TRAI has issued an order instructing all access providers to comply with the Department of telecommunication’s (DoT) guidelines issued recently for allocation of short codes by the access providers to content providers, including SMS based services.
It is mentioned that the short codes are being used by content providers for variety of applications, including downloading ring tones contests, quiz, polls, information and enquiry service, entertainments, SMS, games, astrology, cricket updates, etc.
Access providers, particularly mobile operators, are allocating short codes to their content providers for various value added services, including SMS-based services within their network. TRAI observed that some of these short codes were not in accordance with the National Numbering Plan, 2003, and DoT’s earlier orders on this issue.
As per the license agreement access providers should adhere to the National Numbering Plan. In this context, TRAI had asked access providers to stop use of these prohibited levels vide its direction dated July 31, 2006. Subsequently, this issue was examined by DoT and necessary guidelines in this regard were issued.
As per the guidelines, five-digit code starting with level 5 is to be used by access providers for allocation of short codes to their content providers, including SMS based services within their network and accordingly all existing four digit short codes are to be prefixed by five to convert the same to five digit codes.
Further the existing five and six digit short codes are to be migrated to five digit codes by replacing the first digit or first two digits respectively by five and so on. TRAI has sought compliance of the DoT guidelines from all the access providers as and when the same is implemented, but not later than May 31, 2007.