Summary:

- Government regulations in India to reduce spam have made it very difficult to send SMS in India and the gateways are playing catch-up to meet the regulations.
- Anyone can opt into a government maintained do not disturb (DND) list. If they are on this list we can't send them SMS unless they explicitly opt-in to receive messages from CommCare. Generally you should make sure FLWs we work with / SIMs you procure are opted in. You may also want to sign them up for DND to avoid spam, but this should be done only if you opt in.

-On the contrary, if the FLW is on the DND list for IVR, we are not able to send them phone calls using IVR unless they de-register or never sign up for DND.

- In addition to working around the DND list, we have more flexibility if users specifically opt-in to receive SMS from us (details below). If users opt-in we can use a named sender ID (COMCAR), and send between the hours of 9pm and 9am. Thus, really we should have everyone opt in even if they're not on DND.

- These regulations seem to keep changing and the gateways keep adjusting to fall in line. Dimagi will stay on top of this and respond to changes in regulations and communicate to partners accordingly.

- The way to unsubscribe from the DND list may vary from one telco to another, making the whole process that much more complex. 

Activate DND & Subscribe to CommCareHQ Messages

What you need to know/do for SMS in India:

1. (required) Make sure all the FLWs opt in to receive messages from CommCareHQ as part of the initial CommCare training. 
2. (optional) Sign the FLW up for DND (to avoid spam). 

3. Make sure all the users opt in as part of the initial CommCare training.

Notes: 

  • Step 1 should always be done no matter what, but it absolutely has to be done if the user is on DND. 
  • These steps also apply to all existing deployments. 



1. (required) To Opt In:
  • Have the user send a "START" message to +917760962755. This is a text message with the single word "start" in it.
  • (To unsubscribe from the messages, subscriber can send STOP message to +917760962755, although I don't think we'll encourage anyone to do this)

The success and failure auto responses for the Opt-In VN are as following:

START:
  • You have successfully opted to receive all messages from Dimagi Inc. To opt out of these messages in the future, please send STOP to +917760962755
  • You have already opted to receive all messages from Dimagi Inc. To opt out of these messages in the future, please send STOP to +917760962755

STOP:
  • You have successfully opted out of receiving message from Dimagi Inc. To opt in to these messages in the future, please send START to +917760962755
  • You have already opted out of receiving message from Dimagi Inc. To opt in to these messages in the future, please send START to +917760962755


2. (optional) DND

To activate Do Not Disturb ServiceSMS 'START 0' (without quotations, zero) to 1909.

To De-Register from the DND to receive IVR messages: Have the FLW call the DND registry (NCPR) using their IVR by dialing 1909 asking to deactivate DND, or alternatively by sending an SMS 'STOP 0' to 1909

FAQ:


What else might change in the future?
It is possible that we may eventually be restricted to only sending preapproved, templated, messages.
Opt-In notifications will be sent every month after registration to the user.
Anyone who has opted in for SMS will be receiving a monthly notice from our gateway, per new regulations. If we think this will be confusing for the FLWs you may want to start bringing it up during training.

Message from the gateway provider:

The amendment released on TRAI Regulation states that a reminder SMS has to be sent every thirty days to all Opt-in Numbers registered.

Please find the TRAI link for your reference [Page 2, Point 6.(d)]

http://www.trai.gov.in/WriteReadData/trai/upload/Directives/154/Amendment_to_Direction_trans%20msg23-12-2011.pdf


As a part of this requirement we will be required to send monthly reminders to the Opted-In users through the Opt-In account(s).