Telecom's Next Frontier: Exploring Fraud Mitigation, Numbering Registries and Beyond
2023 marked a significant milestone in telecom, with innovations and advancements that were bigger, better and bolder than ever before. This was especially evident at the 2023 Somos Summit, where the annual product update was so substantial that it had to be split into TWO sessions to accommodate the wealth of new advancements, features and functionality.
Part One: Unlocking the Power of Registries
In the first part of the session, Future-Focused Innovation – Supercharging Solutions, Championing Collaboration and Building a Blueprint for Telecom, telecom’s brightest thought leaders converged to explore the benefits of numbering registries. The first panel, moderated by Ryan Karnas, Director, Product Management at Somos, featured the following experts in numbering administration and database management:
Carmelita Berquist, ATLaaS Toll-Free Lead at ATLaaS
Beth Sprague, Senior Director of RND Administration at SomosGov
Michael Smyth, Product Manager at Somos
From the TFNRegistry™ to the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) to the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND), the panelists emphasized how numbering registries form the backbone of telecom, helping to ensure authentic and seamless communications between consumers, businesses and communities.
The discussion started with an overview of the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND), a valuable tool that helps prevent consumers from getting unwanted calls intended for someone who previously held their phone number. Specifically, callers can query the RND to determine whether a phone number may have been recently reassigned or disconnected.
The RND has swiftly earned accolades, notes Beth Sprague, with various industries and regulatory bodies incorporating it to ensure Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance and more. As stated by Beth, "Checking the RND database before making outreach can verify that a number is still associated with the intended recipient… Even accidentally making the wrong call can lead to heavy penalties.” She also opined, “Many lawsuits could have been better for the defendant if they [had] utilized the RND.”
After discussing the RND’s inherent benefits, the conversation transitioned to new updates for the TFNRegistry from Michael Smyth. Not only did the TFNRegistry roll out several exciting new features in 2023, but, as Michael shared, more perks are on the way. Some of the standout new capabilities (and benefits!) include the following:
Users can now access ROC APIs, making integration a breeze.
An updated release library eliminates needing a separate portal to access essential forms.
The new ROC dashboard provides a quick overview of requests, which helps reduce clicks and save time.
New bulk upload capabilities enable users to efficiently manage updates in a more streamlined manner.
Cross-entity capability allows approved users to act on behalf of another organization.
Improved Help Desk administration features simplify and streamline the process of addressing customer’s ROC-related issues.
To further punctuate the utility of some of the new features, Carmelita Berquist, an early adopter of TFNRegistry APIs, shared how the new ROC APIs have positively impacted her work. Specifically, she applauded the efficiency and ease these APIs bring to her daily tasks. Carmelita also expressed her anticipation for the cross-entity support planned for the ROC. This feature will help streamline her user experience and enhance productivity by negating the need for multiple logins.
Part Two: Revolutionizing Routing and Fraud Mitigation
In Part Two of the session, Future-Focused Innovation – Supercharging Solutions, Championing Collaboration and Building a Blueprint for Telecom, a second panel of industry experts, once again led by Ryan Karnas, shifted the focus from registries to the next generation of "supercharged solutions." These fraud-fighting superstars included:
Dave Gipner, Vice President of Business Development at ANI Networks
Stacy Graham, Trust and Assurance Policy Director at Sinch
Kyle Belcher, Senior Product Manager at Somos
Susan Tamida, Product Manager at Somos
The discussion began with Dave Gipner’s account of the significant changes to the 8YY ecosystem. He specifically discussed the Toll-Free Access Reform, which aims to reduce traffic pumping and other fraudulent activity that undermines intercarrier compensation.
Next, Dave was joined by Susan Tamida for a conversation about Somos’ RouteLink®.The introduction of RouteLink is often referred to as a game-changer in Toll-Free routing data, offering modernized direct call path access plus the ability to combine the solution’s call processing record information with an organization’s native network data to create the ultimate routing intelligence. Specifically, as was pointed out by the pair, "RouteLink removes the high-cost barrier to entry that was once found with traditional SCPs." More importantly, the solution allows carriers to gain control over their Toll-Free origination costs – all while staying competitive in the marketplace.
The panel saved one of Somos’ most revolutionary products – RealNumber® DNO – for last. The solution, which can be queried to identify numbers that should never originate traffic, has seen significant growth in the last year. Kyle Belcher kicked off the conversation by providing insight into the different ways RealNumber DNO helps support regulatory compliance and how updates to the solution can help users stay ahead of the curve.
“The FCC has released new mandates specifically for messaging providers, obliging them to consult a DNO list before originating a text,” stated Kyle. “To address this, we've launched RealNumber DNO for Text lists. Not only does DNOT add an extra layer of protection against fraud, but it’s also a proactive measure to meet upcoming regulations.”
In addition to the release of RealNumber DNO for Text lists (DNOT), Kyle also discussed the recent release of DNO Live, which provides real-time dataset updates. Stacey Graham expressed how her organization, Sinch Voice, will benefit from implementing this new feature: “This was a huge requirement for us in sharing our numbers. Without DNO Live, we were highly concerned about it being a 24-hour timeframe to activate a number for our customers.”
Another organization that has likewise benefited from implementing RealNumber DNO is ANI Networks. Dave Gipner shared, “We use the DNO info to approach our clients to get to the root of a problem and help find a resolution. The response from our customers has been very favorable as they are also looking to mitigate risk and exposure.” And mitigate the risk and exposure it has! In fact, integrating RealNumber DNO into ANI Network’s system has helped them reduce unwanted calls on their network by a staggering 75%, according to Dave.
The discussions that transpired at the 2023 Somos Summit helped demonstrate the telecom industry's ongoing efforts to deliver solutions that support a safer and more efficient ecosystem as well as protect consumers and businesses.
To learn more about the 2023 Somos Summit and to gain access to on-demand recordings, visit www.somos.com/summit.