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