New Delhi: Millions of mobile phone users will be able to get rid of the menace of unsolicited text messages (SMS) in six weeks when DND (Do Not Disturb) number 1909 becomes operational, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said on Friday.

Mobile phone users can opt for not receiving text SMS in seven categories like real estate, credit cards, consumer durables, banking and finance by registering their number in National Do-Not-Call (NDNC) registry by calling or sending SMS to toll-free number 1909, he said in the Rajya Sabha.

"This will be in place in next six weeks," he said during Question Hour, adding users can opt for not receiving messages for any of the seven categories or all of these.

Once a number is registered, the server will block any unsolicited text message if a tele-marketer ties to send it.
"If you register, you would not get those messages," he said.

The NDNC Registry is a database having the list of all telephone numbers of subscribers who do not want to receive UCC "Unsolicited Commercial Communication".

Sibal said the government will impose "very high fines" for tele-marketers violating the DND.

On first offence a fine of Rs 25,000 will be imposed and a similar amount will be imposed on subsequent five offences after which the registration of the telemarketer will be cancelled.

Disconnection of telecom resources of defaulting telemarketers and provision of blacklisting them have also been provided in the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010, he said.

Sibal said provision of disconnection of resources of unregistered telemarketers and financial disincentive on Access Service Providers ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh have also been provided for.

"The Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation, 2010, has been framed keeping in view the interest of customers and telemarketers while ensuring effective implementation," he said.

Giving details of actions taken on complaints against telemarketers, Sibal said 72,988 registered telemarketers and 18,835 unregistered telemarketers have been disconnected.

"The regime of fines has already been put in place," he said. There are a number of political organisations which send a lot of SMS which people do not want to read, he added.

(Agencies)