Robocall study ranks wireless carriers ’ performance detecting, managing unwanted calls
A newly released study by Mind Commerce of wireless carriers’ robocall detection and unwanted call management solutions finds that Verizon’s “Enhanced Caller Name ID” solution has the highest overall accuracy, followed by T-Mobile and AT&T.
The Federal Trade Commission reported that consumers led more than 4.5 million robocall complaints in 2017, up from 3.4 million the prior year. To determine how wireless carriers’ robocall solutions for consumer and business customers are performing, the Mind Commerce robocall study examined AT&T Wireless’s “Call Protect”, T-Mobile’s “SCAM ID in combination with Name ID”, and Verizon Wireless’s “Enhanced Caller Name ID”. Sprint and US Cellular have also launched solutions but they were not evaluated as part this study since they use the same or similar systems as the one deployed by Verizon.
Key study results:
Verizon most accurate – The Verizon solution was found to have the highest overall accuracy as their solution correctly identified potential problem phone numbers approximately1 93.6% of the time. This is in comparison to the T-Mobile and AT&T solutions, which demonstrated an overall accuracy of approximately 90.1% and 86.9% respectively. Overall accuracy in this study is denied as a solution’s ability to successfully identify a call associated with a problematic number, which could be a known or probable spammer, scammer, or otherwise “problematic” telephone number.
Verizon also tops ‘call spoofing’ category – Verizon also performed best in accurately identifying the growing tactic of call spoofing, correctly identifying spoofed numbers 98% of the time during testing2. T-Mobile and AT&T correctly identified spoofed numbers 64% and 60% of the time respectively. A spoofed number is one in which the robocaller falsely represents the calling party number as different than the actual number originating the call.
For more information about the study, click here
“While there is much work to be done in terms of combatting the robocall challenge, our study has found that leading carriers are generally effective in terms of identifying robocalls and presenting their customers with options for dealing with the challenge of unwanted calls,” said Gerry Christensen, founder and CEO of Mind Commerce.
Surprisingly, informal sampling of carrier customers by Mind Commerce indicates a relatively high number of users are unaware of the solutions at their disposal to combat unwanted calls. Mind Commerce is considering more formal polling to identify the magnitude of this issue.
“One of the potential areas for concern identified in this study is that the solutions tested varied considerably in terms of nomenclature and graphics used to display problematic call alerts to end-users,” said Christensen.
Additional studies may be merited to identify optimal messaging to alert callers in terms of problematic situations. Mind Commerce found that some solutions presented many different alert messaging categories, which made interpreting test results cumbersome.
As part of its commitment to robocall detection and unwanted call management, Mind Commerce will continue to monitor developments in this area such as the FCC’s notice soliciting input regarding status of industry initiatives to combat the robocalling challenge. The world of Information and Communications Technology is rapidly evolving and so are technologies employed for placing robocalls as well as those used for call spoofing.
Thankfully, leading vendors are also constantly upgrading their solutions with the latest technologies including advanced data analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Accordingly, Mind Commerce is making plans for quarterly testing of leading vendor solutions.
1. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3 percent with a 95% confidence level (similar studies would find similar results 95% of the time)
2. For the purposes of this study, spoofed calls from invalid or unallocated numbers were placed to test phones using generally available call spoofing systems.
3. To limit the amount of effort involved in verification, only telephone numbers associated with non-conforming test results were verified. Test results that indicated conformance across all carriers (all three solutions identified as either problematic or non-problematic) were not verified.
Robocall research from mind commerce
The inaugural edition of the Mind Commerce report, Robocall Research, First Edition, is available August 2018. The first edition of this technology and solution focused research will cover the first half of 2018. Subsequent editions will be issued on a quarterly basis.
This report assesses the current status of the robocall issue, evaluates technologies and vendor solutions, and provides a look into the future of robocall detection including evolution of telecom data analytics, network-based authentication (such as STIR/SHAKEN) and network-based intelligence (such as call origination identification).
Mind Commerce is also planning to release a market-focused report entitled Robocall and Unwanted Call Management: Solution Assessment and Market Outlook 2018 – 2023 later in 2018. For additional information click here