The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper seeking comments from stakeholders on the need to display caller identification on mobile phones.
The consultation paper called 'Introduction of Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) in Telecommunication Networks' comes at a time when several customers have raised their concern regarding robocalls, spam calls, and fraud calls.
Robocalls are calls made automatically by IT-enabled systems mainly to financially dupe telephone consumers. Spam calls are unsolicited marketing calls from personal mobile connections, bypassing the do-not-disturb (DND) feature, and targeting many telephone consumers. Through fraudulent calls, certain individuals attempt to obtain details of bank account one-time password (OTP) with an aim to defraud consumers.
Currently, smartphone users use third-party apps to identify the calling party name and mark spam calls. Third-party apps like 'Truecaller' and 'Bharat Caller ID & Anti-spam' provide calling party name identification and spam identification facilities.
Apple has a 'silence unknown numbers' feature for iPhone. Android has a 'caller ID and spam' protection option that allows phone users to mark incoming calls as spam.
Smartphones and third-party apps, generally, provide name identification services based on crowd-sourced data. However, the crowd-sourced name identity information may not be reliable, in many instances, says the TRAI paper.
The telecom regulator says it has been cognizant of the need for calling party name presentation facility for protection of consumer interests.
The introduction of the CNAP facility in telecommunication networks aims to empower subscribers to take an informed decision while receiving an incoming call, and to reduce the harassment of subscribers from spam callers, according to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The CNAP facility requires intertelecom service provider coordination and access to a subscriber's name during the call flow.
For implementation of CNAP service in the telecommunication networks, it would be necessary that the service providers have access to a database which contains the correct name identity information of each telephone subscriber, TRAI says, adding it is taking written comments on the paper till December 27 this year, and counter comments till January 10, 2023.
India's largest telecom operator, Reliance Jio, added 7.2 lakh users in September 2022, while Bharti Airtel added 4.1 lakh users, as per the latest TRAI data. The loss-making Vodafone Idea continues to bleed, with September subscriber losses at a whopping 40.1 lakh. State-owned BSNL and MTNL lost 7.8 lakh and 7,490 users, respectively. In terms of monthly growth rate, Jio's user base surged by 0.17% in September, followed by Bharti Airtel at 0.11%. Vodafone Idea saw monthly degrowth of 1.58% in its wireless subscribers base.
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