TRAI Regulations -  Sending SMS in India

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is constantly looking for ways to improve end-user experience and eliminate spam and fraudulent commercial communication (2018 Regulation). 


We got a new update from TRAI in Jan’2020 regarding the implementation aspects (See TRAI regulation implementation and it mandates Indian businesses using SMS to register Entities, SenderIDs, SMS templates in a centralized DLT portal from operators. 

The deadline to ensure Entities registered their information on DLT platforms of operators is 31st May 2020Any entity or its messages header meaning sender ID, not registered and approved on DLT platform, SMS will not process and it will fail to deliver in India. 

Registration Process

  • Register your entity, headers, and templates via any of the DLT partners platform listed below.

  • Here’s an example of the registration process on one of the DLT partners' platforms.

  • Documents you need to upload and keep handy during the registration process:

  • Proof of business identity (Govt issued) - Business PAN

  • Proof of business entity - GST or TAN certificate

  • Letter of authorisation (allowing the right person to register on behalf of your business)

  • The authorised individual’s ID (Govt issued)

  • Exotel’s Telemarketer ID:  110200001174

  • Once registered on anyone of the platforms, you need to update your KYC on other operator’s DLT portals to ensure better delivery of your SMS using your unique PE ID (principal entity ID).

    Please note: The registration on these platforms may carry a fee, this fee is not charged or collected by Exotel. You shall not be charged registration fees for KYC upload on other platforms once you are allocated a unique PE ID (principal entity ID).

*Exotel recommends that you update your KYC at least on Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL and Jio platforms.

SMS Types 

We have provided an abstract or overview of SMS types below. PLEASE  READ all the details about the SMS Types in the FAQ page (see below) before registering SenderID & Templates. It will help you figure out the correct template-type and consent-type for Sender ID and Templates. 

FAQ Page : - Principle Entity > Header Registration > What are SMS types>

- Promotional  - Promotional message means commercial communication that can be sent to a mobile subscriber whose preferences are not set (not on DND). Or, any commercial communication that an enterprise can send to an intended Recipient after taking consent to send such messages.

  • Delivery Reports (DLRs) will not be shared for promotional SMSs by operators (defined as SMS being sent from Numeric Sender IDs). Exotel will mark Status of such SMSs as ‘sent’ (DELIVERED_TO_OPERATOR) indicating successful submission to operators.


  • Promotional traffic will only be allowed between 10 AM - 9 PM as per TRAI’s regulation compared to 9 AM - 9 PM earlier.

- Transactional  - Transactional message means a message which contains One Time Password (OTP) and requires you to complete a banking transaction initiated by the bank customer. This is applicable to all banks including national/ scheduled/ private/ Govt. and MNC banks

- Service Implicit: Any messages, arising out of the customer’s actions or his relationship with the Sender, that is not promotional, and is not in the interest of the customer to block such communications. These messages may or may not be triggered by a subscriber-initiated transaction and will not be blocked for subscribers who have otherwise blocked service messages also.

- Service Explicit: Any service message which doesn’t fall under the category of service message (Implicit) will be sent only against service explicit, digitally verified/verifiable consent that has been taken from the subscriber by the respective enterprise.

Header (Sender ID) Registration

There are 2 important changes to note with respect to SenderID registration

1)  As per new regulation, only OTP messages for banks are considered Transactional. All other OTP messages or transactional messages are classified as Service Implicit. While creating the sender IDs (for non-banking related use cases), need to use Service Implicit as the type for SenderID

2) Promotional messages need a Numeric Sender ID. Please note that while creating Promotional Headers on the portal, the Header should start with the number that matches the category (as per DND Preferences).  

  • 1- Banking/Insurance/Financial products/ credit cards :  e.g 110011

  •  2- Real Estate:  e.g. 220022

  •  3- Education:  e.g. 330033

  •  4- Health e.g. 440044

  •  5- Consumer goods and automobiles e.g. 550055

  •  6- Communication/Broadcasting / Entertainment/IT e.g. 660066

  •  7- Tourism and Leisure e.g. 770077

  •  8- Food and Beverages e.g. 880088

If an enterprise registers itself under the category ‘Tourism’, they can register their headers as 712390, 790234, 791919. A health-based company should register its headers as 412300, 490909, etc. 


Sample walkthrough of SenderID registration here

Sending SMS via Exotel with your registered headers (SENDER IDs)

Once your headers are registered and approved, follow below instructions to send SMS:


  • For promotional SMS, 

    • Once approved by the DLT platforms, update the numeric SENDER ID with one of your ExoPhones via SMS Configuration section.

    • Once added and accepted by our system, use the numeric sender ID or linked ExoPhone in the ‘From’ field of SMS API. Similarly, select the appropriate SENDER ID for your campaigns.

    • SMS delivery will only work if numeric sender id (header) is configured correctly with Exotel and approved on DLT platforms.

  • For transactional SMS, 

    • Once approved by the DLT platforms, update the SENDER ID if not already linked to one of your ExoPhones via SMS Configuration section.

    • Once added and accepted by our system, use the alpha sender ID or linked ExoPhone in the ‘From’ field of SMS API.

If you are sending SMS via API and you don’t have a valid Sender ID configured against the SMS Body (Transactional or Promotional), your API request will fail with `400 HTTP Error Code`

Example Request:

curl -X POST

https://<your_api_key>:<your_api_token><subdomain>/v1/Accounts/<your_sid>/Sms/send \

-d "From=600XXX" \

-d "To=XXXXX30240" \

-d "Body=Hello World!"

*For promotional SMS body, Numeric Sender ID 600XXX should be approved by the DLT platform and configured with an ExoPhone on Exotel. Similarly, replace ‘From’ with alpha sender id for transactional SMS body present in your account like ‘EXOTEL’ to avoid delivery failures. Refer here for more information on API.

**SMS delivery will only work if transactional alpha sender id or numeric sender id (header) is used correctly for your SMS request via Exotel and approved on DLT platforms of Operator.

Template Registration

Detailed walkthrough here

Consent Registration

Coming Soon

Centralized portals for registration


Registration fees may vary per operator. Please note that this fee is not charged or collected by Exotel.