October 13th, 2021

Cross-industry STIR/SHAKEN collaboration helps carriers restore trust to the phone

The implementation of STIR/SHAKEN call authentication in the U.S. represents one of the industry’s finest example of collaboration―not just across carriers―but with other entities, such as Oracle Communications. While Neustar plays an integral role in the governance structure for the Calling Number Verification Service to mitigate illegal robocalling and call spoofing, and is a leading STIR/SHAKEN solution provider, Oracle develops equipment for Communications Service Providers (CSPs).

Oracle’s Session Border Controllers (SBCs) make possible trusted, carrier grade real-time communications across IP network access borders and IP interconnect borders, including fixed line, mobile (VoLTE), and over-the-top (OTT) services. The Oracle SBCs help CSPs control functions and features, protocol support, programmability and manageability in all types of IP networks. With the Oracle SBCs, CSPs can manage critical requirements for security, interoperability, reliability and quality, regulatory compliance, and revenue/cost optimization. Oracle’s market-leading SBC is deployed in most carriers worldwide. 

Successful implementation of STIR/SHAKEN in the U.S., and soon internationally, hinges on collaboration across the entire telecom ecosystem, among regulators, software providers, standards organizations and equipment providers. Our work with Oracle has helped move the STIR/SHAKEN needle in the right direction.  

Lots of stirring and shaking. 
With the passage of two key STIR/SHAKEN deadlines, it’s a good time to take stock of call authentication progress in the U.S.  As of June 30, 2021, the FCC required that all CSPs implement STIR/SHAKEN. Then, the FCC mandated that CSPs certify what actions they’ve taken regarding STIR/SHAKEN and robocall mitigation in the Robocall Mitigation Database (RMDB) by September 28. If carriers have not registered in the database their calls may be blocked. More than 3,000 service providers have registered in the RMDB, and more than 200 reported that they have implemented STIR/SHAKEN.

Restoring trust to the phone. 
With 45.9 billion robocalls in 2020, it’s not surprising there’s an issue when it comes to trusting the phone. Close to 90 percent of business calls go unanswered, and the FTC reports that phone fraud is the most frequent complaint they receive. 

As a neutral entity, and trusted expert in the field, Neustar launched the Trust Lab to bring together experts across the industry to accelerate the development of solutions to this problem. The Trust Lab serves as the industry’s virtual testbed for CSPs, equipment manufacturers, software suppliers, regulators and industry standards bodies across the globe to remotely test call authentication solutions like STIR/SHAKEN. 

Exclusively hosted by the Neustar Trust Lab, the ATIS Robocalling Testbed helps remove obstacles and accelerate the validation of caller authentication standards like STIR/SHAKEN in North America. More than 60 companies have signed up with the ATIS testbed to test STIR/SHAKEN interoperability.

As an early contributor to the Trust Lab,  Oracle assisted with a smooth transition to the cloud. Now, participants can quickly detect malicious call signatures and suspicious behavior to stop threats anywhere in their unified communications networks. 

Learn more about Oracle Communications’ Security Shield Cloud.

STIR/SHAKEN goes global.
Robocalls aren’t limited to the U.S. and neither is STIR/SHAKEN. All Telecommunications Service Providers (TSPs) in Canada are required to implement STIR/SHAKEN by November 30, 2021. In addition to the need for countries around the world to end robocalling within their borders, billions of legitimate international calls coming into the U.S. are at risk of receiving “unfavorable treatment” and being mislabeled as spam, or even blocked, because we may not be able to identify the originating network unless there are universal call authentication standards in place. 

Many countries are taking steps to determine whether STIR and or SHAKEN are viable call authentication technologies and governance for their unique infrastructures and requirements, and are eager to learn best practices and lessons learned from the U.S.

As the co-author of the IETF STIR standards, Neustar plays a continuing and vital role in the governance structure for STIR/SHAKEN, a contributor to the ATIS SHAKEN technical standard, as well as Canada’s Network Working Group (NTWG) on Caller ID authentication. We’re also exclusive host of the ATIS Robocalling Testbed, and an authorized Certification Authority.

Read our International Call Authentication (STIR/SHAKEN) FAQs.

Continuous collaboration needed.
The combination of Neustar’s STIR/SHAKEN expertise with Oracle’s ability to provide world class technology to support the call authentication needs of carriers is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many ways we can work together. 

We still have many milestones to complete, but we encourage interested parties to register for the Trust Lab and the ATIS Robocalling Testbed. Together, we can put an end to robocalls, elevate the phone experience, and restore trust to the most preferred communications channel. 

Visit the STIR/SHAKEN Resource Hub to learn more. 

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