TRAI suspends norms for commercial text messages for a week.

In order to protect the interest of consumers, it has been decided that scrubbing of SMS by telecom service providers shall be suspended temporarily for seven days…,” it said. According to the regulator, telecom operators are being asked to inform their principal entities to take immediate necessary action in this regard and facilitate their registration including SMS template in a time-bound manner.

The temporary suspension comes after transactions, including banking, credit card payment and certain other services that involve SMSs and OTP generation, faced an outage on Monday. The disruption happened after telcos implemented the TRAI norms for commercial messages. The latest norms, based on blockchain technology, aim to curb unsolicited and fraudulent messages.
The norms require bonafide enities sending commercial text messages to register message header and templates, with telecom operators. The SMS and OTPs, when sent by user entities (banks, payment companies) are checked against the templates registered on the blockchain platform — a process called SMS scrubbing.