To reduce annoying calls and text messages, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Thursday gave principal entities (PEs) two weeks to validate headers and content templates for commercial SMS.
In a note, the regulator said, “PEs are required to register a content template with the access provider. Any commercial communication via SMS will be scrubbed against the content template registered by the PE with the access provider, and failing that, sending such SMS to consumers is not allowed to be delivered.”
PEs are entities that send commercial messages to customers. In 2018, Trai made it mandatory to use a blockchain-based platform to register, verify and then send commercial messages. Companies need to register templates for headers (sender codes) and business information.
Earlier this year, Trai noticed telemarketers abusing some registered titles and templates. On February 16, it directed entities to revalidate header and content templates.
Trai has 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, asking them to publicise that the operation is required to all agencies sending bulk text messages.
“It is understood that many PEs have not yet completed the verification of title and content templates. Due to the lack of timely action by PEs, the title and content templates assigned to these PEs are still vulnerable to abuse and may cause inconvenience to the public in the form of spam and financial fraud,” it said.
Any further delay in revalidation could result in “their headlines, content templates and messages being blocked,” Trai said.
In addition, the agency will review progress and issue appropriate instructions after two weeks.
“All PEs should immediately complete the validation process for title and content templates,” the note reads.