Verizon says that it is exchanging more than 24 million calls daily with U.S. wireless carriers using STIR/SHAKEN, a standard designed to ensure that customers are not “spoofed.” So far, Verizon says that it has “protected” more than 75 million customers from more than 10 billion spam calls.
The goal of STIR/SHAKEN is to ensure that the ID shown on the receiver device’s Caller ID is the actual caller. Verizon said last December that it certified STIR/SHAKEN with the FCC and had implemented the technology.
A press release said that it now is using STIR/SHAKEN with about 80% of the U.S. wireless industry, including with “the no. 2 and no. 3 wireless carriers” – no doubt T-Mobile and AT&T. It also says it is working with “a major wireline provider.”
“This latest STIR/SHAKEN milestone is a key part of our overall efforts to combat these unwanted calls,” Verizon Consumer Group EVP and CEO Ronan Dunne said in a press release about the Verizon STIR/SHAKEN implementation. “There is always more to be done, but this is yet another important step for the industry and customers should rest assured that we remain vigilant in our efforts to take down the bad guys and protect them.”
Verizon said that robocall traffic significantly increased since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns started. The carrier said it took steps that have reduced robocalls to Verizon by between 250 million and 500 million per month during 2021.
It did this by using USTelecom’s Industry Traceback Group to identify where robocalls originate and insisting that its wholesale customers do the same. The carrier also created and expanded honeypots, which are lines that identify and surveil robocall campaigns. The goal is to identify the source and alert law enforcement. Verizon now has more than 200,000 honeypots across its wireless and toll free numbers.
The FCC adopted rules requiring the use of STIR/SHAKEN on March 31, 2020. The deadline for implementation in the IP portions of carrier networks is June 30. However, several carriers—including Verizon—said that they planned to implement the rules early.