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Article by Samuel Dowuona in News Ghana: Afriwave Partners SIGOS to Offer Vodafone, NCA Billing Solutions and More
The partner of Interconnect Clearinghouse operator, Afriwave Telecoms Ghana in fighting SIMBOX fraud, SIGOS, also provides quality of service testing and billing monitoring solutions for Vodafone Ghana and the National Communications Authority.
This came to light at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain, where SIGOS showcased an array of its end-to-end, fraud detection and revenue assurance solutions for the telecom industry around the globe.
SIGOS is helping in the fight against SIMBOX fraud in Ghana, but the telcos, including Vodafone Ghana, are completely opposed to the curative strategy being employed in that fight, and are pushing for a preventive measure that makes SIGOS’s work unnecessary.
Meanwhile, the German-based SIGOS, which has over 27 years of experience in supporting telecoms regulators and operators to be efficient in monitoring and monetizing their operations, first came to Ghana in 2009 through Vodafone, when they acquired Ghana Telecoms.
Executive Vice President, Sales at SIGOS, Joachim Bamberger told Adom News in an exclusive interview at the just ended MWC
“we actually came to Ghana through Vodafone and they continue to remain our key client, using our quality of service testing solutions as well as our revenue assurance tools like the billing and roaming solutions to ensure they bill their customers properly, both locally and abroad.”
He explained that in the face of several bundles that offer a complex mix of freebies calls and special data and SMS rates, the billing could sometimes get very confusing so SIGOS offers the solutions to micro-manage it to ensure effective billing in such instance.
“Vodafone also uses our roaming solution called GlobalRoamer that helps to ensure quality of service for customers on roaming, and effective roaming billing for the operator,” he said.
Meanwhile, in terms of roaming, SIGOS also provides managed services for telcos by negotiating roaming deals with carriers across the world to ensure that telcos got the best deals that are mutually beneficially to all partners, while customers also got the best of roaming service.
Joachim Bamberger also said since last year, SIGOS has been engaged by NCA to help monitor how telcos are billing customers, to ensure that customers are not billed unfairly. This, he said, stemmed out of several consumers complaints to the NCA about unusual loss of air time and data credit.
“So we have deployed our billing monitoring systems to provide NCA with information on the billing activities of telcos, particular under the data and airtime bundle regimes to ensure the customer is not shortchanged,” he said.
He said the company has also trained NCA to manage the billing monitoring systems it deployed for the regulator.
SIM BOX fraud
Touching on SIMBOX fraud, the SIGOS executive noted that the SIMBOX fight is a huge one because to the extent that there is a huge gap between the minimum floor price of incoming international calls into Ghana and domestic call tariffs, that makes a good business case for the fraudsters.
He thinks one of the ways to stop SIM BOX fraud is to reduce the floor price (as the telcos have always argued), and also properly regulate SIM card acquisition with a biometric ID system and policies that prevent one person from acquiring too many SIM cards.
“It is all down to government policy – to the extent that the revenue generated from the floor price is needed for national development, the option is to properly regulate SIM card acquisition and continue to fight SIMBOX fraud, which SIGOS is helping Afriwave to do,” he said.
Joachim Bamberger is confident the fight against SIM BOX in Ghana will eventually be won given the commitment with which SIGOS continue to generate calls into Ghana and the rate at which it keeps detecting SIMBOX numbers.
He said SIGOS also comes on board with equipment and solutions that actually locate SIM BOXES in the hideouts.
Recently, the CEO of Afriwave Ghana, Philip Sowah told journalists SIM BOX fraudsters have adopted a new strategy to avoid detection; they put the simboxes in vehicles and move around from location to location.
“We have noticed this and we are working around the clock to counter it and ensure the simboxes are detected even when they move around,” he said.
Beside revenue assurance, roaming, quality of service testing, and fraud detection, SIGOS also boasts of quality of experience testing, network testing (radio, fixed, IP, core), boundary free testing and managed services.
From five key offices in Europe, America and Asia, working with partners in 50 countries around the world, SIGOS serve about 410 customers in the telecom industry, including most of the top 100 operators in the world.
Source: Samuel Dowuona