UScellular and T-Mobile have announced they’re delivering STIR/SHAKEN number verification across networks, marking another milestone in the industry’s ongoing fight to protect consumers from scams and unwanted robocalls.
Now, when a call comes in from T-Mobile to UScellular’s network (or vice versa), the companies will be able to validate it’s coming from the real phone number displayed in Caller ID, providing customers better ability to make decisions on which calls to answer. Customers using UScellular, T-Mobile or Metro by T-Mobile have greater peace of mind that calls are not being spoofed.
“At UScellular, we have our customers’ backs and are committed to helping them avoid unwanted and deceptive robocalls. Teaming up with T-Mobile allows us to provide our customers stronger protection in the ongoing fight against these unsolicited calls,” said Michael S. Irizarry, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Engineering and Information Services at UScellular. “When wireless providers come together like this, it is a win for consumers and businesses, and we will continue to enhance the tools and solutions we offer to keep our customers safeguarded from scams.”
“Scammers and spammers are constantly evolving. This summer we launched our Un-carrier move, Scam Shield, and we’re not letting up in our fight to stop scammers,” said Abdul Saad, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile. “We already have more cross-network STIR/SHAKEN partnerships than AT&T and Verizon combined. And Scam Shield, free to our customers, is the industry’s most comprehensive solution for fighting scams and robocalls. But this battle takes industry-wide action, and we stand ready to work with everyone to help them adopt STIR/SHAKEN and help keep consumers safe from scammers at this critical time.”
UScellular has taken additional actions to help solve the frustrating and costly issue of unwanted calls. Through the company’s network blocking solution, highly fraudulent robocalls are blocked before ever reaching customers on UScellular’s VoLTE network, significantly reducing the amount of unwanted calls they receive.
For an extra level of security, UScellular provides free and premium versions of the Call Guardian app for Android and iOS. The free app provides potential spam call identification based on known offenders and allows users to create a personal spam list.
The premium version ($3.99 per month) provides added protection and features such as enhanced details for all potentially risky calls, the ability to block individual calls or block all calls for selected risk levels and Caller ID.
The FCC requires STIR/SHAKEN standards be implemented by June 30, 2021 to digitally ensure that a call is in fact from the number displayed on Caller ID. The acronym stands for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN). More calls will be verified over time as more device providers display number verification and as more network providers implement the standards.
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