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Scanning SMS: Discounted bulk senders to get 3 days of compliance

After temporarily suspending text messaging (SMS) for seven days, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Friday again asked major organizations to register their message display to avoid future ban on text messages.

In a statement, the telecommunications regulator said that in the future, large businesses that do not comply with legal requirements will be notified by telephone operators within 3 days, otherwise their names will be displayed on the provider’s website.

“Even after this period, if they fail to meet the requirements of the law, they will not be allowed to send mass communications using telecom services,” Trai said in a statement.

Trai, in 2018, released a framework where telco can use ledger technology or distributed blockchain technology to verify sender details and content of all commercial SMS before being delivered to the user’s device. The procedure, known as scrubbing, went into effect on Monday after several delays over the past two years.

Following the directions from Trai, the telcos used the technology on Monday, which led to the operation of many SMS-based services for banking and e-commerce platforms that crashed as they did not register their templates on matelco. A day later, Trai set up new procedures for seven days to give major organizations the last chance to register their templates.

Traditionally, large businesses, which will be allowed to send commercial SMS to customers, will have to register the template for the message they send, the message header they wish to send, the template they use to obtain user approval, and the user’s preference for what type of advertising messages they would like to receive.

Providing this information, in turn, will help telcos whitelist certain key organizations and allow them to send commercial messages to users, depending on user preferences.

“The provisions of the law not only help to protect spam but also help to protect fraudulent messages from banks, financial institutions or other trusted sources. It also helps key agencies to improve their accessibility by registering customer approval, ”said Trai during the release.

Unsolicited commercial communications have become a major concern for telco and Trai. Although it had procedures in place, such as ‘Do Not Disturb’ user registration, it had gaps in the technology that allowed unscrupulous telemarketers to override the registrar’s preferences by seeking permits that could be obtained illegally.

In a similar vein, the regulator struck a chord with the use of blockchain technology or ledger registrations for key organizations that sent such bulk commercial messages.

“Blockchain will ensure two things – non-denial and confidentiality. Only those authorized to access the information will be able to access the details of the subscribers and only when they need to provide services, ”said then Trai Chairman R S Sharma.

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