View on Plans
Trai’s letter to telcos dated July 26 said… It will monitor the pilot run for a ‘reasonable period’ Would gradually do away with the requirement of filing physical copies with the regulator New Delhi: The telecom regulator has asked all carriers to submit their tariff plans online from August 1, besides filing their hard copies, within seven working days of the announcement, and is likely to put all such rates in the public domain by year end, in efforts aimed at more transparency and efficiency.
By the year end, the regulator expects to make all tariffs filed on its website, open for public, which would enable consumers to see all tariff plans and even compare them on a single platform, rather than looking up the tariff plans on each telco’s website, a senior official in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) told ET.
“The ultimate aim is to put the data out for public consumption where anyone can use it, ensuring transparency for consumers,” the official said. “If they don’t file online, we will not take it on our records.”
In a letter to telcos dated July 26, seen by ET, Trai has said that it will monitor the pilot run for a ‘reasonable period’ and would gradually do away with the requirement of filing physical copies with the regulator.
If successful tariff filing continues, Trai will exempt telcos from publishing their tariffs in local newspapers, presently a bi-annual requirement. The regulator has also mandated that telcos fix responsibility on specific peo-
ple for filing the tariffs online, which will ensure sanctity and assurance that the tariffs filed have been approved before being put online.
In a quarter, Trai gets anywhere between 10,000 to 20,000 special tariff plans, which are different from regular plans, all of which need to be filed online as well. Before issuing the latest order, telcos were given two months — June and July — for testing online tariff filing and will file online in parallel with paper submissions, as a pilot from this month. The official added that smaller carriers like Aircel, MTS, Telenor and MTNL, have already started to file their tariffs online, and larger players including Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea should follow suit.
Tariff filing has been a bone of contention among rival telcos. Reliance Jio, and some consumers, had complained to the regulator that Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone India were arbitrarily giving specialised offers to retain customers moving out to other carriers. Such plans, they said, were not available on telcos’ websites. Trai had then in May barred telcos from offering plans selectively to subscribers, unless it was made public and available to all.
Tariff filing has been a bone of contention among rival telcos as some were giving specialised offers to retain users