May 16, 2023: What are the New TRAI rules that mandate telcos to cut down on spam? What is TRAI? What does Spam actually mean? Simply explained!
The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) is getting serious about spam calls.
The regulatory body has introduced new measures aimed at protecting consumers from unwanted communication calls and messages.
What are Spam Calls and messages?
Spam calls and messages are unwanted and unsolicited phone calls or text messages that are sent to a large number of people without their consent. Imagine if someone you didn't know kept calling or sending messages to your phone repeatedly, trying to sell you something or trick you into giving them your personal information.
The move comes in response to the increasing number of fraud and harassment cases reported by telecom users.
TRAI has introduced new regulations on May 1, 2023, to fight these unwanted communication calls. All telecom firms would be required to implement AI spam filters in their call and SMS services under the new regulations.
What is TRAI?
TRAI, which stands for the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, is an important organization in India that helps regulate and oversee the telecommunications sector.
Imagine you have a big playground where you and your friends play different games and have fun. Now, think of TRAI as the "playground monitor" or the person who ensures that everyone follows the rules and plays fair.
TRAI's main job is to make sure that the companies providing telecommunication services, like mobile phone networks and internet service providers, treat people fairly and provide good services to everyone. They have certain rules and guidelines that these companies must follow.
For example, TRAI makes sure that everyone has access to affordable and reliable communication services. They ensure that the companies don't charge too much for calls, texts, or internet usage, and they monitor the quality of these services to ensure that they work well for everyone.
To stay ahead of fraudsters to stop financial frauds towards Companies and Individuals by Spammers.
TRAI also protects the interests of consumers, which means they look out for you and your family as users of these telecommunication services. They handle complaints and concerns that people might have about their mobile phone or internet service and take action against companies that don't follow the rules.
In addition, TRAI promotes healthy competition in the telecom sector. They encourage different companies to compete with each other to provide better services and more affordable prices.
This way, you have more choices when it comes to picking a mobile phone network or an internet service provider.
So, just like the playground monitor ensures that everyone follows the rules and has a fair and enjoyable time, TRAI makes sure that telecommunication companies in India follow the rules, provide good services, and treat people fairly.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was established with effect from 20th February 1997 by an Act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997. Prior to that it was under the Central Government.
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How will they control spam?
Media sources state that the new regulations issued by TRAI mandate the usage of artificial intelligence (AI) spam filters for call and SMS services by telecom providers like Airtel, Jio, Vodafone Idea, and BSNL.
These filters will recognize and stop phony and promotional calls and texts coming from different sources, which are frequently used by con artists to con people out of their money.
So, the main intentions are:
- Use technology to reduce fraud cases.
- Help reduce annoyance of consumers from these calls.
Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are two of the large telecom service providers that have agreed to adopt the AI filter service in accordance with the regulation. This has been officially confirmed by Airtel, and Jio is slated to begin offering the service shortly.
From May 1, audio calls will also employ the blockchain-based DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) system that is presently used for unwanted SMS, according to a recent article by Outlook.
The TRAI monitored the telecoms' attachment to its guidelines for removing headers and content templates and advised them to take immediate action to avoid obtrusive calls and texts.
The telecom firms would ask primary entities (PEs), including banks, financial institutions (FIs), and others, to remove any unnecessary headers and templates throughout the deployment.
If they do not, the regulator will be forced to block their messages in DLT for the sake of consumers.
What can you do to keep yourself safe and undisturbed from spam calls?
Think of your phone as your personal mailbox. Just like you receive letters and packages in your mailbox, you also receive calls and messages on your phone. Now, imagine if someone you didn't know kept sending you letters or packages that you didn't want or need. It could be advertisements for products you're not interested in or even messages that might be trying to scam you.
Spam calls and messages are like those unwanted letters and packages. They are sent by people or companies who are trying to reach as many people as possible, hoping that some of them will respond and buy something or give away personal information.
These unwanted calls and messages can be annoying, and sometimes even risky. Some spam messages may ask for your personal information like your name, address, or bank details, but it's important to remember not to share such information with unknown or untrusted sources.
To protect yourself from spam calls and messages, you can take a few steps:
- Don't share your phone number or personal information with unknown or untrusted sources.
- Be cautious while downloading apps or registering on websites, as they may ask for your phone number and then send you unwanted messages.
- If you receive a call or message from an unknown number or a suspicious source, don't respond or engage with them.
- Install a spam filter or use apps that help identify and block spam calls and messages.
- Report spam calls and messages to your parents or guardians, who can help you handle the situation.
Remember, just like you wouldn't want unwanted letters or packages cluttering your mailbox, you also don't want unwanted calls and messages cluttering your phone. It's important to stay vigilant and protect your personal information.