When it come the current pre-paid and post-paid tariff plans for telecom services, things are dicey, and some sort of confusion still exists.
Say, if a BSNL user wants to know the exact pre-paid offers, then he will either have to visit the nearest BSNL office, or search BSNL’s website which often has outdated information or trust the mobile recharge services like Paytm, Freecharge. But again, confusion persists, as these mobile recharge services often pass the blame to the concerned telecom operator, in case of any wrong recharge done.
The case is same with private operators as well. New offers are now launched almost on a weekly/daily basis, and keeping track of all the changes, in one central location is the most pressing need.
Telecom Authority of India (TRA) has clearly understood this problem, and they have some sharp solutions as well. In fact, the solutions being devised by TRAI is quite scalable in nature, as if a telecom entrepreneur’s next business plan.
Every Telco Will Provide Digitized Tariff Plans
TRAI Chairman has now ordered that every telecom operator will be now mandated to provide their tariff details in digitized form, which will be uploaded into the TRAI website, and edited/upgraded real time.
Almost 24,000+ new and unique tariff rates are updated and created annually by telecom operators, and as per the new diktat, every one of these would be now available on TRAI’s website, on a run-time basis.
And, this not enough. In fact, this is the just the start.
The next level of transparency will include usage of API and export of this data.
TRAI Will Allow API Access, Creation of Comparison Apps
Once the updated, and current tariff plans are available in one centralized location on TRAI’s website, this data would be exported to developers via APIs, which can be used to create price comparison apps.
TRAI Chairman, RS Sharma 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.”
API are software tools, which are used to pass information between two sources. Like a portal between two worlds. Once TRAI allow access of this vast data via APIs, then developers can create price comparison apps, tools and websites which will allow the end user to make an informed decision.
This model has been inspired from the insurance and airline price comparison websites/tools, which uses a centralized database to compare tariffs and rates between different service providers.
Sharma said, “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,”
The success of this whole program depends on the willingness and enthusiasm by existing telecom players, regarding sharing of information.
Do you think Telcos will support TRAI in sharing their tariff data in a digitized form? We will keep you updated as we receive more information..
"Telecom Tariff Plans Will Soon Be Available On TRAI Website; Developers Can Use Data For Comparison Apps",