Close up Suspected Spam call on a smartphone. Cybercriminals preying on online users.
Image: ltyuan/Adobe Stock

Spam and fraud calls have been a troubling phenomenon in recent times across the globe. Unfortunately, quite a lot of people have fallen victim to fraud, spam and robocalls from criminals aiming to persuade the recipient either to buy a service or divulge sensitive personal information that may lead to hacks. This situation has led to the emergence of several network-based call protection solutions to protect people and their businesses from unsolicited and fraudulent calls.

SEE: Mobile device security policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Primed to provide call protection solution services that will save more people from spam and fraud calls, Ericsson and Hiya announced a partnership deal that will offer network-based protection to people around the world. Tagged Call Qualification, the solution is expected to be available to all wireless carriers using the Ericsson IP Multimedia Subsystem.

With Call Qualification, Hiya and Ericsson are offering an adaptive AI self-learning technology that can help customers detect and halt new and emerging scams that may come their way through calls. Apart from Ericsson’s IP IMS, the network-based call protection technology also works with Ericsson’s Mobile Switching System to provide coverage for 4G/5G as well as 2G/3G networks.

Reacting to the launch, Alex Algard, CEO and founder of Hiya, commented that “spam and fraud calls are a huge problem for both individuals and businesses – and it’s only getting worse as the bad actors making these calls get more sophisticated in their tactics. Through our partnership with Ericsson, carriers can instantly access and deploy Hiya’s most advanced, AI-powered call protection features worldwide, giving subscribers a superior voice call experience and more trust in the network.”

Reiterating the need for the partnership, Ericsson’s head of Solution Area Communication Services, David Bjore, stated that “spam, fraud and nuisance calls are a frustration that almost every person with a phone can relate to. It is certainly an area that is likely to positively impact subscriber satisfaction and customer loyalty if they can be stopped. That’s exactly what we, in partnership with Hiya, are aiming for carrier customers to achieve with Call Qualification.”

Why the partnership happened

The growing rate of fraud calls could be a major reason why this partnership occurred. Hiya’s 2022 State of the Call Report revealed that spam and fraud calls are on the rise worldwide, with a 13% increase from the previous year. The Hiya report further uncovered that mobile subscribers now receive an average of 14 unwanted calls per month, and one-quarter of consumers reported losing money to a phone scam with an average loss of $542 per victim. As a result, consumers and businesses expect network carriers to take action and solve this problem.

A 2021 report by First Orion, a digital call experience service provider for network carriers, suggested that consumers received around 110 billion scam calls, resulting in 88 million scam victims and an estimated $44.2 billion in scam losses. Similarly, according to Truecaller, another player in the call protection service industry, over the past twelve months, the total money lost to scam calls in the US was valued at $29.8 billion.

Although the US has been a major target for spam and fraud calls in recent years, Truecaller’s top 20 countries affected by spam report puts Brazil as the country most hit by scam calls incidents, followed by Peru and Ukraine.

Given the spike in the number of fraud and scam calls witnessed by customers around the world, other mobile technology companies have, in recent years, also unveiled their spam call protection solutions. Some notable mentions include AT&T Call Protect for AT&T users, T-Mobile Name ID for T-Mobile users and Truecaller.

The future of spam call protection industry

The announcement of the Ericsson-Hiya partnership to tackle fraud and scam calls may be the latest boost in the call protection solution. However, other spam call protection solutions have recently been launched.

For instance, last year Teltech Systems launched RoboKiller’s Call Confidence API, enabling businesses to fight against spam and robocalls by strengthening their network’s defenses against illegal phone scammers. In addition, another big player in the mobile communication technology industry, T-Mobile, launched a caller verification technology in 2019. Labeled Caller Verified, this solution gives its customers protection from scammers and spammers who use phone call techniques to dwindle their customers.

With all these call protection services in place, it’s hoped that more phone users will be protected against spam and fraud calls. Through this partnership, Hiya will be hoping to ride on Ericsson’s global market coverage to reach out to more international customers.

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