We commission original research to help guide our own product roadmap and better serve our partners.

  • Jan 2021

    The Road to Digital

    Going digital beyond the pandemic. This report provides a snapshot of how telco operators are walking the road to digital so far and how they are adapting for 2021 and beyond to create value, enhance topline growth and achieve quick wins in their digitalization journeys.

  • Nov 2020

    $27 million Premium Subscription Fraud and Invisible Ads within VivaVideo Identified by Secure-D

    Upstream’s mobile security platform Secure-D identified that a popular Android app was responsible for over 20 million fraudulent transaction attempts that could have resulted in $ 27 million in fake charges for users. The VivaVideo app has been initiating premium subscription attempts, delivering invisible ads to users while avoiding detection by users. 20 MILLION UNWANTED […]

  • Oct 2020

    Shifting to Digital Sales Channels for MNOs – White Paper

    Physical No More. The entire world has turned digital; working, learning, having fun, buying is all done online, more than ever before. Lockdown has forced the closure of physical stores and some call centres. Consumers have been pushed towards digital and e-commerce. Many will not go back to physical transactions as they did before.

  • Aug 2020


    Triggered by other malware that was found on the phones, Secure-D researchers exposed how the Triada/xHelper duo facilitated mobile ad fraud. Upstream’s security platform, Secure-D, has blocked millions of suspicious subscription requests coming from low-end devices made by Transsion, a Chinese manufacturer of affordable smartphones for the African market. Many of the transaction requests originating […]

  • Jul 2020


    How 100,000 pre-paid users moved to post-paid plans in one go. In 2019, one of Brazil’s major mobile operators joined forces with Upstream to drive digital post-paid sales and capitalize on the surging consumer shift to online. This without forbidding CAPEX or OPEX investments or lengthy roll-out periods. Even when the COVID-19 crisis hit, the […]

  • Oct 2019

    Secure-D uncovers suspicious mobile transactions from Android Keyboard app ai.type generating non-human clicks and making unwanted purchases

    Over a recent period, Upstream’s security platform Secure-D has blocked millions of suspicious mobile transaction requests coming from popular Android Emoji app ai.type. The app has been delivering millions of invisible ads and non-human clicks. While these ads are never seen by the users and do not appear on screen, genuine user data about real […]

  • Oct 2019

    Secure-D uncovers non-human clicks and subscriptions from popular Android app Snaptube

    Upstream’s security platform Secure-D has detected and blocked more than 70 million suspicious mobile transaction requests coming from the Android app Snaptube in just six months. Snaptube has been delivering invisible ads, generating non-human clicks and purchases, then reporting them as real views, clicks and conversions to the advertising networks that serve them. The ads […]

  • Jul 2019

    Secure-D uncovers 4shared Android app triggers suspicious background activity generating fake clicks and subscriptions

    Upstream’s security lab, Secure-D, has unveiled that 4shared, a popular file sharing and storage Android app hides suspicious background activity. 4shared has been delivering bogus ads to user devices that generate fake views, clicks and purchases; then reports falsified engagement metrics back to advertising networks. The ads are never seen by users and don’t actually […]

  • May 2019


    SUMMARY Upstream’s security lab, Secure-D, has unveiled that popular video Android application VidMate, with over 500 million downloads, triggers suspicious background activity. A hidden component within the app delivers invisible ads, generates fake clicks and purchases, installs other suspicious apps without consent and collects personal users’ information. Consequently, it depletes users’ data allowance and brings […]

  • Jan 2019

    Secure-D uncovers pre-installed suspicious application on Alcatel Android smartphones manufactured by TCL

    THE ISSUE IN SUMMARY An unusually high number of transaction attempts encountered by Secure-D in Brazil and Malaysia coming from a series of Alcatel Android smartphone models Pixi 4 and A3 Max, led our analysts to investigate deeper. In doing so we identified that a pre-installed Weather forecast application, siphons a lot of data and […]

  • Jul 2018

    Low-end Android smartphones sold with pre-installed malicious software in emerging markets

    Smartphone penetration and mobile internet connectivity are rapidly growing in emerging markets, empowering consumers and granting them access to knowledge. Across multiple countries and on a large scale, it seems that low-cost Android smartphones are being sold with pre-installed malicious software designed to commit digital advertising fraud. For the unsuspecting users of these smartphones, it […]

  • Jan 2018

    Mobile Security in Emerging Markets (Infographic)

    The increasing penetration of mobile and smartphones is enabling consumers in emerging markets to connect to the world and the internet. Yet, at the same time, consumers’ devices are increasingly becoming the targets of malware attacks. The 2017 Emerging Markets Digital Services report, commissioned by Upstream and conducted by Ovum, reveals that cybersecurity is a […]

  • Jul 2017

    2017 Emerging Markets Digital Services report

    For this year’s report, Upstream commissioned Ovum to conduct research into consumer attitudes towards digital services and digital service providers, particularly mobile operators, in emerging markets. The research findings reveal how consumers in developing markets use digital services, exploring the positive and negative aspects related to marketing techniques, relevance of content, affordability and user experience. Overall, the […]

  • Feb 2016

    2016 Mobile Commerce Market Research

    The research was carried out by YouGov Plc. on behalf of Upstream, and was based on a survey of 5,215 consumers in Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa. The survey sample was age and gender representative of each of the markets covered. The survey fieldwork was carried out in January 2016. We researched consumers […]

  • Apr 2014


    The ’Next Mobile Frontier Report’ is a custom consumer study led by Ovum on behalf of Upstream. The survey covered 4,504 consumers, with nationally representative samples in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Vietnam. The survey indicated the mobile industry still has substantial room to improve its content proposition in the emerging markets. Pricing remains the […]

  • Jan 2014

    2013 Cracking The Emerging Markets Report

    With the developing world identified as home to the fastest growing mobile connections, a new report warns brands and businesses not to take a ‘one size fits all’ mobile advertising approach to emerging market consumers. Instead, companies must take into account factors such as time of day, days of the week and the specific words […]

  • Mar 2013

    2013 Emerging Markets Mobile Attitudes Report

    An independent poll of a 3500+ adult total sample size in Brazil, India, KSA, Nigeria, UK and US was conducted by YouGov & Vanson Bourne on behalf of Upstream to deliver insights into the differences between mobile consumers in emerging and developed markets. This new report points to mobile network operators as the new “kingmakers” in emerging markets, as smartphone giants adapt their strategies and handset functionality to target “the next billion customers” in these regions.

  • Feb 2012

    2012 Digital Advertising Attitude Report / The Consequences of Digital Ad Bombardment

    An independent poll of 2,054 (UK) and 2,105 (U.S.) adults was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Upstream to deliver insights into how best to communicate with consumers in a crowded digital landscape. This report focuses on the behaviours and attitudes of the digitally empowered consumer and investigates which marketing methods, channels and devices elicit […]

  • Aug 2011

    2011 North American Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Marketing

    This study was conducted by Luth Research through an independent poll of 2,007 adults in the U.S. This research investigates the importance of location and personalization in mobile marketing and focuses on the types of mobile advertising, offers, coupons and mobile format that consumers prefer to receive. It also offers insightful findings on which is […]

  • Feb 2011

    2011 Mobile Marketing Consumer Attitude Report

    This research was commissioned to establish the formats and channels through which consumers want and expect to receive marketing messages on their mobile devices. The report also provides valuable insight into the particular kind of marketing consumers would be happy to receive on their mobiles. The results of this report were based on an independent […]