Telecom regulator to meet on concerns over new pesky call rules

Vastavam web: The telecom regulator will look into concerns flagged by the industry on implementation of new pesky call rules, while the serious issue of unsolicited telemarketing calls and messages cannot be “undermined”, Trai chief R S Sharma said on tuesday. Sharma who has been re-appointed Trai Chairman for two more years told that he has directed his officials to call operators for a meeting soon to understand their grievances around unsolicited commercial communication.

Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) had raised red flag over Trai’s (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) new rules on curbing pesky calls and messages, terming them complex, time-consuming and devoid of a cost-benefit analysis. “I have asked my officers to call the operators…understand from them…there may be a communication gap between what regulations say and what the operators understand there could be some implementation issues, so we will discuss with them and see where the problem lies,” Sharma said.

Trai plans to sit with the operators and talk about their difficulties and perceived problem areas, he said but added in the same breath that the issue of pesky calls was a “serious” one, and “must not be undermined”. Voicing concerns over the freshly-minted rules, COAI has maintained that tailoring of systems, and use of blockchain technology will involve Rs 200-400 crore cost and 18 months for the roll out, at a crucial time when the sector is financially-stressed.

The implementation timeline indicated by the industry body exceed the stipulated December deadline for operationalising the new system architecture. The new rules in this regard allow individuals to revoke permission that they have granted to any commercial entity for a service. Subscribers can set preference about days and time bands on which they would like to receive commercial communications as well as indicate preferred modes of communication – call or SMS.