TRAI Seeks Public Comment on Caller ID Display for Mobile Phones to Detect Fraudulent Callers, Spam

In a move to check pesky and fraud calls, telecom regulator TRAI has started a public consultation to put in place a mechanism to display the name of the caller on mobile phones, an official statement said on Tuesday.

At present, there are apps like Truecaller and Bharat Caller ID & Anti-spam which provide calling party name identification and spam identification facilities, but the names are based on crowd sources which may not be reliable, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in the consultation paper on "Introduction of Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) in Telecommunication Networks".

TRAI said that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in its reference on CNAP has mentioned that the facility will empower telephone consumers in taking informed decision while receiving calls, and this mechanism reduces the harassment of consumers from unknown or spam callers.

"Further, DoT has requested TRAI to explore the telecom network readiness and feasibility of providing CNAP facility to all telephone subscribers (smartphone and feature-phone owners)," TRAI said.

The regulator has sought public comments on the paper by December 27 and counter comments by January 10, 2023.

For implementation of the CNAP service in the telecom networks, it would be necessary that the service providers have access to a database which contains the correct name identity information of each telephone subscriber.

In the consultation paper, TRAI is also exploring different business models for providing CNAP facilities.

To curb the menace of pesky calls and messages, TRAI issued the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018 that created an ecosystem based on blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technology-DLT). The regulation mandates registration of all commercial promoters and telemarketers to register on the DLT platform and seek customer consent for receiving various kinds of promotional messages at time and day of their choice.

Under the framework, about 2.5 lakh principal entities have been registered with more than 6 lakh headers and approximately 55 lakh approved message templates which are being pushed to consumers through registered telemarketers and TSPs using DLT platforms. The regulator had earlier said that the framework has resulted in substantial reduction of customer complaints to the extent of 60 percent for the registered telemarketers. 

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