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iconectiv Talks Fraud and Identity Trends, Highlights and Predictions

April 10, 2017

Communications fraud is a growing problem around the world. Whether you’re an enterprise or digital marketing agency being impacted by identity fraud, or a service provider looking to benefit from revenue assurance to combat fraud, the main problem remains the same: both identity fraud and traditional fraud show no signs of slowing down. If either form of fraud goes unchecked or unnoticed for any period of time, serious consequences could result for the business involved. Legal issues and tarnished reputations are just a few of the common problems caused by fraudulent activity. That’s why it’s so important for enterprises, service providers and digital marketers to invest in solutions to help detect, prevent and stop fraudulent activity altogether.


Scott Puopolo, Executive Vice President, Information Solutions, iconectiv, is responsible for leading the solutions portfolio for the company’s fraud and identity, numbering, network and operations management and registry businesses.  He has responsibility for all business operations, including development, product management and sales worldwide.

TMC recently caught up with Puopolo to discuss recent fraud and identity trends, as well as iconectiv’s thoughts on the future. Our full exchange can be seen below:

TMC: Can you talk about some of the top fraud and identity trends from this past year?

SP: Many service providers are facing challenges today in growing or even maintaining current revenue levels.  Fierce competitive pricing programs, decreasing ARPU and saturated mobile markets are spurring service providers to expand into new markets such as IoT as well as look to reduce revenue leakage. 

At the same time, communications fraud is a growing global problem causing more than $45 billion in annual losses. Service providers can reduce telecom fraud and recoup financial losses by combating the loss of interconnection and termination fees due to bypass fraud or grey routes, as well as the fraudulent charges caused by International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) and PBX hacking.  There are also security and privacy issues that can be solved to protect service, reputation and financial consequences for providers.

By taking a proactive approach to protect, discover and act on fraud, identity, authentication and security challenges, service providers can protect their reputations and their subscribers while regaining revenue.

TMC: What solutions does iconectiv offer to protect the industry from fraud and identity issues?

SP: This past year iconectiv introduced new products to proactively address both the proliferation of A2P SMS fraud and the rise of illegal call rerouting via interconnect bypass.  Asset Protect is a fully managed fraud monitoring and prevention service that works by monitoring the usage patterns and leveraging unique algorithms to capture interconnect fraud, typically performed via illegal SIM box equipment.  Another offer, Defender Shield, enables service providers to target and shut down illegal A2P SMS grey routes and spam on unauthorized network pathways.  Both solutions help providers monetize A2P SMS traffic while safeguarding subscribers and preventing revenue leakage.

Our Mobile ID solution helps fight IRSF and PBX hacking fraud by delivering detailed and continuously updated information on ported numbers on a country-by-country basis, as well as global number range information and IPRN numbers, to voice service providers, international carriers, SMS aggregators and application service providers.

TMC: Looking back at 2016, what are some highlights from the year for your company? New products, awards, company events, etc.?

Last year, iconectiv was named the Local Number Portability Administrator (LNPA) for all seven of the U.S. Number Portability Administration Center regions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Beginning in May 2018, we will manage the Number Portability Administration Center/Service Management System (NPAC/SMS), the central platform that supports the secure and efficient porting of telephone numbers to allow customers to keep their telephone numbers when switching communications service providers.

Another 2016 milestone was the launch of our new website featuring information on each business vertical. The website serves as an information portal and data resource for service providers and enterprises.

TMC: Are there any upcoming challenges you predict the market will have to face in 2017? 

It appears that virtualization, cloud and free communications will reign supreme. It will be a good year for vCPE which will all be connected via wireless broadband, creating an entirely cloud-based customer experience.

5G deployment will demand everyone’s attention this year, obviously. The main challenge we see will be the increasing need to manage more locations, devices, connections and services, which will require more complex interconnection solutions and a different cost structure for service providers.  The ever-growing popularity of video over broadband will also require increased interconnection requirements across the network. 

TMC: What’s in store for 2017? Any new products (teaser information you can provide?), events, etc. or something you’re excited for in the market?

iconectiv is committed to delivering a number of innovative and compelling solutions to the enterprise space this year, including broadening our identity portfolio.  We will also be updating our operational optimization services for service providers and will expand our capabilities in the area of carrier revenue assurance.  As an authoritative partner of the global communications industry for more than 30 years, we are fortunate that we can leverage our deep industry knowledge and expertise to offer straightforward answers to many of the difficult challenges facing the industry.



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Industry Insights

(MobileID) Proactive Fraud Prevention

Interconnect-related fraud such as International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) and PBX hacking fraud continue to be a billion dollar problem to the telecom industry.

(Defender Shield) Defense solutions for the modern SMS ecosystem

SMS is a ubiquitous communication method for person-to-person (P2P) text messaging, which has been in use globally for nearly 20 years.

(Defender Shield) Preventing Grey Routes and the Multi-billion dollar Threat

The convenience of mobile messaging has brought communication efficiency to billions of consumers worldwide. As is often the case with widely accepted technologies; however, convenience can provide a vulnerable gateway to fraudulent activity.

Product Documents

Asset Protect

While unlimited or high-volume voice and SMS plans offer great value to subscribers, sometimes fraudsters exploit these plans to avoid paying termination and interconnect fees.

Defender Shield

In a world with ever-increasing Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging needs and competition, improving customer satisfaction and eliminating revenue leakage is key for protecting SMS profits.

MobileID

Accurate and cost-efficient routing of voice calls and SMS is critical. Unfortunately, gathering reliable routing data on ported numbers and keeping up with constant changes in number plans is expensive and time-consuming.

Fraud Solutions

Communications fraud is a $20B annual global problem and growing. Companies are looking for peace of mind so that their business and their customers are protected from the onslaught of technology crime that is damaging their reputations and their balance sheets.