Tech Mahindra’s Blockchain Solution Will Now Help 30 Crore Mobile Users Block Spam Calls

Tech Mahindra, one of the leading Indian providers of digital transformation,  has announced its plan to deploy blockchain solution for a prominent telecom company, for whom  it is tasked with protecting its subscribers from telemarketing spammers.

The telecom service provider, whose name has been kept under wraps, will use Tech Mahindra’s blockchain solution to protect nearly 30 crore of its users from spammers during the initial stage of the project.

Speaking on the development to a leading business daily,  Rajesh Dhuddu, Global Practice Leader for blockchain in Tech Mahindra said, “It is a one-time installation. We, however, will manage it for them.”

In the long run, the project aims to cover 80 crore customers and in the next phase, Mahindra will deploy the solution for 10 crore consumers of the telecom service provider

In order to facilitate the development, in 2018, Tech Mahindra collaborated with Microsoft to enable a robust blockchain-based ecosystem to fight spam calls. Based on Blockchain technology and built on Microsoft Azure the solution aims at mitigate the issue of unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) in the country.

By bringing all the relevant parties in the ecosystem on to the blockchain, Mahindra wants to telecom service providers and telemarketers take care of preference registration, consent acquisition, dynamic preference setting, stakeholder onboarding, header registration, template registration, scrubbing service, and complaint handling and tracking, the company said in a press statement.

“With a Microsoft Azure blockchain-powered solution, we will ensure that we mitigate loopholes used by fraudsters and spammers to reach end users. Microsoft believes blockchain has significant potential to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse from markets of all types. Our ambition is to provide blockchain technology that drives real, long-term and sustainable business, economic and social value for the world,” Prashant Shukla, National Tech Officer, Microsoft India said on the occasion.

TRAI’s move to adopt blockchain for curtailing spam calls

The development comes in the wake of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) increased pressure on Indian telecom service providers to look into the issue of spammers, who continues to rely on shady mechanisms to target telecom subscribers. As per an industry report, India is second most spam riddled country in the world with tens of billions of unsolicited or spam SMS being sent every month across telecom networks.

In yet another study points out that while 70 per cent of the citizens still get spam SMSs despite registering for DND, another 78 per cent revealed that four or more unwanted SMSs every day.

Owing to the increased menace of spam calls, in 2018, TRAI unveiled its Do Not Disturb app to curtail spam calls. The app, aimed at helping its users to block spam calls, report the number to their service providers. Though the registry has more than 23 crore subscribers, it has turned out to be futile with the  unregistered telemarketers resorting to dubious measure to access customer information.

This in turn forced the regulatory body to look to solutions like blockchain to curb the issue of spam callers. In a press release dated May 2018, TRAI asked the service providers to adopt distributed technology in its Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations, 2018.

“Blockchain has proven useful where the objective is to cryptographically secure information and make it available only on a need to know basis. Yet none may deny their actions or tamper with records, once recorded on the distributed ledger, which uniformly enforces compliance,” it said in the press release.

Enabling compliance through innovative tech solutions, better control of the entities in the ecosystem and inflow of commercial communications, detection of unregistered through collaboration and in a more intelligent manner, were some of the features as highlighted by TRAI.

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