Comcast, Sprint team on anti-robocall technology

Feb. 5, 2020
Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Sprint (NYSE:S) are now utilizing STIR/SHAKEN call authentication technology to combat unwanted robocalls between Sprint mobile customers ...

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Sprint (NYSE:S) are now utilizing STIR/SHAKEN call authentication technology to combat unwanted robocalls between Sprint mobile customers and Comcast's Xfinity Voice landline phone customers.

Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) is a protocol designed to authenticate calls between networks by enabling voice providers to "sign" and "verify" caller ID information to prevent bad actors from manipulating or "spoofing" caller ID information in an effort to deceive and defraud consumers.

"This is a major milestone in the fight to help our customers protect themselves from unwanted robocalls that have become such a plague for the industry," said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. "Our engineers have worked diligently with the teams at Comcast to bring this to fruition, and with work already underway with additional providers, we look forward to rolling out STIR/SHAKEN jointly across other networks as soon as possible."

"We've made great progress with our industry peers, like Sprint, in developing ways to thwart nuisance calls, and we will continue to work relentlessly to stop them from reaching our customers," said Tony Werner, president of Technology, Product and Xperience for Comcast. "Every STIR/SHAKEN implementation between providers, or bi-partisan action to pass landmark legislation like the TRACED Act, is another step forward in protecting consumers."

Following lab-to-lab tests last year, initial two-way authentication for calls began with a subset of customers in December and is slated to roll out to all customers nationwide in the coming months.

Sprint also recently announced it is collaborating with T-Mobile to deliver STIR/SHAKEN call verification to customers.

In January, Comcast completed an international authenticated STIR/SHAKEN call between Xfinity Voice residential phone service and Canadian mobile provider Telus Wireless. The MSO has also completed domestic calls between different networks and service providers.