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Rediff.com  » Business » Pesky calls, SMSes will continue to disturb you

Pesky calls, SMSes will continue to disturb you

Last updated on: December 27, 2010 11:03 IST

Pesky calls, SMSes will continue to disturb you

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Mansi Taneja in New Delhi

Telemarketing calls and short messaging services (SMSes) will continue into the New Year for mobile and landline subscribers.

Service providers have expressed inability to implement the recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) by January 1.

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Image: Telemarketing calls to disturb you.
Photographs: Illustration, Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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Pesky calls, SMSes will continue to disturb you

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The request for an extension of the deadline from operators comes amid a raging regulatory turf war over pesky calls between Trai and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The differences between the two could further delay things.

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Image: Bad news for telephone subcribers.
Photographs: Reuters.
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Pesky calls, SMSes will continue to disturb you

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Citing issues related to technical and network upgrade, operators have told Trai they will need 4-6 months for making the "Do Not Call Regulations" system operational.

The telecom regulator had asked all service providers to put in place a system that would filter telemarketing calls and issue a separate series (70xxx) for all telemarketing lines. Trai had also put restrictions on SMSes to 100 per day.

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Image: More mobile users in India.
Photographs: Reuters.
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Pesky calls, SMSes will continue to disturb you

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An official said: "This means there will be a delay in implementing the guidelines and it could push the deadline to the end of next year."

On December 1, Trai had issued a set of recommendations to curb unwanted commercial calls effective January 1, 2011. It had also suggested imposition of penalty up to Rs 2.5 lakh on erring telemarketing companies.

Earlier, it was Rs 500-1,000.

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Image: Deadline may be extended to next year.
Photographs: Illustration, Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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"Many operators need time to implement Trai's recommendations. The deadline of January 2011 is not feasible as there is a need for network and technical upgrade. We need time to set up the system and for testing. We have put forward our point with Trai and have told that we need about 4-6 months to implement the full recommendations," said another person involved in the development.


Image: Operators seek time for technical upgrade.

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However, the official said, some of the recommendations such as stopping telemarketing calls and SMSes from 9 pm-9 am and setting up a dedicated complaint line for addressing problems related to telemarketing can be put in place in 1-2 months.

There are about 750 million telephone subscribers across the country.

Trai had come out with a fresh set of recommendations because the earlier "Do Not Call Registry" system did not make much of a difference.

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Image: Telemarketing calls to continue.

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Under the existing law - Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Call Regulation, 2007 - telemarketing companies have to register with DoT. But, while introducing the new set of rules, Trai had said it would be the sole authority for registration.

The new regulations said companies registered with DoT need to register themselves again with Trai.

"The power and function of Trai under Section 11 of the Trai Act 1997 is very clear and does not include licensing or registration functions," said a DoT official.


Image: No hope in the New Year for subscribers.

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