T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) are now teaming up to fight against robocalls. Robocalls are automated calls that play a pre-recorded message when the user accepts the call. The companies jointly announced new robocalling protections on Wednesday, stating that calls made to and from each other’s networks will be able to be verified as legitimate. Users will be able to identify that the calls that they are receiving is from a legitimized individual, instead of a spammer or robocaller.
It is reported that last year Americans received over 26 billion unwanted robocalls. To rid the world of scam calls, the telecom industry and federal agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission are beginning to deploy an authentication system that is meant to combat them, known as the SHAKEN/STIR protocol. It authenticates calls by exchanging certificates so that your phone knows if an incoming call is legitimate or “spoofed.” If a real caller is identified, T-Mobile will display “Caller Verified” in the Caller ID.
“Essentially, you just exchange certificates,” said Grant Castle, VP Engineering Services at T-Mobile. “Exchanging them between us [means] we know the traffic we carry is our own and when we send it to Comcast, they’ll know it came from us.”
T-Mobile and Comcast will begin using the protocol to authenticate calls made between the two networks on a handful of devices. The verification feature is already available for T-Mobile customers since January and this partnership will extend to Comcast Xfinity Voice home phone service customers later this year. It will mean that T-Mobile customers can be assured calls from Comcast home phones aren’t from a scammer spoofing a number, and vice versa, the companies say.
“Robocalls and spam calls are an industry-wide problem, and we’ve got to join forces to keep consumers protected. Today, we’re the first to cross industry lines to do just that,” said John Legere CEO of T-Mobile.