The four mobile operators operating in Cameroon signed a memorandum of understanding last Thursday in Yaoundé, aiming to put in place a reliable and effective technical device to control the traffic.
The protocol, supervised by the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (TRA), aims to coordinate efforts to combat fraud by Simbox and stipulates that operators undertake to set up an effective technical device to combat this illegal practice which wants that when a call from abroad is received, it is a hidden number that is displayed, reports Cameroon Tribune.
Signatories are also invited to have 24-hour reliable technical tools to detect and identify Simbox numbers in real time. In addition, it is understood that this agreement commits operators to commonly define an off-net number alert threshold detected as a Simbox number. It also defines the procedure for the concerted blocking of numbers convinced by a bypass by the operator of the network to which the Simbox number belongs.
In addition, according to Cameroon Tribune, in order to monitor its implementation, recommends the establishment of a technical committee to, inter alia, propose measures to improve the regulatory framework for the control of bypass on one hand and technical solutions on the other.
In terms of losses, between January and August 2015, more than 65 million minutes of telephone calls were diverted to Cameroon by fraudsters operating Simbox toolkits. This practice caused the State and telecom operators to lose more than 13 billion francs over this period.
It is said that Simbox fraud occurs especially when a call from abroad is received and a local number is displayed on the correspondent’s mobile phone. These calls are numbers routed via the Internet or other means via a Sim Toolbox system. The telephone bypass consists of making international calls via a local area network before reaching the final destination.
In other words, telephone calls can be completed in Cameroon without going through the international networks of the four official operators. The goal is to make money by assimilating these incoming international calls to local telephone traffic and taking advantage of the fact that the local rate is lower than the international tariff.