New DLT Platform – TRAI Rules For BULK SMS

In order to control unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) and promote transparency in the unorganized SMS market, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has published The Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR) 2018. With the aim of strengthening oversight, stopping fraudulent activities, and giving customers more security, TRAI has developed recommendations.

In accordance with the updated TRAI criteria, businesses wishing to deliver SMS messages to their clients will now need to register as Telecom Operators. Telecom operators, who will answer directly to TRAI, will be the bodies to whom the businesses and bulk SMS service providers will answer. Distributed ledger technology (DLT), commonly referred to as blockchain technology, will be used to manage the system, and all of the panel entities will be connected to one another.

Commercial Communications Ecosystem

The five entities that make up the Blockchain have the following duties and responsibilities:

Mobile Subscriber: The consumer that will get the SMS is the mobile subscriber. Customers who use mobile devices have the freedom to set preferences, submit complaints about unsolicited and spam messages, and provide their approval to receive promotional texts from any business at any time.

Principal Entity: The business or organization that is SMS-ing its clients and customers is the Principal Entity. Anyone who wants to send SMS to their respective clients can be a person, a sole proprietor, a partnership firm, or any other type of private, public, or government organization. All organizations must register with the telecom operators on the DLT platform in accordance with the new TRAI DLT regulations.

Telemarketer: The term “telemarketer” refers to the bulk SMS service provider from whom an individual or business buys bulk SMS to distribute to their clientele. To transmit messages on behalf of the Principal Entity (companies), telemarketers must register on the DLT platform in accordance with the new TRAI regulations.

Access Provider: Telecom companies including Vodafone, Ideal, Airtel, MTNL, and BSNL are examples of access providers. They work directly with TRAI to support regulatory efforts.

Regulator: As the regulatory body, TRAI is responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance through operations oversight and audits to protect consumers’ interests and stop fraudulent activity.

What has changed in the new updated TRAI regulations for Bulk SMS?

  • Entity and Telemarketer Registration: 

For the purpose of sending messages to their customers, Telecom Operators will now require registration from all businesses (Principal Entity) and bulk SMS service providers (telemarketers).In the past, corporate firms were not obliged to register with TRAI, only bulk SMS providers did. However, in accordance with the revised regulations, businesses that wish to send SMS to their clientele as well as bulk SMS service providers must register with telecom operators.

  • Header and Template Registration:

Headers, the new term for Sender ID, must be approved and registered with the telecom operators. Similar to this, the telecom operators must personally approve each SMS or template.The Sender ID and template approval will no longer be in the authority of bulk SMS service providers, and all header and template details will be viewable on the panel.

  • Message type:

Transactional and Promotional were the two SMS delivery channels available previously. Three new routes have been included in the most recent update: transactional, promotional, and service (implicit and explicit). According to the new regulations, banks will be the only entities authorized to send OTPs via the transactional channel, while service-related informational messages will fall under the implicit category. Customers’ requests to get promotional SMS from a certain business fall under the Explicit category. Offers and discounts in general promotional SMS will only be sent to non-DND numbers.

  • Customer consent:

The new rule gives mobile subscribers (customers) total discretion over controlling their consent to receive communications and enables them to opt-out whenever they choose. They will be able to modify and even revoke their consent at any moment by viewing the list of consents they have granted on a single dashboard.

  • Customer Preferences:

Customers used to just have the option of DND or Non DND. The new regulations provide the client, also referred to as the mobile subscriber, with a time-window in which they can manage their choices depending on a particular time or day and permit specific types of promotional communications notwithstanding the preferences they have established.It implies that a customer can still get promotional texts from a business even if he has set his phone to DND. Additionally, clients can consent to receive promotional SMS at specific times of the day.

  • Scrubbing function: 

Scrubbing has been implemented to guarantee that messages are sent in accordance with the customer’s specifications. In this case, the numbers to which messages must be delivered will be instantly screened to ensure they meet the customer’s specified criteria. This implies that an SMS will not be delivered on Monday if a consumer has consented to receive messages on Monday but withdraws that consent on Sunday. The consumer preferences are filtered in real-time, and the outcomes are displayed right away.

  • Complaint Management: 

In order to augment the security and legitimacy of the system, users have the option to file complaints about infringements on their consent or preferences through various channels, such as SMS and phone calls.

  • Interoperability between telecom service providers:

Every Telecom Service Provider will have access to the platform’s details, including entity registration, telemarketer registration, headers, provided templates, and more. A specific business and bulk SMS service provider’s shared information will be visible to everyone on the network at all times.

  • 100% Traceability:

Distributed ledger technology underpins the system as a whole (DLT). This implies that everything is traceable back at any point in time and is shared and recorded on the network through the use of Blockchain Technology.

DLT SMS Meaning:

The regulation’s only goal is to increase system transparency, and it is anticipated that using a DLT platform based on blockchain technology will significantly reduce unwanted emails, spam, and fraudulent activity. DLT was adopted by TRAI to control the bulk SMS market in India. 

DLT Registration:

The procedure of registering your company, sender IDs, message templates, and other necessary data on a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) platform is known as DLT registration.

In many countries, it’s a necessary step to make sure your SMS marketing campaigns adhere to telecom laws.

All Indian enterprises that transmit SMS messages are required by TRAI to register on a DLT platform. This is done to safeguard customer privacy and make it harder for spammers to send unsolicited SMS messages. Know more

Read More: Everything you need to know on Bulk SMS – DLT and Template approval in India