Mandatory caller ID feature to be tested out by telecos soon, but many devices may miss out | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Mandatory caller ID feature to be tested out by telecos soon, but many devices may miss out

May 18, 2024 08:44 AM IST

Depending on the results from the pilot, the DoT will decide on the technical specifications for implementing CNAP

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in India will soon launch a pilot program to test Calling Name Presentation (CNAP), which will display the caller’s name to a receiver, a senior government official said on Friday.

The DoT has also taken action against cyber crimes on telecom networks based on reports filed by subscribers on the Chakshu module of the Sanchar Saathi portal. (Representational image)
The DoT has also taken action against cyber crimes on telecom networks based on reports filed by subscribers on the Chakshu module of the Sanchar Saathi portal. (Representational image)

Depending on the results from the pilot, the DoT will decide on the technical specifications for implementing CNAP.

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The move follows recommendations made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in February. The official declined to comment on the technical aspects of implementing CNAP, saying it would depend on the pilot’s progress.

“The pilot will start shortly,” the official said, asking not to be named.

TRAI had recommended that CNAP – a universal caller ID based on information that people provide in KYC documentation for their connections --- be offered as an optional feature across Indian telecom networks and on all devices sold in the country. It suggested that each network provider, such as Airtel or Jio, should first conduct a trial in one licensed service area with their subscriber base.

During the consultation process, major private telecom service providers (TSPs) Airtel, Jio, and Vodafone Idea, along with industry body IAMAI, told TRAI that displaying the name mentioned in the KYC form could undermine subscribers’ privacy and adversely impact women’s safety. The TSPs also raised concerns about increased call set-up time, latency, and the need for significant investments to implement CNAP. They noted that currently, only 4G-enabled devices can support the feature, limiting its availability to a large portion of the market.

Responding to reports of potential tariff hikes after the elections, the official said the government has not instructed TSPs to raise prices and has not received any communication from them indicating such plans. However, the official acknowledged that India has one of the lowest average revenue per user (ARPU) in the world, while emphasising the presence of sufficient market competition.

The DoT is also collaborating with the ministry of civil aviation to introduce 5G services near airports, with some in-building solutions already being piloted. The official stressed the government’s sensitivity to aircraft security and the ongoing efforts to ensure a safe implementation, without providing a specific timeline.

“Inside places, they will have to change altimeters, refit them, retrofit them. All that is happening as we speak. I don’t think I can give any timeline as there is a huge supply chain [required] to change the altimeters,” the official said.

In November 2022, the DoT instructed TSPs to avoid operating 5G sites in certain frequency bands near runways. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation rejected a proposal from TSPs in December 2023 to provide 5G services within airport premises using low-frequency power output due to concerns about interference with aircraft altimeters.

The DoT has also taken action against cyber crimes on telecom networks based on reports filed by subscribers on the Chakshu module of the Sanchar Saathi portal. As a result, 577 WhatsApp accounts linked to +92 numbers [we can’t say they are linked to Pakistan because what if someone was using a VPN to get the number or a VoIP service] were banned for impersonating Indian government officials. +92 is the ISD code for Pakistan. 348 mobile handsets were blocked across India for involvement in cybercrimes and financial frauds.

The Chakshu module was launched on March 4 that allows users to report suspected fraud communications that people receive over call, SMS or WhatsApp.

The official addressed the issue of cyber scams executed using international numbers, stating that the DoT is taking measures to block offenders and share relevant data with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The official clarified that exchanging information across borders falls under the MHA’s jurisdiction, not the DoT’s.

The Chakshu module was launched on March 4 that allows users to report suspected fraud communications that people receive over call, SMS or WhatsApp. It module received 28,412 complaints until May 17 of which 10,834 connections were flagged for re-verification. Of the flagged connections, 8,772 connections, or about 81% connections, were disconnected for failing re-verification.

86 principal entities all their linked SMS headers and content templates were also suspended based on user reports while seven principal entities, whose templates were being misused for fraud purposes, deactivated 1,350 SMS templates.

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