Telemarketers to get new landline number series this week

The new number is likely to be issued this week.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has already issued a number series starting from '140' for calls and SMSes made from mobile services of registered telemarketers.

"We are in discussion with senior officials of DoT. The number series has to be issued by DoT... (It) will be done by Monday, or latest by Tuesday," a TRAI official told PTI.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has come up with regulations to curb the menace of unsolicited calls and SMSes sent to telecom subscribers.

The regulation will come into force from March 1, 2011, after which customers registered in the do-not-disturb list will get relief from pesky calls and SMSes from telemarketers.

The regulator has asked the DoT to issue a separate series of numbers for both mobile networks and basic phones of telemarketers to help consumers differentiate between calls coming from telemarketers and others.

The DoT, in a communication to TRAI, had said the new series of '140' cannot be used for both basic and mobile services.

"Levels for basic services will be allocated after resolving the issue of caller line identification (CLI) for telemarketing operations using basic services," it had said.

The official said, "All the issues regarding basic phone service has been resolved."

However, telecom marketing companies do not seem prepared. On conditions of anonymity, a telemarketing firm said it was yet to receive the new series of landline number.

"There are few days left when our existing telecom resources will be withdrawn. We are worried for our business. Telecom companies are not issuing us basic phone connections as they say that they are yet to receive new numbers from the DoT," one representative of a telemarketing company said.

In a recent notification, the telecom regulator had asked telecom companies to withdraw telecom resources, including existing telecom connections issued to telemarketers, by February 28, 2011.

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