MOBILE ROAMING FRAUD TO REACH $17 BILLION IN 2024: KALEIDO INTELLIGENCE
RELAXATION OF COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS, MIGRATION TO 5G AND INCREASES IN MOBILE IOT DEPLOYMENTS KEY TO DRIVING INCREASED LEVELS OF FRAUD
London, February 23rd, 2022 – Kaleido Intelligence’s new Roaming Fraud Strategies & Forecasts 2022 report predicts a 24% increase in mobile roaming fraud in 2024 over levels recorded in 2020. Kaleido found that with many countries around the world returning closer to ‘business as usual’ because of vaccine rollouts, fraudsters will inevitably turn to traditional sources of revenue, with interconnect and bypass attacks continuing to prove as key points of weakness..
Additionally, mobile networks around the world are both migrating to 5G as well as supporting increased demand for IoT connectivity. Both trends will provide fraudsters with significant opportunities into the medium-term
Voice to Account for 54% of Roaming Fraud Losses in 2026
Roaming fraud has historically been a key source of revenue for fraudsters, due to the high margins achievable through bypass and Wangiri attacks. Kaleido’s report found that roaming voice fraud is likely to account for 54% of roaming fraud revenue losses in 2026, even as mobile networks migrate to packet-switched technologies such as VoLTE and VoNR, with lower termination rates applied for packet-switched services.
Kaleido noted that SIM boxes, or SIM farms, continue to put pressure on mobile operators around the world. These reroute incoming traffic and bypass legitimate interconnect routes. While these are frequently used for international voice fraud, similar techniques are applied to execute fraud by sending A2P SMS through P2P channels, which are often zero-rated through operator bundles, with operators losing some $3.3 billion in revenues to this type of fraud in 2020. The advent of RLAH, particularly in Europe, has added additional incentive for fraudsters across both voice and SMS channels.
Real-Time Detection and Mitigation Key to Reducing Roaming Fraud
Without advanced fraud prevention solutions in place, existing fraud teams are likely to be overwhelmed due to swelling mobile traffic. For instance, roaming IoT connections are expected by Kaleido to reach over 1.1 billion by 2026, meaning that connections and traffic volumes are set to exceed records by a substantial margin within the short- to medium-term. This will contribute to $3.2 billion in roaming subscription fraud in 2026, up from $2.5 billion in 2021.
Steffen Sorrell, Research Lead at Kaleido Intelligence added: “Operators should view machine learning based analytics and detection systems as critical investments into future network security. These systems offer the flexibility and ability to react in near real-time to suspect events across mobile networks will see a significant increase in complexity over the coming years”.
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About Kaleido Intelligence
Kaleido Intelligence is a specialist consulting and market research firm with a proven track record delivering telecom research at the highest level. Kaleido Intelligence is the only research company addressing mobile roaming in its entirety, covering:
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