Tip to telecom regulator to control pesky calls to mobile users

Baburajan’s K telecom blog: India’s telecom regulator TRAI has been trying its best to control pesky calls and promotional SMS from marketing companies. But it failed to curb such initiatives because marketing companies are acting smarter and mobile operators are supporting their activities.

TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar’s new guidelines to ensure stringent penalty on unregistered telemarketers do not make any difference in the long run as they will come out with new solutions to guide themselves for reaching out to more mobile subscribers.

TelecomLead.com is not against promotional SMS. This primarily because it offers some revenue to India’s telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Communications, Tata Docomo, Aircel, etc.

Also, promotional SMS will reduce overburden of small and medium firms as they cannot advertise on the front page of leading print media companies and online search engines.

But promotional SMS should reach to only mobile subscribers who are looking such communications. For instance, I am looking for a 4G connection from Reliance Jio. As a mobile user, I should be able to set options on my mobile phone for receiving SMS or calls related to Reliance Jio during a particular period.

The same the mobile users should be able to block SMS from all other sources. For this activity, let telecom operator take small money, one-time, from their subscribers.

TRAI should take up the matter with Indian mobile service providers and convince them. Telecom operator’s IT system can support such initiatives. They are smart to guide telecom users.

Let me share an example. If you make a missed call, you usually get a promotional SMS on your mobile phone. This is because operators’ IT systems are guiding telecallers to send SMS during such time because mobile users will be prompted to check their phones assuming that he / she is getting back a message from the user he / she called earlier.

During this time, the chances for opening the message are more than the usual mobile usage. Indian telecom players know this better than us. They are more dangerous than our Google or Facebook. Everyone wants to track us. They want to know what we buy or sell.

Another example: Search for a property using Google search engine. In 4-5 minutes, you will get at least 2-3 SMS on your phone and 2-3 mails in your spam folders. Hope both Google and your operator will deny that they are not sharing your interest in properties with promotional companies.

Without the support of telecom operators, TRAI cannot succeed in curbing unsolicited communications. After implementing such initiatives, mobile users are going to get pesky calls and SMS, TRAI should punish telecom operators and promotional firms by removing their license to operate in India. For this, mobile users should be able to report the matter by just forwarding the SMS to TRAI. It should not be a complex process.

Let the mobile user in India win this game. TRAI should not allow telecom operators and promotional companies to fix the game. Let TRAI take the lead and assist all.

Baburajan K