TRAI Seeks Public Comments on Truecaller’s Caller Identity Scheme Plans

In an effort to check on strange and fraudulent calls, telecom regulator TRAI has started a public consultation to develop a way to put the caller’s name on mobile phones, an official statement said on Tuesday.

Currently, there are apps like Truecaller and Bharat Caller ID and Anti-spam that provide caller ID and spam detection facilities, but the names are based on crowd sources which may not be reliable, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in a consultation paper. “Introduction of Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) in Telecommunication Networks”.

TRAI said the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in its CNAP guidelines mentioned that the facility will empower phone consumers to make informed decisions while receiving calls, and this process will reduce consumer harassment from unknown or spam callers.

“Furthermore, DoT has asked TRAI to assess the readiness of the telecom network and the feasibility of providing CNAP support to all telecom subscribers (smartphone owners and landline owners),” TRAI said.

The regulator is seeking public comment on the paper by December 27 and counter comments by January 10, 2023.

In order to use the CNAP service on telephone networks, it will be necessary for the service providers to have access to a database containing the correct name information of the telephone subscriber.

In the consultation paper, TRAI also explores different business models for providing CNAP services.

To curb the menace of bogus calls and messages, TRAI issued the Consumer Preferred Telecommunications Regulations, 2018 which created an ecosystem based on blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technology-DLT). The regulation mandates the registration of all sales promoters and telemarketers to register on the DLT platform and seek the consent of customers to receive various types of marketing messages at a time and date of their choice.

Under this framework, around 2.5 lakh primary organizations are registered with over 6 lakh topics and around 55 lakh authorized message templates to be sent to consumers through registered telemarketers and TSPs using DLT platforms. Earlier, the regulator said the framework had led to a significant reduction in customer complaints of up to 60 percent for registered telemarketers.

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