New Telemarketing Rules – Part 1

Last week, TRAI announced new rules for telemarketing in India in an effort to combat spam. I have written on this topic many times before, since NetCore is a key player in both the transactional and promotional SMS business (as part of our Digital, Real-Time Communications vertical).

On the whole, the rules are a good step forward, but they are also flawed on a few counts. I will address these issues in this series. To start with, here is a backgrounder:

There are multiple issues with the TRAI telemarketing guidelines that were introduced recently. Given our love for detail in India, the TRAI document is very well crafted with an incredible amount of precision. Yet, despite having had many months to think it over, TRAI has been either not addressed or glossed over some key issues. If not rectified within the next few weeks, they have the potential to substantially hurt the use of SMS as a genuine medium in India.

And that is a key point. SMS has emerged as a big winner for information access and dissemination. During the period before and after the Ayodhya verdict recently, the only medium that was banned was SMS! And it was then that people experienced two kinds of extreme feelings – relief that their SMS spam was eliminated, but also pain and frustration since they could get travel updates, bank passwords and breaking news!

So, how can the TRAI regulations be improved? In my writings, I will focus on the SMS issues, and not the voice calls.

Continued tomorrow.