punjab National Bank, Reliance Retail, Samsung Electronics, State Bank of India, 3M Digital Networks, Vedantu Innovations, BBNL BharatNet, Bulk SMS Gateway, Centre for development of Advanced computing, Gupshup Technology India, One97 Communications, Onweb Software Technologies, Route Mobile, Tanla and Wizhcomm Consultants and Technologies.

In case these defaulters are not able to furnish the regulatory requirements, “their messages will get rejected by the system automatically,” said the regulator.

Data analysis

TRAI said it has analysed the scrubbing data and reports submitted by the telecom service providers (TSPs) and also held a meeting with telemarketers/aggregators on March 25. It has been informed that PEs including major banks are not transmitting mandatory parameters like content template IDs and PE IDs even in those cases where content templates have been registered, while sending such messages to the TSP for delivery.

“TRAI has analysed the cases of failure of messages during scrubbing and found that various PEs and telemarketers are not fulfilling the regulatory requirements... In the absence of these necessary parameters the messages are bound to be rejected by the system during the scrubbing process. Sufficient time has already been given to the principal entities/ telemarketers and other entities to comply with the regulatory framework,” it noted.

‘Inconvenience’

“However, it appears that few entities are not only indifferent but are also not serious enough in complying with the provisions of the regulations thereby causing inconvenience to consumers. This should not and cannot be allowed to continue,” it further said.

It mentioned that the TSPs have made repeated communications to PEs including major banks and telemarketers sending bulk SMSs who have failed to fulfill regulatory requirements and requested them to comply with the provisions of the regulations.

The regulator also said that it has also requested repeatedly to such entities on March 9, 12 and 23, to fulfill the regulatory requirements immediately so that there is no disruption in communication of such messages to the customers.

In compliance with provisions of the regulations, when SMS scrubbing was activated by the TSPs from March 8, some failure of application-to-personal (A2P) SMS traffic was observed. It was observed that some of the PEs had failed to meet the requirements as envisaged in the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018 (TCCCPR, 2018), even after two years, despite being fully aware of the regulations and the consequences.

In order to protect the interest of consumers, TRAI had to request TSPs to temporarily suspend the scrubbing of SMSs for seven days to enable the PEs to register the templates of SMSs so that no inconvenience is faced by the customers.

Published on March 26, 2021

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