Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

TRAI issues directions for misuse of SMS message templates

May 13, 2023

Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC) is a major source of inconvenience to the public and impinges on the privacy of individuals and TRAI has been taking various steps to curb it.

TRAI has issued a Direction to stop misuse of message templates, under Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations, 2018 (TCCCPR-2018). This is in continuation of its earlier Direction dated February 16, 2023 to stop misuse of Headers and Message Templates.

The TRAI has directed all the Access Providers that the use of more than three variable parts in the contents shall be permitted only with proper justification and additional checks. It has mandated that Access Providers shall have to designate a separate approving authority for such content templates.

Each variable part needs to be pre-tagged for the purpose it is proposed to be used and minimum thirty percentage of message should comprise of fixed part so that intent of the original message, for which the content template was approved, is not changed by the intermediaries. It has also been decided that only whitelisted URLs/Apks/OTT links/call back numbers shall be allowed in the content template.

All  telecom service providers have been directed to furnish compliance report of the above direction within 45 days.