The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has proposed the use of artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) technologies to tackle the problem of Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC). A national survey revealed that 66% of mobile users in India continue to receive three or more unsolicited calls every day, many of which originate from personal mobile numbers.
Trai has directed telecom operators to implement a detection system using AI/ML technology to combat this issue. The telecom watchdog has also set a May 1 deadline for telcos to review the implementation of the regulatory sandbox drill for detecting unwanted text messages and calls.
Trai has been taking a multi-pronged approach to address the UCC problem through technical solutions, regulations, directions, and close monitoring. The regulator issued rules back in July 2018, making it mandatory for mobile carriers to seek subscriber consent for receiving UCC from telemarketers.
It also mandated the deployment of blockchain technology to ensure telemarketing messages are sent only to subscribers from authorized entities. The latest measures proposed by Trai are part of its continued efforts to curb UCC through technical solutions, regulations, directions, and close monitoring. Trai wants telcos to use a new number series for sending important voice calls for transactions or service-related notifications.
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It also wants telcos to share the list of suspected spammers and scammers on a common platform and block message transactions proactively. To ensure the system remains secure, Trai plans to undertake software-centric security audits. The regulator believes that the AI-based solution can be deployed into the core telecom network, analyzes if a sender is a spammer, and takes action accordingly. Trai will audit the software that will be used to curb spam SMSes.
Trai’s proposed use of AI and ML technology to combat annoying SMS messages is a welcome move that will significantly reduce the amount of UCC that subscribers receive. With Trai directing telcos to take multiple measures, including the use of AI and ML technology, and proper monitoring and audit mechanisms, subscribers will no longer be disturbed by unwanted messages and calls.