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Trai directs telcos to block international SMSes

india Updated: Jan 20, 2012 21:35 IST

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Tightening the noose around pesky SMS senders further, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Friday issued a directive to telecom companies to block international SMSes as per the rules applicable to SMSes originating within the country.

"If any source or number from outside the country generates more than two hundred SMSes per hour with a similar 'signature', the same should not be delivered through the network. However, such restriction shall not be applicable on blackout days," Trai said in the direction.

The regulator said during implementation of the regulation to stop pesky calls and SMSes, it observed several instances where promotional SMSes were being routed through servers located at international destinations and were getting delivered to customers registered in the National Call Preference Registry (NCPR, formerly the DND list).

"It was observed that generally such SMSs originated from locations within Germany, Sweden, Nauru, Fiji, Cambodia, Bosnia, Albania, Grenada, UK, Jersey, Sint Maarten, Tonga, Vanuatu, Namibia, Panama, Antigua and Barbuda, etc," Trai said.

These SMSes contain headers which are alphanumeric or starting with +91 or numbers with international codes.

Acting on this observation, Trai said it had detailed discussions with telemarketers, access service providers and international long distance (ILD) operators to evolve measures for addressing the above practice of routing SMSes through international locations.

"Based on these discussions, to strengthen the framework for addressing unsolicited commercial communications and to effectively control SMSes coming from international locations, Trai today issued a direction."

The Trai directive also said that all international SMSes containing an alphabet header or alphanumeric header or +91 as the originating country code should not be delivered through the network.

"Only valid codes associated with the network of those entities with whom agreements have been signed by the access providers shall be allowed in the network," it added.

The regulator has asked telecom companies to implement this directive within thirty days of notification.