AT&T and T-Mobile Working Together to Verify Calls and Fight Robocalls

In a bid to thwart robocalls, AT&T and T-Mobile have started rolling out call authentication service for their subscribers on both networks. What this means is that companies will be able to notify customers that the calls they are getting from the other carrier are not spoofed and are from their own number.

You will need to have a compatible smartphone to benefit from this partnership though. On compatible devices, the recipient of the call will see a “Caller Verified” message on the incoming call screen.

For example, 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. By contrast, verification will confirm that a call is really coming from the identified number or entity. More calls will be verified over time as more device providers participate, and as more network providers implement the standards.

The call verification process is based on the SHAKEN/STIR protocol that is being backed by the FCC. The regulatory agency had criticized all major U.S. carriers last month for not already using the protocol to combat robocalls.

T-Mobile had first implemented the standard for all calls within its network in January this year. This was followed by AT&T and Comcast announcing call authentication between their networks in March. T-Mobile is also working on an anti-robocalling feature with Apple.

Robocalls in the US are a major problem and the FCC has urged all carriers to take steps to reduce them. Last month, AT&T became the first major US carrier to act on an FCC ruling and block robocalls by default. Apple has also introduced some major new features in iOS 13 for the iPhone to help combat robocalls. It will allow iPhone users to directly send unknown incoming calls to voicemail.

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