Ever since the days of those keypad mobiles, common people have been annoyed by telemarketing or promotional calls or messages. Even though the age of smartphones has come, many people have not seen much change in this picture. Although the government of Digital India has been thinking about the issue for a long time. Earlier the Center had asked telecom companies to block unwanted calls and messages – and even issued new rules for spam calls, SMS. In this case, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI has taken a big step in this regard. The regulator recently fined telecom companies Rs 35 crore for failing to prevent unwanted calls and messages from customers as per their directives. Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnab has informed the Parliament in written form.
Government orders are not effective
Notably, TRAI has directed all network service providers in the country to develop a unified digital platform within two months, so that customers interested in promotional calls and messages will have a specific option as to whether they want to take advantage of the same. Also, on May 1 last, the department also directed telecom companies to install artificial intelligence (AI) based spam filters (AIML) on their networks within a month. But it has been observed that despite all this, the number of unwanted calls has not reduced in the last two months.
In this situation, various telcos have been imposed a fine of Rs 34.99 crore by TRAI and the Center for failing to prevent commercial communication of registered telemarketers on their own managed networks. According to a report by Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnab, telecom operators disconnected 15,382 and 32,032 connections in FY 2021 and 2022, respectively, in violation of the guidelines of the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR), 2018.
Unwanted call-message violence has increased
In a survey conducted earlier this year, about 76 percent of people claimed to have received unwanted calls or messages based on conversations with WhatsApp business accounts and spending time on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Moreover, this problem is increasing in daily experience. All in all, there is no certainty when this problem will be solved. Maybe my phone will ring at lunch time!