TRAI advisory on pesky SMS menace

TRAI press release dated 23rd March, 2021 has advised big banks and tele marketers to register their message template with the authorities. Gist of their press release follows:

TRAI has issued the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018 (“TCCCPR, 2018) on
19th July, 2018, to curb the menace of Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC), which put in place a framework for controlling UCC. The regulations entirely came into force w.e.f. 28.02.2019. Since, then TRAI has been through,
Telecom Service Providers (TSP), communicating with the Principal Entities to fulfill the regulatory requirements.

  1. As per the provisions of the regulation and Code(s) of Practices published by the Access Providers, senders (OTP, Transactional messages, Service messages or commercial messages) are required to fulfil regulatory requirements for sending bulk communication. The regulatory provisions not only 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.
  2. In compliance of provisions of the regulations, when SMS scrubbing was activated by the Access Providers w.e.f. 8th March, 2021, some failure of A2P SMS traffic was observed. It was observed that some of the principal entities have not fulfilled the requirements as envisaged 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 SMS for seven days to enable the principal entities to register the template of SMS so that no inconvenience is faced by the customers.
    4 Thereafter, since 17th March 2021, Access Providers has activated the content template scrubbing. However, to avoid inconvenience to the public, trafic 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 message sent etc. Unfortunately, despite of 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.
  3. TRAI hereby, once again requests all the Entities who are using the telecom resources to send bulk messages to the consumers, to fulfill the regulatory requirements immediately so that there would not be any disruption in the communication to the customers.

https://www.trai.gov.in/notifications/press-release/press-release-implementation-telecom-commercial-communications-0

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