December 21, 2022

Rich Call Data Added to ATIS Robocalling Testbed

Rich Call Data Added to ATIS Robocalling Testbed

STIR/SHAKEN implementation makes it essential for communication service providers to choose testing environments that streamline processes and ensure accuracy. The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) stands out as a leading organization within the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. ATIS continues adding features to its Robocalling Testbed to keep up with the evolving needs of providers, users, and consumers.

Recently, the ATIS Robocalling Testbed added Rich Call Data (RCD) and other features that make it easier for communications service providers to meet STIR/SHAKEN standards and improve consumer trust.

What Is the ATIS Robocalling Testbed?

The ATIS Robocalling Testbed is a tool hosted by Neustar Trust Lab that helps service providers authenticate and meet authentication standards established by STIR/SHAKEN. The testbed removes obstacles to encourage collaboration between service providers, software suppliers, and equipment manufacturers.

Some of the biggest names in ICT participate in the ATIS Robocalling Testbed, including:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Apple
  • AT&T
  • Bell
  • Comcast
  • Dell
  • Google
  • Intel
  • Verizon

Pooling insights and resources from these major companies make it possible for all service providers to authenticate call origins. ATIS Robocalling Testbed continues adding features to meet the ICT industry’s evolving needs.

ATIS Robocalling Testbed’s Latest Features

Recently, ATIS announced it would update its testbed and add enhanced features that help entities combat robocalls. Four critical features include:

  • Delegate certificates
  • Out-of-band SHAKEN
  • Rich call data
  • SIP 603+

Delegate Certificates

STIR/SHAKEN creates a triangle of trust that involves the originating service provider, policy administrator, and certificate authority. However, some cases don’t provide adequate information to fully attest a call’s origin. This often happens in customer-of-customer scenarios. For example, a VoIP provider might get direct inward dialing (DID) numbers from a telephone number service provider. The VoIP provider then distributes numbers to clients. At this point, it becomes difficult or impossible for service providers to authenticate the numbers.

Delegate certificates build on the triangle of trust to authenticate calling numbers from outside of the original triangle. With the certificates, the VoIP Entity can authenticate calls from the numbers it assigns clients.

Out-of-Band SHAKEN

The existing SHAKEN framework doesn’t include providers that use time-division multiplexing (TDM). Out-of-band SHAKEN makes it much easier for all providers to participate in the SHAKEN ecosystem, even when they only have SIP networks and interconnections.

Benefits of out-of-band SHAKEN include:

  • Reducing the burden on service providers, which makes it possible for smaller organizations to participate while complying with current standards.
  • Bringing more organizations into the SHAKEN ecosystem, which improves its overall accuracy and security.
  • Support for cross-border SHAKEN, centralized SHAKEN, and delegate certificates.

Rich Call Data

Rich Call Data (RCD) has the potential to rebuild trust among consumers who don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. With ATIS Robocalling Testbed Rich Call Data, calling parties avoid third-party databases that can become outdated or corrupted. Instead, they cooperate directly with their originating service provider to ensure smartphone screens display accurate information.

Rich Call Data can display logos, organization names, department names, reasons for calling, and other information that encourages consumers to answer. Equally important, RCD relies on the STIR/SHAKEN framework to validate call origins via SHAKEN Identity tokens and Public Key Infrastructure (PKO) digital signatures.

If you want more certainty that RCD works for your organization’s numbers, use Caller ID Reputation’s Device Cloud service to see what appears on your contacts’ screens. You get real screenshots from mobile devices connected to networks from all major service providers.

SIP 603+

Adding a SIP 603+ feature to the ATIS Robocalling Testbed gives organizations better insight into why calls get blocked. The default SIP 603 simply states that the call was “Declined.” SIP 603+ reader headers identify why and where the call was terminated. In turn, this makes it easier for callers to solve challenges that prevent them from reaching consumers.

SIP 603+ headers can even tell where the call was blocked and where dialers can seek remediation, usually by calling a number, visiting a website, or sending a message to an email address.

The Importance of ATIS Standards

ATIS plays a critical role in setting standards for communication service providers. Currently, most major carriers use the ATIS Robocalling Testbed. In fact, carriers and vendors that use the ATIS Robocalling Testbed own more than 83% of active phone numbers in the US.

From within the telecommunications industry, establishing standards matters because it lets companies collaborate toward common goals that benefit everyone. Industry-wide standards also reduce the amount of work that service providers perform. Companies don’t need to create independent standards that could potentially clash with others.

The Next Step for Rich Call Data

Rich Call Data takes caller ID to a whole new level. RCD already gives organizations the opportunity to add branded data, including company names and logos. The future of this technology focuses on using data and authenticating phone numbers. It will take time for the public to trust incoming calls. As long as RCD and STIR/SHAKEN standards persist, though, people should begin answering their phones more often, leading to higher engagements for contact centers.