New Delhi, Oct. 30: Telecom minister Kapil Sibal has asked industry regulator Trai to stop once and for all unsolicited marketing calls and messages and spare mobile users the harassment even he faces “every two minutes” despite efforts to check such intrusions.
“Trai is taking it up,” he told reporters today at an industry event where he spoke on the “problem” of pesky calls and text messages.
“I also face a lot of problem. Every two minutes I get such SMS(es),” he said. “I met the Trai chairman. He will ensure that this is not going to happen any more.”
Trai chairman Rahul Khullar said revised regulations on tackling the problem were expected to be out by November 5.
Khullar had recently said if a solution did not come from the industry, the regulator would be forced to decide on the issue, indicating the urgency with which he was viewing the problem that has persisted despite efforts to tackle it.
In 2011, the telecom regulator had launched a do-not-disturb (DND) facility to help cellphone users block commercial text messages.
The much-hyped facility was an improvisation on the Do-Not-Call Registry, launched in 2007, that failed to block unsolicited calls and messages effectively.
The DND guidelines, the regulator had claimed, were more effective. But despite the repeated efforts of Trai and the government, the volume of unsolicited messages and calls has been rising every day, not even sparing the telecom minister.
Trai had recently come up with a consultation paper to seek the public’s views on proposals to strengthen regulations to check such intrusions.
In its draft paper — Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference (Tenth Amendment) Regulations, 2012 — Trai proposed disconnection of resources of entities, for whom such promotions are being carried out, after 10 violations.
The draft calls for providers to put in place a mechanism to block delivery of unsolicited text messages with similar signatures from the source that sends more than a specified number of promotional texts per hour.
It proposed that operators take an undertaking from consumers, at the time of purchase, that the SIM shall not be used for telemarketing.
The draft also said the operators should take an undertaking from transactional message sending entities that they would use only registered telemarketers for promotional activities.
Another proposal was to help consumers lodge complaints by sending a text message to 1909. The draft also proposed asking telecom operators to tell subscribers through texts at least twice a year not to send any commercial communication to others.