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TRAI gives companies 2 weeks to verify templates for sending commercial SMS

Earlier this year, TRAI noticed that some of the registered headers and templates were being misused by telemarketers and directed the entities to re-verify them

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

BS Web Team New Delhi

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In the latest attempt to cut down pesky calls and text messages, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Thursday granted two weeks to the principal entities (PEs) to verify headers and content templates for commercial SMS.

In a note, the regulatory body said, "PEs are required to get content templates registered with the access providers. Any commercial communication through SMS is subjected to scrubbing against the content template registered by PEs with the access provider and, if it fails, then such SMS is not allowed to be delivered to the consumer."

PEs are the entities that send commercial messages to customers. In 2018, Trai mandated the use of a blockchain-based platform to register, verify and then send commercial messages. The companies are required to register the header (sender code) and the template of the commercial message.

Earlier this year, Trai noticed that telemarketers were misusing some of the registered headers and templates. On February 16, it directed the entities to re-verify the headers as well as the content templates.

Trai had also written to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), National Highway Authority (NHA) and all central and state government departments requesting them to sensitize all institutions who send bulk SMS about the action required.

"It has been seen that many PEs have not yet completed the verification of headers and content templates. Due to lack of timely action by PEs, headers and content templates assigned to such PEs remain vulnerable for likely misuse and may result in inconvenience to the public in the form of spam and also financial frauds," it said.

Trai said that any further delay in re-verification may result in "blocking of their headers, content templates and messages".

Moreover, the body will review the progress after two weeks and issue appropriate directions.

"All the PEs should complete the process of verification of headers and content templates immediately," the note read.

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First Published: May 26 2023 | 11:01 AM IST

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