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TRAI calls for meeting with telcos to curb spam messages

Indian telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has called for a review meeting with the country’s incumbent telcos, including Reliance Jio, Airtel, and state-run BSNL separately, to discuss progress on the reduction of unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) messages. The meeting will take place later this month, and the regulator will seek an update on the telcos’ efforts to curb the pesky messages.

Vodafone Idea has not been called to the meeting, as the company recently demonstrated an acceptable UCC solution to the regulator.

TRAI has noted that unwanted SMS messages have been gradually declining and could be further reduced over the next two to three months. The regulator has been aggressive in its efforts to combat such spam messages and wants telcos to use advanced business analytics technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to restrain them.

A TRAI official told the publication said that the operators have minor differences in their approach to check spam messages and that the ongoing situation can be further improved when they place a sandbox or UCC detect system.

BSNL, which has a footprint in rural and remote areas, is also making efforts to address the UCC menace. Last year, the telecom watchdog formed a committee of financial regulators – the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) – to address the UCC menace.

TRAI has not only asked mobile subscribers to be wary of these unwanted and cyber frauds but has also asked business entities, such as banks, to whitelist their websites or links to identify fraudsters using pseudo identities easily.

The regulator’s crackdown on unsolicited communication and fraudulent messages is ongoing, and in a related development, Truecaller, a Swedish spam detection and caller ID application company, has launched an artificial AI and ML-driven fraud detection feature for its users to tackle spam SMSes in India.

Additionally, TRAI is addressing the rampant unsolicited voice calls menace. Following TRAI’s recommendation, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) recently allowed a new series for business entities originating calls for commercial purposes. TelecomTalk

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