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Business News/ Industry / Telecom/  Trai’s new rules will mandate telcos to identify callers
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Trai’s new rules will mandate telcos to identify callers

The recommendations come nearly two years after the Department of Telecommunications’ initial proposal for the same

The recommended CNAP model will see phone calls in India show the name on which a number was registered with a telecom operator when a phone call is received. (Bloomberg )Premium
The recommended CNAP model will see phone calls in India show the name on which a number was registered with a telecom operator when a phone call is received. (Bloomberg )

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Friday released its final set of recommendations to introduce caller identification (caller ID) as a default feature across domestic telecommunications networks, nearly two years after the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)’s initial proposal for the same.

The final set of recommendations proposed that all telcos “should provide Calling Name Presentation (CNAP)" as a “supplementary service" to customers “upon their request."

A technical model to roll out caller identification has been outlined by Trai to the Centre, and the regulatory body has recommended the government issue orders for all telcos to start the service in a certain time. The recommended CNAP model will see phone calls in India show the name on which a number was registered with a telecom operator when a phone call is received. The service is likely to work as an on-request feature for users.

After DoT’s March 2022 proposal to introduce the service, Trai floated a consultation paper for CNAP in November 2022. A consultation for it was held in March last year, following which the final recommendations have now been released.

The release of the recommendations brings the introduction of default caller ID services one step closer to being introduced. Once launched, the feature is likely to compete with caller identification providers such as Truecaller—with the latter working on an ad-supported and subscription model for customers.

Telecom operators did not immediately offer a statement on Trai’s recommendations.

“With regards to CNAP, we do not see that it would be a competitive service comparable to the full range of services and functionality that Truecaller offers to our more than 374 million users. With our technology and AI capabilities, Truecaller goes beyond just providing a basic number identification service," a Truecaller spokesperson said.

However, it remains to be seen how such a feature could be rolled out across the country—and how the offering of commercial caller identification services work in tandem with the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act, 2023—which is set to be introduced following the notification of DPDP rules later this year.

The feature is likely to at least have some impact on Truecaller’s India user base too—which serves as the firm’s primary user demography.

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Published: 23 Feb 2024, 10:41 PM IST
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