If you’ve ever received a headache inducing robocall you certainly are not alone. Veuer’s Mercer Morrison has the story.
Calls between T-Mobile users and Comcast’s Xfinity Voice home subscribers will now be “verified,” the latest move in the ongoing fight against robocalls.
The two companies announced Wednesday that they have launched cross-network verification, allowing users to know that the calls they are receiving is from an actual person and not a spammer or robocaller.
They use a handoff system recommended by the FCC where the caller’s network verifies that a legitimate call is being made with a “digital signature.” The recipient’s network then confirms the signature on its side.
Comcast and T-Mobile’s rollout is live now with calls incoming to T-Mobile’s network being verified as not being spoofed. T-Mobile users will, however, need to have a recent Samsung flagship phone (S8, S8+, Note 8 or later) or LG’s new G8 ThinQ phone to see a call verification notification on their screens.
The new Samsung Galaxy Fold and Galaxy A6 will also support call verification.
Comcast has not yet detailed how it will display the verification but has said that it will offer a notification for its incoming calls later this year.
Calls made between Comcast’s mobile service, known as Xfinity Mobile, and T-Mobile will not be able to take advantage of the verification system, at least not right away. Comcast’s mobile service uses Verizon’s wireless network, so it will have to wait for Verizon to enable the functionality to offer the capability with T-Mobile’s network.
A number of major wireless and traditional home voice providers have pledged support for the verification method, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Charter, Cox and Vonage, with several announcing plans to roll out or test the feature in 2019.
Comcast and T-Mobile say that this is the first time customers can take advantage of call verification across different networks. Comcast previously announced it was working with AT&T on adding the capability to calls between both carriers’ digital home phone networks this year.
T-Mobile, meanwhile, has already been fighting robocalls through its Scam Likely feature which alerts users to likely spam calls that it has identified on its network.
Progress being made: FTC shuts down 4 groups responsible for ‘billions’ of calls
The company announced in March that it had flagged more than 10 billion scam calls through this system in the two years since it began offering the free feature, alerting users of scam callers regardless of the phone they were using.
While Wednesday’s announcement represents good progress until all carriers and providers get on board, there is still plenty of work to be done to eradicate this epidemic.
“It’s similar to a verified Twitter handle,” Grant Castle, T-Mobile’s vice president of engineering, told USA TODAY. “It’s nice to know… that somebody is who they say they are, and they’re verified, that helps you. But it doesn’t mean you don’t follow everybody else on Twitter.”
“It’s one of those things where it’s helpful and nice but it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem of ‘hey is somebody trying to fake something’,” continues Castle. Until “everybody is verified it’s just less valuable for this problem.”
Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2019/04/17/t-mobile-comcast-turn-call-verification-fight-robocall-epidemic/3490265002/