The mobile telecoms industry lost more than €43.5 billion last year due to inadequate fraud management and revenue assurance processes, according to an analyst firm.

A new Juniper Research report claims billing systems have failed to keep up as operators have integrated an ever-expanding array of devices and, simultaneously, managed a surge in cellular network traffic.

Report co-author Dr Windsor Holden said the situation would become even more serious as we enter a 4G/LTE environment.

“Telcos risk undermining any revenue actually earned from value-added services by continuing to not invest in appropriate business support systems,” he said.

The €43.5 billion figure, which is equivalent to over six percent of global revenues, could increase five fold if operators fail to implement any remedial measures over the next five years, the report predicts.

Such measures should include implementing automated system solutions that provide end-to-end visibility of the revenue chain.

As a result, the amount “lost” could decline to four percent of revenue in 2016, representing a net reduction of nearly €11 billion per annum compared with 2011.

However, “sustained investment” was needed.

Although initial costs are viewed as prohibitive by some, Holden said revenue assurance and fraud management systems demonstrate “a strong case for return on investment”.

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