Mobile users will continue to suffer spam SMS as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is unable to get cooperation from bulk SMS senders. The core of the issue is that TRAI had to ask the Telecom Service Providers (TSP) to temporarily suspend the scrubbing of SMS as the system was not able to distinguish OTP, Transactional messages, Service messages used by financial institutions and commercial messages which is used by telemarketers. If the SMS scrubbing is enabled, the OTP and other Service messages too were blocked. As a solution, TRAI has asked for templates to distinguish between these messages which the TSP’s have not obliged.
“Access Providers have activated the content template scrubbing. However, to avoid inconvenience to the public, traffic is being allowed to pass for the time being, even if, it is not fulfilling the regulatory requirements. Major reasons observed for not meeting the regulatory compliance are content template not registered, content Id missing, mismatch in template registered and the message sent, etc.,” states the TRAI release.
“Unfortunately, despite repeated communication, all major banks and big telemarketers sending SMS have failed to fulfill regulatory requirements. All are being notified individually also. TRAI has called for further reports from TSPs,”it further states.
TRAI has issued the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018 (TCCCPR, 2018) on 19 July 2018 to curb Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC). The regulations which came into effect on 28 February 2019, served as the framework for dealing with UCC.
The regulatory provisions not just help in preventing spam, but also help in preventing fraudulent messages purporting to originate from banks, financial institutions, or other trusted sources. It also helps the Principal Entities to enhance it reach by registering the consent of the customers.