Telecom customers in India will soon be able to check tariff plans of the operators in India on the official website of Trai. This move will improve transparency over rates in the country, said Trai Chairman RS Sharma with PTI.
Trai had recently asked all the telecom operators to start filling their tariff plans in an electronic form along with the physical submission. The physical filing will be removed entirely in coming days but in a phased manner.
The regulator has recently asked all operators to start filing their tariffs in electronic form along with physical submission, and intends to do away with the physical filing entirely, albeit in a phased manner.
It is also said that nearly 24,000 rates are filed in a year by telecom companies. This number includes tariff plans for all operators in all the circles, including any special tariff vouchers. These days, almost all the telecom operators are offering special tariff plans.
“Going further, Trai is mulling allowing ‘export’ or use of that data to enable people to build tariff-comparison apps and products, just as one sees for insurance or airline fares,” says the PTI report.
“We will not only have transparent tariff display on the Trai site, we will also probably enable machine-readable data which can be exported, so people can build applications on top of it. We will provide APIs (code that enables two software programs to talk),” Sharma told the publication.
“…so more applications can be built on top of that. For example, in insurance, there are apps which say which policy is the best. One can also do a comparison for airfares. Similarly, people should be able to build apps on top of it (tariff data) to suggest to consumers the best plan to buy in an area,” Sharma said.
The ‘export’ of data will allow app makers to build products based on the tariff information displayed on Trai site. Furthermore, Sharma also replied when asked about the enabling of export of data for the apps. “We will do it pretty soon. Now, we are asking them (telcos) to submit data online which will reduce their workload also,” he said.
Online filing of tariffs by telcos will mean more convenience and efficiencies in the system, and as said earlier, the regulator will remove the physical tariff plan filing. “They (telcos) have to do a lot of paper submission, online filing will make life easier for everyone,” he added.
Nevertheless, this would be a welcome move from both the telecom regulator and telecom operators and removes the fuss for users to check every operator’s website individually.