Callers want their logo on your screen
How can network operators make more money with voice telephony in times of flat rates? Very simple, they rent out your phone screen. Companies calling consumers should pay to have the caller’s name, their marketing logo and a brief description of the reason for the call appear on the callee’s screen. The US industry association CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association) calls this “Branded Calling ID”.
Sample subject from T-Mobile USA
In addition to the network operators, a whole range of providers is hoping for lucrative additional business, including Amazon.com, which offers software for call centers, and Neustar, which, among other things, would like to identify callers. Neustar has teamed up with First Orion and Hiya to break branded calling. T Mobile offers
They promise their corporate customers that consumers will respond positively to the “data-enriched” calls, picking up or calling back more often than just seeing an unfamiliar number. In the case of calls that actually took place, consumers would then buy something more often if it was a branded call at the beginning. This should show the experiences of selected customers, for example an insurance company.
Too often consumers don’t pick up
Surveys among consumers would show that the vast majority no longer answer unknown callers. At the same time, nearly four in five respondents said they missed at least one important call in the last month because they didn’t pick up the phone, including calls they were already waiting for. With branded calls, however, most consumers would love to pick up, according to the survey results. As every spear phisher knows: Showing company logos increases the trust of the recipient.
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Branded Calling is built on Rich Call Data (RCD) with Passport Extension. An RFC is in progress. The American standardization organization ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions) has standardized RCD 2021 (ATIS-1000094). It differs significantly from previous approaches to identify the caller behind a phone number. Traditionally, a database is used that is operated by a third party and often contains entries that are no longer up-to-date or completely incorrect. Finding the appropriate database and having it corrected is difficult.
For example, the shock ran through the limbs of the author of these lines when a call on his Android cell phone allegedly came from a hospital in another location. In fact, the caller was a small entrepreneur who suffers from the misattribution to the local hospital, but can do just as little as the person called. The hospital has nothing to do with it and has completely different worries. The network operator doesn’t want to know anything, and Android operator Google has no recognizable open ear for such concerns.
Callers are verified
With branded calling, all of this is supposed to get better because the identity of the caller is verified. This is done by service providers who conclude contracts with paying customers. Clients must register themselves and their company names, telephone numbers, brand logos and reasons for calling. Cryptographic certificates of the STIR/SHAKEN procedure are intended to ensure that the call was actually initiated on behalf of the subscriber. STIR/SHAKEN is already being used in North America to sign phone numbers to combat phone spam.
The industry association CTIA advertises branded calling to the US regulatory authority FCC (Federal Communications Commission) as the “Next Generation of Call Authentication”. At the same time, the CTIA is asking the authority not to issue any rules for branded calling. The argument: Rules could hinder innovation.
Industry fears binding regulations
The industry would rather control itself. To this end, the CTIA has drawn up a series of recommendations (best practices) for successful operation of branded calling. They provide that the displayed caller names are registered as business or trademark names in at least one US state. And every logo used should appear in the US database of registered trademarks. The reason for the call should not be longer than 35 characters.
All elements should be passive. Hyperlinks, QR codes or similar things that enable the caller to trigger another action, such as calling up a website, making a call or opening applications for e-mail, SMS, etc., are therefore not recommended.
In addition to misleading or even illegal content, the CTIA also prohibits swear words, calls for violence, the mention of illegal drugs and “SHAFT content”. SHAFT stands for the American vices of hate speech, alcohol, guns and tobacco, as well as sex. Several industries will therefore not be able to use branded calling, or only to a limited extent.
Service for large, financially powerful customers
In general, only well-reputed companies should take part: on the one hand, verification providers should check their clients for entries on the US government’s embargo lists. On the other hand, they should pay attention to other warnings: Financial difficulties, critical media reports, court decisions, unpaid bills, natural disasters, fires that have broken out, waves of layoffs, critical comments from auditors, missed balance sheet deadlines, high debts, numerous complaints or small company size can prevent participation in branded calling.
Incidentally, technically RCD could also trigger sound output on third-party devices, think of ring tones contributed by the caller; this emerges from the current RFC draft for SIP parameters for RCD. But the industry shies away from that. CTIA best practices make no mention of audible marketing on third-party handsets, and the draft RFC acknowledges that audible rich call data is not well specified. Finally, in a footnote, the CTIA notes that verification providers are not required to listen to phone calls to verify that the caller’s reason for calling is true.
#Callers #logo #screen