What will Mobile World Congress 2017 teach us about mobile fraud?

What will Mobile World Congress 2017 teach us about mobile fraud?

With Mobile World Congress starting today in Barcelona, what key mobile fraud issues will this event address?

A simple search of the Mobile World Congress agenda for 2017 denotes no references to fraud at all.  This is a missed opportunity bearing in mind the serious nature of the risks to revenue faced by operators from fraud.

The Communications Fraud Control Association’s  (CFCA) annual fraud survey provides telecoms fraud managers with an assessment of the key revenue threats from fraud.

The latest survey identified the top five frauds being committed against service providers as:

$10.76 B (USD) – International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF)

$5.97 B (USD) – Interconnect Bypass (e.g. SIM Box)

$3.77 B (USD) – Premium Rate Service

$2.94 B (USD) – Arbitrage

$2.84 B (USD) – Theft / Stolen Goods

In addition to this Revector’s own survey of key fraud influencers globally identified the following:

  • Mobile network operators have lost 20% of termination revenues to OTT hijack in the last 12 months on average.
  • Some operators identified that more than 70% of termination revenues had been lost to OTT fraud
  • More than 80% of operators are experiencing SIM Box fraud
  • Three quarters are victims of OTT hijack, which is recognised as the single biggest future threat
  • The average loss of revenue, compared to 12 months ago, has increased 21% with some operators experiencing losses exceeding 60% of interconnect revenues

These are serious figures and should be a red flag to the mobile network operator community that revenues are under significant threat.

This is not about fair competition.  We all know OTT VoIP services such as Skype and Viber provide an alternative to traditional voice calling and fixed and mobile operators have to accept this as fair game in an IP-based world.

However, when OTT service providers are actively attacking operator revenues from call termination by terminating calls within OTT apps, this is not fair competition.  Increasingly we are seeing international calls placed by users on a landline or mobile phone being terminated within OTT messaging services.  This provides a lucrative new line of revenue for OTT services whilst threatening operator revenues.

We hope to see this issue addressed across the operator community during Mobile World Congress 2017.

Editorial credit: peresanz / Shutterstock.com

What will Mobile World Congress 2017 teach us about mobile fraud?