Monday, 18 November, 2019

AT&T, T-Mobile launch caller authentication technology

A smartphone with an incoming phone call from an unknown caller EnlargeGetty Images | Tero Vesalainen
Emmett Howard | 16 August, 2019, 12:44

If a call is important enough, they'll leave a voicemail. "The certificate technology enables the called party to verify that the calling number is accurate and has not been spoofed".

With SHAKEN/STIR, however, there'll be a verification step.

"A call that is illegally "spoofed" - or shows a faked number - will fail the SHAKEN/STIR Caller ID verification and will not be marked as verified", the companies said in a statement. Even after the major U.S. carriers implement SHAKEN/STIR, worldwide calls and calls from small carriers might not be verified, the company said. That way, the originating carrier signals that the call actually is coming from the person the caller ID claims to be. AT&T Call Protect also provides warnings for suspected "spam" calls but lets them ring your phone unless you buy the premium version for $4 a month and choose to automatically block them. The call authentication technology is based on SHAKEN/STIR standards, which means AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers will now be notified in case an incoming call is a spoofed robocall. AT&T teamed up with Comcast in March this year to authenticate calls between their networks, while T-Mobile partnered with Comcast in April.

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AT&T and T-Mobile on Wednesday started rolling out cross-network call authentication technology based on the SHAKEN / STIR standard. For the time being Caller Verification only works on 12 smartphones from Samsung and LG, but the carriers promise to make it available for other models as soon as possible.

The carriers jointly announced SHAKEN/STIR (or STIR/SHAKEN) deployment this morning.

The new SHAKEN/STIR data is being fed into Call Protect, which was already using other data analytics and reports from customers to evaluate calls. Verizon has previously said that it expects to have SHAKEN/STIR fully active on its own network in 2019, but gave no timescale for when, exactly, cross-network support would be added.

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