The benefits of revenue assurance in the telecom industry
According to an estimate, global telecom operators lost $30 billion in uncollected revenue. With razor-thin margins, fierce competition, and constant attempts by fraudsters to swindle companies, telecom businesses cannot afford to lose more money on their billing. Neither can they overbill their customers, leading to disputes and possible base churn. Revenue assurance in telecom ensures that the company bills its clients as per the commercial agreement.
Telecom billing is a complex process that comprises interrelated technologies and processes working together to provide a seamless service.* The system needs to consider tariff rates, special rates, discounts, special services, corporate rates, and more - all at the same time.
Common reasons for telecom revenue leakage
Revenue leaks take place when the call detail records (CDRs) and event detail records (EDRs) are transferred from the switch to the respective billing engines. The most common problems that cause revenue leakages are:
- Incorrect logic for rejection
- Double charging due to duplicate CDRs
- Incorrect tariff plans
- Inaccurate rating and billing
- Rating minutes instead of seconds
- Lack of consistency between price plan repositories
- Incorrect rating to billing, zoning, and roll-over balances
System-level revenue assurance problems include:
- CDRs on the switch not sent for billing
- The billing system rejecting the CDR
- Incorrect business rules
- Wrong durations in the CDR
- Incorrect routing
Transition to proven compliance frameworks
Retailers should move towards proven compliance frameworks such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). PCI DSS provides an overall framework to adopt P2PE and recommends the use of P2PE. It also contains guidelines for POS systems.
POS lockdown strategy uses technology that whitelists authorised processors. If the system comes in contact with a POS machine that's not on the whitelist, the processor shuts down automatically, preventing any fraudulent transactions. By plugging in these sources of revenue leakage, businesses can improve profitability, enhance process efficiency, eliminate policy abuse, and stop POS theft.
The impact of telecom fraud on revenue assurance
When we talk about revenue assurance, we cannot overlook the impact of telecom fraud. According to the CFCA Global Telecommunications Fraud Loss Survey in 2021, the total revenue loss due to fraud in the telecom industry was $39.89 billion. Top fraud methods that cause loss of revenue include:
- Hiding someone’s true identity by manipulating the IP address, Calling Line Identification (CLI), or Automatic Number Identification (ANI)
- Callback fraud (Wangiri)
- SMS phishing
- Making fraudulent calls over compromised IP PBX
- Gaining access to modems and routers through a configuration weakness
- Domestic revenue share and traffic pumping
- Exploiting different rates in different countries (arbitrage)
- Artificially inflating the traffic on domestic service providers that deliver premium services
- Exploiting network and protocol misconfigurations
- Resale of voice services
There is a range of avenues for revenue leakage in telecom operations. Operators that rely solely on lower rates to beat the competition may not survive in the long term. Those that invest in revenue assurance technology solutions will not only provide great service but also raise their revenue by plugging in the leaks.
Preparing for revenue assurance challenges of the future
Telecom operators need to match their revenue assurance processes with the technologies of the future, such as 5G. Current 5G deployments are not widespread and telecom operators can absorb any losses. However, given the rate of 5G adoption, telecom companies need to start modernising their revenue assurance processes now.
Smart businesses must prepare their systems to automate every touchpoint, including billing, charging policies, and fraud detection. Traditional revenue assurance systems are of little value because they alert when the damage is already done. With the sheer volume and velocity of data in 5G, you need to act in real time. A unified fast data platform should address revenue assurance needs during the entire life cycle in one seamless motion. It should detect any threats as they happen and take decisions regarding anomalies in milliseconds.
How can Infosys BPM help?
Our revenue assurance solution detects possible leakages and delivers actionable insights for decision makers. Our professionals bring forth their experience in the telecom sector to provide revenue assurance. Infosys BPM ensures that you:
- Achieve a higher maturity score in revenue assurance
- Proactively detect vulnerabilities and gaps
- Increase revenue assurance
- Plug the leakages
Our high-level activities include audit and control management, revenue assurance process reviews, dashboards, and reporting.
*For organisations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed organisational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organisations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organisations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.