i3Forum, GSMA, and ITW Global Leaders Forum (GLF) Collaboration Announcement
Dubai, UAE, Tuesday, February 6 – i3Forum, GSMA, and GLF, three leading industry associations of the communications sector, announced today at Capacity Middle East that they are cooperating to help restore trust in international communications and fight illegal/unwanted voice calls and messages originating from abroad – nuisance communications such as spamming, spoofing, robocalling.
GSMA and GLF stated their support for the Restore Trust initiative spearheaded by i3Forum.
The Restore Trust initiative is an effort to build long term cooperation between the International Communications Industry and National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) globally, and eradicate international nuisance communications.
The loss of public trust in communications is driven by the proliferation of unwanted/illegal voice calls and messages (e.g. spamming, spoofing, robocalling or -texting). It is a growing global phenomenon that has a deep impact across all levels of society, businesses and citizens.
According to their Global Call Threat Report Q3 2023, Hiya observed 6.55 billion spam calls worldwide in the third quarter of 2023 alone. That’s more than 73 million unwanted calls every day. Spam calls rates vary per country and region, ranging from 21% - 22¨% (Canada, USA), to 29% (UK), 42% - 44% (Spain, France), 56% (Indonesia) and the highest rate of 57% (Chile).
This constitutes a major challenge for both the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), who step in to protect their public with new regulatory requirements, and the industry that must play its part to help restore trust.
The challenge is even greater when it comes to combating nuisance communications originating from abroad: individual NRAs focus on their domestic situation but have limited authority to combat communications originating from abroad. Each NRAs approaches the issue with its own perspective, resulting in a lack of clarity and harmonized requirements to the international industry.
The Restore Trust initiative focuses on unwanted/illegal communications originating from abroad, and includes the following main efforts:
1) One Consortium, that will bring together the entire international communications ecosystem in a new, inclusive, not for profit organization.
One Consortium, supported by existing industry organizations, will work to agree and drive adoption in the ecosystem of a range of vendor-neutral solutions to fight nuisance communications. Potential approaches may include a global traceback mechanism, call certification, management of national CLIs on international trunks, improved Know Your Customer / Know your Traffic (KYC/KYT) mechanisms, trusted trunks and more.
One Consortium will engage with NRAs globally to establish a joint, opt-in, governance framework to fight nuisance communications.
One Consortium will be launched at the end of 1Q24.
2) A new, global, multilateral collaboration forum for National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs).
This opt-in forum will allow participating NRAs to harmonize their views on guidelines and recommendations to fight nuisance communications originating from abroad, and establish a cooperation framework between NRAs and with the Industry.
Participating NRAs will be able to engage with the industry (One Consortium) to provide some unified guidance and discuss pragmatic solutions, as well as with other public organizations such as law enforcement agencies and policy making authorities.
Multiple regulators – as well as government authorities and law enforcement agencies globally - have expressed their interest and support for this approach.
A plan is currently being co-developed with a number of NRAs, in order to set-up this global forum before the end of 2Q24.
Annabel Helm, Managing Director GLF, ITW and Broadgroup, stated “The Restore Trust and One Consortium initiatives led by the i3Forum with the aim of harmonising regulations and policies faced by our international carrier members is a crucial piece of work. Ensuring that the industry can be compliant across multiple jurisdictions to protect consumers will be of huge value to all. Our members are actively working to combat fraudulent and unwanted traffic across the world. Increased engagement and alignment with NRAs behind a shared goal to restore trust is a significant step forward and one that will only benefit consumers.”
Samantha Kight, Head of Industry Security at GSMA, said “Ensuring trust in international communications requires a global effort by both industry and regulators. Avoiding fragmented approaches, in different geographies, will be key to achieving success. Alongside the work we are doing in GSMA’s Fraud and Security Group, we believe this initiative provides a great opportunity to tackle this challenge by developing technical solutions and governance aimed at global adoption.
The Restore Trust initiative requires broad industry and regulatory collaboration, and we look forward to working with i3Forum, GLF and regulators to make this happen.”
Philippe Millet, Founder and Chairman of the i3Forum, commented : "The Restore Trust initiative, announced last May at the International Telecoms Week (ITW), is progressing at impressive speed, both in the industry and with regulators. GSMA’s and GLF’s public support and active collaboration are key to successfully bringing the entire ecosystem together and allow the industry and the regulators globally to engage in a positive and fruitful cooperation to combat illegal / unwanted communications.
The i3Forum is a non-profit industry body that drives global collaboration and innovation across the international communications ecosystem through an open and inclusive model. The i3Forum and its community develop practical recommendations, tools, solutions, and policies to help understand consumer behavior, leverage technology, adapt to regulatory requirements, and foster trust in international communications. For more information, visit www.i3forum.org.
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The GSMA is a global organisation unifying the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation foundational to positive business environments and societal change. Our vision is to unlock the full power of connectivity so that people, industry, and society thrive. Representing mobile operators and organisations across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries, the GSMA delivers for its members across three broad pillars: Connectivity for Good, Industry Services and Solutions, and Outreach. This activity includes advancing policy, tackling today’s biggest societal challenges, underpinning the technology and interoperability that make mobile work, and providing the world’s largest platform to convene the mobile ecosystem at the MWC and M360 series of events.
We invite you to find out more at gsma.com
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About the ITW Global Leaders’ Forum
The ITW Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF) is a network of the leaders from the world’s largest International ICT service providers, who convene to discuss strategic issues and to agree collaborative activities with the aim of upholding the principle of interoperability and ubiquitous international and technological coverage. The international wholesale industry is a critical part of the global ICT ecosystem, providing the backbone that enables digital services to be distributed around the world. The GLF’s primary objective is to provide leadership and direction for the industry by advocating common priorities that improve interconnectivity so that new digital services can be delivered at scale anywhere in the world. Please visit www.itwglf.com for more information.
Rory Forder, Membership Marketing Executive, ITW Global Leaders’ Forum