India's Department of Telecom has asked telecom operators to submit a list of operating short codes by the 7th of March 2014*, and told them that they must submit updated details of short codes on the 1st of April and the 1st of October every year. It's worth remembering that media companies like Indiatimes (with 58888) and STAR (5-7827 or 5-STAR on the keypad), Zee (57575) have invested heavily in creating brands that were dependent on specific short codes. We had even compiled a list of short codes in India back in 2008. Setting Up Common Short Code Registry? We wonder if this is the first step in the direction of freeing short codes from the clutches of telecom operators, and creating that common short code registry idea that the TRAI has discussed a few times in the past: 2009: The TRAI had mooted the idea of an Other Service Provider and a Common Short Code registry in its draft recommendations on Mobile VAS in 2009, but subsequently rendered this proposal lame in the final recommendations. These recommendations were never accepted and implemented by the DoT. 2011: In another consultation process, the TRAI had once again asked about setting up a framework for allocation of common short codes: Question seven of the consultation paper: Q7. (i) Does existing framework for allocation of short codes for accessing MVAS require any modifications? Should short codes be allocated to telecom service providers and VAS providers independently? Will it be desirable to allot the…
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