TRAI ready to stop pesky calls but DoT to release specific no

"We have written approvals from both public and private telecom operators of their willingness to implement our guidelines," a Trai source said.

After deliberations with telecom operators, DoT is working on a new number series for landline connections. Earlier, on a request from Trai, the DoT had issued a number series starting with '140' to tele-marketing companies for mobile phone numbers.

Last December, Trai had come out with recommendations, 'The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010' to curb the menace of pesky calls and SMSes.

Since then the regulator has missed two deadlines it had set for implementing the guidelines in view of the absence of identified number series.

Trai had recommended a maximum fine of Rs 2.5 lakh on tele-marketing companies for making unsolicited calls or SMSes to a consumer registered under national customer preference register -- a modified version of Trai's Do Not Call Registry list.

The source further added,"It will take at least four to six weeks from the date DoT provides us the number series. We expect that by June end DoT will provide us with the number series."

The subscriber may choose to be under the 'Fully Blocked' category which is akin to the 'Do Not Call Registry'. The user can also choose the 'Partially Blocked' category, in which case he will receive SMSes in the categories chosen by him.

Trai had identified seven categories-- banking and financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods, automobiles, communication and entertainment, tourism and leisure.

In case of violations, as per the revised guidelines, the telemarketers will have to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 for the first offence which will go up to Rs 75,000 in case of a second violation, Rs 80,000 for the third, Rs 1.25 lakh for the fourth, Rs 1.50 lakh for the fifth and Rs 2.5 lakh for the sixth offence, following which the number will be blocked by all service providers.

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