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TRAI Simplifies Caller Tunes Subscription Norms In India; Fails To Address Content Downloads

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a directive simplifying subscription to mobile content services, overriding its earlier directive which made in necessary for telecom operators to charge for services only on receiving the explicit consent of customers, in the form of a dual confirmation. The notification is applicable to subscription services bought either via Out Bound Dialers (OBD) and Hello Tunes or Caller Ring Back Tones (CRBT). The TRAI had earlier mandated that customers need only be billed if they provide their consent to subscription of services by either calling a particular number, sending an SMS, or in writing, fax or email. Remember that Caller Tunes/CRBT are a key means of monetization of music in India, with struggling physical music sales, and one of the largest contributors to telecom operator VAS revenue. According to the new directive, 1. In case of Out Bound Dialers, the following steps need to be followed: Step 1: A pre-recorded call is made by service provider informing the customer about the value added service and the charges. Step 2: The caller tunes are played and the customer is told through automated announcements to press relevant key(s) other than keys ‘*’(star) and ‘9’, to select his choice of the song Step 3: The charges for the selected service is again announced and the customer is told to reconfirm subscription to the value added service by pressing ‘*’ (Star) key followed by ‘9’ key Step 4: The subscription is confirmed through announcement Step 5:…

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

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