Home Network Routing

Home Routing ensures that all SMS messages sent to their subscribers pass through the subscribers’ home network before being delivered so that additional security can be provided and the subscribers’ service provider has the chance to add-value by checking for spam, fraud and performing audit logging.

  • Status
  • Deployed
  • End-users the application is for
  • Consumers
  • Network Internal

The Home Routing capability changes the delivery route of SMS messages.  It provides the MNO with the ability to intercept SMS messages from foreign networks before they are delivered to their subscribers.  Instead of allowing direct-to-mobile delivery, the message is first routed back to the OpenCloud platform in the home network, prior to it being routed (subject to fraud, flooding and spam checks) to the intended recipient.

Routing all messages back through the Rhino platform also provides the opportunity to introduce a range of fraud protection mechanisms and the opportunity to enhance the customer experience:

  • Mobile Originating (MO) SMS Spoof Detection.  In normal operation, a third-party can query the MNO’s home network to harvest the details of their subscribers and which MSC is currently serving each of them.  The third party can then send an SMS as if it originates from another of the MNO’s subscribers – resulting in a free SMS for the fraudulent 3rd party and a charge to the innocent ‘originator’.  By spoofing the originator of the SMS, fraudulent SMS’s can be delivered to subscribers that purport to be from a legitimate source (e.g. a bank) enticing the recipient to call a specific number or click a link etc. in order to capture other subscriber information.
  • Mobile Termination (MT) SMS Spoof Detection.  Similar to MO Spoof detection, the Mobile Terminated Forward (MTF) message can be manipulated to change the apparent originator, leading to the same possibilities for fraud.
  • SMS Address Validation.  Address Validation prevents Mobile Terminated messages that originate from foreign networks that should ordinarily have been sent from the MNO’s SMSC.  Such messages typically have a spoofed originating address and are often sent to garner further information for fraudulent purposes.
  • Fake Protection.  Sending a GSM SMS involves first querying the HLR and then using the data to communicate directly with the MSC that is currently serving that subscriber.  However, there is no correlation between the two GSM operations – the mechanism assumes a trusted third party. The approach ensures a lighter load on the HLR, but as networks become more open and interconnected, abuse of the SMS mechanism has risen.  The information from the HLR query can be used for fraud purposes:  inter-carrier settlement of SMS wholesale delivery charges, for example.  The SMS Fake Protection function introduces additional protection of the customer routing information.  It does this by using synthetic customer information that hides the true delivery address and location in place of the real information.
  • Lawful intercept to identify and monitor SMS activity of a specific MSISDN