Thursday, April 22, 2010

Anti-SoR activities banned by the GSM’s BARG Association

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: Starhome, the leading provider and acknowledged driving force of roaming services for mobile network operators, has today welcomed the decision made by the GSM Association's BARG (Billing and Accounting Roaming Group) to prohibit the use of Anti-SoR tools.

Anti-SoR (steering of roaming) is defined as “any technical network-based methods that can effectively frustrate, counteract or undo the effect of SoR when applied without the consent or participation of either the Roaming Subscriber or the HPMN Operator” (BARG BA.30).

In layman’s terms, Anti-SoR solutions are able to block update location messages from reaching the steering platform and are also capable of sending misleading signalling to deceive the steering application. Anti-SoR practices not only result in a substantial loss of revenue for operators, they also disrupt subscriber services by not supplying the optimum services given by the home network operator.

To identify potential Anti-SoR activities, the home network operator must instigate a lengthy three-phase manual process that includes a daily examination of roaming revenue distribution, signal tracing and testing.

The Starhome Anti-SoR Detector continuously monitors traffic statistics and allows the operator to detect potential revenue leakage by identifying Anti-SoR activities such as the blocking of update-location messages from reaching their steering of roaming platform, locking roamers into a network, and simulation of manual selection.

Starhome’s Anti-SoR Detector has built-in logic to identify exceptional drops or peaks in traffic statistics as well as unexpected signaling. Upon detection, the Anti-SoR Detector has the ability to apply resistance signaling to defeat Anti-SoR attempts as well as trigger the appropriate alarm to the operator. Starhome’s Anti-SoR Detector solution interoperates with Starhome's NG-IPN (Next Generation Intelligent Preferred Network) solution).

Shlomo Wolfman, co-founder and COO of Starhome commented: “The roaming market is an extremely competitive market, and, unfortunately, illegitimate tools, such as Anti-SoR, are still being used to steer traffic away from preferred networks, which, of course, results in a substantial loss of revenue for the operator. Starhome’s Anti-SoR Detector detects potential use of Anti-SoR activities to protect the operator’s business.”

On user request, the Anti-SoR Detector displays the top 10 networks with the highest gaps. Operators can then focus on these networks and generate detection reports to discover whether Anti-SoR techniques have been employed.

Wolfman continued: “Starhome keeps abreast of all the new SoR and Anti-SoR developments in the market. This information is used to enhance the Anti-SoR detection capabilities and will be made available and incorporated into the Anti-SoR Detector solution.”

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