New Delhi: In a bid to combat the menace ofpesky calls and SMSes, sectoral regulator Trai has decidedthat telecom facilities given to subscriber would beimmediately disconnected if it is found being used for sendingunsolicited communication.
Name and address of such subscribers shall be entered intoa blacklist and no resources would be allotted to these
subscribers for a period of two years in such cases, TRAIMember RK Arnold told reporters.
Amending the Telecom Commercial Communications CustomerPreference Regulations 2013, Trai today said in case of a
valid complaint, the telecom operator shall disconnect all thetelecom resources allotted to such subscriber, after due
investigation. This provision comes into force with immediateeffect.
"The moment a complaint is received by a service providerfrom a customer... it will immediately investigate into thatcomplaint and if it finds the communication unsolicited, theregulations provides for immediate disconnection of thatresource," Arnold said.
TRAI said it has introduced the measures to furtherstrengthen the framework for controlling unregistered
telemarketers."...there are many private persons who are sending thecommercial messages to the subscribers...now with thisparticular amendment...resources of such subscribers will bedisconnected," Arnold said.
Meanwhile, TRAI has amended the Telecom CommercialCustomer Preference Regulations, 2010, which prescribes atransactional charge of 5 paisa per transactional SMS, whichwill come into effect from June 1.
Presently, only the promotional messages are charged."The 5 paisa charge is already there for promotionalmessages. Now, it will be applicable for transactionalmessages also, which also falls under the category ofcommercial communications," Arnold said.
Apart from that, the authority said it has introduced theShort Message Services (SMS) Termination Charges Regulations,
2013, which prescribes a termination charge of 2 paisa perSMS. The regulations would come into effect from June 1.
SMS termination charges are payable by originating telecomoperator to the terminating operator for each SMS terminatedby it on its network.
As per the prevailing regulations, SMS termination charges are under forbearance. Under forbearance, certain charges are not regulated by TRAI.
Arnold attributed the introduction of these amendments toensure level-playing field among operators and to protect
consumer interest.He added that though the policy of forbearance workedsatisfactorily in the past but in changed circumstances therewere issues in this regard.
With increase in SMSes these days, there was a largeimbalance in SMS traffic between the networks ofinter-connecting service providers, he said.
Amid instances of unilateral imposition of terminationcharges by dominant players and growing litigations, Arnold
said TRAI reviewed the forbearance policy and prescribedcost-based SMS termination charge.The regulation said: "...the authority has prescribed costbased SMS termination charge of 2 paisa per SMS", keeping inview the observation of TDSAT that SMS termination chargesshould be cost-based and on work done principle.
This is in order to "create certainty in the market",counter "exigencies created by certain dominant players and to
protect the interests of the consumers", it added.