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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Operators may miss unsolicited calls deadline


Mobile subscribers looking for respite from unsolicited calls may have to wait for some more time as operators are facing technical difficulties in implementing system mandated by TRAI to check pesky calls.

With telemarketers mandated to use '700' series number, the originating operator now has to verify that the dialled number is not a part of the 'Do Not Call Registry' (filtering) and only after the verification is completed that the call can go through.

The system currently analyses only the dialled number and not originating number (from where the call is made).

"Operators have highlighted certain technical issues in implementing the 'filtering' requirements mandated by TRAI for originating operators," GSM operators lobby COAI Director General Rajan S Mathew told PTI.

Asked if the operators would be able to meet the January 31 deadline, Mathew did not give a firm reply but said, "All operators are presently working to implement this."
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had set a deadline of January 1, 2011 for operators to implement the guidelines on unsolicited telemarketing calls and SMSs. This was, however, extended to January 31.

"Operators had requested until March 31, principally to implement the filtering requirement. However, TRAI did not grant this request but provided an extension only until January 31 for implementation of this particular feature," he said.
As per the guidelines, telemarketers will be issued a different set of numbers starting with '700', which will help subscribers identify commercial calls and decide whether to accept or reject such calls.

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, under which he/she will only receive SMSes in the categories chosen by him/her.

"In order to do filtering, operators will now have to install new hardware and software to perform filtering and will also have to programme their mobile switches to facilitate integration of the new hardware and software installed to do filtering," Mathew said.
Given the number of operators involved and the number of circles and mobile switches involved, this is a complex and large task, Mathew added."There are only one or two small manufacturers of filtering hardware and software and these manufacturers are finding it difficult to have their equipment handle the larger volume of calls experienced on the networks in India," he said.

Operators had to get their networks ready for MNP during this same time period for national roll out, which has also posed a problem, he said.source

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