However, the overall trend is positive, with most regions reporting improved figures compared to the previous 2009 survey, except for Europe and the Americas, where the shift to prepaid, along with an explosion in data usage via smartphones, has made providers in these territories more susceptible to leakages. According to Ron Stuart, Head of Telecommunications & Media, KPMG in South Africa: “The overall reduction in leakages is a sign of the growth of Revenue Assurance as a dedicated function.”
Where are leaks occurring? New transformational projects (including new technology, network and billing system migration), poor billing system integration and fraud are listed as the top three sources. And newer revenue streams such as data/broadband, interconnect and value-added services are becoming increasingly vulnerable to leaks and fraud, fuelled in part by the emergence of m-commerce.
The Revenue Assurance function itself has experienced mixed fortunes, with 41 percent failing to identify more than half of total leakages. Part of the problem is that relatively few teams have cross-functional membership, and consequently lack the breadth of skills to identify every type of leak – especially those that happen at pre-billing level at the switches.
Recovering revenue remains a challenge, with just 40 percent of respondents managing to retrieve more than half of all losses from subscribers and partners. Companies from Europe and the Americas have the highest recovery rates, while those from Africa and the Middle East are the least effective.