Telecoms operators may lose $1.3b to flash calls over next five years
A new report from Juniper Research, experts in emerging communications technologies, has found that operators may lose $1.3 billion to undetected flash calls cumulatively between 2023 and 2027.
Flash calling leverages voice networks to authenticate a user or transaction via an originating phone number of a missed call. The last few digits of this phone number are then automatically used for authentication, rather than a user inputting a code manually that was delivered via Short Message/Messaging Service (SMS).
An inability to detect flash calling traffic will lead to diminishing SMS business revenue for operators, as enterprises use flash calling over highly lucrative SMS channels monetised by operators. In turn, the research urges operators to adopt voice firewall solutions that are able to distinguish flash calling traffic from existing P2P voice calls in order to reduce SMS business messaging revenue losses.
The report predicts that over 90 per cent of flash calling traffic will be undetected by network operators in 2023. However, this figure is expected to drop to 45 per cent by 2026; driven by the increasing implementation of detection services offered by third-party firewall providers.
The report noted that as firewalls identify more flash calling traffic, a choice must be made by operators, which is to either to block or monetise the identified flash calling traffic. Juniper recommended that operators prioritise strategies that monetise traffic, as blocking P2P voice calls incorrectly identified as flash calling traffic will lead to frustration amongst subscribers and, most importantly, a reduction of voice channels’ value.
According to it, as voice firewalls are increasingly adopted, the report predicts that operators’ losses to undetected flash calling will begin to experience year-on-year declines from 2026, as more traffic is identified and hence monetised by operators. It forecasts that operators’ revenue from flash calling will reach $450 million globally by 2027; surpassing operators’ losses to unidentified flash calling traffic for the first time.