The significance of revenue assurance in the telecom industry
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 study, global telecom operators have lost $30 billion in uncollected funds and $135 billion in revenue leakage.
What is revenue assurance in telecom?
Revenue assurance implies that a telecom company bills its products and services as per the commercial agreement with the client. It ensures the integrity and accuracy of all systems involved in invoicing and billing.
The importance of revenue assurance
Revenue leakage rises when a telecom company cannot bill a client correctly for its services. With millions of customers and frauds to deal with, it is an uphill task to maintain the integrity of the billing system. Here are some of the reasons revenue assurance is at the forefront of every telecom company’s priorities:
- Regulatory compliances:
- Technology innovation:
- Mergers and acquisitions:
- B2B sales channels:
With cut-throat competition and minimal revenue from messaging and calls, telecom operators have to find alternate avenues for income. One of these is monitoring and plugging in the revenue leakage in their existing processes and systems.
Telecom operators need to report their annual revenue accurately. Revenue assurance helps them do so.
Companies constantly innovate and introduce new services for their customers. This involves newer backend systems and technologies. New technologies ease and modify operations or increase profits. At such junctures, revenue assurance mustn’t be neglected.
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).
Indirect sales through wholesale and brand partners also bring the billing systems and their integrity into focus.
Challenges in revenue assurance
It is a 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 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, all telecom transactions are of low value and high volume. This makes it difficult to detect multiple small errors that lead to big 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):
- SIM box fraud:
- PBX hacking :
- Wangiri fraud:
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.
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 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.
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 and fraud analytics
- Assessment services and automation
- Digital fraud and revenue assurance operations
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