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i3Forum Announces Launch of One Consortium to Restore Trust in International Communications

March 2024 by Marc Jacob

i3Forum announced the launch of One Consortium, a new, not-for-profit organization specifically designed for the international communications ecosystem to join forces and cooperate with Telecommunications Regulators (NRAs) globally in order to fight illegal/unwanted voice calls and messages originating from abroad. Fraudulent calls and messages are a global problem, and many current initiatives are focused at a national level. One Consortium, working with NRAs, aims at complementing national initiatives, by helping combat illegal voice calls and messages on international connections.

The Restore Trust initiative, spearheaded by i3Forum, has two aspects: One Consortium is the industry component that will be complemented by an unprecedented initiative bringing together National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) globally to facilitate a worldwide, structured dialogue between industry and telecommunications regulators on restoring trust.
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 its Global Call Threat Report[1], Hiya flagged 7.3 billion suspected spam calls in Q4 2023 (up from 6.55 billion spam calls in Q3 2023). That’s 81.1 million unwanted calls every day.

This constitutes a major challenge for both the NRAs, who step in to protect the public, 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, as efficient cooperation becomes key.

One Consortium will build the international communication industry’s contribution to restoring trust, and will work closely with telecom regulators, policy makers and law enforcement agencies globally.

One Consortium is supported by major industry organizations such as the GSMA, the Global Leaders Forum (GLF), and the Global Solutions Council (GSC). It will work to agree and drive adoption in the international communications ecosystem of a range of vendor-neutral solutions to fight nuisance communications. Potential approaches may include a global traceback mechanism, call certification, management/verification of national CLIs on international trunks, improved Know Your Customer / Know your Traffic (KYC/KYT) mechanisms, trusted trunks and more.

Philippe Millet, Founder and Chairman of the i3Forum, commented: "This is the first tangible milestone for The Restore Trust initiative. One Consortium was brought to life in under six months by an incredible team of over 50 dedicated people representing 30 organizations of the ecosystem. We are extremely proud of the work accomplished in such a short time frame, and very confident that One Consortium will start to make a difference very soon, working with regulatory authorities globally.”

ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller added, “ATIS is pleased to contribute to this important initiative addressing fraudulent calls at the international level... By taking a broad perspective that incorporates diverse, proven approaches, One Consortium will show how different strategies complement each other to combat this growing problem.”

“’Trust arrives on foot, and leaves on horseback’,” quoted Eli Katz, CEO & Founder, XConnect, “Both the voice and messaging industries are suffering from significant fraud, scams and spoofing. Collaboration across both industry, trade associations and national regulators is essential to address these challenges especially on a global basis, as the fraudsters have no regards for national boundaries. XConnect is actively engaged in the i3Forum’s One Consortium initiative as we believe its an important step on the journey to restore trust in communications.”

“As we are reinventing ourselves in the new digital landscape we need to continue ensuring trust and security for our customers. Collaboration and experience concerning fraud are fundamental and will be critical in delivering ways to reduce, and ultimately eradicate, fraud from our telecom business. That’s why Orange Wholesale supports the One Consortium industry initiative,“ said Emmanuel Rochas, CEO, Orange Wholesale International.

Rebekah Johnson, founder and CEO, Numeracle added, "Numeracle’s mission from day one has been to restore trust to communications. We are excited to work with One Consortium and its members to achieve that goal around the world."

Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS, said, “Nuisance voice calls and messages threaten trust in communications. The i3Forum One Consortium initiative is a promise: to foster collaboration and earnest communication among industry, associations, and regulators to combat fraud and restore that trust. BICS has been actively contributing to i3Forum since its inception and is proud to join this initiative.”

“Fraud has become such a problem for the voice industry globally that we fear it threatens our collective future. We need urgent action to bring trust, transparency and ease back to the international voice market. The One Consortium initiative is crucial to galvanising stakeholders around the world and we’re looking forward to playing our part in building a brighter future for global voice services,” commented Andrew Bale, CEO, Wavecrest.

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