There have been several big merger and acquisition announcements over the last year within the RAFM vendor market. In particular, Mobileum, after having been acquired by a private equity capital firm, has executed a series of acquisitions, namely Evolved Intelligence, WeDo Technologies, and most recently, SIGOS.
We at LATRO are energized by these events. It bodes well for innovation and our collective fight against global telecom fraud.
Let’s rewind for a minute. During the first decade of 2000, several companies built a clever, distributed network of software-controlled calling boxes which allowed them to deliver test call generation (TCG) campaigns to identify SIM Box and bypass fraud. While test calls for roaming and quality of service testing had existed for some time, these new TCG vendors focused on probabilistically scanning the global voice interconnect ecosystem, searching for grey routes and rooting out SIM Boxes terminating costly bypass calls.
TCG seemed to be the answer to the Fraud Manager’s headaches. It was relatively easy to provision, could be completely outsourced, and turned up surprisingly high numbers of fraud detections.
During this time, LATRO was using Signaling Analytics to power our geolocation services by generating enhanced location resolution for SIM Box investigations. Our team routinely supported major regulatory enforcement interdictions, shutting down significant grey route capacities and confiscating hundreds of illegal SIM Box devices.
During LATRO geolocation projects, clients sent us dozens of SIM Box detections from their TCG vendors, and we would bust the operations, finding thousands of SIM cards along with the SIM gateway devices. Our clients would experience a surge in termination minutes following the busts. Something was not adding up. For every SIM Card reported by TCG, we turned up hundreds more during raids. It was clear that although TCG was producing a seemingly high number of detections, it was not the solution to eliminating SIM Box fraud that everyone thought it was.
We saw an opportunity. Using our trademarked Signaling Analytics technology originally developed to drive geolocation investigation efficiency, we invented some new techniques to proactively detect SIM gateway devices using data feeds from the signaling layer in the network. Today, we call this patent-pending invention Protocol Signature detection- proactively detecting fraudulent devices on the mobile network at the moment of SIM registration.
Combined with TCG and CDR Analysis, LATRO’s Signaling Analytics solution for bypass fraud includes a unique, multi-layered control approach to dealing with bypass fraud. LATRO emerged as the first company to specialize in not just TCG but a four-tiered approach to stopping bypass: Geolocation, Signaling Analytics, CDR Analysis, and TCG.
Earlier this year, our new conglomerate of a competitor presented a compelling use case during an industry meeting. The use case involved analysis of signaling data records to stop fraud. The private equity-backed company had employed an aggressive corporate acquisition strategy in order to follow our LATRO approach to RAFM innovation.
At LATRO, we were thrilled.
The investment money was clearly aligning with our pioneering approach to RAFM innovation and technology. We see this as validation of our strategic decisions to innovate. And we believe this will elevate the discussion of effective fraud controls above legacy and outdated methods of TCG-only and simple CDR usage analysis.
We hope the RAFM industry is as energized as we are at LATRO. As an innovator, we know the hard work required to trailblaze new approaches to solving problems. And we know that leading-edge tech with proven effectiveness will soon have followers. Competition coupled with a drive to innovate will only result in more real value to telecom operators, beating fraud, and protecting incomes in the markets we serve.
Don is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at LATRO, based in Dubai. When he’s not busy leading the team in combating fraud and helping clients recover revenue, he enjoys traveling with his family, cooking and fishing.