Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, May 24, 2002
Info-Tech - Telecommunications
Sotas offers to plug telecom frauds
NEW DELHI, May 23
TELECOM operators in the country, both basic and cellular, could be losing up to five per cent of their revenues annually due to frauds leading to network leakages and billing inaccuracies.
While the world over, telecom companies have woken up to the long-term detrimental impact of these frauds, and started implementing detection and management solutions, in India the operators have been, until now, comparatively slow on the uptake.
However, with the deregulation of the telecom sector and the impending cut-throat competition in basic and cellular services, the Indian companies have finally started putting system checks in place. More so, with the industry estimating frauds in the telecom sector growing at 15 per cent this year.
According to Mr Shivinder Bakshi, Managing Director, Sotas India Pvt Ltd, the Indian arm of US-based Sotas Inc, a global provider of network fraud management solutions, both the public and private sector operators are beginning to show a keen interest to team up with the company to plug leakages in their systems.
"The country's largest telecom operator is close to signing a deal with us for incorporating the Sotas traffic analysis and network detection solutions aimed at tracking all fraud-related cases. Not only will this improve customer service, but also the profitability of the company," he said without disclosing its name.
The solutions to be implemented include billing verification, which ensures that the company is billing (and being billed) correctly by correlating various sources of information. These reports reduce the cost of revenue by settling disputes with partners in case of interconnect agreements.
Mr Singh noted that Sotas would provide information ensuring that partners complied with the agreed quality of services. It can also reduce the cost of deploying new equipment by previewing predictperformance before it is committed to live network integration. The solutions will also assess the impact of these new product/services on the network performance and can help evaluate and compare different vendors.
The traffic analysis solution could help graphically monitor the performance of the entire network and generate alarms based on user-specific parameter. This system will enable the service provider to characterise the traffic usage.
"Worldwide it is estimated that the telecom companies lose $15-50 billion every year to the fraud industry. With increasing competition in India, telecom companies need to put the system checks in place to control frauds. That is why Sotas has identified India as one of its key markets in the coming years," he said.
He said that Sotas had a history of relationships with network-builders and service providers like AT & T, British telecom, Cable & Wireless, Concert, Korea Telecom, Lucent, Nortel, Qwest, Sprint, Teleglobe to name a few. In India too, almost all the major operators in the country had been in talks with it for implementing its solutions, he said.
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