To control spam and pesky calls, TRAI orders telcos to implement blockchain

TRAI

Weeks after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) issued a consultation paper seeking suggestion how to use blockchain technology to protect mobile users from pesky calls, it has now asked operators to implement the technology.

With the use of distributed ledger, or blockchain, technology, the telecom operators will be able to ensure non-repudiation and confidentiality of mobile users data.

A distributed ledger is a collection of records where every person who accesses it also has a copy. But participants have to agree to make a change in the database.

Thus, with the technology in place, only registered telemarketers will have access to phone databases and that user consent to receive such communication will be explicitly recorded.

Trai has become the first organisation to implement this kind of regulation.

The regulator has taken a decision to check the unbridled telemarketers who have been continuously flouting the norms despite despite restrictions like DND.

Under the new rules, the companies that want to communicate with interested users have to confirm their identity through a header registered in their name. Besides, access providers must now provide facility to digitally record and revoke consent of the subscribers.

To capture customer consent for information and authorised telemarketing agencies, the new technology-based norms will record all communication between subscribers and entities.

In case the access provider fails to curb unsolicited commercial communication, there would be a penalty of as much as Rs 50 lakh per month.

With the rising use case of blockchain technology, telecom operators in India are also planning to launch some research in the segment.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, and Reliance Jio are assessing the use of blockchain technology that will create new revenue streams and lower operational costs for the companies.

Vodafone India, which is working with IBM in blockchain technology, is already at the proof of concept (PoC) stage. Another competitor Airtel is doing initial trials in the technology. And the market leader Jio is developing new use-cases and applications via blockchain.

The development was first reported by Mint.

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