Trai releases list of telemarketers, SMS codes

Source: LiveMint.com, Jun 25, 2020

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has released a list of registered telemarketers and their short message service (SMS) codes used for unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) to subscribers. The list will help subscribers directly raise grievances against telemarketers who harass them through SMSes and calls.

Spam messages and calls by telemarketers such as bank and insurance agents, car salesmen and credit card sellers, among others, have troubled subscribers over the years, which have led to complaints by them to their respective telecom service providers.

Though Trai, over the years, has taken several actions such as unregistering, blacklisting and imposing penalty on telemarketers, it did not share their names and codes till now.

According to Trai, Bharti Airtel/Bharti Hexacom, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone Idea, Aircel/Dishnet Wireless, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Mahanagar Nigam Telephone Ltd (MTNL), Reliance Communication, Tata Teleservices/ Tata Teleservices (Mah), Reliance Telecom, Quadrant Televentures and V-CON Mobile & Infra are the only services providers, or access providers, in the country that facilitate telemarketers.

Trai’s telecom commercial communications customer preference regulations (TCCCPR), 2018, allow assigning alpha-numeric headers to telemarketers–business or legal entities–for sending commercial communication using SMS.

“Currently, these headers are also prefixed by two alpha characters separated by a hyphen from the header and it is used to identify originating access providers (OAP). Fixed length of six alpha-numeric characters are being used to assign headers and total nine characters including prefixes and separator are being used. However ,regulations permit length to go up to 11. Headers are also known as sender ID,” Trai said. The regulator has also released area-wise codes for 22 cities, regions and states in the country, including Delhi, Mumbai Uttar Pradesh (east and west), West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, northeast, Tamil Nadu, among others.

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