International Gateway Traffic Verification System (IGTVS).

1.    Introduction

The International Gateway Traffic Verification System (IGTVS) allows Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) to monitor the performance of telecommunication companies. With the system, RURA is capable to independently audit and monitor the networks in Rwanda in the bid to ensure that they are providing the committed services.

The technology was the outcome of a procurement process that began in November 2011 with an international tender issued by RURA for a system that would enhance the technical capacity to effectively exercise its regulatory mandate.

The bid was won by a consortium made of GVG and Switzerland-based leader in inspection and verification services, Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), both sector members of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Before this, RURA had no visibility over the telecom traffic and could only rely on declarations made by operators.

The technology empowers the Regulator to effectively intervene in the elimination of fraudulent traffic and the overall improvement of the quality of service delivered to end-users in Rwanda.

2.    Objectives

  • Need for a verification tool
  • Harmonization of tariff rates

3.    Why a verification tool was needed?

  • An “Intelligent Traffic Verification Network” was necessary to address challenges tied with
  • Fraud or bypass of the legal gateway
  • Under declaration by the operators
  • Quality of Services
  • Unbalanced revenue sharing between international carriers and local telecom operators.  

4.    Harmonization of rates

Following the least-cost routing principle used by international carriers, operators tend to regularly change their routes of international traffic to get higher traffic volume at cheaper rates. Consequently, carriers get more revenues as the retail price remains unchanged. With the IGTVS, the minimum rate for terminating international traffic in Rwanda has been fixed to 22 US cents.

5.    IGTVS Solution

How are the objectives achieved?  

  • The installed system is made up of nine (9) intrusive probes installed at operators’ premises to collect traffic data.
  • The probes are linked to a consolidation center at RURA and data transferred to servers at RURA via a reliable fiber optic transmission as in the figure below.

6.    Functions

  • Generation of reliable and accurate statistics
  • Supervision of Quality of Service
  • Fraud detection and management
  • Revenue assurance
  • Fair competition and fair international transit practices and dispute settlement

7.    Generation of reliable and  accurate statistics

The IGTVS is an Interconnection Management System combining together applications necessary to provide timely and accurate analysis of traffic volume.

8.    Supervision of QoS

The following two key indicators help to monitor the quality of experince of users on international routes:
•    Answer-Seizure Ratio (ASR) measures call attempts. It is a ratio of call answered/call attempts.

  •  Low ASR means that callers cannot get through to the other end;  which means that the route is congested

•    Average Length of Call (ALOC) or Average Call Duration.

  •  If the call duration is low, call quality is very poor and calls drop

9.    Fraud detection and management

  • The anti fraud gateway allows for
  • Detection and tracking of illegal calls
  • Alerts to operators
  • Blocking bypass calls by operators
  • Other actions are taken through collaboration of regulator, operator and the police force.

10.    Benefits

This is a self-financing project which was aquired under a Build, Operate and Transfer ( BOT) business model. RURA-GVG partnership is such that  the total project cost is covered by the revenues generated from the international traffic
For more information about IGTVS regulation, you can go to the following link http://www.rura.rw/fileadmin/board_decision/REGULATIONS_IGTVS.pdf