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'Users can choose telemarketers now'

business Updated: Aug 28, 2011 22:00 IST
Manoj Gairola
Manoj Gairola
Hindustan Times
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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman JS Sarma spoke to HT on its initiatives to curb unsolicited commercial calls. Excerpts.

How will the implementation of TRAI's December 1, 2010 regulation on unsolicited bulk SMS and calls curb unsolicited commercial SMS?
First, now all telemarketers will have to register with the TRAI. As of July 31, 2011, 1,393 telemarketers had registered with us. We have also stated that service providers will have to enter into service agreements with telemarketers and take security deposits. In case of violation by telemarketers, we have provided an opportunity to customers to register with the new do not call directory (DNCD). Now, consumers will get an opportunity to register in fully barred or be selectively choose telemarketers.

What is the status of implementation of TRAI rules on unsolicited commercial SMS?
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has released the number series on December 16. I met with industry representatives on Thursday. They told me that companies will implement it in the next six weeks.

Why has the national do not call directory (NDNC) not been effective so far?
It is because its implementation has not been effective. The registration of telemarketers was not effective. Now, under the new system, consumers will have option to register for selective SMS, that is, they can get SMS from a particular sector.

How will the number series stop unsolicited SMS messages?
Implementation of number series will make it easy to identify telemarketers and the operators. There is a provision for penalty in case of default.

How will you tackle the problem of telemarketers who do not register with TRAI?
We have put restrictions of sending 100 SMS per day from one telephone number. This will keep a check on unregistered telemarketers. There is a provision for penalty for defaulters. Service provider has to disconnect the number in case a telemarketing call comes second time form this number.