Mumbai, July 21: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has warned Apple, the maker of the iPhone, that if it doesn’t allow a TRAI’s Do-Not-Disturb app on its phones, it will have to face a tough time in the coming months. The TRAI said that if Apple doesn’t step back and follow its rules, it may ask telecom companies like Airtel, Vodafone and Jio to deregister the iPhone from their networks.
The fight between TRAI and Apple over SPAM calls and messages is going on for a long time now. TRAI’s new regulatory policy has hinted that India may ban iPhone within 6 months if Apple keeps fighting TRAI and not allow DND App in iOS Store.
The TRAI on Thursday released the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation, 2018 which is “proposed to curb the problem of unsolicited commercial communication,” or as you and I know it, pesky calls and text messages. The provision that directly impacts Apple calls for telcos to “derecognise” devices that - among other things - do not allow installation of an app developed by the regulator.
What’s the issue between Apple and TRAI?
The TRAI has made an app called DND, which is now called DND 2.0 after the latest update. It is available on Google Play Store and is free for download. The telecom operator wants all phones should be able to have either a TRAI-developed or TRAI-approved mobile application that allows users to report pesky calls and messages. However, Apple has refused to allow this app in the iOS App Store as it believes that the TRAI app because it seeks the call and message records of a user, is a privacy risk.
Reports inform that the Indian telecom regulator wants to release a similar app for iOS but Apple doesn’t allow third-party apps to access call and messaging data, which has become a point of contention between Apple and TRAI.
With TRAI latest notification, Apple has six months to come to a conclusion. If Apple doesn’t step back and allow TRAI’s app on iStore in this time frame, telcos in India will be instructed to cease their mobile services on all iPhones.