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CNAP Caller ID Service Trials to Curb Spam Calls Rolled Out in Limited Form in India: Report

Telecom operators in India have warned of the challenges with mandatory implementation of CNAP (Calling Name Presentation) in the country.

CNAP Caller ID Service Trials to Curb Spam Calls Rolled Out in Limited Form in India: Report

Photo Credit: Reuters

TRAI has asked the government to mandate the rollout of CNAP support in India

  • Telecom operators are testing support for CNAP in two regions in India
  • CNAP (Calling Name Presentation) displays an unknown caller's names
  • Telecom operators have previously opposed the rollout of CNAP in India

Telecom operators in India have reportedly commenced limited trials of caller ID services in a couple of regions in the country. The telcos are facing pressure from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Department of Telecom (DoT) to implement the Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) feature, which is expected to help curb fake and scam calls in the country. If the feature is eventually implemented by these operators, customers in India may no longer need to rely on third-party caller identification apps.

CNAP testing begins in two regions in India

A Times of India report (via The Economic Times) states that telecom operators in India have started testing the CNAP caller ID display service. The TRAI has previously sought the implementation of CNAP on all mobile phones in the country, a move that has received some pushback from the telcos.

These "limited tests" of the new CNAP service are currently being conducted in Mumbai and Haryana, according to the report. It is currently unclear which telecom operators are testing the system in these areas.

Both Airtel and Reliance Jio have cautioned against the implementation of CNAP in India, with the former telling the publication about potential "techno-commercial challenges" related to introducing CNAP, along with the need to adhere to privacy laws. Meanwhile, Jio reportedly warned of issues such as and "increased load on signalling and possible impact on latency and interconnection-related issues."

CNAP Caller ID: How it works

When the CNAP caller ID service is enabled, a user's mobile phone will display the caller's phone number as well as their full name collected by the telco via its customer application form (CAF) and verified during the know your customer (KYC) process. The system is expected to help lower the rise of unwanted spam and scam calls in the country.

cnap diagram trai CNAP

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


The TRAI had previously recommended that telecom operators maintain a list of customer names and phone numbers that would enable the use of the service, in a report published in February. However, the proposal has faced some opposition from telecom operators including Airtel, Vi, and Reliance Jio.  

One of the concerns related to the implementation of CNAP on all mobile phones is the ability of handset makers and software providers to collect caller information on a large scale. Operators like Airtel and Reliance Jio have also suggested that customers be allowed to opt-in to the CNAP service, while making it mandatory for commercial and telemarketing numbers.

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David Delima
As a writer on technology with Gadgets 360, David Delima is interested in open-source technology, cybersecurity, consumer privacy, and loves to read and write about how the Internet works. David can be contacted via email at DavidD@ndtv.com, on Twitter at @DxDavey, and Mastodon at mstdn.social/@delima. More
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