MVNO – Provide Exceptional Customer Experience

cheerful multiethnic women browsing smartphone in park
Photo by Charlotte May on

In early January this year, Toronto-based Data On Tap received CRTC approval for its carrier brand “dotmobile” to become Canada’s first full Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).

From their press release on Jan 8 dotmobile notes the following

Generally speaking, a Full MVNO operates essentially the same technology as a mobile network operator, but without owning the radio access network (ie. cell towers). Instead, the Full MVNO’s core network connects to one or more existing radio access networks owned by other network operators, similar to how that same mobile network operator roams on other networks.

To better understand how similar they are, let’s look at the big three in Canada. They all provide nationwide coverage with their networks. The big guys do this by sharing their networks. For example, Bell and Telus each have cell towers that cover only half of the country, but they share them with each other so that their customers get national coverage. Each of them also operates multiple brands on their networks, which means Bell, Virgin, Lucky, Telus, Koodo, and Public Mobile all connect to the same network.

So since Full MVNOs operate a core network just like everyone else, and everyone else is already sharing networks, the difference really just boils down to whether you own any of your own towers or not.

A wireless provider’s core network is responsible for almost everything other than how many bars of signal your phone gets. It takes care of the basics like routing calls, text messages, voicemail, and connecting you to the internet. They can also do a lot more. Modern core networks that are built primarily as software can better prevent spam calls, seamlessly switch calls from a phone to a laptop and back again, support worldwide High Definition calling over Wi-Fi and LTE, or even integrate your AI assistant into a call. That’s just scratching the surface.

One of the key things that any new MVNO will need is the ability to terminate their customer’s international voice calls. Since all the calls originated on a cellphone are compressed by its codec, it is imperative that only premium quality voice routing be used to terminate the calls, especially when they are calling overseas. An MVNO wants the best-in-class solution to transport their calls over high quality routes with minimal trans-coding so that their customers receive the highest quality of experience.

We expect a decision from the CRTC in early 2021 to grant MVNOs in Canada mandated access to the networks of the big guys. When this access is granted we will see dotmobile and other carriers approved to become full MVNOs enter the Canadian mobile services marketplace. AurorA will be there to cheer them on and also to provide them with their premium quality international termination, as well as any other international telecom services that they may need.

Competition is good for consumers and Canadian businesses, especially when they can be provided with premium quality services. I look forward to the future that mandated MVNO access will bring to Canada.


Matthew McConaughey

Each Christmas my ask of family is simple; books. This year was no exception and I was gifted some extraordinary volumes that I am looking forward to devouring. The first one I read over the holidays and just finished was not a telecom book, but I am still going to post a review of it. It was Matthew McConaughey’s “Greenlights”.

This first came to my attention when Matthew appeared on Tim Ferriss’s podcast back in October. I was not really a fan of his, but I really enjoyed the first season of ‘True Detective” when he played Rust Cohle and I realized that I had severely underestimated him. This podcast re-inforced that as it was spell binding to listen to; McConaughey is a natural story-teller so I really wanted to read his book.

The book is more than a biography or memoir . McConaughey has been keeping diaries for the last thirty five of his fifty years. The book has visual elements of notes, sayings, photos and lists from those diaries. As well it is “Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel. and things that made me laugh out loud. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.”

Two things stick immediately in my mind from reading the book. First, was his experiences in Australia as an exchange student after graduating high school. The stories were hilarious . Second, was the story of how just before the birth of his first kid he shut down his production company and his music label, j.k levin records. His rationale was that he had five things to tend to daily: family, foundation acting, a production company and a munis label. By shutting down two of them he could focus on the other 3. Better to make A’s in 3 things than B’s in 5. The power of via negativa.

Now I also want to watch some of his movies that I have not seen, especially “Dallas Buyers Club” and his first “Dazed and Confused” (some great stories about how he got cast into this and how the role expanded) which gave birth to the phrase “Alright, alright, alright “

I recommend this book, it is funny, insightful and entertaining. Here is to us all catching more greenlights on our journeys through life.

just keep livin

Global Telecom Fraud $92B

At AurorA, we pride ourselves on serving our customers premium quality voice termination services. One of the differentiators of the service offering is also fraud protection-as-a-service bundled into the product. Is telecom fraud a big enough issue to make this a compelling reason to trust AurorA with your voice traffic over the competition that offers cheaper rates for an LCR approach ?

How big of a problem is telecom fraud anyway ?

Well, we now have some very reliable numbers to be able to estimate the scale and scope of the telecom fraud problem.

The Risk & Assurance Group (RAG) Survey of Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management (RAFM) received 175 responses from professionals who work in the RAFM functions of communications providers. Extrapolating from the answers they gave showed that during this year:

• telecom service providers collectively lost $44 billion US$ to fraud
• telecom service providers also collectively lost $50 billion US$ to non-fraudulent revenue and cost leakages
• criminals tricked the customers of communications services into losing a further $48 billion US$

The total estimate for global telecom annual risk assurance and fraud losses is $142 billion US$

Telecom Fraud is a HUGE problem. This is why we bundle fraud protection-as-a-service with our premium quality. Cheap rates do not save you any money over premium quality rates, especially if you get hit with even one fraud attack. This is why we consistently advocate choosing quality over Least Cost Routing. Read more here.

You can download the survey report here. Everyone is licensed to share and reproduce the report on condition that they give credit to RAG.

Stay safe my friends !

Hackoween !

Trick or Treat !

Halloween is a time for dress-up, spooky decorations and children going door-to-door trick-or-treating. We want something normal in this pandemic-crazed world, hence we decorate the house, buy the candy and try to have a normal a Halloween as possible.

But while your attention is drawn away to making sure your kids, family and your neighbourhood have as safe a Halloween as possible, there are malicious actors out there looking to take advantage of your desire for a bit of respite, a bit of normalcy.

It is an unfortunate fact that the hackers of the world like to plan their attacks on public holidays when network supervision may not be at its highest. Halloween may not be a pubic holiday, but it might as well be given that everyone will be out celebrating; kids, parents and adults going to costume parties. On top of that we are still in the fight against COVID-19, and the criminals have escalated their attacks.

Please remember to be vigilant this Halloween and guard access to your switches. We don’t want to find out that instead of the expected treats that the criminals have tricked us !

You are responsible for any unauthorized access to your network, but we can help you mitigate your exposure to fraud. AurorA will immediately pass on alerts that it gets of suspicious traffic patterns. AurorA has also implemented automatic blocking of A numbers, and B numbers once we detect a suspicious fraudulent traffic pattern to minimize losses. Also we have also implemented blocking of entire routing destinations after a threshold is breached to further protect you, our customers, from these threats and mitigate the damage.

Make no mistake, these frauds are perpetrated by criminals; sometimes organized crime, sometimes terrorist groups looking to raise funds for their causes.

Have a safe and happy Halloween. Thank you for choosing AurorA and trusting us with your international traffic.

Least Corrupt Routing

“Awake” by Vickie Vainionpaa,

LCR is no longer about Least Cost. Least Corrupt Routing provides better long term value.

That was the theme of the presentaion that I made on Sept 16, 2020 at the Risk and Assurance Group (RAG) Americas Online Conference.

The video is available for your viewing pleasure at

RAG Americas Online – Day 2

Art by Vickie Vainionpää, “The Third Insight” –

This spring I was invited to be a speaker at the next Risk and Assurance Group (RAG) Conference. It was to be held in Denver, CO at Century Link (now Lumen). Alas , the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled those plans so until we can meet-up again live, it was decided to move the conference online and RAG Americas Online virtual conference was launched. September 16, 2020 was Day 2.

The highlight of Day 2 was the panel discussion on “Moving Telcos to the Public Cloud”. The panelists were Clodagh Durkan an expert in the fields of security governance, data protection, cryptography and perimeter threat detection ; Patrick Donegan the founder and principal analyst of Hardenstance, a research business focused on telecom and IT security ; and Danielle Royston former CEO of Optiva and Evangelist for the Cloud.

Most industries have already made the move to the cloud, after dipping their toes in it they have gone all in with their whole businesses. Even former skeptics and holdouts such as JP Morgan Chase have become cloud advocates .

The premise was that telcos need to move their software and datasets from their own data centres to the public cloud; specifically the hyperscalers ; Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure and Google’s Google Cloud. The immediate benefits are dramatically reduced costs, increased flexibility and security and then abundant opportunities for growth and improvement by using the tools and software that the clouds provide. The clouds are not commodities nor necessarily competitors , they offer the opportunity for telcos to evolve and become better.

There were many questions from the audience and objections were raised on multiple fronts. The hyperscalers are all American companies (and we didnt include Alibaba from China and others on the list). It was noted that the public cloud companies have locations in almost every country and can contractually tailor the solutions to satisfy stringent government data localization requirements.

What about security ? The point was made that the hyperscalers are orders of magnitude more vigilant about security than even the largest telco would be. They have the staff, budget and experience to do it better. The telco can hand off that headache and hold the cloud companies feet to the fire via the contractual obligations.

Some large telcos have started to move towards the cloud. Examples such as Vodafone , Deutsche Telekom and Verizon were touted with specific projects. It may take time for telcos to fully relinquish their perceived investments in control, the desire to “hug their own servers”.

This is an area I will be watching with eager anticipation. I know if I was younger and just starting out again I would defiantly build AurorA 2.0 as a native cloud company and take advantage of the software tools such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that a company AurorA’s size wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. The cloud really tips the scales to level the playing field for smaller entrepreneurial companies to be able to compete with even global giants.

If you didn’t get a chance to watch the live stream, the videos of the presentations will be available to view at the RAG website;

I highly recommend searching out this panel discussion to view and digest for anyone in telecom, anywhere in the world.