STIR/SHAKEN

Robocalls are overwhelming the telephone network. An estimated 54.6 billion unwanted robocalls were made to U. S. mobile phones in 2019, a record. Unwanted robocalls annoy subscribers and make them reluctant to answer their phones.

Robocall perpetrators often alter or spoof the caller ID number to trick the victim into answering the robocall. Often, they use a calling number like the called party’s number, a trick called neighbor spoofing.

The solution starts with STIR/SHAKEN

The first step toward robocall relief is to prevent spoofing. The telecommunications industry has developed a way to authenticate caller ID and inform the called party that the caller ID has been verified. It’s called STIR/SHAKEN.

The idea is simple:

  1. The originating telephone service provider authenticates the call and sends a digitally signed Identity token with the call.
  2. The terminating service provider verifies the signature and token and, if successfully verified, informs their subscriber that this is a verified call.
STIR/SHAKEN call flow

Only authorized service providers can get the tokens and certificates necessary to sign calls. The verification process checks that the signature and tokens are valid. Robocall perpetrators can’t spoof this.

TransNexus STIR/SHAKEN solutions

Our STIR/SHAKEN applications are complete, turnkey solutions that include everything a telephone service provider needs to deploy STIR/SHAKEN quickly and easily:

  • SHAKEN Certificate Services to provide and manage the certificates necessary to sign calls
  • Secure management of certificates and digital keys
  • Authentication Service, with flexible policy controls to provide appropriate attestation
  • Verification Service, with flexible policy controls for Call Validation Treatment, including:
    • Creation of the verstat parameter and/or update of caller display to show verification results
    • Policies to block or divert calls at the group and/or subscriber level

We provide everything you need. In addition, these turnkey solutions include leading-edge capabilities you might not find elsewhere.

Out-of-Band STIR

STIR/SHAKEN solutions

There are real-world issues that prevent successful transmission of the SHAKEN identity token across today’s telephone network. These issues limit the effectiveness of STIR/SHAKEN:

  1. Non-IP networks (e.g., TDM) cannot transmit the identity token.
  2. Some SIP network gear removes the identity token.
  3. Some SIP networks use UDP, which is prone to packet loss and fragmentation.

One solution to these problems would be for service providers to upgrade their networks. But such upgrades are expensive and time consuming, especially for larger, more complex networks.

There’s another way: Out-of-Band STIR. With this approach, the identity token is sent separately, or out of band, across the internet. Everything else about the STIR/SHAKEN process remains the same.

TransNexus has developed Out-of-Band STIR capability and includes it as an option in our STIR/SHAKEN solutions to help make STIR/SHAKEN benefits available to all subscribers and their providers.

Rich Call Data

Out-of-Band STIR options

Rich Call Data is additional information about the caller sent in the SHAKEN token. The information is presented to the called parties, hopefully encouraging them to answer the calls.

We think this will be a game changer, especially for enterprises calling their customers. Imagine how helpful Rich Call Data would be in these situations:

  • A doctor’s office calls their patient to confirm an appointment.
  • A school clinic calls a parent to let them know their child is sick.
  • A delivery driver calls to confirm that someone is home to sign for the delivery.
  • A service contractor (e.g., plumber, electrician) calls to make sure someone is home to let the contractor in to do the work.

Rich Call Data provides a great opportunity for service providers:

  1. Service providers can offer Rich Call Data service to enterprise customers as a value-add.
  2. Because it’s built on STIR/SHAKEN, it’s secure. No spoofing.
  3. The enterprise customer provides the Rich Call Data, so it’s up-to-date and brand compliant.

TransNexus has included support for Rich Call Data in our STIR/SHAKEN solutions.

Other robocall prevention measures

STIR/SHAKEN doesn’t actually prevent unwanted robocalls by itself—it prevents caller ID spoofing.

There are other call analytics techniques designed to prevent robocalls, but they are less effective when the calling number has been spoofed.

Effective robocall prevention requires both STIR/SHAKEN, to check for spoofing, and call analytics, which are much more effective when you know whether the number was spoofed.

These robocall prevention methods include:

TransNexus offers these services with our software products. They work great together.

The TransNexus difference

Rich Call Data—illustrative example

Our STIR/SHAKEN solutions offer distinctive advantages you might not find with other solutions:

  1. Complete turnkey solution
    • You won’t have to source the necessary components from multiple vendors
    • Everything is tightly-integrated
    • We provide a single point of contact for support
  2. Extensive experience
    • TransNexus solutions completed the ATIS test bed in 2017
    • First production deployment in 2018
    • Widespread production deployments beginning in April 2019
  3. Works with any network
    • We have no incentive to try and sell you the latest network gear. You decide if/when/how you might want to do that.
  4. Standards compliant
    • We participate in industry associations and follow the latest trends to respond quickly to keep our software up to date.
  5. Leading-edge capabilities
    • Out-of-Band STIR
    • Rich Call Data
  6. Many other services are available in one tightly-integrated package
    • Telecom fraud prevention
    • Robocall prevention (call analytics)
    • Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) prevention
    • Least cost routing
    • Analytics and reporting

Let us show you

Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your STIR/SHAKEN deployment.

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