- Government introduces Telecommunications Traffic Monitoring System Regulations in efforts to combat Traffic fraud
- Negative impacts of traffic fraud
- POTRAZ not allowed to monitor content passed over the network
In its efforts to eradicate traffic fraud in the telecommunications sector, the Zimbabwean government last week introduced the Postal and Telecommunications (Telecommunications Traffic Monitoring System, TTMS) Regulations, gazetted as Statutory Instrument 95 of 2021. This action is meant to stop mobile network operators from faking the national and international traffic numbers.
According to a report by the Herald, the new regulations will see POTRAZ install a system that will record the two numbers in any telecommunications call that has at least one Zimbabwean node. A network node is an electronic device that is attached to a network and is capable of creating, receiving, or transmitting information over a communication channel.
The regulations state that “In order to ensure accurate revenue collection, the objective of these regulations is to provide for the conditions, requirements and procedures for monitoring of telecommunications traffic in Zimbabwe. “Through the installation of a civil tool that will monitor and measure all forms of telecommunication interconnect traffic handled by telecommunications licensees, it is expected that this will: ensure generation of reliable statistics for all incoming international calls and national traffic on limited call detail records; detect, track and block bypass fraud through an anti-fraud system and ensure the reduction of network traffic fraud; provide International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) details and SIM card profile for fraudulent SIM cards; verify the international returns of telecommunication licensees for international telecommunications traffic.”
Negative impacts of traffic fraud
- Fraud trafficking complicates campaign or sector performance analysis and reports when human and non-human traffic calls are mixed in the reports.
- Fraud undermines industry self-regulation efforts, invites negative press about the industry, and potentially intervention by government regulators as in this case.
- Brands lose confidence in the sector.
- Failing to root out traffic fraud funds criminal activity and supports organized crime.
However, despite being given permission to measure all forms of telecommunication POTRAZ is also reportedly barred from monitoring the content passed over the network.
“A telecommunications traffic monitoring system or monitoring hardware and software will only be installed over such dedicated links with signalling information where it shall be physically impossible for the authority to record, monitor or tap into the content of any personal communication.”
Despite this declaration, some users may not be confident enough about the new monitoring hardware and software which is why you can always use voice over internet (VoIP) technologies such as Whatsapp that cannot be intercepted.