Verizon starts verifying calls with other carriers using STIR/SHAKEN

Verizon has started authenticating caller IDs using STIR/SHAKEN in exchanges with other major wireless carriers, as well as Comcast.

AT&T confirmed that it is one of carriers Verizon referenced in a press release that stated it's “now exchanging STIR/SHAKEN-enabled calls with the no. 2 and no. 3 wireless carriers as well as a major wireline provider.”

A Comcast spokesperson confirmed that it’s the wireline provider. And as an MVNO of Verizon, calls to and from Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile users will also be verified in exchanges with the other service provider networks.

The other carrier is presumably T-Mobile, but Fierce hadn't received confirmation as of publication.

STIR/SHAKEN helps carriers verify that an incoming call is actually coming from the number that shows up on the caller ID and isn’t spoofed and originating from a different number.

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Illegal spoofing is a technique robocallers use to trick consumers into answering a call by making it look like it comes from a legitimate phone number. As a network-level technology protocol, STIR/SHAKEN aims to help prevent and fight against these kinds of scams and robocalls. It works when a call is made from Verizon to one of the other carriers’ networks and vice versa.  

AT&T and T-Mobile started delivering STIR/SHAKEN authentication that works across both networks back in 2019.  AT&T also exchanged authenticated calls with Comcast that same year.   

It’s been about one year since the FCC adopted rules requiring phone companies implement STIR/SHAKEN in their IP networks. The order set a June 30, 2021 deadline.

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Verizon announced certification that it had implemented STIR/SHAKEN in its own network in December 2020. Today the carrier said more than 24 million calls a day are exchanged between itself and the participating carriers that together represent around 80% of the wireless industry.  

“This latest STIR/SHAKEN milestone is a key part of our overall efforts to combat these unwanted calls,” said Ronan Dunne, EVP and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, in a statement. “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.”

Along with other anti-robocall measures, Verizon said it’s prevented more than 10 billion unwanted calls to more than 75 million customers to date.