March 7th 2011: It appears that there could be further delays, and this might be going down the mobile number portability path – date, after date, after date… The Hindu suggests that there is some aversion to installing landline numbers for telemarketers. Frankly, shouldn’t the TRAI have taken all this into account before issuing the notification? If the implementation gets delayed again, we have no option but to ask – What sort of haphazard decision making is this, where implementation keeps getting delayed because someone or the other has an objection, or takes too long to implement – we saw this happen with the 3G auctions, MNP, and now Telemarketing guidelines. Shouldn’t the government and/or TRAI take everyone on board before announcing deadlines? When was the last time a deadline was met?
Earlier (Feb 28th): Another Extension! TRAI has extended the date for the implementation of the SMS Spam Regulations to 21st March 2011, the third postponement so far: Initially planned to commence from 1st January 2011, the regulations were delayed indefinitely on 14th December 2010 as, apparently, the TRAI website for telemarketers to get the National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) was not ready; then it was delayed till February 1st 2011 after which it was extended till 1st March as the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) mandated the use of the number series ‘140’instead of 70 for mobile telemarketers and a number series for telemarketers using basic phones was being decided upon. The DoT has still not allocated number series for fixed line telemarketers.
According to the TRAI’s Explanatory Memorandum, ” the matter has been taken up on urgent basis to allocate number series to telemarketers for fixed network. Access Providers have indicated that it will not be possible to provide all the resources to call centres from mobile network only due to high traffic originated from such call centres. It is expected that number series for telemarketing activities from fixed network will be allocated by DoT shortly. This new series will be required to be implemented by all Access Providers before allocation of resources to telemarketer. For this purpose time will be required by Access Providers to change the configuration in their system and test the new series.”