All articles

Deflating the ballooning challenge of Artificially Inflated Traffic

Throughout the telecommunications industry, Artificially Inflated Traffic (AIT) continues to be a concern, ​​driving up enterprise costs and diminishing revenues for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) through fake traffic generated by bots. 

This issue draws attention to how well carriers can protect their customers against voice and text messaging fraud and reflects a broader issue within the industry measuring call campaign performance in the face of inflated metrics caused by the growing adoption of AI-based tools. 

Patrick Donegan's article, spotlighting the forthcoming Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, draws attention to the industry's focus on combating AIT and other security threats. Leading telcos like Vodafone acknowledge the significant financial impacts of such fraud on their business customers, emphasizing the importance of securing the voice channel. 

“If you’re fearful that criminals are innovating to defraud telcos and their customers faster than telcos can innovate to grow revenues, this would be the place to look,” said Donegan. 

The distortion of key performance metrics, where the promise of AI-driven insights meets the reality of inflated and misleading data, complicates the landscape for telecom companies and erodes trust in the technologies that customers and businesses rely on to communicate. 

A particularly illustrative example of this challenge is the increasing incidence of live voicemail answers mistakenly registered as genuine customer engagements. This phenomenon skews the analysis of call branding effectiveness, leading to a distorted understanding of customer reach and engagement metrics. 

Much like the broader issue of inflated metrics, this challenge undermines data integrity, casting a shadow on strategic decisions based on these figures.

The challenge of artificial metrics in telecom

Artificially Inflated Traffic (AIT) and similar phenomena present a formidable challenge in the telecom industry, creating a rift between perceived and actual metrics that significantly impact both cost and revenue. 

AIT artificially boosts engagement statistics by generating fake traffic through sophisticated bots mimicking human behavior on websites and apps. This inflates the costs for enterprises that pay for these non-genuine interactions and affects mobile network operators (MNOs), who see a dip in their revenue due to manipulated demand. 

Donegan highlights this issue as an increasing concern for the entire industry, stating, "The surge in Artificially Inflated Traffic (#AIT) is the most high-profile example of a sizeable uptick in real worry about voice and text messaging fraud over the last year."

Parallel to the challenge of AIT is the issue of live voicemail answers artificially inflating answer rates in call effectiveness. Much like AIT, this scenario presents a skewed view of engagement, where calls answered by automated systems are counted as successful interactions, misleadingly suggesting a higher level of customer engagement than what actually exists.

This misrepresentation of data leads to inflated call performance metrics, which can severely distort decision-making processes within enterprises. Both AIT and the manipulation of answer rates by live voicemail technologies highlight the broader problem of artificial inflation in telecom analytics, where data integrity is compromised, making it challenging for businesses to assess the actual effectiveness of their communication strategies accurately.

Beyond Live Voicemail: a comprehensive solution

Features like Call Screen on Google Pixel phones and the rapid expansion of Live Voicemail from the iOS 17 update on iPhones have complicated the analysis of call responses. These technologies count calls directed to voicemail as answered, thereby distorting the actual response rates. 

Hiya's research shows that since the introduction of iOS 17, carrier answer rates have increased substantially, in some cases by over 100%. This trend poses a major challenge for businesses in proving the ROI of their calling campaigns and is likely to become more pronounced with the growing adoption of call screening technologies.

Hiya Connect’s  enhanced performance analytics emerges as a critical solution for the telecom industry's need for accurate branded calling engagement metrics – particularly against the backdrop of challenges like Artificially Inflated Traffic (AIT) and live voicemail distortions. 

It sets itself apart by effectively distinguishing real human responses from those generated by automated systems contributing to inflated answer rates. Hiya Connect uses their unique performance science approach and draws from an unmatched, comprehensive dataset to ensure reliable call effectiveness measurement. 

This precision allows businesses to confidently manage their branded calling strategies and validate the ROI of their investments. As privacy regulations evolve and technological advancements influence traditional metrics, Hiya Connect's analytics offer businesses the clarity needed to connect with their audience, understand ROI, and optimize communication efforts genuinely. 

In the ever-evolving fight against fraud, data integrity is paramount to the success of effective call branding and engagement. Hiya Connect’s analytics transcends the conventional boundaries of call analytics, offering a comprehensive suite of insights that extend well beyond the challenges of live voicemail and AIT. 

At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Hiya will discuss the key ways businesses and carriers can rethink the future of voice as a product and an experience for customers. Learn more about our session and meet with us to reimagine the future of voice together. 

Author Alex Salkin