Hiya calls for industry standard to compare robocall solution providers

Spam analytics company Hiya collaborated with Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) on a study assessing how well carrier spam detection solution providers perform, and it turns out, Hiya came out on top, garnering an overall detection score of 85 compared with 48 for First Orion and 26 for TNS.

But Hiya founder and CEO Alex Algard said he doesn’t want the results to taint the message, which is that the industry needs a standard way to measure the effectiveness of spam filters, especially in light of the plague that is robocalls.

“Of course we’re excited that we came out favorably in the study, but I don’t want to taint the more important part of the story,” he told FierceWireless. “I think the more important story here is about the industry looking at these spam solutions objectively.”

Hiya offers an explanation of its methodology and why it’s suggesting it as the new industry standard here.

Algard said he believes operators have struggled with how to do a fair apples-to-apples comparison when it comes to solutions for detecting spam. “We’ve been doing this the longest of anyone,” he said. “Our struggle has been how do we get word out about how to evaluate solutions, and how to do it objectively?”

RELATED: Only 10% of scam and fraud robocalls come from Tier 1 carriers, says TNS

According to Hiya, it’s important to evaluate both how often an unwanted call is correctly detected (Identification Rate) as well as how often a call is incorrectly detected as unwanted (Error Rate). The company says a high Identification Rate is only meaningful if the Error Rate is held sufficiently low.

But how unbiased is this standard if Hiya comes out on top in every category as listed in this press release? Algard suggested it’s possible the framework can be improved, but he mainly wants the industry to start talking about how to evaluate these solutions.

RELATED: T-Mobile expands ‘Call Verified’ service to combat spammers and robocalls

Hiya has a little over 80 employees, mostly in Seattle, but it’s expanding, especially in the European market.

In the U.S., Hiya’s market strategy is to partner with carriers. Outside the U.S., it’s usually partnering with both carriers and the device OEMs, like Samsung. Last year, it was given an AT&T Supplier Award for its contribution in developing the app “AT&T Call Protect,” which addresses robocalls.

Article updated to reflect the company's strategy outside the U.S.