Mobile users can soon see the name of the caller on their smartphone screen as the government has directed the telecom service providers (TSPs) to introduce Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) in their networks and some of the operators have already kicked off the trial runs in the last few days.

A meeting was held in Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Wednesday between senior officials and representatives of telcos to implement the service at the earliest across the country.

According to government sources, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone-Idea have already started trial runs in Haryana and Mumbai. However, the CNAP service is available to only 4G or 5G customers and hence, some of the mobile users who are still on 2G (Airtel, Voda-Idea or BSNL) won’t be able to access this facility.

One of the operators said that CNAP will be introduced in all the smartphone users ‘eventually’ in the coming months. “Another meeting will be held on June 22 to know the progress on CNAP along with the telcos...this is part of the government’s 100-day agenda,” sources privy to the meeting told businessline, adding that the operators have been given the deadline of July 15, to start the CNAP services.

CNAP is similar to Truecaller which will allow users to see the caller’s name and might help combat spam/ pesky calls.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in February had released recommendations on introduction of CNAP service in Indian telecommunication network. This was through the submission of the DoT’s letter dated March 21, 2022, requesting TRAI to submit its recommendations on introducing the CNAP facility in India.

“The name identity information provided by the telephone subscriber in the Customer Application Form (CAF) should be used for the purpose of CNAP...after acceptance of the recommendations, government should issue appropriate instructions for making CNAP feature available in all devices sold in India after a suitable cut-off date,” it had said in the recommendations.

‘Preferred name’

Business houses or Principal Entities (PEs) like banking/ insurance sectors, who are holding bulk business connections should be given the facility of presenting their ‘preferred name’ in place of the name appearing in the CAF, the sector regulator had said. “The ‘preferred name’ could be the ‘trademark name’ registered with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, or the ‘trade name’ registered with the GST Council, or any other such unique name duly registered with the government, provided that the subscriber entity is able to present the necessary documents to prove the ownership of such name,” TRAI said.

This would be a big step to curb the menace of unsolicited calls (UCC) or pesky calls that has risen manifold in the recent past.

Meanwhile, TRAI on Friday said that 160 series has been allocated exclusively for making transactional and service voice calls. A meeting was held with representatives from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), more than 25 banks and other financial institutions, and all the TSPs.

It has been decided that in the first stage, 160 series has been earmarked for all entities regulated by RBI, SEBI, IRDAI and PFRDA. It was also discussed that the operation of 140 series, at present being used for promotional purpose, is being migrated to distributed ledger technology (DLT or a digital system for recording transaction asset details in multiple locations) platform and scrubbing of digital consent is also being operationalised. “With the implementation of above two measures, substantial control on spam calls from 10-digit numbers is expected,” TRAI added.