The number’s up for carriers that fake caller ID information

Eli Katz XConnect 16.9.jpg

XConnect, a London-based numbering specialist, has launched a service that can save carriers dollars per minute in wrongly identified calls.

The company, which since June 2021 has been owned by Somos, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), says that some carriers are applying surcharges to calls from certain destinations, or to calls whose origin is hidden.

It’s a penalty surcharge that terminating carriers can apply to calls based on caller ID that shows they came from certain destinations – as compensation for those carriers applying their own terminating charges of as much as US27-30ȼ per minute, according to Eli Katz (pictured), founder and CEO of XConnect.

But sometimes the caller ID – the calling line identification (CLI) – is suppressed or faked, and Capacity understands that some mobile operators are applying penalty charges of £2 (US$2.71) a minute. However, there is no legal limit, as this is not regulated, and the receiving carriers simply pocket the money.

“It’s a penalty surcharge,” Katz told Capacity, “for adjusted, invalid or missing CLI. It can literally be 500 times the basic termination charge.”

Just 2% of calls coming in with incorrect CLI “can wipe out a wholesale carrier’s entire margin”, said Katz.

XConnect’s new service, announced today, is called Validator. It is designed to enable carriers to identify invalid originating numbers – called A-numbers – and protect against surcharges.

Some mobile operators have started origin-based rating (OBR) to compensate themselves against others charging more than the usual few cents a minute that most charge for terminating calls.

But the practise is expanding and some fixed-line carriers have started OBR, said Katz. “The wholesale world needs to care about OBR,” he told Capacity. Carriers “need to prepare to manage their exposure to these new surcharges and ensure predictable margins”.