T-Mobile and AT&T join powers to fight robocalls and phone scammers

T-Mobile and AT&T join powers to fight robocalls and phone scammers
Competition between US carriers is fierce and that often creates tension between the companies but as the saying goes: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That can’t be more valid when it comes to robocalls, a technological plague that’s pestering the customers of all mobile service providers.

This is how today’s news coming from two of the big four has come about. T-Mobile and AT&T just announced that they are working together to implement FCC recommended standards for digital validation of phone calls across their networks.

The two standards cleverly abbreviated SHAKEN and STIR make sure that the caller number you’re seeing on your phone is the one the phone call is actually coming from and not a fake one generated by the software used by scammers, call centers or other entities with malicious intent. While this doesn’t stop such calls from reaching your phone, it gives you the information needed to filter them better yourself or to block them altogether if necessary.

T-Mobile launched the two safety protocols earlier this year for calls within its network, but now thanks to the partnership with AT&T, customers of both networks will be able to tell if the call they’re getting is from a legit number. That would be signaled by a message saying “Caller Verified” under the caller’s number, as pictured above. Customers of Metro by T-Mobile will also be included in the new cross-carrier service.

For the time being Caller Verification only works on 12 smartphones from Samsung and LG, but the carriers promise to make it available for other models as soon as possible. The limitation is likely due to manufacturers having to make changes to their software to allow for the additional information to be displayed on the incoming call screen.

There’s currently no information about a potential partnership with Verizon and Sprint, which might be harder due to the different type of network the other two carriers are using (GSM vs CDMA). Hopefully, in the future, there will be a way for all carriers to unite against the annoyance that are robocalls.

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4 Comments

1. kevv2288

Posts: 290; Member since: Jul 30, 2015

Why is Verizon still called a CDMA carrier. I'm on LTE 99.9% of the time for voice and data. LTE is GSM technology.

3. Blazers

Posts: 732; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

When you're not in an area that isn't covered by LTE, it falls back to CDMA for calls and 1xEVDO for data (or even 1xRTT if you're out in the sticks). So yes, Verizon is still technically a CDMA carrier.

4. LAgurl

Posts: 94; Member since: Dec 05, 2018

I roamed on At&t on my cdmaless iPhone 8 when I didn't have service on Verizon . So u don't really need CDMA or 1x now a days on Verizon if u have a cdmaless device like i do.

2. LiveFaith

Posts: 448; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Good on ATT/Tmob. Whatever happened to the Do Not Call list touted by all the grandstanding members of Congress years ago. Remember signing up for it and then doing it for your cell phone too? Another quality project led by our government. I can't go a day without some robo call crap.

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