US$40bn lost by telecoms operators from revenue leakage

A recent survey conducted by KPMG has claimed that telecoms operators are losing US$40 billion due to numerous errors in their billing and roaming systems. The accountancy and consulting firm have called for service providers to look at developing more effective automated revenue assurance tools, increase the awareness of revenue assurance within their companies, and work on obtaining accurate data to rectify the issue.

According to the report, incorrect billing, roaming errors and failure to pass on call information to billing systems were all typical areas of leakage. And the lack of good data meant that operators were in many cases struggling to identify leaks. Worryingly, around 40 per cent of respondents estimated that under half of all revenue leakage is identified, and in developing markets many said that under 10 per cent of leaks were spotted.

The majority of those surveyed said prepaid services constituted their most vulnerable revenue stream in terms of leakage. "Prepaid accounts are vulnerable to revenue leakage due to the real-time nature of the transaction," said Clare Patterson, performance and technology adviser at KPMG Europe. "Problems with deductions or top-ups, for whatever reason, leave little option to recover the loss."

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