Mobile subscribers looking for respite from unsolicited marketing calls and SMSes will now have to wait for another month, as telecom regulator Trai has extended the date for implementation of guidelines to check the pesky calls to March 1.
The delay is on account of change in allocated series from '70' to '140' for telemarketers, who have now been given time till March 1 to adhere to the new rules on pesky calls.
"On January 31, 2011, DoT has communicated a fresh numbering series beginning with the number '140' in place of '70' number series. Communicating the same to all the access providers and carrying out the required changes would require time," Trai said in a statement.
In view of the new series, telecom operators will have to effect a number of technical changes like configuration of networks and putting in place filtering solutions to stop Unsolicited Commercial Calls (UCC).
"Therefore, the Authority is compelled to change the date of implementation of operationalisation of the 'Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010' to March 1, 2011," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) added.
Earlier, it had set a deadline of January 1, 2011 for operators to implement the UCC or telemarketing guidelines. This was, however, extended to January 31.
As per the new order, customer preference registrations would begin from February 10, which would be effective within seven days.
Unlike the previous guidelines, which only provided for a 'Do Not Call' Registry, the new regulations give customers different options to list under the 'fully blocked' category (Do Not Call Registry) or the 'partially blocked' category.
The second option will allow subscribers to receive SMSes in the categories chosen by them.
Meanwhile, the registration of telemarketers has started on January 15.
Operators, who were facing difficulties in implementing the filtering mechanism mandated by Trai, have been seeking extension of the deadline until March 31.
"However, Trai did not grant this request but provided an extension only until January 31 for implementation of the filtering feature," said GSM operators lobby COAI Director General Rajan S Mathew.
That deadline, however, has now been pushed back by a month to March 1.