About 300,000 illegal telemarketing companies axed by TRAI

NEW DELHI: A total of about 300,000 telephone connections of un-registered telemarketers have been disconnected by the Access Service Providers and the name and address of 25,295 such subscribers have been put into the blacklist.

Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Milind Deora told Parliament that this follows concerted action taken by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

TRAI issued the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Twelfth Amendment) Regulation on 23 May this year. This regulation provides for disconnection of all the telecom resources of subscribers sending unsolicited calls/SMSs, blacklisting of the name and address of such subscribers for two years, disconnection of telecom resources to such subscriber by the other service providers within twenty four hours of blacklisting of such subscriber. No telecom resources shall be allotted to such blacklisted subscriber by any Access Provider for two years.

Through the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulation, 2010 TRAI has laid down a revised framework for addressing Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC) and these regulations came into force with effect from 27 September 2011. TRAI has also issued various amendments to these regulations and a number of directions to make the regulatory framework more effective.

The Minister said complaints related to unauthorised telemarketing activity from un-registered telemarketers (who are not registered with TRAI), had increased during the last one year.

To make the framework more effective an amendment to the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulation (Tenth Amendment) has been issued by TRAI on 5 November last year to further control the unsolicited commercial communications, especially relating to commercial SMS from unregistered telemarketers. One of the key provision of this regulation includes restricting unregistered telemarketers from sending bulk promotional SMSs using software applications.

Through this regulation TRAI has mandated the Access Service Providers to put in place a solution, which will ensure that no commercial SMSs are sent having same or similar characters or strings or variants from any source or number. The solution will ensure that no more than 200 SMSs with such similar 'signature' are sent in an hour. 

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