BSE clarifications regarding implementation of TRAI Guidelines to curb spam SMSes and misuse of headers and Content Templates by unauthorized Telemarketers


BSE vide notice dated 23 March 2023 has issued clarifications regarding TRAI – Guidelines to curb spam SMSes and misuse of headers and Content Templates by unauthorized Telemarketers (UTMS). In order to ensure that all promotional messages are sent only through Registered Telemarketers (RTMs) and also to stop misuse of Headers and Message Templates which leads to increase in number of fraud/ spam, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued two separate directions on February 16, 2023 to all Access Service Providers (ASPs) under the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations, 2018.

Further, all intermediaries who send bulk SMS hereinafter referred to as Principal Entities (PEs), may be sensitized and the following directions from TRAI may be noted for implementation –

  1. It is seen that many PES have registered large number of Headers and Content Templates. Unused Headers and Content Templates can be misused by fraudulent entities. Hence, PES shall review all the Headers and Content Templates registered by them and surrender and close unused Headers and Templates immediately.
  2. Most misuse of Content Templates is being done due to leaking of template IDs. To avoid the misuse, PES shall review and re-register all Content Templates immediately.
  3. Re-verification of Headers and Content Templates shall be done by PES on a quarterly basis.
  4. During registration, the PES may classify the Headers as permanent and temporary as per their own requirement. Time duration of temporary Headers will be given by PES during registration process after which they will be deactivated.
  5. PES shall limit the number of variables portion in the Content Template of message to two variables only, provided that, for the reasons to be recorded, a third variable may be allowed in case of exigency. Variables shall be noncontiguous and not separated with space, comma and/or any other special character.
  6. PES shall engage only Registered Telemarketers (RTMs) and predeclare the complete chain of Registered Telemarketers engaged by them to their respective Access Providers/Telecom Service Providers (TSPs). It is advisable to keep the number of RTMs in the delivery chain to a minimum. Access Providers shall reject all messages where the chain of RTMs is not defined or does not match.
  7. PES or their authorized RTMs in the chain shall not use any telephone numbers for sending any kind of message and do not engage any Unregistered Telemarketers (UTM) for transmission of their message. Any blacklisted RTM should not be given any contract.VIII. PES should ensure appropriate provisions in agreement with RTMs so that Headers and Templates shared by them with all RTMs are not misused.
  8. PES may obtain the Delivery Report (DLR) from Access Providers/TSPs, in form of total count of messages delivered, through a system generated report.

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