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ID: 116580


Date: 2019-01-10

T-Mobile begins verifying calls to protect against spam

T-Mobile is beginning to roll out support for call verification technology, which will confirm that a phone call is actually coming from the number listed on caller ID. Now, if one T-Mobile subscriber calls another T-Mobile subscriber, the person receiving the call will see a message saying Caller Verified if they have a supported phone. Unfortunately, theres only one supported phone for the time being. Call verification wont put a stop to spammy phone calls, but it will start to help people identify which calls are actually coming from real people. As anyone with a phone knows, spammers have relentlessly spoofed local phone numbers in recent years, making it appear that youre getting an incoming call from someone you may know. Call verification is meant to combat that. There are a lot of limitations at launch, though. For one, T-Mobile is the first carrier to launch support for it. Its supposed to eventually work across all major phone providers, but thatll only happen once others come on board. Second, T-Mobile is starting small, launching this only on the Galaxy Note 9 to start. Presumably, itll come to other phones eventually, but no timeline was given. The bigger limitation is that this doesnt actually tell you which calls are spam, just which calls arent. Thats definitely still a help. You might get a call from a neighbor or a local business that youll now know to pick up, thanks to the verification tech. But if you get a call that isnt verified, it doesnt necessarily mean its a spammer, just that the call couldnt be verified, which could simply be due to lack of support from their phone provider. Still, its an encouraging sign in the perpetually frustrating fight against spammers. T-Mobile is using a pair of technologies known as SHAKEN and STIR, which FCC chairman Ajit Pai demanded the phone industry implement. In November, Pai sent letters to the industry asking that the technologies be adopted without delay. Verizon plans to start implementing the tech later this year, and Sprint plans to begin testing it this year. Other major voice providers have said they are working on it or beginning trials.