The Telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) has said that it has disconnected 22,769 subscribers and issued notices to 36,156 subscribers, who were found making unsolicited calls and sending spam SMSs, violating the TRAI’s SMS Spam regulations, that came into force on 27th September 2011. Also, 94 telemarketers have been penalized and 4 telemarketers have been blacklisted, for violations. According to the regulatory body, as on 29th March 2012, 161.66 million customers have registered with the NCPR (National Customer Preference Register).
It would be interesting to know the total number of complaints that mobile operators actually received, and the number of complaints that they forwarded to the TRAI. We feel that the authority should conduct an audit to monitor that, and these numbers would see an increase if implementation is stricter. We also feel that the complaint registration and action should be more transparent. Perhaps, the TRAI could ask telcos to setup a dedicated short code to check the status of previous complaints. It has been observed that telcos have been rejecting complaints citing various reasons including insufficient data pertaining to the spam message, among others. The TRAI should also take measures to bring promotional messages sent via transactional pipe under the purview of these regulations.
The TRAI had also issued guidelines to telcos to check spam SMS coming from International numbers. However, we still do not know if the solution will be accepted by telcos and what steps they’d take to block and report them.