TRAI’s DLT mechanism to check pesky messages has failed: Route CEO – ET Telecom


 (Image for representation)
(Image for representation)

Mumbai: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai’s) exercise to implement distributed ledger technology (DLT) to check fraudulent messages has been a failure since it has not been able to curb the menace well into the implementation of the mechanism, Route Mobile chief executive Rajdip Gupta told ET.

The implementation process, which started in 2019, has been stuck on the third stage – gathering consumer consent to receive messages from enterprises.

“I think (Trai’s effort at implementing) DLT is a big failure itself. DLT itself is supposed to take care of the menace of SMS phishing in the first place if all the senders were recorded properly from day one,” Gupta added.

He also said that the consent collection process within Trai’s DLT mandate is cumbersome for enterprises in a country with a vast mobile phone userbase as India.

“I think the regulator needs to understand why DLT has failed. It needs to take a strong stand on DLT to make sure operators are doing the right practice, and verifying those central (registered) IDs correctly,” Gupta said.

DLT or distribution ledger technology is a blockchain based solution that the sector regulator has mandated all operators use to keep spam messages in check.

Essentially, legitimate marketers and telemarketing agencies need to register themselves, the headers (the code that one sees when receiving messages from a brand), and the message templates on the DLT platform. Only registered senders with valid headers and matching templates will be allowed to send messages under this regime.

Industry estimates say that around 5 million headers and templates have been registered on the DLT so far. However, the problem of scam messages and unsolicited commercial communication via text continues to plague consumers, and Trai in a recent directive asked the telcos to remove unused and invalid headers and templates from the ledger.Additionally, Trai is also expected to launch a digital consent authorisation platform in the coming months to address the issue of consent collection from consumers to speed up the third stage of the implementation process.

Route Mobile which started as a communication platform as a service (CPaaS) provider has identified security solutions as a functional business area. The security solutions business is housed in a newly launched business unit called True Sense which provides mobile identity verification application programming interface to enterprises.

The products under this unit range from sim swap detection to KYC led identity verification which can identify scam attempts and bots as the case may be.