Trai pushes back deadline for checking pesky calls to March 1

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Mobile subscribers looking forrespite from unsolicited marketing calls and SMSes will nowhave to wait for another month, as telecom regulator Trai hasextended the date for implementation of guidelines to checkthe pesky calls to March 1.

The delay is on account of change in allocated seriesfrom ''70'' to ''140'' for telemarketers, who have now been giventime till March 1 to adhere to the new rules on pesky calls.

"On January 31, 2011, DoT has communicated a freshnumbering series beginning with the number ''140'' in place of''70'' number series. Communicating the same to all the accessproviders and carrying out the required changes would requiretime," Trai said in a statement.

In view of the new series, telecom operators will have toeffect a number of technical changes like configuration ofnetworks and putting in place filtering solutions to stopUnsolicited Commercial Calls (UCC).

"Therefore, the Authority is compelled to change the dateof implementation of operationalisation of the ''TelecomCommercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations,2010'' to March 1, 2011," the Telecom Regulatory Authority ofIndia (Trai) added.

Earlier, it had set a deadline of January 1, 2011 foroperators to implement the UCC or telemarketing guidelines.

This was, however, extended to January 31.

As per the new order, customer preference registrationswould begin from February 10, which would be effective withinseven days.

Unlike the previous guidelines, which only provided for a''Do Not Call'' Registry, the new regulations give customersdifferent options to list under the ''fully blocked'' category(Do Not Call Registry) or the ''partially blocked'' category.

The second option will allow subscribers to receive SMSesin the categories chosen by them.

Meanwhile, the registration of telemarketers has startedon January 15.

Operators, who were facing difficulties in implementingthe filtering mechanism mandated by Trai, have been seekingextension of the deadline until March 31.

"However, Trai did not grant this request but provided anextension only until January 31 for implementation of thefiltering feature," said GSM operators lobby COAI DirectorGeneral Rajan S Mathew.

That deadline, however, has now been pushed back by amonth to March 1.

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