T-Mobile is leading the way in technology that makes caller ID more accurate and trustworthy. In mid-July of 2021, the company reported a major milestone toward implementing rich call data and the STIR/SHAKEN protocol.
T-Mobile isn’t ready to roll out the feature to its customers yet. It has, however, completed the first proof-of-concept wireless call that shows rich call data provides accurate information about an authenticated caller.
The deadline for implementing STIR/SHAKEN guidelines has finally arrived. It officially rolled out on June 30, 2021.
Realistically, though, the technology is still adapting to fully support the STIR/SHAKEN framework. It will then take some time for carriers to fully harness the potential of rich call data for caller IDs. And additionally to educate people on what the new call ID information means.
At the moment, what matters is that T-Mobile has taken an impressive step toward implementing a technology that would make robocalls and spam calls much more difficult.
What Is Rich Call Data (RCD)?
From a consumer’s perspective, rich call data is an enhanced type of caller ID that can provide:
- The incoming caller’s authenticated number and name.
- The business logo of an incoming caller.
- The type of organization placing the call (non-profit, hospital, etc.).
- The call’s originating location (city or region).
- Explanations for why they are receiving the call (customer service, healthcare update, etc.)
One of the best things about RCD is that it relies on authentication certificates as part of the STIR/SHAKEN framework. The RCD information is included in the SHAKEN identity token and gets a digital signature from an oversight infrastructure. The Public Key Infrastructure should ensure that the identity token only contains accurate information.
If the system cannot confirm the call’s origin, the RCD does not appear on the recipient’s caller ID.
The FCC hopes that RCD and the other STIR/SHAKEN components will eliminate – or at least severely decrease – the number of troublesome spam calls that dupe Americans out of money and private information.
Business Benefits of Rich Call Data
RCD also offers benefits for businesses. Ideally, more consumers will answer incoming phone calls when they know the source (and know that number spoofing has not compromised the source).
The additional branding of rich call data could also encourage people to answer calls more frequently. For example, a person might ignore calls coming from “Local Utilities Company.” They’re more likely to answer a call that identifies the local utility company and includes the tag “Late Payment.”
The option to include logos should also improve overall branding. Businesses put their logos on everything from ink pens to cargo trucks. Why shouldn’t they display them on caller IDs?
Why the U.S. Needs Rich Call Data
American consumers hate robocalls and spam calls. As a call center manager or owner, you probably hate them more. Few things can interfere with your campaign success more than spammers that sow distrust among the population.
The data shows the damage that spam callers cause. According to research:
- Americans only answer 52% of the calls they receive.
- Only 24% of unidentified calls get answered.
- A mere 9% of calls labeled as spam are answered.
Interestingly, the answer rate jumps up to 53% when the calls identify the business’s name.
Luckily, people have gotten good at recognizing the signs of spam calls, and they hang up within 11 seconds when they receive these calls. An unidentified call’s duration lasts 35 seconds on average. When a call identifies the business’s name accurately, the duration increases to 54 seconds.
T-Mobile Uses Rich Call Data in First Call
T-Mobile has consistently been ahead of competitors when fully deploying the STIR/SHAKEN framework across its network. Including rich call data in the first proof-of-concept call required cooperation from several companies, including:
- First Orion
Now that it has reached this stage, T-Mobile can start using call authentication technology for the 257 million calls it processes daily.
How This Helps Consumers
Consumers in the United States receive the second-highest number of spam calls. In 2020, the average phone account holder received 28.4 spam calls per month. That’s nearly one call per day. Only Brazil received more spam calls per person (49.9 per month).
The outrageous number of spam calls has eroded consumer confidence. The average person treats unknown numbers with disdain. Very few will even bother answering. That’s an understandable response, but it could also cause serious problems when people avoid legitimate calls. They could miss calls from hospitals, service providers, family members, and police.
RCD will hopefully rebuild confidence in phone calls by giving people the data they need to make informed decisions.
Protect Your Brand Identity With Caller ID Reputation
Carriers still have quite a while to implement STIR/SHAKEN and rich call data. In the meantime, you need to protect your call center’s numbers from erroneous labels.
Caller ID Reputation makes it easy for you to monitor your outgoing numbers for flags and labels. The software reviews information from all major carriers and call-blocking apps, and it lets you perform a daily audit to check the reputation of your numbers. You can also receive notifications when your numbers show signs of getting flagged.
Reach out to Caller ID Reputation now to learn more about improving your call center’s key performance indicators.