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DoT directs telcos to trial caller name display service to combat spam calls

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has directed telecom companies to begin trials for service that will display caller names, aiming to combat spam calls, sources told Moneycontrol. This initiative, known as Calling Name Presentation (CNAP), is set to start with proof of concept (PoC) trials within a month, as requested by the DoT from all private telecom operators.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has directed telecom companies to begin trials for a service that will display caller names, aiming to combat spam calls, sources told Moneycontrol. This initiative, known as Calling Name Presentation (CNAP), is set to start with proof of concept (PoC) trials within a month, as requested by the DoT from all private telecom operators.

The pilot phase will help the DoT determine whether to implement CNAP directly on the network or incorporate it as a built-in feature on handsets. The final decision will be based on the outcomes of these trials.

In March 2022, the DoT sought the views of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on introducing CNAP. Following consultations with industry stakeholders, TRAI recommended the introduction of CNAP in February 2024. TRAI suggested that the government should mandate this feature on all mobile phones sold in India, with a suitable cut-off date following the notification.

During the consultation process, private telecom companies and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) raised concerns about CNAP. They argued that displaying names from KYC forms could compromise subscriber privacy and potentially endanger women’s safety. They also highlighted technical concerns, such as increased call setup time, latency, and the significant investments needed for implementing CNAP. Additionally, they noted that currently, only 4G-enabled devices can support this feature, limiting its reach across the market.

Currently, several third-party services, like Truecaller, offer caller name display by crowdsourcing information. However, this data may not always be accurate.

TRAI, in its recommendations, addressed the need for a more reliable solution. It proposed that entities holding bulk or business connections should be able to present a “preferred name” instead of the one listed in the Customer Application Form (CAF). This “preferred name” could be a trademark registered with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, a trade name registered with the GST Council, or any other unique name registered with the government.

To facilitate this, TRAI outlined a technical model for implementing CNAP on the telecommunication network. This model aims to ensure the accurate and secure presentation of caller names, balancing privacy concerns and technical feasibility. Times Now New

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