Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty)

As recent industry reports show that nearly half of U.S. calls this year could be scams, there’s finally a glimmer of hope. A major carrier has begun to deploy one of the most effective tools at fighting the plague of illegal calls—but so far, it works on just a single phone model.

T-Mobile announced today it is releasing a new system for verifying calls. Under their call verification system, if a T-Mobile user calls someone else who uses T-Mobile on a supported device, then the recipient will see a “Caller Verified” notice. Currently, only Galaxy Note 9 phones will have this call-verification technology, via a new software update on the phone. The company says that more phones will be able to use this service later in the year.

Advertisement

It’s a step towards people being able to know whether a familiar-looking call is coming from a real human using their real number, not some asshole spammer.

The company is among the first carriers to implement the so-called SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) and STIR (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited) technologies that essentially provide phones with a sort of digital authentication. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai demanded on November 5 that all carriers start implementing the technologies. Several major carriers responded later that month, showing how close they were to rolling out the services.

Advertisement

At the time of the filings, T-Mobile seemed to be among the most prepared to adopt SHAKEN/STIR. Once other carriers adopt this technology, it won’t just have to be a service that only benefits a subset of T-Mobile users when they receive calls from fellow T-Mobile users—it can work across all networks.

Here’s hoping Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T move fast to catch up.

[T-Mobile, Verge]

Advertisement