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Unsolicited SMSs less intrusive than voice calls: TTSL

By: Supriya Bhattacharjee, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi Last updated : August 16, 2018 7:39 pm

The company states that the selling media should not be blocked just because of 'glitterati' subscribers, who do not find time to put their numbers into DND registry.
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Tata Teleservices (TTSL) said in a statement that emails and text messages are less intrusive and more acceptable than tele marketing voice calls, and that these calls should be strongly condemned by telecom operators.
On the issue of unsolicited calls, it says that they should be weighed between intrusiveness and disturbance, vis-a-vis information sharing.
The company says that it is important for the system to provide ten times more severe penalty for intrusive voice calls than SMS spam messages and all operators should support this.
TTSL calls subscribers who have not registered their numbers in the Do Not Disturb (DND) registry 'glitterati', and says that just because of these people who do not find time to put their numbers into the DND registry, communication and selling media should not be blocked.
However, it is well known that DND does not work properly in the country and a lot of complaints are pending with DoT, on which decisions have not yet been taken.
Apart from that, there have been a lot of discussions on how to make the DND more effective, including the suggestion of a Do Call registry.
In fact, during an open house discussion conducted by TRAI recently, there were talks on how rural subscribers have not registered on DND as they are not aware of it. About 40 per cent of users registered on DND are from Delhi and Mumbai.
Therefore, it looks like TTSL has not taken into consideration the ill informed subscribers who don't know how to go about registering on DND. When asked, some TTSL subscribers admitted that they are not aware of any such list and that no communication has come from the service provider on this.
Moreover, mobile subscriptions have increased in rural areas mainly because most of these subscribers cannot read and write and depend on voice only. Still, most of these subscribers receive marketing SMSs, which they cannot even understand.
AG Rao, chief technology officer and enterprise business head, TTSL, said, "Telemarketing has been there since the very inception of the industry—it is unsolicited spam which is the scourge, and we are totally committed to help restrict spam, and even propose that commercial penalties be levied on operators for unsolicited spam."
However, there are other operators who have taken steps to deal with the issue of unsolicited SMSs. Airtel recently exited its bulk messaging business, keeping the interest of its subscribers at the forefront.
Meanwhile, a Vodafone spokesperson told Telecom Yatra that the company is mainly offering bulk SMSs for banks and other alerts necessary for general communications and opted for by customers.
Rao added, "Indian telecom operators have received acclaim for reworking the costs of telecom to reach out to the masses and be a driver for economic growth. A farmer in a village or a fisherman is today happy to receive an SMS on crop prices, weather information, etc; and any other form of public disbursement of information would have cost 100 times more."
However, the rural services that TTSL has talked about above are subscription-based and do not come under spam.


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