Spam and robocalls are such a widespread problem — Americans endured over 26 billion of them in 2018 — that the FCC has stepped in, fining four companies responsible for billions of robocalls. Stopping robocalls on your own is one thing, but the FCC has also tasked the communications industry with curbing the number of robocalls we all receive on a daily basis. Recently, 12 phone companies and 51 state attorneys general announced a plan to implement technology to identify, and eventually block, robocalls. This is where STIR/SHAKEN (also called SHAKEN/STIR) comes in.
SHAKEN/STIR is a two-pronged protocol that AT&T and T-Mobile will use to verify that the incoming caller is legit. It will also work with home phones running on Comcast’s service. The end result is that Comcast, T-Mobile and AT&T will authenticate caller ID among one another, so you have more assurance that the person who’s calling you is real.
When will Verizon and Sprint get on board? If the FCC has its way, by the end of 2019. Verizon is already using the SHAKEN/STIR protocol for calls within its own network, but hasn’t expanded to support outside providers. Sprint hasn’t made any formal announcements, but according to a letter sent to the FCC in late 2018, the carrier expects to begin testing in the second half of 2019.
MacDailyNews Take: Let’s get to full interoperability on SHAKEN/STIR yesterday, carriers!