To ensure all the promotional/pesky messages are sent through registered telemarketers (RTMs) using approved Headers and Message Templates on distributed ledger technologies (DLT) platform, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed telecom operators to act swiftly on the misuse.

TRAI has directed the access service providers to reverify all registered headers and message templates on DLT platform and block all unverified ones within 30 and 60 days, respectively.

TRAI has asked all telecom service providers (TSPs) to comply with its directions within 30 days.

“...Ensure that temporary Headers are deactivated immediately after the time duration for which such headers were created. Ensure that content variables in Message Template do not have flexibility to insert undesired contents. Entities involved in message transmission should be clearly identifiable and tracked, if required,” the regulator said.

It also directed the TSPs to remove confusions among recipients of message and prevent their misuse, no look-alike headers (Headers which are similar virtue of combination of small case or large case letters) are to be registered by access providers in names of different principal entities.

To curb messages from unauthorised or unregistered telemarketers, including telemarketers using telephone numbers, TSPs have been directed to bar all telemarketers, who are not registered on DLT platform from handling the message template.

It directed the telcos to ensure that promotional messages are not transmitted by unregistered telemarketers or telemarketers using telephone numbers (10 digits numbers).

“Take action against all such erring telemarketers as per the provisions of the regulations and also initiate actions as per relevant legal laws. The access service provider shall also notify details of such telemarketers to other access providers, who shall, in turn, bar these entities from sending any kind of commercial communications through their networks,” it added.

According to Tanla Platforms, TRAI’s directions are a much-needed push to clean-up the menace of inactive or unverified headers and templates.

It said of nearly five-million templates registered on the DLT at present, nearly 80 per cent are inactive for a period of six months, providing opportunity for infiltrators to misuse the templates.

“Variable elements in templates are also being abused to insert inappropriate content in the text messages. Adherence to TRAI’s directives shall certainly bring the much-required discipline and help enterprises in managing their DLT assets,” Uday Reddy, Founder Chairman and CEO of Tanla Platforms said in a statement. Tanla is one of the world’s largest Cloud Communication providers.