Non-compliant bulk SMSs to be blocked from today

The move aims at reducing phishing scams and other fraudulent entities that duped users on the pretext of fake commercial services.

SMS
The initiate round of blocking last month had reportedly affected the OTP system | Representative Photo: iStock

Authorities have asked telecom operators across the nation to block all non-compliant bulk SMS messages sent for commercial purposes. This will be applicable from April 1, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The move aims at reducing phishing scams and other fraudulent entities that duped users on the pretext of fake commercial services.

The initiate round of blocking last month had reportedly affected the OTP system as many users had complained of not receiving OTP for their banking transactions. However, such an OTP outage is not this time, reports suggest.

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Principal entities using commercial bunks SMS services, like those for transactions and login verifications, have reportedly seen a success rate of 98% in the delivery of SMS messages based on the new format prescribed by the TRAI.

However, according to the report, telecom operators say that several services are still not adhering to the new format and this may lead to some service outage after the mandatory blocking is implemented from April 1.

The use of blockchain-based Distributed Ledger Technology, which specifies the usage of a mandated format of text for commercial messages, was mandated by TRAI earlier this year. But not every party had successfully complied with it, as of March.

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In a letter to telecom operators on March 31, the TRAI said that some PEs were sending SMSs of variable character length of over 30 characters and in templates other than the ones registered, due to which such texts may get rejected.

“The reason of variation in the text is told to be due to variation of text across multiple sources of the same PE. All PEs are required to meet these requirements, in case of non-compliance, their messages are liable to be rejected,” the report quoted the letter as saying.

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