TRAI directs Access Providers to stop misuse of Headers and Message Templates, and curb unauthorized promotions


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued directions to Access Providers to stop misuse of Headers and Message Templates. It also seeks to curb unauthorized promotions using Telecom Resources. Ministry of Communications has issued a press release on both these directions. This release was issued on 15th February, 2023.

Misuse of Headers and Message Templates of Principal Entities (PEs)

TRAI has observed that Headers and Message Templates of PEs are being misused by some Telemarketers. To stop the same, Access Service Providers have been directed to;

  1. reverify all registered Headers & Message Templates on DLT platform and block all unverified Headers and Message Templates within 30 and 60 days respectively.
  2. ensure that temporary Headers are deactivated immediately after the time duration for which such headers were created.   
  3. ensure that content variables in Message Template do not have flexibility to insert undesired contents. Entities involved in message transmission should be clearly identifiable and tracked, if required.
  4. remove confusion among recipients of message and prevent their misuse, no Look-alike headers (Headers which are similar by virtue of combination of small case or large case letters) are to be registered by Access Providers in names of different Principal Entities.

Messages from unauthorised or unregistered telemarketers

To curb messages from unauthorised or unregistered telemarketers, including telemarketers using telephone numbers, Access providers have been directed to-

  • Bar all Telemarketers, who are not registered on Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) platform from handling the message template scrubbing and delivery of messages to recipients through Access Providers’ network;
  • Ensure that promotional messages are not transmitted by Unregistered Telemarketers or Telemarketers using telephone numbers (10 digits numbers);
  • Act against all such erring Telemarketers as per the provisions of the regulations and initiate actions as per relevant legal laws. The Access Service Provider shall also notify details of such Telemarketers to other Access Providers, who shall, in turn, bar these entities from sending any kind of commercial communications through their networks;

All the Telecom Service Providers have been directed to comply with the above directions within 30 days.

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