Business

Soon You Can Compare Mobile Tariff Plans Of All Operators On TRAI's Website

NEWS WORLD INDIA | 0
1790
| } August 13 , 2017 , 19:14 IST

In an attempt to raise transparency in tariff plan rates, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has decided to put the tariff plans of different operators on its website.

The telecom regulator is also mulling over 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.

Trai Chairman RS Sharma has said, "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)."

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.

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As per some estimates, nearly 24,000 rates are filed in a year by telecom companies -- the number includes tariff plans for all operators for the various circle as well as special tariff vouchers.

The 'export' of data will allow app makers to build products based on the tariff information displayed on Trai site.

"...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.

Asked about the timeline for enabling export of data for the apps, he said: "We will do it pretty soon. Now, we are asking them (telcos) to submit data online which will reduce their workload also." 

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Online filing of tariffs by telcos will mean more convenience and efficiencies in the system.

"They (telcos) have to do a lot of paper submission, online filing will make life easier for everyone," he added.

Sharma noted that complaints about people-specific (customised) tariffs recently had also prompted the regulator to reiterate its stance on transparency and nondiscriminatory framework to the telecom operators.