AT&T, T-Mobile Partner to Combat Lame A** Robocalls

A smartphone with an incoming phone call from an unknown caller

A smartphone with an incoming phone call from an unknown caller

The FCC, which has named stopping illegal robocalls as its top consumer priority, said last month that carriers have been slow to roll out options for curbing unwanted spam calls.

In brief: This technology lets the end-user know that an incoming call is really coming from the number shown on the caller ID display. For example, AT&T told Ars that it's using Caller ID authentication as one data point in its anti-robocall algorithm but that it isn't blocking calls exclusively based on whether they aren't authenticated. T-Mobile and AT&T just announced that they are working together to implement FCC recommended standards for digital validation of phone calls across their networks. However, AT&T and T-Mobile said: "More calls will be verified over time as more device providers participate, and as more network providers implement the standards."For instance, Comcast started testing the SHAKEN/STIR framework with AT&T in March, and then began rolling it out with T-Mobile in April".

A study shared by the FCC earlier this year projected that nearly half of the calls you'll receive on your mobile phone in 2019 will be scams, including those ever-present robocalls.

The hope is that other carriers in the United States will also join up in the SHAKEN/STIR cross-support, and extend authentication too. Most calls today aren't subjected to the SHAKEN/STIR test, T-Mobile said. Now the message can be displayed on twelve different Samsung and LG devices that T-Mobile offers, but Apple's iPhone is conspicuous by its absence on the compatibility list.

In November previous year, FCC chairman Ajit Pai had asked all major USA carriers to deploy a call authentication system using the SHAKEN/STIR framework by the end of 2019. AT&T says it categorizes calls as spam if they appear to be nuisance calls but aren't necessarily trying to defraud people. While this doesn't stop such calls from reaching your phone, it gives you the information needed to filter them better yourself or to block them altogether if necessary.

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