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iPhone Users in India Could Face Deactivation by Telcos

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced new rules that look set to escalate its ongoing battle with Apple.

Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation,
2018 released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday 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.

TRAI’s regulation says :-

Every Access Provider shall ensure, within six months’ time, that all smart phone devices registered on its network support the permissions required for the functioning of such Apps as prescribed in the regulations 6(2)(e) and regulations 23(2)(d);

Provided that where such devices do not permit functioning of such Apps as prescribed in regulations 6(2)(e) and regulations 23(2)(d), Access Providers shall, on the order or direction of the Authority, derecognize such devices from their telecom networks.

Apple has gradually opened up its operating system to allow third-party applications to plug in to the calling and messaging frameworks in a limited way, with CallKit in iOS 10 and SMS filtering in iOS 11. iOS 12, the upcoming version of Apple’s operating system for mobile devices and tablets, is set to bring the ability to report pesky calls and text messages in a seamless way from within the operating system. The move was seen, at least in part, as a bid to satisfy the Indian regulator’s requirements.

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