Origin-Based Rating Fraud: A Multi-Million Dollar Drain on MNOs’ Profits

Are millions silently disappearing from your network revenue?

Origin-Based Rating (OBR) fraud, a sophisticated scheme exploiting Calling Line Identity (CLI) spoofing, could be the reason. This blog delves into the financial impact of OBR fraud on Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and equips you with essential detection and prevention strategies.

The MNO’s Vulnerability: OBR Fraud Explained.


OBR, a common billing practice in telecommunications, charges calls based on the originating phone number (A-Party). However, fraudsters exploit this system through CLI spoofing. They manipulate the A-Party number, making it appear as if a call originates from a location with lower rates. These spoofed calls are then rerouted, causing your mobile operator significant revenue loss.

The Financial Threat: Why OBR Fraud Matters.

The global impact of OBR fraud is staggering, with estimates reaching billions of dollars lost annually. MNOs, with their extensive international networks, are prime targets for these schemes. Here’s how fraudsters steal your profits:

  • International Routing Scams: Fraudsters reroute calls through countries with lower rates, disguising the origin with a spoofed A-Party number. This results in a significant revenue loss for your network.
  • Refiling Schemes: Fraudsters illegally terminate and reroute calls using spoofed A-Party numbers. These calls are then billed at a lower rate, directly impacting your premium voice services.

OBR Complexity Adds Fuel to the Fire

Beyond direct fraud, OBR itself introduces complexities that further impact MNO revenue streams:

  • Revenue Decline: Juniper Research estimates MNO voice revenues will drop significantly. In 2019, MNO voice revenues stood at a staggering $381 billion. By 2024, this figure is estimated to decrease to $208 billion, reflecting a nearly 50% decline within just five years. [1] This decline is partly due to factors like the rise of over-the-top (OTT) alternatives like WhatsApp and Viber for voice communication; changing communication habits, with a shift towards messaging apps and data services; and the complex nature of OBR itself.
  • Evolving Regulations: Telecom regulations constantly evolve, and OBR adds a layer of complexity to ensuring compliance.
  • Bill Shock for Businesses: OBR’s intricate surcharge structure can cause unexpected bill shock for businesses lacking clear visibility into call routing and associated costs.
  • Global Adoption of OBR: OBR is being deployed in an increasing number of markets globally.
  • Varying Costs: OBR considers the call’s originating location, leading to significantly different costs for calls reaching the same destination.

Furthermore, penalties for OBR fraud can be harsh. Juniper Research estimates penalties can result in an increase of 3,500% over standard voice calling termination rates. [1]

Taking Back Control: Strategies for OBR Fraud Prevention

Proactive measures are crucial to protect your network and revenue. Here are key strategies specifically designed for MNOs:

  • Advanced Call Traffic Analysis: Implement robust algorithms to identify anomalies in call patterns. Sudden spikes in international calls originating from local numbers can be a red flag.
  • Real-Time Geolocation Verification: Verify the actual location of the call against the spoofed A-Party number in real-time. This helps identify inconsistencies and prevent fraudulent calls from reaching their destination.
  • Dynamic Routing and Call Blocking: Dynamically reroute suspicious calls for further investigation or block them entirely, safeguarding your network’s integrity.

Proactive Measures are Key

The statistics paint a clear picture: OBR complexity and fraud pose a significant threat to MNO revenue streams. By implementing robust detection and prevention measures, MNOs can safeguard their margins and ensure a healthy financial future.

LATRO: Your MNO Partner in Combating OBR Fraud

LATRO understands the challenges MNOs face in the evolving telecom landscape. LATRO’s comprehensive Interconnect Shield OBR Fraud Management solution empowers MNOs to take control and safeguard your profits. Our cloud-based system utilizes advanced authentication algorithms, real-time monitoring, and dynamic routing to effectively detect and prevent OBR fraud attempts.

Don’t Let Fraud Eat Away at Your Profits. Contact LATRO Today!

🔗 LATRO is committed to helping MNOs combat OBR fraud and protect their bottom line. Contact us today or send email to info@latro.com and learn how our solutions can help you regain control, secure your network, and ensure a healthy revenue stream.

Download the FREE OBR brochure to discover more.

[1] Juniper Research. “MNO Bill Shock: OBR, OSS/BSS and Innovating to Stay Ahead of New Call Charges.”