Mobile subscribers may have to wait for some more time to get relief from unsolicited calls and SMSes, as telecom regulator Trai is likely to postpone the January deadline to bring an end to such calls to February 1.
On December 1, 2010, the Trai had come out with guidelines on unsolicited telemarketing calls and SMSes, to be implemented from January 1, 2011.
According to Trai sources, the telecom operators will delay the implementation by a month time because of certain security concerns.
Now the registration of the telemarketers and subscribers will start from January 15.
According to industry sources, the telecom operators need time to meet contractual obligations with various telemarketing companies for which they require atleast three to four months and that is the reason they are seeking more time to implement Trai guidelines on pesky calls.
"We have approached Trai to give telecom operators some more time to comply with the necessary security concerns and also that they can set-up their infrastructure to filter the calls in order to stop unsolicited telemarketing calls," GSM mobile operators' association COAI Director General Chairman Rajan S Mathew told PTI.
The major operators in the country includes, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Tele Services and Idea Cellular.
However, industry sources added, telecom operators have approached Trai and Department of Telecom (DoT) to seek up to four months extension in order to set-up proper infrastructure that can be put in place to stop the telemarketing calls.
"It is unlikely that telecom operators will meet the January 1 deadline, as it needs time to put in place infrastructure so that you can filter the calls and stop pesky calls. The operators are asking one to four months time in order to comply with Trai's guidelines," AUSPI Secretary General S C Khanna said.
Earlier, Trai in its guidelines had said a hefty penalty of up to Rs 2.50 lakh will be imposed for violation of the telemarketing guidelines, which could be followed by blocking repeat offenders' connections.
A different set of numbers starting with '70' will be issued to telemarketers so that any unregistered subscribers can identify commercial calls and decide whether to accept or reject them.
Unlike the previous guidelines, which only provided for a 'Do Not Call' Registry, the regulations issued today give customers different options to avoid unsolicited calls.
The subscriber can now choose to be listed under the "fully blocked" category which is akin to the 'Do Not Call' Registry -- or the "partially blocked" category, in that case he/she will only receive SMSes in the categories chosen by him/her.
Trai has identified seven categories for telemarketing calls, including banking and financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods and automobiles, communication and entertainment, tourism and leisure.