In a move to increase transparency around telecom tariff plans in India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has launched a new web portal which lets consumers compare tariff plans across telecom service providers in India. The portal is currently in beta and shows a comparison between regular tariffs, special tariff vouchers (STV), Combo packs, Top up recharges, and promotions.
“For easy access, various tariff plans and other tariff instruments are provided at TRAI website in downloadable format. This platform would not only benefit the consumers but also help other stakeholders to do a comparative analysis,” the Telecom Regulatory authority said in a statement.
TRAI’s tariff comparison portal can be accessed here and will let users compare plans from Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel, MTNL and Tata Tele. Surprisingly, state-run telecom operator is not present in the list of available tariffs. The portal further divides tariff comparison options into - Mobile or Landline, Prepaid or Postpaid, Circle, Price range, Total Data Capping, Validity, Unlimited Calls, Daily Data Capping, and Talktime. Some Advanced filters are also available on the platform. Currently, tariff plans across the Delhi circle are available on the platform with more circles expected to be added soon. While the options available to compare tariffs are extensive, the user experience is average at most. Still, the results display the tariff plans in a very transparent manner, which sometimes telecom companies fail to do.
However, the tariff comparison portal does not include spot offers given to consumers by telecom companies in an effort to retain their subscribership. Spot plans offered to individual subscribers are banned by the telecom authority and as such are not legal for companies to offer.
To test the viability and usefulness of the tariff comparison website, TRAI has granted a time limit of 15 days for consumers and stakeholders to get a look and feel of the portal and provide feedback. Only after feedback will TRAI start adding more telecom circles and regions to the tariff comparison service. All the data provided on the website is available to download and TRAI also invites tariff aggregators such as Paytm etc to download the data.