India orders operators to replace ring-back tone with Coronavirus advice

India orders operators to replace ring-back tone with Coronavirus advice

The government of India has ordered the country’s telecoms operators to play a 30-second audio clip about coronavirus in place of a ringing tone in order to raise awareness of the pandemic.

India’s Department of Telecom implemented the order following a request from the country’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. All operators have been asked to adopt the measure although thus far only state-owned BSNL and market leader Reliance Jio have fully complied.

Other operators have part-implemented the message, citing technical difficulties. The message must remain as the default ring-back tone until operators receive orders to the contrary, with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also seeking a direction for operators “to send bulk SMS/PUSH notification[s] on the simple dos and don'ts to all the clients.”

India is currently ramping up an awareness campaign to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including informing the public of simple hygiene steps that will reduce the risk of infection.

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