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TELUS Unveils Call Validation Technology to Combat Robocalls

Zacks Equity Research

In order to thwart unsolicited calls, TELUS Corporation TU recently showcased its SHAKEN/STIR authentication standard for telecom regulators — Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”).

SHAKEN/STIR are acronyms for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited standards. This technology provides the best available information to make it easier for telephone companies and consumers to decide what calls they want to allow or block, thereby combating spoofed calls. It also makes it easier to trace a call to its source.

Developed by web engineers, the STIR/SHAKEN framework adds a digital certificate, which implies that calls travelling through interconnected networks would have their caller IDs marked as legitimate before reaching the ultimate consumers. The step marked yet another milestone in a bid to protect the consumers from illegal robocalls.

With the help of the avant-garde technological solution, the service providers will have the option of providing opt-in call-filtering services to the subscribers, which will automatically block high-risk robocalls. TELUS customers wishing to opt for the advanced call management feature will be required to enter a number on their keypad. The multi-pronged strategy also includes call authentication and validation and industry-wide call traceback services.

Per the Canadian federal telecom regulator, the telecom companies will bear the onus of reducing the occurrence of caller ID spoofing with the implementation of SHAKEN/STIR by September 2020. The FCC has also proposed a couple of measures to end the menace of unsolicited calls. These include creation of a national database of disconnected phone numbers that are reassigned to other users to avoid dialing the wrong customers repeatedly and enabling telecom service providers to block and filter text messages deemed as spam. It has further demanded a digital validation by carriers to curb this nagging issue.

Existing Scenario

Apart from TELUS, major telecom companies like AT&T Inc. T, Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, Comcast Corporation CMCSA and Ribbon have already taken necessary steps to prevent customers from receiving spurious calls. AT&T provides a blocking app and service called Call Protect that detects and blocks fraudulent calls, flags spam calls as “Suspected Spam” when the phone rings, and helps to maintain a personal block list. Verizon offers a free version of its Call Filter service in compatible phones and postpaid plans that tries to detect and filter spam calls. Comcast is at the forefront to mitigate robocalls by leveraging Xfinity voice services. Ribbon recently partnered with Peerless Networks to serve the same purpose.

With the expansion of IoT marketplace in Canada, TELUS is aiming to consolidate its foothold in the market. It has introduced the TELUS Global IoT Connectivity platform to deliver seamless connectivity and simplified billing across 200 networks globally to support the expansion of Canadian business enterprises.

Price Movement

Driven by diligent execution of operational strategies, the stock has added 17.2% against the industry’s decline of 24.6% in the year-to-date period.


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