BPM Analytics

The significance of revenue assurance in the telecom industry

With launch of next-gen services like 5G, Fibre, Cloud and OTT services like steaming audio/video, etc., telco billing systems have become increasingly complex. Bundled and tiered offerings, inter-related technologies, and complex processes increase the expectations from the billing system. Reeling under such pressure to keep up, security barriers in the system might wear thin, and vulnerability to revenue loss might increase. According to a 2021 study by CFCA (Communications Fraud Control Association), global telecom operators have lost over $30 billion in uncollected funds.

What is revenue assurance in telecom?

Revenue assurance implies that a telecom company can bill for products and services as per the commercial agreement with the client and avoid revenue leakage. It ensures integrity and accuracy of all systems involved in rating, invoicing and billing.

The importance of revenue assurance in telecom

Revenue leakage rises when a telecom company cannot bill a client correctly for products and services rendered. With a client base of millions of customers and frauds to deal with, it is an uphill task to maintain the integrity of the billing system, which directly impact the bottom line of telcos. Here are some of the reasons why revenue assurance in telecom is at the forefront of every telecom company’s priorities.

  • Profits:
  • With cut-throat competition and minimal revenue from messaging and calls, telecom operators have to find alternate avenues for revenue growth. One of these is monitoring and plugging in the revenue leakage in their existing processes and systems.

  • Regulatory compliances:
  • Telecom operators need to report their annual revenue accurately. Revenue assurance helps them do so.

  • Technology innovation:
  • Companies constantly innovate and introduce new services for their customers. This involves newer backend systems and agile technologies.* New technologies ease and modify operations or increase profits. At such junctures, revenue assurance mustn’t be neglected.

  • Mergers and acquisitions:
  • When telecom operators merge or one acquires the other, it is important to integrate the multiple Business Support Systems (BSS) and Operations Support Systems (OSS).

  • B2B sales channels:
  • Indirect sales through wholesale and brand partners also bring the billing systems and their integrity into focus.

  • Launch of complex products and services:
  • Launch of next-gen services/bundles like home security, streaming audio/video, Cloud etc., means that hitherto ‘closed’ telco systems are equally susceptible to fraud attacks experienced by tech companies.

    Challenges in revenue assurance in telecom

    It is a big challenge to know where to begin investigating for flaws. Maximum revenue is leaked during call detail records (CDRs) and event detail records (EDRs) between the switch and the billing engines. The problems may include:

    • Incorrect logic for rejection
    • Double charging due to duplicate CDRs
    • Inaccurate tariff plans
    • Inaccuracy in rates and billing
    • Incorrect billing configuration
    • Incorrect roll-over balances, zoning, rating, and billing

    Challenges that arise due to network problems include:

    • The billing/rating system, which does not accept the CDR
    • CDRs with wrong call duration
    • Incorrect business rules
    • Wrong routing of calls
    • CDRs not sent to the required system downstream

    Additionally, a majority of telecom transactions are of low value and high volume. making it difficult to detect multiple small errors that ultimately lead to significant financial implications.

    How do telecom frauds impact revenue?

    With numerous products and services and multiple billing slabs, telecom frauds that cause revenue leakage are becoming harder to detect. Here are some common telecom frauds in brief:

    • International Revenue Sharing Fraud (IRSF):
    • Fraudsters lease a premium number and call a business’ phone system. This generates high call rates for the business. A part of this goes to the fraudster.

    • SIM box fraud:
    • Fraudsters buy a local SIM and make international calls using a SIM box or a GSM gateway. They make international calls at cheaper rates and the telecom company has to bear the losses.

    • PBX hacking :
    • PBX is a company’s internal network that connects to an external phone network. If hackers log in and use the PBX system to make calls, it leads to revenue leakage.

    • Wangiri fraud:
    • A fraudster calls you and disconnects the call. You call back thinking that you missed an important call. However, the call is routed through a high-cost destination that the fraudster controls.

    How can Infosys BPM help?

    With over a decade-long experience in the telecom sector, our revenue assurance and fraud analytics help you identify patterns, detect fraudulent activities and leakage areas, and deliver actionable insights. Our services include:

    • Revenue assurance in telecom and fraud analytics
    • Assessment services and automation
    • Digital fraud and revenue assurance in telecom operations

    View our telecommunications revenue assurance and fraud management solutions.

    *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.

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