New Delhi: Getting fed up of the receiving spam SMEes. Hang on, as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the deadline for implementing new rules to curb the menace of pesky calls and SMSes from January 1 till March 21.

The deadline was later extended to February 1. Subsequently, TRAI gave a second extension to the telecom operators, giving them till March 1 to implement the rules. Now the new deadline for implementing this regulation is March 21.

Citing the delay in allocation of a uniform number series for fixed line telemarketers by the Department of Telecom as the main reason, the TRAI has deferred the deadline for the third time.

"The number series for fixed networks are still not allocated by DoT. The matter has been taken up on an urgent basis to allocate the number series to telemarketers for fixed networks," TRAI said in a statement.

This new series will have to be implemented by all access providers before allocation of resources to telemarketer.

In this new amendment, TRAI has asked all access providers to withdraw all existing telecom resources (including mobile and fixed phone connections) by March 20. Earlier, these resources were to be withdrawn by February 28.

On the other side, a senior DoT official cited a number of issues related to the allocation of a uniform number series, as issued for telemarketers using mobile phones.

He said adding a uniform numbering series prefix for landline connections means changing STD codes. This will have security implications, as security agencies will find it difficult to trace numbers.

In addition, telcos will face billing problems as it will be difficult for them to identify the telecom network from which calls are coming, he added.

Furthermore, a three-digit prefix like the '140' series will take the total number of digits, including the STD code, in a landline number to 13 and only a few telephone exchanges
will be able to transmit these long numbers.

State-run telecom companies MTNL and BSNL have indicated a minimum timeframe of three and nine months, respectively, to make the requisite changes in their network.

(Agency)