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One Consortium launched to combat global communications fraud
Tue, 19th Mar 2024

The international communications ecosystem has been bolstered by the launch of a new anti-fraud mechanism, the One Consortium. The initiative, created by industry association i3Forum, aims to restore public trust in global communications following a surge in unwanted and illegal voice calls and messages. The Consortium, a not-for-profit organisation, will join forces with Telecommunications Regulators (NRAs) worldwide to counter these nuisances, building on existing national-level drives.

The rapid proliferation of illegal voice calls and messages, such as spamming, spoofing, and robocalling, has led to a widespread loss of public trust in the sector. According to the Global Call Threat Report by Hiya, 7.3 billion suspected spam calls were flagged in Q4 2023, an increase from 6.55 billion in Q3, translating into 81.1 million disturbing call attempts daily. To restore faith, both the regulators and the international communications industry must counter these undesirable communications. Effective and strident cooperation is required, particularly when dealing with nuisances with foreign origins.

The One Consortium is a major step forward in the international communication industry's pursuit of restoring public trust. It will foster close cooperation globally with telecom regulators, policymakers, and law enforcement agencies. Backed by significant industry organisations, including GSMA, the Global Leaders Forum, and the Global Solutions Council, the initiative will promote a range of vendor-neutral solutions to combat nuisance communications within the international communications ecosystem. This could involve a global traceback mechanism, call certification, managing or verifying national CLIs on international trunks, intensifying 'Know Your Customer / Know Your Traffic' mechanisms, and trusted trunks, among other possible tactics.

Philippe Millet, Founder and Chairman of the i3Forum, shared his perspective, "This is the first tangible milestone for The Restore Trust initiative. One Consortium was created in under six months by an amazing team of over 50 dedicated people from 30 different organisations. We are extremely proud of the quick work we've completed and are very optimistic that One Consortium will start to make a difference quickly, working in tandem with regulatory authorities around the world."

The initiative's importance has been echoed across the sector. Susan Miller, President and CEO of ATIS, welcomed its broader perspective and commented on how different strategies could complement each other to combat the growing problem. Eli Katz, CEO of XConnect, emphasised the importance of industry-wide collaboration to address challenges at a global level, adding that fraudsters do not respect national boundaries.

Moreover, Emmanuel Rochas, CEO of Orange Wholesale International, identified the need to ensure trust and security in the current digital landscape, highlighting the fundamental importance of collaboration in tackling fraud. Rebekah Johnson, Founder and CEO of Numeracle, reiterated this sentiment, underlining her excitement to work with One Consortium and its worldwide members to restore trust in communications.

Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS, welcomed the promise of the One Consortium initiative, saying it would promote collaboration and communication among the industry, associations, and regulators to combat fraud and restore trust. Finally, Andrew Bale, CEO of Wavecrest, emphasised how crucial the initiative is in reinstating trust and transparency in the international voice market, noting that its absence threatens the collective future of the industry.