Like all industries, the international carrier community saw the impact of COVID-19 in 2020. Despite the disruption, i3forum members came closer together as collaboration and transformation became more important than ever. We saw new momentum behind the i3forum throughout the year and had one of most active 12 months ever, even though members weren’t able to meet in person.
As we look toward 2021, it is vital that the international carrier community collaborate and innovate together for long-term sustainability and growth of our market.
2020 was a busy year and 2021 will only continue this momentum. We have seen more active participation across work groups, with new initiatives launched and existing ones growing. I’ve been proud to see our members react to a changing market with new urgency and really drive our industry forward.
Fight Against Fraud Work Group
Our fight against fraud work group currently stands at 20 active members, providing guidelines to the industry on fraud related matters from a wholesale carrier perspective. We’ve been supporting members on current fraud events, as well as providing best practice to the community on how to tackle fraud. The work group has also been tackling billing on PAI v FROM and new fraud types, with a focus on machine learning and scam blocking initiatives.
We launched our Code of Conduct in partnership with GLF, which now holds 18 carriers, including BTS, Telstra, and Vodafone. It was developed to give all players across the global carrier ecosystem steps for protecting their businesses and preventing fraudsters from profiting from criminal activity. Our work groups have been continually working hard to meet KPIs in a market where fraud is a continual barrier to growth and success.
CLI spoofing prevention and mitigation is important for the industry in order to be compliant with regulatory constraints, for revenue protection and for customer satisfaction.
We released a report ‘Calling Line Identification (CLI) Spoofing’ outlining how carriers can detect, prevent and mitigate CLI spoofing. Our report provides a carrier perspective on the state of play in CLI spoofing, and industry-wide cases and techniques for combating CLI spoofing.
Due to the growing trend of origination-based charging primarily in Europe but also in other regions such as West Africa and East Africa, this report comes at a vital time.
In 2021, we will explore how to take the fight against CLI manipulation one step further and foster collaboration between international carriers to build a safe space where CLI is reliable.
Market data and how carriers can access their data analytics is shaping the future of carrier businesses. In January 2020, we launched i3forum Insights, maintained and operated by TeleGeography, in order to support carrier planning, routing and optimisation with market data.
BICS, BTS, iBasis, Orange, PCCW Global, Tata Communications, Sparkle, Telefonica International Wholesale Services, and Telstra are the nine founding carrier members that have benefitted from this launch. By bringing carriers from across the globe together, we’ve created a not-for-profit, industry-controlled platform that supports the sustainability and optimisation of voice businesses.
By enabling carriers to share their voice traffic data in an anonymised, secure manner and perform granular market analysis, i3forum Insights has become an integral part of many operational processes and is being used on a daily basis by Tier 1 international voice carriers to refine their understanding of the market and drive their strategy. It will continue to evolve with the active participation and input from new and existing members, as well as user feedback and the addition of new KPIs based on carrier demand.
You can read more and find out how to join i3forum Insights here: https://i3forum.org/insights/
Numbering Plan Work Group
Through an active and open community approach, our Numbering Plan work group has explored solutions for more accurate Numbering Plan data, increased operational efficiencies, fraud prevention and dispute prevention, and collaboration for carriers across the globe.
In 2021 we plan to launch our first real world initiative in order to build collaborative tools and foster the exchange of relevant, accurate information that will help the industry build a common view of the global dial plans.
Messaging Fraud Work Group
Messaging fraud continues to impact the entire telecoms ecosystem and is resulting in loss of revenue, reputation and trust. Our messaging fraud work group focuses on preventing fraudulent SMS and network manipulation, commercial exploitation that can impact the commercial value for the enterprises that send SMS and the MNOs that terminate them, along with the impacts of fraud on end users. Through knowledge sharing, insights and collaboration from key industry players, we are benefitting the entire telecoms ecosystem and solving crucial market challenges with new insights and solutions.
We also collaborated with Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), a global trade body that addresses the issues affecting the broadening mobile ecosystem. MEF has been a frontrunner in combating messaging fraud and its A2P SMS Code of Conduct sets out best practices for tackling all major fraud types that have been identified, defined and mapped in the MEF’s Enterprise Messaging Fraud Framework. In 2021, the i3forum is committed to providing carrier specific input to help further refine the Code of Conduct and is honoured to have been invited to join the Compliance Committee, that will oversee its implementation.
A Step Towards a Collaborative Future
By the end of 2021, we will have launched and grown initiatives that benefit international carriers and looked at new ways to solve challenges and enable success. Our members promote industrywide collaboration with an open and inclusive model focused on enabling success in a changing market. Through our work groups, we have been developing and curating practical recommendations and best practice for adopting and delivering new technologies, solutions and business models, with the ultimate goal of having a positive and lasting impact on the telecommunications industry.
The more carriers that participate, the more innovative solutions can be formed in response to carrier challenges. I am very proud of each and every one of our i3forum members, and the progress and momentum that was built in 2020. 2021 is a year with great potential and I am looking forward to seeing what this year brings for everyone at i3forum.
If you’re not already, become an i3forum member today to get involved: i3forum.org/become-a-member