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Limited trials of CNAP Caller ID Service to reduce Spam Calls intro in India: Report

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In Short:

Telecom operators in India are testing a new caller ID service to help reduce fake and scam calls. The CNAP feature, recommended by TRAI, is being trialed in Mumbai and Haryana. Telecom companies like Airtel and Reliance Jio have raised concerns about the implementation, citing technical challenges and potential impacts on signaling and latency. The system would display caller’s phone number and name to help combat unwanted calls.

Telecom operators in India have reportedly begun limited trials of caller ID services in select regions of the country. The move comes in response to pressure from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Department of Telecom (DoT) to introduce the Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) feature, aimed at reducing fake and scam calls in India. If implemented, this feature could eliminate the need for third-party caller identification apps for Indian customers.

CNAP testing initiated in Mumbai and Haryana

According to a report from Times of India, telecom operators in India have started testing the CNAP caller ID display service in Mumbai and Haryana. The TRAI has pushed for the implementation of CNAP on all mobile phones in India, although telcos have expressed concerns about this move.

The ongoing limited trials of the CNAP service are specifically being conducted in Mumbai and Haryana, with the participating operators not disclosed in the report.

Both Airtel and Reliance Jio have raised objections to the implementation of CNAP in India. Airtel cited potential “techno-commercial challenges” and the need to comply with privacy laws, while Jio warned about issues like increased load on signalling and latency.

Understanding CNAP Caller ID

With the CNAP caller ID service, a user’s mobile phone will display the caller’s phone number and full name collected by the telecom provider during the customer application form (CAF) and know your customer (KYC) processes. This system is expected to combat the proliferation of spam and scam calls in the country.

The TRAI has proposed the implementation of the CNAP system in India, as depicted in the diagram below:

The TRAI has proposed the implementation of the CNAP system in India
Photo Credit: TRAI

The TRAI had previously recommended that telecom operators maintain a list of customer names and phone numbers to enable the CNAP service. However, this proposal has faced opposition from Airtel, Vi, and Reliance Jio, who have concerns about handset makers’ and software providers’ ability to collect caller information. These operators suggest offering CNAP as an opt-in service for customers with mandatory application for commercial and telemarketing numbers.

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