Sprint now has a free offering for subscribers who want to avoid robocalls, telemarketers and scams.
Sprint Call Screener Basic, which now is available to all new and existing customers at no cost, identifies and can block such calls. The carrier also offers an enhanced version called Call Screener Plus that offers several extra features and costs $2.99 per month.
“Illegal and unwanted robocalls are a real and growing problem with some estimates totaling 65 billion spam calls in 2019,” Doug Smith, Sprint ‘s Vice President of Product Marketing and Product Innovation, said in a press release. “Sprint Call Screener Basic service is an easy and convenient way to combat this growing annoyance and to filter out high-risk, unwanted calls – all at no cost to our customers.”
The Sprint Call Screener Service is available for Android and iOS devices. Subscribers get a free 15-day trial of Sprint Call Screener Plus. After the trial period they are switched to the basic service unless they opt for the paid service.
Stopping unwanted calls is an important goal for service providers. Last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pail and Canada’s CRTC Chairman Ian Scott completed the first end-to-end international call using the STIR/SHAKEN protocol. The call used Xfinity Voice and Telus wireless phone services.
STIR (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) enables voice providers to “sign” and “verify” caller ID information. This prevents bad actors from manipulating or “spoofing” caller ID information in an effort to deceive and defraud consumers.
In June, the FCC made two moves. It approved a Declaratory Ruling affirming that voice providers can provide default robocall blocking based on reasonable call analytics as long as they inform subscribers and enable them to opt out of the service. The FCC also adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that could lead to a requirement that service providers implement the SHAKEN/STIR caller ID authentication framework if they haven’t already done so by year’s end.