'Solution exists to detect cloned phones'

CIOL Bureau
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Sudip Nandy, CEO, AricentNEW DELHI, INDIA: Recently IT and telecom industry has seen lots of concerns around data security especially in telecom networks. Though the Department of Telecom is yet to find a solution for detecting and barring cloned IMEI numbers in the network, Sudip Nandy, CEO, Aricent says it is possible. Besides discussing restructuring of Aricent, Nandy in an interaction with Prasoon Srivastava of CIOL, briefly explained technical solutions that can curb security threats in the network. Excerpts:


By merging frog design into Aricent, what is the correction that Aricent board has made in its earlier decision to create frog design as a separate entity?

The creation of idea-to-market (i2m) is much less a merger of frog design and Aricent, and more a purposeful integration of highly specialized and complementary resources from each organization. Our clients, who require a new and integrated approach to product development in our connected world, will benefit from a unique approach to delivering end-to-end innovation without a compromise.

Will this collaboration result in any new business model from Aricent for customers?


Aricent will continue to provide unique and highly differentiated professional services, from business consulting, design, innovation and development services, but in a more cohesive way. It is critical for our clients to engage with a new class of partners who can present a refined and sophisticated methodology which in turn allows their customers to realize the undisputed benefit created by the intelligent and deliberate marriage of innovation and technology.

Should we see this merger as an indication of Aricent turning in to an OEM? If not, please explain the reason, especially as you have almost all capability to become an OEM.

The creation of i2m will not change the focus of the organization as a professional services provider but merely enhance breadth of services and the value we currently offer to our customers who are in the business of creating the world’s best products and brands.


Department of Telecom is looking for solution to filter out cloned IMEI numbers from telecom network. Does Aricent have answer to this problem?

One of the most robust and reliable method to prevent cloning is through authentication services. Authentication is a mathematical process by which identical calculations are performed in both the network and the mobile phone. These calculations use secret information known as “keys” that are preprogrammed into both the mobile phone and the network before the service is activated. Since cloned phones/users typically do not have the access to these keys they cannot be used on the network. A legitimate, not-cloned, phone will produce the same calculated result as the network and hence can be authenticated. Authentication is one of the few “industry standard” methods for addressing the issue of cloned phones. Since it is an industry standard, all telecommunications networks using the IS-41 (Interim Standard No.41) can support authentication. This also means that a separate proprietary equipment, software, or communications protocol is not required.

Other methods include RF Fingerprinting and subscriber behavior profiling. RF Fingerprinting is a method to uniquely identify mobile phones based on certain unique radio frequency transmission characteristics that are essentially “fingerprints” of the radio being used. Subscriber behavior profiling is used to predict possible fraudulent use of mobile service based on the types of calls previously made by the subscriber. Calls that are not typical of the subscriber's past usage are flagged as potentially fraudulent and appropriate actions can be taken.


Authentication has advantages over these technologies in that it is the only industry standardized procedure that is transparent to the user, a technology that can effectively combat roamer fraud, and is a prevention system as opposed to a detection system. Aricent has expertise in Authentication and encryption in the telecom domain and works with customers to develop and deploy these services across their telecommunications networks.

Recently, there have been a number of security concerns in the government, pertaining to data leakage on telecom networks. What are the solutions possible to wipe out this concern of government?

One of the best ways to prevent data leakage is to have a secure end-to-end service provisioning with high encryption. However, governments or agencies would still need to be able to implement “Lawful Intercept” across the regional networks of all voice and data communications. The solution is to therefore have a secure, encrypted network and provide the concerned government or agencies with the key to access the same. This has been successfully implemented in many developed countries and would be the best solution for Indian networks as well.


How is Aricent getting involved in the development of new equipment and devices for modern telecom networks namely 3G, LTE and Wimax?

Aricent has a rich portfolio of software stacks and frameworks, which is complemented with a comprehensive set of Lifecycle Services, which include Global Innovation and Design, Product Development, Testing and Certification, Systems Integration, and Maintenance and Support. Aricent’s engineers and consultants have successfully completed hundreds of services engagements globally using flexible delivery models tailored to meet the specific needs of our clients.

More than 500 million devices are shipped with Aricent software. Aricent is known for co-creating the first in-flight broadband wireless system, one of the first WiMAX base stations, one of the first LTE base stations. Approximately, 70 percent of the world’s GSM mobile traffic traverses systems run on Aricent software and close to 85 percent of the DSLAM ports and routing solutions are powered by Aricent software.

In the 3G space, Aricent has co-developed some of the world’s first 3G devices and equipment. Aricent has worked with several customers worldwide across the 3G communications value chain in both Wireless and Wireline technologies. We also provided for our customers the key enabling technology and professional services toward the industry’s first 3G Femtocell solution.