T-Mobile has announced a major milestone towards making Caller ID more trusted so consumers only pick up the right calls from unknown numbers. Along with its partners, the company recently completed the first-ever wireless call with Rich Call Data (RCD), which provides more information about an authenticated Caller ID. The information shown includes who is calling, the company branding, and the reason for the call.
For example, if a team of customer service experts from T-Mobile is calling you, your phone’s screen will show the caller name (in this case “Team of Experts”) at the top, followed by the phone number, reason for the call (Customer Service Calling), and the T-Mobile branding.
This proof-of-concept will help consumers identify if it’s a spam/scam or a genuine call. The inclusion of a brand’s logo, in particular, will indicate that the call is from a trusted source. As such, it will be easier for people to quickly decide whether or not to pick up a call from an unknown number. This way, they will be safe from scammers and spammers. At the same time, this will also ensure that people aren’t missing out on important calls from their bank, doctor’s office, or kids’ school.
Americans are missing important calls because of rising robocall scams
Despite all the efforts, there’s no stopping to robocall scams. According to YouMail Robocall Index, Americans received nearly 46 billion robocalls in 2020. Such calls are increasing at a remarkable rate. An estimated 26.4 billion robocalls have been already placed till June this year. US citizens have reportedly lost nearly $30 billion to robocall scams over the past year.
This is alarming, to say the least. As such, Americans are now increasingly refraining from picking up unknown number calls. According to Pew Research Center, over 80 percent of American adults do not pick up calls from unknown numbers.
Granted, this makes them safer from scams. However, not every unknown number call is a scam or spam. Many times, those robocalls are from the bank, school, doctor’s office, or any other legitimate business trying to reach more customers. YouMail’s data estimates suggest around 39 percent of 4.4 billion robocalls placed in June 2021 were scams. The rest of them were telemarketing calls (24 percent), alerts and reminders (24 percent), and payment reminders (13 percent).
Quite clearly, people are missing out on some important calls, just because of taking precautionary measures against scams. T-Mobile aims to solve this problem with RCD.
T-Mobile completes the first RCD wireless call
RCD is part of the STIR/SHAKEN framework. It delivers Caller ID directly from the organization that is calling, rather than pulling it out from third-party databases, which traditional Caller IDs do. As such, the information that is displayed on the recipient’s phone screen is properly authenticated by the network. Organizations will be able to define how their branding and call intent is received by customers. This will help customers know exactly who is calling and why, “with a high degree of trust,” T-Mobile says.
T-Mobile has already completed 100 percent STIR/SHAKEN deployment on its network. Every call originating from the T-Mobile is STIR/SHAKEN authenticated. That’s 257 million calls verified every day to keep US citizens safer. Now, with RCD, the Un-carrier is all set to take this safety level up a notch.
“The ability to deliver RCD to mobile devices is a key tool in the battle against scammers as it increases consumer trust in knowing who is calling them and why,” said Abdul Saad, CTO of T-Mobile. “This proof-of-concept shows that by working together as an industry we can make sure that legal, critical, and wanted calls are delivered with a high level of consumer confidence.”
T-Mobile’s partner firms in this effort include First Orion, CTIA, Everbridge, iconectiv, NetNumber, Numeracle, and Twilio. There’s no timeline available when RCD will arrive commercially. We will be keeping an eye on this development.
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