& cplSiteName &

Robocall Solutions Hot for 2017

Carol Wilson
12/21/2016
50%
50%

AT&T's launch of a complementary Call Protect service for its wireless customers is likely to be among the first such services as telecom operators get more serious about blocking robocalls, under pressure from the FCC.

AT&T's service is a complementary offering to its wireless customers who also have HD voice. It's designed to block calls from known bad sources and provide a fraud warning to possible bad calls to alert its wireless customers.

Multiple vendors are now stepping up with options for network operators that want to get ahead of the machine-generated calling programs that are always annoying and sometimes the mark of scammers.

Transaction Network Services Inc. (NYSE: TNS) and its Cequint subsidiary are providing Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) with a new service that uses network analytics to assign reputation scores to phone numbers and proactively block robocalls. Last week, Metaswitch Networks announced it is providing more than 20 service providers, including Pioneer Telephone Cooperative Inc. , with its anti-robocall solution. The solution combines a global database of blacklisted numbers with threat-detection algorithms that use data, including geolocation, call volume and historical trend data.

Both approaches create a database of phone numbers that have generated suspicious activity, and apply other network intelligence to let service providers offer robocall blocking as a network service. Today, most services that block calls, such as Nomorobo, a free third-party option, require the consumer to take action, entering their phone number into the service to get robocalls blocked.

TNS -- which operates massive databases for the US SS7 network and services such as local number portability and call routing across carriers -- saw an opportunity to use the network itself to identify robocalls, based on calling trends.

"We collected and analyzed data for the purposes of looking at fraud across the network, and we started seeing weird stuff," says Paul Florack, vice president of product management at TNS. That included queries to its databases for numbers that didn't exist or weren't assigned and very high query volumes from a number -- often a wireless number -- at a much faster pace than real calls could be made.

TNS also had enterprise customers who were interested in identifying when calls came in from spoofed numbers -- numbers which may or may not be real/assigned but are being used by someone who doesn't own the number to appear to originate a call.

"As we got into it deeper, we realized the extent of the issues," Florack says. "Our carrier customers were processing calls needlessly, and many of these calls were part of active scams."

Scam artists use the robocalling process to generate a massive number of calls that appeared to come from the US Internal Revenue Service or Treasury Department, for example, and try to extort money from those who answered.

The Federal Communications Commission has been pressuring telecom operators to crack down on robocalls leading to an AT&T-led strike force launched four months ago.

"This is a consumer-driven effort," notes Joe Weeden, vice president of product management at Metaswitch. "The FCC was fielding 300,000 complaints a month about robocalls."

Metaswitch developed a cloud-native microservice, running in the Amazon Web Services cloud to which its existing softswitch customers can point their switches to enable the robocall-blocking option.

"When a call comes into the customer, it hits our switch. We then call out to the robocall microservice for a lookup against the reputation-based database, which matches the blacklist number and blocks the call," Weeden explains. "The consumer doesn’t have to do any set-up at all."

The database is being constantly updated via network analytics and other means. Pioneer had its service up and running within a matter of weeks. There is an ongoing cost to support the service, and Weeden expects most of his customers will charge a nominal monthly fee to cover those costs, but some may choose to offer it at no cost.

The TNS approach is more involved, as the company is constantly updating a database of reputation scores for phone numbers that fluctuate based on real-time activity in the network.

The real-time aspect is essential, Florack notes, because the companies employing robocalls are constantly churning through numbers that are spoofed, and even using valid consumer numbers for some of their calls. It is also important to distinguish bad robocalls from "good" robocalls -- the ones that come from local governments or school districts to provide emergency alerts or other useful information.

TNS sells its anti-spoofing services directly to enterprises but the carrier-grade version it offers is intended for network operators to white label and deliver to their customers.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
jcadler
50%
50%
jcadler,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/27/2016 | 1:48:11 PM
More pieces
The solutions that have come to the fore over the last year all seem to be piecemeal, part of, or only if.  For example, Call Protect launched with restrictions on network and device(s).  
Kevin Mitchell
50%
50%
Kevin Mitchell,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/23/2016 | 11:58:10 AM
Re: More Solutions
Robocalls have come to mobile and that's what the AT&T solution is aimed at. It requires an app and only works on LTE coverage areas.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/23/2016 | 11:09:55 AM
Re: More Solutions
I'm glad something is being done about this. Robocalls are pretty annoying. At least they haven't come to mobile phones yet. And hopefully they never will. It's just another form of spam if you ask me. 
tomtelephone
50%
50%
tomtelephone,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/22/2016 | 3:01:28 PM
RoboCall solution
Our company , Innovative Systems has been offering this service to Telcos of all sizes for over 10 years. 
Kevin Mitchell
50%
50%
Kevin Mitchell,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/22/2016 | 1:26:35 PM
AT&T Solution - SIP only?
So it's only where HD voice is supported. Does that mean it's a VoLTE/IMS SIP call only? Not traditional GSM cellular call?
Kevin Mitchell
50%
50%
Kevin Mitchell,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/22/2016 | 1:25:21 PM
More Solutions
Other robocall blocking solutions announced in the year include:

NetNumber Delivers Robocalling Services to Help Operators Block Unwanted Calls from Reaching Consumers

http://netnumber.com/netnumber-delivers-robocalling-services-help-operators-block-unwanted-calls-reaching-consumers/


Alianza supports Nomorobo solution

http://www.alianza.com/call-to-the-cloud/robocall-blocking-with-cloud-solutions
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Digital Transformation Forum 2017

2|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Here's a preview of the upcoming Huawei Digital Transformation Forum taking place in Barcelona with trending telecom topics like cloud, IoT, 5G and much more!
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Dan Sahar of Qwilt on Open Edge Cloud Platform

2|8|17   |   08:38   |   (0) comments


Dan Sahar, Qwilt's co-founder, sits down with Steve Saunders of Light Reading for a conversation about Qwilt's Open Edge Cloud platform and the new role of service providers in application and content delivery.
LRTV Documentaries
ZeroStack's 'Self-Driving Cloud'

2|7|17   |   01:09   |   (0) comments


Its Z-Brain tech automates day-to-day management and long-term planning for hybrid clouds.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum's Craig Sprosts on DNS & Cybersecurity Trends

2|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


Nominum's Craig Sprosts talks about the fast-changing landscape of cybersecurity with Steve Saunders of Light Reading. Sprosts touches on the trend of the rise of ransomwares, rivals of IoT base attacks, and mobile network security. He also discusses the realization of the importance of IoT security after a recent cyber attack that paralyzed several major ...
LRTV Documentaries
China Moves Towards Mixed Ownership of Telcos

2|1|17   |   01:10   |   (0) comments


Chinese authorities are promoting new ownership models in order to raise capital.
Shades of Ray
What to Expect at MWC 2017

1|31|17   |     |   (0) comments


5G is set to dominate as the key buzz term at this year's Mobile World Congress but there are other pressing 4G matters to address.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa: A Lot More Than SD-WAN

1|31|17   |     |   (0) comments


Kelly Ahuja, the new CEO of Versa Networks, speaks with Steve Saunders of Light Reading about how Versa offers much more than just SD-WAN, and its plan to grow market adoption in 2017.
LRTV Documentaries
Facebook Gets Physical With Its Security Strategy

1|31|17   |   00:48   |   (0) comments


Facebook has introduced new measures that will enable users to secure access to their accounts using a physical 'key' application.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO: M&A Coming but Not Quite Yet
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/14/2017
Is the Time Right for a Cisco/Ericsson Wedding?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/17/2017
Nice to See at Least One CSP Taking My Advice
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 2/17/2017
Time to Invest in Virtual Reality?
P. Tracy Currie, CEO and Co-Founder, Capto Consulting, 2/13/2017
Charter Launches 5G Field Trials
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/16/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.