AT&T, T-Mobile Announce Deployment of SHAKEN/STIR Protocols

AT&T and T-Mobile announced yesterday that they are rolling out call authentication technology for calls placed between their two networks, which marks the latest step in a mandate from the Federal Communications Commission for carriers to deploy the technology, known as SHAKEN/STIR, by the end of this year.

Once deployed, individuals on either network will see a “Caller Verified” message on their phone when the call is made from one carrier to another.

“While authentication won’t solve the problem of unwanted robocalls by itself, it is a key step toward giving customers greater confidence and control over the calls they answer,” AT&T and T-Mobile said in their announcement.

The SHAKEN/STIR initiative works to verify the authentication of an incoming call. The FCC wants all carriers to deploy the technology by the end of this year and has been critical of the progress carriers have made in doing so.

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, hailed the news from AT&T and T-Mobile.

“Simply put: this is great news for American consumers,” Pai said in a statement. “Putting into practice the SHAKEN/STIR framework means more reliable caller ID information for consumers, better insight for industry into which robocalls might be scams and should be blocked, and a stronger ability for the FCC to go after bad actors and help stop robocalls—our top consumer protection priority.”

At a summit held by the FCC last month to discuss the problem of robocalls, the carriers used the opportunity to point out that SHAKEN/STIR is not a silver bullet that will answer all of the prayers to end robocalls. SHAKEN/STIR does nothing to verify the content of an incoming call, something that the carriers noted they will never be able to do.

“STIR/SHAKEN alone is not going to help the consumer,” said Lavinia Kennedy, a representative from TNS, who spoke at the summit. “What helps the consumer is using the analytics on top of it to help the consumer to make a decision on whether they want to answer the call or not.”

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