TRAI SMS Regulations – An Optimist’s solution

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Much has been blogged about whether TRAI did the right thing in handling the spams on phone. For most people it is a welcome move but many are confused.

What is it? : Link
Frustation : Link

As TRAI has defined 7 categories, you can either choose to opt in for a category or opt out of all messages in that category. TRAI should have made the subscription, not by category, but by the sender which would be a win-win situation for businesses as well as consumers. TRAI, instead of solving the problem, has introduced limit to the flow of information.

Rather than criticizing TRAI over its short-sighted measure, let us envision a simple and holistic solution.

Firstly, the masks should be unique. As a business, you have to define a mask and share it with your customers, who will in turn decide whether to opt in or not. The details of the masks and subscription have to be maintained by TRAI.Following is an illustration for a website that has registered for the keyword ‘DEALS’ and how customers can subscribe to it. Remember keyword ‘DEALS’ is unique to this business/website and cannot be used by anybody else.

This simple solution would be beneficial to customers since they can choose from whom they would like to receive messages. Every SMS sent has to pass through NCPR, and only if registered, it should be delivered to the customer. This way, TRAI need not keep adding exceptions to its list of businesses as it did by publishing amendment to its law within 12 hours. This is going to be a continuous process as more and more businesses will be approaching TRAI to white-list them.
Though it is good to see that TRAI is serious in reducing the spam, it should have put more thought into its implementation. Anyways, I would be missing texts from all kinds of deals, hair and weight loss programs and all the coming-soon projects by top developers.

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