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Fraud Mitigation

In the evolving world of voice communication, the advent of origin-based rating (OBR) for voice termination has introduced new complexities. Notably, operators within the European economic area have implemented significant surcharges in mobile termination rates (MTRs), based on the country of call origination. These surcharges can reach up to €0.20 per minute, marking an astounding 1,000% increase. Moreover, additional penalty surcharges are applied for calls with fraudulent calling party numbers (CLI/ANI), such as manipulated or invalid numbers.

Current carrier contracts dictate that calls with unrecognized calling party numbers (CLI/ANI), as per the official number plan issued by each country’s regulator, will be subjected to the penalty surcharge. This penalty can be around €0.35, which translates to a 3,500% increase over the standard termination rate.

These surcharges are causing significant market disruptions as many originating service providers and transit carriers grapple with managing the routing, rating (for carrier reconciliation), and pricing of these surcharges. For transit carriers, the risks of substantial losses due to these surcharges and penalties are significant.

The challenges are further amplified due to the variation in the definition of groups of countries for call origination, different rules for A-number (CLI) validation, and fraudulent activities like CLI spoofing. This has led the industry to utilize Number Portability data to identify the terminating operator delivering the call, in order to determine the applicable surcharges and penalty surcharges.

However, is this the ultimate solution? We at CodeB believe there's a better way.

Blockchain Solution

Drawing from our experience with "short-stopping", "short-transit", or "number hijacking" solutions, we propose a blockchain oracle-based solution to combat OBR fraud. This solution allows the originating and terminating carriers to communicate without needing to know the transit carriers. The only difference is that it's not the originating party who asks the oracle if the call was terminated, but the terminating party asks the oracle if the call actually existed. If a call never existed, then this is a clear proof of CLI spoofing.

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