If you use digital payment services and e-commerce platforms regularly you must have faced one-time password (OTP) delivery issue in the last two days. Hundreds and thousands of mobile phone users took to social media platforms such as Twitter over the weekend to complain about facing the major SMS disruption. If you have also experienced the same, here’s what exactly happened and what the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said.

While many thought the problem occurred due to poor network quality, the actual reason behind the SMS disruption is completely different. As per various media reports, the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), India’s new blockchain technology, is to be blamed for the massive SMS disruption. With the new DLT technology, the idea is to clamp down on spam messages by making verification of every SMS mandatory with a registered template.

To recall, in June 2020, the telecom monitoring body had notified all operators that it will soon bring a system in place to curb issues related to Unsolicited Commerical Communication (UCC). Recently, DLT necessitated banks and other digital payment services to follow a new messaging format for authorised automated messaging services. The format is also said to be screened by telecom operators for compliance. Additionally, all banking and financial services will also need to gain clearance before sending out bulk messaging services.

top sms delivery delayed

What happened?

On March 7 and partly on March 8, OTP SMS services in India experienced a major disruption, which led to delay in generating OTPs. This comes after the implementation of the second phase of the new SMS regulations by telecom companies in the country. Over the last two days, users complained about the disruption of crucial SMS services like OTPs from banks and e-commerce companies.

TRAI’s take on the matter

Earlier on Wednesday, TRAI acknowledged the issue and announced that it has suspended the implementation of the DLT, which ensures verification of every SMS mandatory with a registered template.

TRAI has officially announced the suspension of the SMS scrubbing system for a week. The telecom regulatory body said in an official statement, “We are concerned about any customer inconvenience caused and have ordered a 7-day temporary suspension of the SMS scrubbing which was activated on Monday (March 8).”

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