All Commercial Calls In India Can Get A New Number Series For Easy Identification

Shreya Bose

Shreya Bose

Apr 17, 2023

Department of telecommunications (DoT) has approved Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) proposal to assign a different series of phone numbers to companies for service-related commercial calls, which are not for promotional purposes.

All Commercial Calls In India Can Get A New Number Series For Easy Identification

Serving the public

Objective is to help subscribers distinguish between genuine commercial calls and promotional ones.

The issue at present is that amid an increase in spam and fraudulent calls, subscribers reject calls even from their banks, which may be service-related or assistance, or from product servicing companies.

Separate number series based on requirement

The phone number series will be issued to principal entities (businesses like banks) based on their requirement, for which Trai will soon come up with guidelines.

The new series will work as an identifier for them and will be displayed on phone screens at the time of the call.

Currently, the ‘140’ number series has been issued to telemarketing companies, but there’s no distinction between firms delivering services and those for commercial purposes.

Time extension

Meanwhile, Trai has given more time to telecom operators to implement its earlier directions to stop misuse of headers and message templates.

The regulator has not made any formal announcement for this but compliance will take at least two to three weeks.

It is an ongoing process and the regulator will conduct another meeting with telcos next week to check on the progress.

Delayed compliance

In February, Trai directed telcos to block all unverified and unused headers and templates within 30 days and 60 days, respectively.

The deadline to comply with the directions was April 16.

However, banking and financial institutions, which constitute the majority of the spam and fraudulent messages, have delayed compliance due to fiscal year closure related business.

They sought time till April-end.

Telcos’ complaints

Telcos only own the network and promotional messages are sent by enterprises through telemarketers.

They informed TRAI that only 7-8% of the principal entities have complied with the directions on cleaning of headers, templates and removal of those templates not in use.

On the matter of pesky calls, 10-digit numbers have been difficult to tackle.

Vodafone Idea

Vodafone Idea recently presented its regulatory sandbox developed with Tanla Platforms to Trai.

This system uses an algorithm to block fraudulent or spam calls.

Based on this, Trai is also expected to issue a standard process framework in the next two weeks that will detail the regulations around the same for all telcos.

TRAI’S words

“Every telco is free to implement their own sandbox based on the principles and guidelines suggested by Trai. 

This will come after the pilot project is completed,” Trai chairman PD Vaghela had said last month.”

DND ineffective

According to a survey by community social media platform LocalCircles, nine in 10 subscribers complain of getting pesky or unwanted calls for brand promotion or sales despite registering for the Do Not Disturb (DND) service.

The report said the DND service is ineffective since unwanted calls come from personal mobile numbers and not landline or commercial numbers of a particular brand, thus bypassing the DND system.


Shreya Bose
Shreya Bose
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