Trai, in an attempt to promote transparency in the Indian telecom sector, has said that it would put tariff plans of all incumbent service providers on a unified digital platform across 22 licensed service areas (LSA) by year-end. It is the regulator’s view that coming under the eyes of the public will further propel the telcos towards more transparency. Trai Chairman, RS Sharma presented his insight on the plan “Putting mobile tariffs is very important, and it is a consumer-centric effort. We plan to include all 22 licensed service areas before year-end, and that’s why we have requested telcos to provide data.”
It was in April that the regulator put up the plans of all incumbent telcos so that a billion subscribers could get access to information online about tariff plan comparisons. However, the portal is still in beta stage, and Trai listed only the tariff plans of two circles. The chairman further added, “We are still in the experimental phase, and want to elicit peoples’ comments and require their feedback so that we can make the improvement.”
The Trai is speeding up the work for putting up all the information regarding telecom operators’ plans online and has already rolled out the beta version of its site for Delhi and Gujarat circle. Last week, the regulator also asked for prepaid and postpaid plan information from all the telcos in an online format and is set to open its channel for the same starting June 30.
Trai chief stated “We are doing data provisioning exercise which will be automated and standardised. We have a template and it will be only a digital data exchange,”
Previously, the telcos were resorting to paper and spreadsheets to present their plan related data. Now the regulator has asked them to present the same in an online format. ??RS Sharma said “Pan India tariff is not available. Idea is to bring all tariff plans onto a single platform so that consumers across the country can make an informed decision.”
It is Trai’s belief that reporting tariff will not be a taxing task for the telecom operators since they were already doing the same on their corporate websites. ??Sharma further stated “There are few tariff guiding principles and transparency is one of them. We want consumers who can be any telco’s subscriber, to have some visibility and access to comparison tools.”
The top official really emphasised the idea of transparency and said that it was essential that a regulatory body avail the information regarding all plans by telecom operators to the consumers and also give them a platform to compare the plans so that they could make an informed decision.