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TRAI issues instructions to reverify headers and content templates to PEs

Various entities such as banks, other financial institutions, insurance companies, trading companies, business entities, etc. sends commercial messages to the telecom subscribers through SMS. These entities are referred to as Principal Entities (Pes) in TCCCPR, 2018 regulations of TRAI.

As per the regulatory framework, any commercial communication may only take place using registered Headers assigned to the Pes for this purpose. Header means an alphanumeric string assigned to Pes under these regulations to send commercial communications.

Pes are required to get content templates registered with the Access Providers. Any commercial communication through SMS is subjected to scrubbing against the content template registered by Pes with Access Provider and, if it fails, then such SMS is not allowed to be delivered to the consumers.

The TRAI has observed that some Pes have registered a large number of Headers and Content Templates and, at times, some of these are misused by some Telemarketers. To stop the same, TRAI through its Direction dated February 16, 2023, directed for reverification of all registered Headers & Content Templates on DLT platform and block all unverified Headers and Message Templates within 30 and 60 days respectively from the date of issue of Direction.

In February 2023, TRAI wrote to RBI, SEBI, NHA and all Central/State Government Departments requesting them to sensitise all institutions/departments, under their ambit, who send bulk SMS, about the action required to be taken at their end to ensure that header and message templates are not misused.

It has been seen that many Pes have not yet completed the verification of Headers and Content Templates. Due to lack of timely action by Pes, Headers and Content Templates assigned to such Pes remain vulnerable for likely misuse and may result in inconvenience to public in form of spam and also financial frauds.

Any further delay on part of by Pes to get the re-verification of Headers and Content Templates may result in the blocking of their Headers, Content Templates and messages. The TRAI shall review the progress in the next two weeks and may issue appropriate direction, if required. Therefore, all the Pes should complete the process of verification of Headers and Content Templates immediately.

CT Bureau

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