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Data Roaming Fraud to Accelerate, Reaching $8bn Globally by 2028, as Bilateral 5G Roaming Agreements Exacerbate Losses

August 2023 by juniper

A new study from Juniper Research, the foremost experts in roaming markets, has found losses from global roaming fraud are anticipated to exceed $8 billion by 2028; driven by the increase in bilateral roaming agreements for data-intensive use cases over 5G networks. In turn, it predicts fraudulent data traffic will account for 80% of global operator roaming-based losses by 2024.

As 2G and 3G networks are sunsetting, operators are accelerating the transition to 5G and VoLTE roaming services to leverage the high levels of virtualisation and lower operational costs. However, the highly virtualised nature of 5G networks is creating more opportunities for fraudsters to deploy their attacks; leaving operator networks open to emerging fraud tactics over 5G networks.

The new report: Global Roaming Fraud Market 2023-2028, which forms part of Juniper Research’s Roaming Market Intelligence Centre, offers the most reliable source of data for the market. Download a free sample.

5G Roaming Agreements Necessitate Novel Fraud Mitigation

As bilateral 5G roaming agreements proliferate, the research predicts operators will deploy more sophisticated fraud mitigation tools. The greater amount of data that 5G roaming connections generate will require the development of solutions that can detect fraudulent users and traffic over new 5G networks as they evolve. An example is the rise in 5G subscription fraud, whereby fraudsters create new subscriptions with false information; incurring roaming charges without intending to pay. Until the subscription is cancelled, fraudsters will continue anonymously using 5G roaming data, with operators losing potential roaming revenue.

Research author Rosie O’Connor stated: "Operators must implement 5G-specific signalling detection and firewalls that offer real-time monitoring and ID-registry analysis. Only then, can operators more efficiently identify subscription fraud across 100 million 5G roaming connections predicted globally in 2024."

Fraud mitigation services will alert operators of any potentially fraudulent activity across 5G networks in real-time and enable them to identify and block suspicious roaming subscribers. This will enable operators to minimise fraudulent activity; reducing the impact on their roaming revenue.

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