The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has so far collected over Rs. 6 lakh from various mobile operators for violations of new regulations on unsolicited commercial calls and SMS, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.

Since the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010 came into force on September 27, 2011, the telecom service providers have penalised registered telemarketers in 18 cases and deposited a total of Rs.6.05 lakh to TRAI till November 30, 2011, Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said in a written reply to a question on the issue.

So far, the TRAI has received Rs. 3.30 lakh from Tata Teleservices, while Vodafone has deposited Rs. 2 lakh and Loop Telecom Rs. 75,000.

The TRAI has sent 3,409 notices to subscribers who have not registered as telemarketers but were doing the telemarketing activities. Of these, 410 such connections have been disconnected.

Pointing out that the number of unwanted commercial calls/SMS has come down substantially since the new regulations came into force, Mr. Deora said: “Prior to coming into force of this regulation, on an average 47,454 complaints were received a month (March 2010 to March 2011). However, the total number of complaints lodged by telecom consumers with their service providers from September 27, 2011 to November 30, 2011 were only 9,746 (4,498 complaints a month).”

From these complaints, it is seen that they largely relate to unsolicited SMS while complaints relating to unsolicited calls have reduced considerably. Also it is seen that the majority of complaints of unsolicited commercial communications relate to un-registered telemarketers, Mr. Deora noted.

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