Five things to watch 4 January: tackling A2P fraud; cohort named for €7m satellite study; OneWeb's connectivity schedule; IUC fees dropped; and ITU's new research group

04 January 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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Capacity shares 5 key stories from around the world making headlines today!

Sparkle and TIM Brasil combat A2P fraud with Vox

Sparkle and TIM Brasil have implemented a customised solution by Vox Technologies to protect the Application to Person (A2P) SMS network from fraudulent routing and illicit bypass attempts.

Thanks to the collaboration between the two TIM Group companies, TIM Brasil’s A2P SMS network is protected and monitored by Sparkle through Vox Technologies’ VOX360 anti-fraud platform using "sophisticated data analytics, business intelligence and AI technologies to mitigate and prevent fraudulent activities".

Billions of SMSs are analysed each month to ensure that all messages are delivered to TIM Brasil’s end users through official channels and in total security.

The two said that growth in A2P traffic opens significant "revenue opportunities for mobile operators" who must protect their networks "from fraudulent routing and illicit bypass phenomena to guarantee a reliable, high quality and secure delivery".

The tech is used in such industries as banking, travel, transportation, healthcare and other verticals where A2P SMS messages are used to send notice, authentication and confirmation messages to their customers.

EU names players recruited for €7.1 million satellite feasibility study

Airbus, Arianespace, Eutelsat, Hispasat, OHB, Orange, SES, Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space have been selected by the European Commission to study the design, development and launch of a European-owned space-based communication system.

Over a year-long feasibility study – the contract value of which stands at €7.1 million – the consortium will assess the new system, which aims to strengthen European digital sovereignty and provide secure connectivity for citizens, commercial enterprises and public institutions as well as providing global coverage for rural and ‘not-spot’ areas.

Specifically, the study will look at how a space-based system could enhance and connect to current and future critical infrastructures, including terrestrial networks, strengthening EU capability to access the cloud and providing digital services in an independent and secure way, which is essential for building confidence in the digital economy and ensuring European strategic autonomy and resilience.

It will leverage and strengthen the role of satellites in the 5G ecosystem, assessing interoperability whilst also taking into account the evolution towards upcoming 6G technologies.

The EU said the satellite programme – which builds on its GOVSATCOM programme – will in future complement Copernicus and Galileo. Further, it would "fully exploit the synergies of the technological potential akin to the digital and space industries" and will also leverage the EuroQCI initiative promoting "innovative quantum cryptography technology".

 

OneWeb confirms global connectivity schedule

OneWeb, which launched 36 satellites on 18 December, has said that it is to launch commercial services by 2022.

The December launch took the number of OneWeb satellites in orbit to 110, with the company initially planning to have 648 satellites in operation. Following the launch of the latest 36 satellites, OneWeb said it is "on track" to offer services to customers starting with the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Artic Seas, and Canada in 2021, with global service following in 2022

As Capacity reported last month, OneWeb was originally founded by Airbus to build an internet delivery network from low Earth orbit (LEO), just 1,200km above the surface. But it went into bankruptcy protection and faced sell-off until the UK government stepped in with a $500 million rescue package, backed by a similar investment from India’s Bharti Enterprises, part of the same group that owns the Airtel mobile networks in India and Africa.

 

India's IUC fees change market dynamic

India's termination of IUC fees could impact EBITDA gains for some operators in the country, according to analysis by Credit Suisse.

IUC fees are levied by mobile operators when a customer calls somebody on another network. They were due to be scrapped in January 2020, but that was delayed until 2021.

Jio said it stopped passing these costs to its customers as of 1 January 2021, making its off-net domestic voice calls free once again.

Credit Suisse said the resulting change in market dynamic could bring EBITDA gains for Vodafone Idea, while Bharti Airtel is expected to see little to no change.

 

ITU launches open research group for autonomous networks

A new focus group to support the development of autonomous networks has been unveiled by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Chaired by Leon Wong, research engineer at Rakuten Mobile, the ITU focus group will concentrate on autonomous networks to lead an exploratory pre-standardisation study and determine how ITU standards will "support the realisation of autonomous networks and their evolution in years to come".

“ITU standards incorporate the latest advances in technology whilst taking account of the associated implications for business dynamics to allow industry players to advance together,” said ITU secretary-general Houlin Zhao.

“Innovation towards autonomous networks calls for an evolution that is viable both technically and economically and ITU standards have a long history of enabling such an evolution," Zhao added.

ITU said: "The group is expected to make a key contribution to the coherence of innovation towards autonomous networks by offering an open platform for the collaboration of standardisation and open-source communities and all industry players and academia active in the field."