SMS Regulations for India
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released The Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR) 2018 with the aim to regulate Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC) and make the unorganized SMS process more transparent. TRAI has formulated new guidelines to prevent SMS scams and bring more safety and convenience to the end users.
This system will be driven by the DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) which is a blockchain-based technology. Let us understand this in more detail.
DLT Ecosystem for Bulk SMS
Under the DLT technology, the companies that want to send transactional or promotional messages to their end-users will now have to register themselves with telecom operators. These companies have to be accountable to telecom operators, who will be directly accountable to TRAI.
The DLT ecosystem comprises five different entities:
|Entity||Roles and responsibilities|
|Principal Entity (PE)||Businesses like you who want to send SMS to their customers.
As per the TRAI guidelines every PE has to be registered with the telecom operators in the DLT platform.
|End-user||The end user is the mobile subscriber who will receive the SMS.
They have the right to provide consent to receive promotional SMS from any businesses, register complaints, and out from unwanted/spam messages.
|Service Provider or Telemarketer||You will need service providers to send Bulk SMS to your end users. All the service providers have to be registered on the DLT platform as well so that they can send SMSs on behalf of the PE.|
|Telecom Operators||They are the access providers (Vodafone, Airtel, Idea, BSNL, etc) who are in direct connection with TRAI and aid with the regulation process.|
|Regulator (TRAI)||TRAI will establish regulatory compliance by auditing and governing the operations to safeguard customers’ preferences and prevent any fraudulent practices.|
On the DLT platform, you will get the option to register as a Telemarketer or Enterprise. Any business that deals with customers and communicates with them through SMS would most probably be categorized as a telemarketer.
There are 2 types of Telemarketers:
- Telemarketer Aggregator: They don’t have a direct connection with the telecom operator. Could be an individual or a company.
- Telemarketer Delivery: They have a direct connection with telecom operators. Collect SMS/voice traffic from enterprises.
Enterprises are businesses that deal with products or services that would like to connect with leads through SMS to increase their sales.
You would need to register to the DLT platform via the individual operators. The direct link to the DLT portal for different operators is given below. You need to first register with any 1 operator.
As part of the process, you will be required to submit details such as Business Identity (PAN), Business Address Proof (GST/TAN), and a Letter of Authorization on the network portal (start with any operator portal).
Post submission, you will receive the Unique Entity ID that you can later use to register on the other portals. This Unique Entity ID can then be used to register with all other operators.
Once you have the unique entity ID, add the headers and templates for promotional & transactional messages. And, add the registered headers and templates on other operator portals as well.
|Note:||As per the regulations, it is mandatory to register HEADER (Sender ID) & TEMPLATES with All operators to avoid rejections from the cross-operator.|