CNAM alternatives

CNAM, caller ID name, can be a valuable service that makes subscribers more likely to answer incoming calls. Traditional CNAM, however, has some limitations. There are newer alternatives that promise better benefits. Here’s a quick overview.

Traditional CNAM

Traditional CNAM data is provided by carriers based upon their subscriber data. This is sometimes referred to as authoritative carrier-supplied CNAM data.

This data is collected and made available, for a fee, to terminating service providers. The terminating provider dips the CNAM database for the calling number and presents the caller ID name.

CNAM data is fetched by the terminating provider

CNAM data is fetched by the terminating provider

CNAM dip services are offered by a few different providers. Some dip authoritative databases with every request, while others cache the data and refresh it periodically.


  • Traditional CNAM provides only 15 characters of information
  • Carriers generally require at least 48 hours to update CNAM data changes with authoritative databases
  • Not every service uses fresh data on every dip
  • It’s controlled by a third party, not the caller
  • Carriers generally include CNAM service for landline customers
    • Most wireless carriers do not include CNAM in their basic service but may offer it as a value-added service

Enhanced CNAM

Enhanced CNAM builds on the CNAM approach. It provides 35 characters for the display name. It still has the other limitations associated with CNAM.

CNAM alternatives

Rich Call Data

Rich Call Data (RCD) is a completely different approach to presenting information about the caller. RCD is:

  • Maintained by the caller and their originating service provider
    • More accurate and up to date
  • Put into the call at origination, rather than fetched at termination
  • Built on STIR/SHAKEN call authentication
    • Put into the call as part of the authentication process
    • Secure and cannot be altered or manipulated
  • In addition to caller name, RCD accommodates more information types
    • Image or logo
    • Call purpose

Rich Call Data improves answer rates

Rich Call Data improves answer rates

We think Rich Call Data will be very valuable to enterprise callers. By displaying their name, logo, call reason and such in a brand-compliant way, they can expect to see significant improvements in call answer rates.

TransNexus solutions

We offer CNAM services, and we include Rich Call Data capabilities with our STIR/SHAKEN solutions. All of these capabilities are available on our ClearIP and NexOSS software platforms. Contact us to learn more.

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