FAS and mobile operators of the Big Four signed a memorandum on combating telephone spam. Some operators already use systems to detect spam calls, but consolidation of market participants is needed to effectively combat spammers.
Memorandum of the Federal Antimonopoly Service and the Big Four of Mobile Operators
The head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) Maxim Shaskolsky signed a memorandum on combating telephone spam with four major cellular operators, Mobile Telesystems (MTS), VimpelCom, Megafon and Tele2 (a subsidiary of Rostelecom).
According to Shaskolsky, citizens receive a large number of unauthorized spam calls, including robotic ones, as well as calls from scammers trying to gain access to their accounts and bank cards. In 2020, the FAS received 16 thousand complaints about advertising, of which 3 thousand were complaints about spam calls.
To protect subscribers from unauthorized calls, including from voice advertising, telecom operators have developed special technical solutions and algorithms that block incoming spam calls. Moreover, such blocking will occur only with the consent of the subscribers themselves.
“Antispam services will identify spam numbers based on big data analysis and machine learning, relying on such characteristics as call duration, the presence of constant calls, the ratio of incoming and outgoing calls,” the ministry’s press service explained to Interfax.
The FAS added that MTS has already launched a free service for its users that redirects calls from suspicious numbers to a voice mailbox.
How Tele2 Fights Phone Spam
For its part, Tele2 reported that there are approximately eight to nine unwanted calls per subscriber per month, of which 60-70% are unauthorized telemarketing. “Voice spam negatively affects the quality of the customer experience, forcing subscribers to transfer irritation to mobile service providers, creates an additional burden on operator call centers and regulator services,” the company notes.
For all Tele2 subscribers, the first circuit of protection is in effect: the built-in anti-spam system uses big data to identify unwanted calls, including call-drops. This service is free and does not require connection. The analytical system identifies spam calls by duration, frequency, mass and user response to them. Tele2 processes 5-6 million calls per day, including calls-drops.
Tele2 also intends to offer subscribers another free service – routing calls to a spam box. Thanks to the service, the client will be able to listen to the message later or receive it in text form. Caller ID, another service of the operator, allows you to mark a spammer and give the subscriber the choice: to accept a call from him or not.
Voice assistant “Oleg”
Recently, Tinkoff Bank, which has its own virtual mobile operator based on the Tele2 network, presented an updated version of the Oleg voice secretary. This application can answer calls that the user did not answer, and using artificial intelligence algorithms, analyzing the phone number and keywords, determine what a spammer or fraudster is talking to him. The subscriber will then be provided with a recording of the conversation and its text transcript.
With the help of a caller ID from Tinkoff, the subscriber will be able to decide whether to answer a suspicious call or not. The basic version of the application is available free of charge to subscribers of all mobile operators. But users of Tinkoff Bank or its mobile operator have access to an extended version of the application, which will automatically detect calls from spammers and fraudsters and redirect them to a voice assistant.
Why mobile operators need to work together to fight spam
“Spammers have become noticeably more active in the pandemic and are finding new ways of contacting a potential consumer of services,” noted Aleksandr Rogovoy, Tele2 Deputy Director General for Corporate Development and Transformation . “This pushes us to respond to the challenge: not only improve ways to protect customers, but also create industry-wide initiatives to tackle the problem. Voice spam will cease to exist only when carrier systems cover the entire market. “