The TRAI has extended the date for the implementation of the SMS Spam Regulations to 1st March 2011, the second 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. Now, Customers can begin registering for the NCPR from Feb 10th 2011, and the regulations regarding telemarketing (analysis here) will be effective from March 1st. Telemarketer registration began on January 15th.
Apart from the postponement, there’s one significant change:
– The Department of Telecom has mandated that telemarketers using mobiles use a new numbering series beginning with ‘140’ instead of the earlier designated ’70’ number series decided upon earlier. Now switching over to this series will take time as all access providers are being informed abiut the same. However, no reason has been given for the change in the number series by DoT or TRAI.
– In the ‘Explanatory Memorandum’ (linked to below), the TRAI mentions that the DoT has mandated that the same numbering scheme cannot be used for mobile and landlines, and that numbers for “basic services will be allocated after resolving the issue of CLI (Caller Line Identification) for telemarketing operations using basic services.” So, there’s no numbering scheme for telemarketing using landline yet, and the TRAI hasn’t given a timeframe for that.
Telemarketers who might have already switched to the new system, will need to comply with the old 2007 regulations till 1st march 2011.