TRAI Extends the NCPR deadline. SMS Industry gets another month lifeline

Having lead the NCPR initiative and the measures to regulate Unsolicited commercial Calls so well, TRAI had to postpone the deadline from February 1st to March1st 2011. The reason, Department of Telecommunications has changed the proposed numbering series that begins with ’70’ to ‘140’ for telemarketers! This is what TRAI had to say about the postponement “However on 31st January, 2011, DoT has communicated a fresh numbering series beginning with the number ‘140’ in place of ‘70’ number series. Communicating the same to all the Access Providers and carrying out the required changes would require time. Therefore, The Authority is compelled to change the date of implementation of operationalization of the ‘Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010’ to 1st March 2011.” “At the same time, it is possible to go ahead with the registration of customer preferences. The regulation provides that the customer preferences would be effective within seven days. The Authority has, therefore, decided to start Customer preference registrations from 10th February 2011, so as to take the process forward. “ This whole NCPR initiative is very consumer friendly. Subscribers will now have the power to control what they receive or whether they want to receive at all. But this initiative has already generated lot of confusion and panic among industries dependant on SMS for commercial communications such as SMS Gateways, SMS Advertising, Online Ecommerce, Online ticketing etc., I am not sure how many consumers would know this facility or avail this facility. The onus of educating the customers about this option resides with Mobile operators. But I am sure they would not invest energy and time towards this. Once the NCPR goes live, the outcome might be little paradoxical. I am speculating that consumers wont be availing this facility. We might even witness a behaviour where consumers will opt out of DND database so that they can continue their dependance on SMS for alerts and confirmations. Let us wait and watch. Via TRAI Announcement

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