Email a colleague    

November 2015

Protecting the Roaming Cash Cow: Using a Global Test Network for LTE Deployments & Beyond

Protecting the Roaming Cash Cow: Using a Global Test Network for LTE Deployments & Beyond

Every telecom business deserves a few “cash cows” to compensate for other slim margin “dogs” in its service portfolio.

Trouble is, the cash cows are constantly jumping the fence to graze in new pastures.  Here’s some perspective on the issue:

  • Voice mail and other national enhanced services took off in the 1990s.  They cost almost nothing to deliver, yet customers paid several dollars a month for them.
  • Person-to-person SMS and the mobile internet took off in the 2000s, creating the next wave of premium services.
  • However, today with so many services packaged in flat rate offerings, out-of-bundle premium services are scarcer, especially as free, OTT alternatives emerge.

Certainly one service that continues to enjoy premium pricing status is international roaming, so it behooves operators to carefully guard that business to ensure it remains profitable and optimized.

Here to explain the business of fine-tuning roaming operations, then, is an expert on the subject, Florian Leeder, Head of Business Unit Roaming at SIGOS.

Dan Baker: Florian, the enabler of your roaming assurance program is the SIGOS GlobalRoamer service, so maybe that’s a good place to begin.

Florian Leeder: Yes, it’s a good place to begin, Dan.  SIGOS owns and maintains an international roaming test infrastructure distributed across the entire world — really from all countries to small islands such as Guam in the Pacific to all Caribbean islands.  We started to build up this infrastructure called “GlobalRoamer” 15 years ago — today the network cuts across 206 countries worldwide where our probes are installed, enabling operators to use that network 24/7/365 to do their roaming tests, roaming monitoring, and roaming revenue assurance.

Customers such as Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, Telstra or NTT DoCoMo use GlobalRoamer to make sure that their subscriber experience in roaming is in-line with the high quality service performance, reliability and quality they demand.

Having access to a global test infrastructure to continuously monitor accessibility and quality in roaming is a key advantage.

GlobalRoamer Testing Network

Can‘t an operator build out its own roaming test network?  What’s the economic benefit of using the GlobalRoamer?

It’s a simple make or buy decision.  I think it’s the convenience of a service that allows them to get full global coverage without a hassle.  Virtually all Network Operators (or Carriers) have roaming agreements in place with something like 200 to 800 other Network Operators across the globe.  At the same time, this needs to be tested to make sure that everything agreed to in a roaming contract works and that subscribers can access the services regardless of the country they travel to.  This is exactly where GlobalRoamer fits in.

Building up such a large infrastructure and placing test equipment in many countries — and often in preferred roaming locations of various cities — is a major investment to maintain.  We think a SaaS model, based on a shared infrastructure such as GlobalRoamer, provides the highest value.

How is roaming testing different from carrier testing?

It’s quite a bit different actually.  In carrier testing, you check just a few KPIs such as voice quality and if the calling number is represented correctly (so called CLI delivery).  Both have a major influence if calls are taken and how long they stay activated.  Additionally, carriers usually look into fraud issues e.g. if call durations are manipulated making end customers pay more than they should.  This is the “early charging” or “late disconnect” problem.

Roaming test is much different because it has gotten more complex over time due to:

  • The growing variety of services; e.g. voice, data, messaging, video etc. as well as 3 different technologies today: GSM, UMTS and LTE;
  • The introduction of special roaming packages and other solutions to allow subscribers to keep their costs under control.;
  • Data-hungry smartphones that serve many applications with real-time information is another big issue; and,
  • Last but not least, voice is transforming into an IP application.

So all thse factors have brought challenges to roaming.  It’s about new technologies in the field, new libraries, and new use cases that all need to be verified, tested and supervised over time.

SIGOS GlobalRoamer customers simply subscribe to our service and access the Global Roamer network via a web based GUI to run their own tests.  Or if the operator prefers, we have expert consultants in Germany and Belgium who do all the testing on their behalf.  And, of course, they are there to help with troubleshooting too: roaming is complex, LTE roaming is complex, and so is roaming billing.  So you need domain knowledge to understand the traces and the potential problems.  Plus errors need to be fixed fast!

One area where operators certainly need roaming test is around roaming arrangements for LTE.  What’s happening there, Florian?

SIGOS is supporting network operators worldwide to build up and successfully launch international LTE services.  The expertise and the test methods we developed with operators, plus keeping up with industry standards in roaming is also key.  In 2012 we rolled out the first LTE and CSFB test locations with GlobalRoamer.  Today we offer LTE technology in over 80 countries, well ahead of market penetration at this point.

Operators, of course, implement LTE in their home markets and stepwise start to negotiate roaming agreements with their partner networks.  That’s what’s going on right now.  Roaming using totally new network technology creates a high demand to test, measure and troubleshoot problems.  Many things change and it all needs to be managed both: contractually between operators and technically to provide reliable and high quality service.

We actually help operators across the board with LTE.  We not only consult with them on the technical and billing details, we also help them negotiate deals with other operators.

For instance, customers might approach us and say, “Look, my marketing department says I need 100 LTE roaming agreements by the end of the year.  But I only have five people on staff, so can you help?”

And of course, we use the GlobalRoamer network to do all the international testing from one location.  The process starts simply by engaging with the desired list of roaming partners, then moving to contract and price negotiations.

The technical part comes next: SIM cards are exchanged to execute real tests.  For instance if we act as agent of KPN and are negotiating with T-Mobile USA, then T-Mobile USA sends us SIM cards that we use to test in the Netherlands.  Likewise, KPN sends their SIM cards so we can test those in the US and so on.

However, even after a successful functional testing, you’re still not ready because you’ve got to ensure billing is correct.  So we check our CDRs to make sure the right tariffs have been applied.  Only when this “TADIG testing” is successful is a commercial launch letter prepared.  And when both parties sign off on that, roaming is in place and the project moved to the next step to observe the quality level for the months and years to come.

What network problems do operator typically run into when roaming is not working right?

There is a number of typical problems but let’s take one that is surprisingly common.

Let’s say you are a customer of Vodafone, and your operator provides you excellent LTE services across your home country.  When you travel abroad, your phone is looking for the same network technology, so it will look for a LTE network in your roaming destination.

What we often see is that the LTE network is not configured correctly in cases where LTE roaming is not in place.  Instead of replying with “LTE network is not available” it reverts to the message “network access not allowed”.  The effect of this, unfortunately, is that the user is now also excluded from GSM or UMTS services of this network.  So in the worst case, the user has no network connection at all.

Regulators in the European Union (EU) have been putting on the pressure over bill-shock and roaming fees.  What’s the status of these regulations?

Well the regulation has gone through various stages.  At first, the EU implemented some price caps on the retail market: the wholesaler side has not been regulated.

Then, in an effort to create more competition, they opened up the market to players outside the mobile operator space.  So companies like the airliner Lufthansa can now offer roaming services, however, so far the pick-up is very, very slow.

Why?  Well, one reason is that the EU threat of further price regulation forced operators to cut their prices.  Another big factor is the availability of WiFi.  People who traveled abroad got “bill-shocked” and lost confidence in mobile data roaming, so they switched data roaming off and started using WiFi instead.

In other words, a strong business case isn‘t there for new roaming players to enter the market as Roaming charges went down already.

Of course, we’re still waiting for 2017 when the “roam-like-home” law will be in force, meaning Roaming charges will be banned in Europe (EU) — subscribers will pay the same price as in their home network.

So what’s the impact going to be?

Certainly if operators earn less money from roaming, it could have a big impact.  It would mean that roaming will no longer be a premium service for operators.

On the other hand, I am not too concerned, because there is a very high number of so-called “silent roamers” out there.  Lower prices will dramatically stimulate the market and silent roamers will turn on their data roaming

Silent Roamers

The accompanying chart shows the behavior that one of our European customers is forecasting when the “roam-like-home” is in place.  Today only 30% of the operators subscriber base is using roaming when abroad, and the ones who do roam consume only 40% of the volume they consume in their home network.

Great, Florian.  Excellent briefing.  The roaming glass looks like it’s only 35% full.  Given some creative pricing and marketing, there’s a revenue upside that operators can enjoy.

Copyright 2015 Black Swan Telecom Journal

 

About the Expert

Florian Leeder

Florian Leeder

Florian Leeder is Head of Business Unit Roaming at SIGOS since September 2014, driving the complete Roaming and Interconnect area related product and service portfolio.  Further he is responsible for the administration, operation and expansion of the GlobalRoamer test platform.

He covered different SIGOS leadership positions in Support, Product Management and Business Development since 2000.  Prior he worked as an external consultant for Siemens and Colt Telecom.

Florian studied in Germany and Italy.  He holds a University degree in Political Science from the University of Bamberg.   Contact Florian via

Related Stories

  • Global Interconnect Specialist iconectiv Ramps up its Fraud & Identity Solutions in Bypass & A2P Messaging interview with Bojan Andelkovic — Today’s IRSF, SIM Box, and SMS A2P frauds call for coordinated and broadly conceived FM programs.  A leading interconnect specialist explains the benefits of its managed services approach.
  • A Real-Time Packet-Based Solution to Detect & Block any Hijacked OTT Call interview with Paul David & Andy Gent — Two veterans of the SIM Box call bypass wars describe a new solution for stopping OTT bypass.  Get vital intel on the call hijacking of VIBER and other OTTs.  Learn why the revenue threat to roaming is as serious as it is to international calls.
  • Protecting the Roaming Cash Cow: Using a Global Test Network for LTE Deployments & Beyond interview with Florian Leeder — International is a premium service that operators must ensure the roaming business is reliable and optimized.  This article makes the case for a global roaming test service.  It explains the problems operators face in contracting with roaming partners, maintaining quality, and rolling out LTE.
  • Recruiting Smartphone Users as Partners in Telecom Fraud & Security Control by Tal Eisner — Premium Rate Service (PRS) fraud and spyware on a mobile phone can ruin an operator’s relationship with a  subscriber.  The attacker uses malware to automatically generate phone calls, SMSs and data sessions to high cost (premium) phone numbers.  This article discusses a new crowd sourcing mobile app that addresses the problem and helps operators better manage the threat.
  • Roaming — if Managed Correctly --  Can Be a Spark to Revenues by Brian Silvestri — Major analyst firms are predicting that roaming revenues will almost double in five years.  What’s more, roaming remains at the pivot point of Wireless Carrier strategy.  Drawing lessons from the incredible rise of AT&T’s Digital One Rate Plan, this article points to future challengtes and raises key  questions about how mobile operators will ultimately come to terms with smartphone market profitability, service quality, and data roaming.
  • International Revenue Share Fraud: Are We Winning the Battle Against Telecom Pirates? interview with Colin Yates — International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) is one of the telecom industry’s most enduring problems.  Yet many of us have only a foggy notion of how IRSF works and how operators around the globe are coping with the issue. This interview covers the bases: the origins of IRSF, typical fraud scenarios, efforts to get international cooperation on the issue, and the future outlook of IRSF.
  • Roaming Fraud: The Importance of Real-Time Data Exchange and Analysis interview with James Stewart — The Near Real Time Roaming Data Exchange (NRTRDE) is a GSM standard allowing operators to gain fast access to the roaming records of service providers half way around the world.  The article explains how 65 carriers are using this data to combat fraud through a service bureau.  Learn about the dangers of international roaming fraud and the value a roaming service bureau brings to the table.

Related Articles

  • Stealth Test Calls: A Powerful New Weapon in the Fight to Block SIM Box Bypass interview with Kenneth Mouton — SIM Box bypass is highly challenging interconnect fraud to detect.  An expert explains the benefits of a new hybrid test call and CDR profiling systems.  Also discussed is a major anti-fraud breakthrough: stealth test calls.
  • Telecoms Need to Step Up their Game in Subscription Fraud and Customer Onboarding Control interview with Luke Taylor — Know your customer and subscription fraud systems critical investments for telcos today.  An expert discusses: delivering first-class onboarding controls; selecting risk mitigation priorities; and integrating back end systems.
  • WeDo Offers Fraud Detection via a New Cloud Platform interview with Thomas Steagall — A leading vendor introduces a cloud fraud control solution to serve the low cost, easy-to-deploy-learn-and-support requirements of many new operators, OTTs, and MVNOs.
  • Bypass Fraud Evolves: New Threats from Outgoing SIM Box Bypass & Spikes in CLI-Tampering interview with Philippe Orsini — An overview of explosive fraud threats like outgoing SIM box call dumping and CLI spoofing.  What roles do human experts play and technical platforms in battling SIM box via electronic warfare?
  • A Herculean Task: Battling Fraud in an Increasingly Complex Comms World interview with Michalis Mavis — A fraud control expert walks through some interesting cases, gives us his advice on FMS software, and offers four key lessons on the path to fraud management excellence.
  • The Race to Develop Cross-Industry “Know Your Customer” Biometrics to Verify Identity Remotely interview with Shankar Palaniandy — ground-breaking cross-industry ID verification software. India’s 1 billion-people-strong national identity database could become the model for cross-industry ID verification worldwide.  An expert trialing visual biometrics at several Indian banks explains the latest in Know Your Customer technology.  
  • The Early Warning Power of IPRN Test Call Detection in Blocking IRSF Fraud interview with Colin Yates — Detecting the test calls made to International Premium Rate Numbers (IPRN) is helping telcos block IRSF fraud.  An expert explains fraudster methods and the value of IPRN databases.
  • How Regulators can Lead the Fight Against International Bypass Fraud by Dan Baker — As a regulator in a country infected by SIM box fraud, what can you do to improve the situation?  A white paper explains the steps you can and should you take — at the national government level — to better protect your country’s tax revenue, quality of communications, and national infrastructure.
  • Global Interconnect Specialist iconectiv Ramps up its Fraud & Identity Solutions in Bypass & A2P Messaging interview with Bojan Andelkovic — Today’s IRSF, SIM Box, and SMS A2P frauds call for coordinated and broadly conceived FM programs.  A leading interconnect specialist explains the benefits of its managed services approach.
  • A Real-Time Packet-Based Solution to Detect & Block any Hijacked OTT Call interview with Paul David & Andy Gent — Two veterans of the SIM Box call bypass wars describe a new solution for stopping OTT bypass.  Get vital intel on the call hijacking of VIBER and other OTTs.  Learn why the revenue threat to roaming is as serious as it is to international calls.
  • Calculating the Fraud Risks of the Digital Era by Dror Eshet — Digital and mobile technology are an integral part of our daily lives.  Not only is the technology evolving at a frantic rate, but a leading fraud expert explains how fraudsters now team with one another to commit their crimes and magnify the risks to users, companies, and global infrastructure.
  • SIM Box Bypass: The Damage to Developing Nations and the Actions Regulators Must Take interview with Lex Wilkinson — Bypass fraud via the SIM box causes great revenue loss and poses many other dangers, especially in developing nations.  An expert discusses the regulator issues and recommended actions in the fight to control bypass.
  • Protecting the Roaming Cash Cow: Using a Global Test Network for LTE Deployments & Beyond interview with Florian Leeder — International is a premium service that operators must ensure the roaming business is reliable and optimized.  This article makes the case for a global roaming test service.  It explains the problems operators face in contracting with roaming partners, maintaining quality, and rolling out LTE.
  • Nine Simple Strategies for Protecting an Operator or MVNO from Telecom Fraud interview with Jim Bolzenius — An expert in telecom fraud management explains essential strategies for aiming a carrier’s or MVNO’s fraud prevention program in the right direction.
  • A Sweeping 239-Page Research Report on Fraud Management Solutions & Strategies by Dan Baker — TRI has released a comprehensive  analyst report on fraud management solutions.  The study is based on interviews with three dozen leading FM consultants and solution experts.  Download the free Executive Summary.
  • SMS Bypass Blocking: A Service that Protects & Maximizes A2P Revenue for Mobile Operators interview with Claire Cassar — A2P messaging is a multi-billion dollar revenue stream that mobile operators need to protect.  In this interview, you’ll learn how a managed service solution blocks bulk marketing messages and other bypass fraud in enterprise-to-operator SMS traffic.
  • Device Intelligence and Big Data Linkage: Guarding Consumer Access Points from the Fraudsters interview with Matt Ehrlich — Preventing subscription fraud today means supplementing traditional identity checks with a host of new processes, technology, and big data analytics.  A credit and fraud risk expert explains the roles of predictive scores, device risk assessment, and linkage analysis.
  • Mapping the Interconnect Resale Routes of Fraudsters: How a Global Robot Network Detects Voice and SMS Bypass interview with Xavier Lesage — SIM box voice bypass is a persistent problem, but now, bypass is spreading to SMS, OTT apps on the smartphone, and ghost trunks.  This interview explains the fast evolving bypass scene, highlights the strategy of fraudsters, and provides case studies.
  • Law Enforcement & Security in a World Where Industry and National Boundaries are Blurred interview with Mark Johnson — Are we destined to be forever reactive over security, fraud, and risk issues?  Or will we put wise standards, regulations, and frameworks in place that allow us to deliver technology that’s relatively secure and fraud-resistant? 
  • Thinking Outside the Comms Box: A New, Cross Industry Fraud Check Service that Telecoms can Leverage interview with Jim Rice — For decades, telecoms have done fraud and identity checks using comms industry data.  This interview explains the power of using cross-industry data to pinpoint known fraudsters and suspicious individuals in finance, retail, and other industry data sets.
  • Integrated Test Call & CDR Analysis: A New Tool in the Fight Against SIM Box & OTT Bypass Fraud interview with Kenneth Mouton — Why not combine the virtues of FMS CDR analysis and test call generators to create a single integrated tool for bypass fraud control?  The benefits of that idea, a tutorial on test call systems in SIM box detection, and OTT bypass via mobile services like VIBER are all discussed in this interview.
  • White Paper: How to Defend Your Network Against the New SIM Server Threat by Dan Baker — SIM box bypass is a very stubborn fraud problem: fraudsters are succeeding despite carriers‘ best efforts to defeat the fraud.  This white paper explains the impact of SIM Servers as a powerful stealth weapon of the fraudsters.  In turn, the paper discusses new technologies and strategies that can defeat the more sophisticated types of SIM box fraud emerging.
  • Intelligent Routing: The Case for Blocking IRSF Fraud at the SIP Session Border Controller interview with Jim Dalton — A bad fraud event can be a huge loss, especially to OTT players who provide a VoIP service.  In this interview, you’ll learn about an anti-fraud solution that works in concert with  intelligent routing.
  • A Privacy-Enabled Data Exchange that Expands Analytics Uses in Fraud, Credit Risk and Beyond interview with Michelle Wheeler — Analytics data today is managed in a privacy-negligent way.  This interview discusses an ingenious privacy and analytics exchange that allows telecoms, banks, and money lenders to trade fraud, credit risk and other data with each other in complete confidence and control.
  • From Rules Design to Adaptive Learning Systems in Telecom Fraud Control interview with Shankar Palaniandy — Adaptive and behaviorial learning systems are at the forefront of R&D in telecom fraud management systems.  Here an expert developer explains their usefulness in use cases such as IRSF detection, subscription fraud, application fraud, and voice biometrics.
  • Protecting 900+ MVNOs around the Globe from IRSF Fraud Pirates interview with Colin Yates — Telecom fraudsters are seeking a new, more vulnerable path to riches.  Their target: 900+ MVNOs around the globe who generally own no mobile networks, but sell mobile service virtually.  This interview with a fraud control expert explains what steps MVNOs must take to protect themselves from IRSF fraud.
  • Insider Fraud: How to Create an Anti-Fraud Culture in Your Telecom Organization interview with Mark Yelland — Thirteen years after the WorldCom scandal, experts generally agree that insider fraud remains a massive problem in telecom.  In this article you’ll learn the outlines of building a program to instill an anti-fund culture at your telecoms organization.
  • IRSF Protection: Software that Blocks Telecom Fraud at the Enterprise PBX interview with Roger Ansin — The richest criminal path to International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) goes through the enterprise PBX.  Hijacking the PBX has cost businesses and telecoms countless billions of dollars in the past 15 years.  In this interview you’ll learn about this industry challenge and an affordable and proven tool that blocks IRSF at the enterprise.
  • Combating SIM Box Fraud: Network Protocol Analysis to the Revenue Rescue interview with Lex Wilkinson — International call bypass is fraud perpetrated through SIM boxes equipped with dozens to hundreds of SIM cards that disguise international calls as local domestic phone calls.  This article give a backgrounder on SIM box detection techniques and talks about a new, rapid-detection technology based on network protocol analysis.
  • Making the Retail Operator Case for Anti-Fraud Protection via Wholesalers interview with Jan Dingenouts — Small retail operators are highly vulnerable to fraud, so enlisting the anti-fraud assistance of wholesalers is a great idea.  This interview explains useful negoiating tactics for retail operators and shows how wholesalers can lend support and grow their business at the same time.
  • A Wholesaler’s Fraud Prevention Creed: If You Lose the Trust, You Lose the Traffic interview with Robert Benlolo — Large wholesalers play a major role in keeping a lid on international telecom fraud.  In this interview, a wholesale voice and fraud management expert explains the role of its vendor systems and multi-threaded internal processes in protecting customers from fraud losses and shady wholesale suppliers.
  • Telecom Fraud & Credit Protection: A Desperate Need in Unbanked Regions of the World interview with Luke Taylor — Mobile money plus related fraud and credit protection are crucial to the prosperity of developing nations where most “unbanked” people live.  This article discusses the special issues of the unbanked market as well as broader revenue protection challenges and opportunities.
  • The Grey Market in Prepaid: Tactics to Combat International Bypass via the SIM Box interview with Ahmad Nadeem Syed — SIM box fraud is one of the toughest revenue threats that telecoms face.  It is the redirection of international calls via the internet to drop illegal VoIP traffic onto mobile networks.  This interview with an expert RA and fraud manager provides a detailed overview of the threat scenario, current SIM box tactics, and some creative ideas for bringing this problem under control.
  • Why Deep Packet Inspection Analysis is Essential for Detecting IP Fraud by Dror Eshet — The IP and mobile broadband revolution is in full swing: time for fraud managers to totally rethink their existing controls and areas of exposure.  In this article, a fraud expert discusses the power of DPI technology and the key impact its analysis is having in an FM world where knowing what’s inside the packets is as important as figuring out where those IP packages are going.
  • Flexibility & Fraud Management Systems: 8 Questions for Luke Taylor of Neural Technologies interview with Luke Taylor — Meeting today’s fraud threats is not just about technology, but also the speed of threat detection, the scanning of data outliers, and being enormously flexible.  A leading fraud management vendor takes a bead on current FM issues and points to where software is headed.
  • Recruiting Smartphone Users as Partners in Telecom Fraud & Security Control by Tal Eisner — Premium Rate Service (PRS) fraud and spyware on a mobile phone can ruin an operator’s relationship with a  subscriber.  The attacker uses malware to automatically generate phone calls, SMSs and data sessions to high cost (premium) phone numbers.  This article discusses a new crowd sourcing mobile app that addresses the problem and helps operators better manage the threat.
  • Roaming — if Managed Correctly --  Can Be a Spark to Revenues by Brian Silvestri — Major analyst firms are predicting that roaming revenues will almost double in five years.  What’s more, roaming remains at the pivot point of Wireless Carrier strategy.  Drawing lessons from the incredible rise of AT&T’s Digital One Rate Plan, this article points to future challengtes and raises key  questions about how mobile operators will ultimately come to terms with smartphone market profitability, service quality, and data roaming.
  • What Makes Good Fraud Management Software?  9 Questions for Tal Eisner of cVidya interview with Tal Eisner — How do you know if the fraud management software you own or are considering is a good one?  That’s the starting point of a conversation Black Swan had with a product strategist of a leading FMS vendor.  The article discusses everything from maturity and customer collaboration... to PBX hacking and enabling the FMS to actually enhance the relationship a telco has with its enterprise customers.
  • International Revenue Share Fraud: Are We Winning the Battle Against Telecom Pirates? interview with Colin Yates — International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) is one of the telecom industry’s most enduring problems.  Yet many of us have only a foggy notion of how IRSF works and how operators around the globe are coping with the issue. This interview covers the bases: the origins of IRSF, typical fraud scenarios, efforts to get international cooperation on the issue, and the future outlook of IRSF.
  • Fraud Management at Kyivstar in Ukraine interview with Anton Pivala — Kyivstar from Ukraine is a leading mobile operator in both  voice service quality and consumer value.  This case study gives details on Kyivstar’s fraud control program, reveals some of the unique operator challenges faced in Eastern Europe, and explains how Kyivstar is successfully winning the battle against  IRSF and SIMbox fraud.
  • Converging Criminal and Technical Intelligence: Secret to Combating the Explosion in Telecom Fraud and Security Threats interview with Mark Johnson — A fraud and security expert gives a big picture talk on why industry convergence is driving the need for a broader “revenue risk intelligence.”  His prescription?  Yes, telecoms surely need to excel in technical  infrastructure such as traffic usage data, IP intrusion appliances, and physical barriers.  But just as important is the need to pair that knowledge with the real-life lessons of fighting criminals in general.
  • Gratifying Ghana: Why Listening to Operators Trumps Vendor Technology and Size interview with Ludvig Lindqvist — The value of technically excellent software is negated if the solution is not implemented right.  This article makes a strong case that vendors need to focus on first things first — get in full synch with a service provider’s business, capabilities and unique needs before you recommend or implement any software.  Topics discussed include: the benefits of retaining in-house expertise, implementation challenges in Africa, and the meaning of “thorough engagement” with the client.
  • Roaming Fraud: The Importance of Real-Time Data Exchange and Analysis interview with James Stewart — The Near Real Time Roaming Data Exchange (NRTRDE) is a GSM standard allowing operators to gain fast access to the roaming records of service providers half way around the world.  The article explains how 65 carriers are using this data to combat fraud through a service bureau.  Learn about the dangers of international roaming fraud and the value a roaming service bureau brings to the table.
  • Is the M2M Device in Your Refrigerator a Telecom Fraud Threat? interview with Simon Collins — Machine to machine (M2M) technology is being applied in hundreds of monitoring apps, such as smart metering and health diagnosis.  It’s even being used to monitor driving patterns tied to auto insurance rates.  But this article shows the serious M2M fraud and security threat that stem from the theft of the SIM/USIM device used in every M2M device.  The article discusses the RA and fraud strategies operators need to employ to manage the risks that will come from wider M2M deployments.
  • “Fraud Is a Wind that Always Blows” and Other Wisdom From a 28-Year Old Software Firm interview with Gary Beck — Here’s the amazing story of how Beck Computers was pulled out of a Tier 1 account only to be brought back in a few months later.  The article explores software vendor service and support challenges, real-time computing requirements, advanced fraud management functions, and ways to educate management on the value an FMS investment.
  • Insider Fraud: Detecting Criminal Activity in the Telecom Sales Process interview with Tal Eisner — One of the biggest problems telecoms now face is fraud done inside their offices, dealer stores and firewalls.  This type of fraud is especially dangerous because it’s performed by people fully authorized to transact for the company.  The story dicusses the major causes of insider fraud, presents a case study, and explains basic techniques that software uses to detect insider fraud.
  • Fraud & Credit Risk Software: Setting the Client Free to Innovate interview with Luke Taylor — Not every operator wants the freedom to configure its own fraud management solution, but certain providers wouldn‘t live without such a “framework” approach .  This article discusses: the reasons why operator choose this strategy as it covers many other fraud and credit software implementation issues.
  • Why Selling to Business Customers Makes You a High Risk Target for Fraud by David West — There’s a saying in the fraud business: “It’s not a question of whether you’ll be hit by fraud — only when, how bad, and from which direction.“  Citing four recent cases where operators were hit by fraud, this article explains why investing in a fraud soluiont — and keeping up-to-date — are so critical.  The article gives several examples of vulnerability points that fraudsters commonly exploit.