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TRAI Suggests Common Short Codes Plan, Telecom Operator Integration Mandated

Addressing what has been a long standing demand of content owners for control over their short code brand (for example Indiatimes 58888 and STAR 57827), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested that the National Numbering Plan Administrator in India make provisions for allocation of common short codes (CSCs) for value added services. The Issues At present, telecom operators (UASL and CMTS license holders) have been individually allocating short codes to content owners. Content owners have found themselves in a situation at times where some telecom operators have licensed the short codes, while others have held back, as a form of negotiation. Services get delayed, some don't even get launched, or services are available at short codes different operators. This means that content owners cannot have uniformity in their marketing communications - for example: offering services on one short code for MTNL and BSNL, and another for Airtel. The pricing has also been arbitrary. The Solution The TRAI has suggested that the Department of Telecommunications authorize a nodal agency, and create a directory of all the short codes allotted till date. (Note: we've got our own directory here) Allocation of Short Codes To Other Service Providers (OSPs) The TRAI recommends that the DoT may allocate common short codes (CSCs) to OSPs. They may consider a web based application form for common short codes (CSCs) allotment and also maintain on the website the directory of short codes booked and allocated. This will bring transparency to the system of short code…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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