New TRAI Rules Effective May 1, 2023, to Curb Spam Calls and Messages
Starting from May 1, 2023, you can expect some relief from unsolicited spam calls and messages, thanks to the new rules implemented by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The mandate requires all telecom companies to incorporate AI spam filters in their call and SMS services to combat spam calls and related frauds.
According to media reports, telecom giants like Airtel, Jio, Vodafone Idea, and BSNL will now use AI-based spam filters for their call and SMS services to identify and block fake and promotional calls and messages from various sources. This move by TRAI is expected to help protect customers from fraud and harassment.
Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are among the telecom companies that have agreed to implement the AI filter service, with Airtel confirming this in an official statement, and Jio expected to launch the service soon.
TRAI had earlier held a meeting with service providers to discuss the problem of UCC detection systems, which resulted in the mandate to introduce AI spam filters to prevent fraud and harassment caused by unsolicited commercial communication (UCC).
To further address the issue of fake calls and messages, TRAI has also requested telecom companies to stop sending promotional calls on 10-digit mobile numbers, which are often used by spammers and fraudsters. The government has also asked telcos to implement a Call ID feature that will help customers identify the caller by showing their photo and name on the mobile phone screen.
Although some telecom companies are reportedly hesitant to use the technology for privacy reasons, the implementation of AI technology to filter spam will begin on May 1, 2023.
If you want to permanently block spam calls, you can activate DND on your mobile number using the National Customer Preference Register (NCPR), previously known as the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC). This service helps people stop spam calls by only blocking unwanted third-party commercial calls, and not SMS alerts from your bank, online portals and services, or personal calls from others.
To activate DND on your mobile number, follow these steps:
- Open your SMS app and type START.
- Send this message to 1909.
- You will receive a list of categories with their codes from your service provider. These categories include banking, hospitality, real estate, education, health, etc.
- Choose the code for the category that you want to block and reply to the message. For example, if you want to block real estate calls, reply with 7.
- You will get a confirmation message from your service provider that your request has been received.
- Wait for 24 hours for the DND service to start working.