A Spy vs Spy Approach to Protecting our Telecommunications

by Alan Percy, CMO @TelcoBridges

If you are old enough to remember the Spy vs. Spy comics in Mad Magazine, you’ll also remember a time when the phone rang, you just answered it.  No robocalls to worry about. With the advent of VoIP, we inadvertently created the robocall. The TRACED Act mandated STIR/SHAKEN, and you’d think the aggressive illegal robocallers would be a thing of the past.   Instead, it has become a game of Spy vs. Spy.

Continue reading A Spy vs Spy Approach to Protecting our Telecommunications

LIVE EVENT: Will STIR/SHAKEN solve the Illegal Robocall Problem?

TelcoBridges is hosting a LIVE EVENT: Will STIR/SHAKEN solve the Illegal Robocall Problem? on July 27, 2021 at 2:00 PM with Gerry Christensen from YouMail Inc.

Illegal robocalls continue to be a significant problem for consumers and businesses of all sizes. Despite the best efforts to implement STIR/SHAKEN, illegal spam calls persist, wasting time, clogging up phone lines, and in some cases, perpetrating phishing attacks. Join us as we discuss current best practices that businesses can use with existing SIP Trunks, IP-PBXs, and UCaaS services to mitigate illegal robocalls. Get back to being productive with AI-powered robocall mitigation.

In this session, we’ll:
– Discuss the state and role of STIR/SHAKEN
– Why Robocall Mitigation is Required
– PBX, IP-PBX, UCaaS and CCaaS Integration
– How to Get Started
– Save some time for live Q/A

Register today here!

Out-of-Band SHAKEN – Solving the adoption issues of STIR/SHAKEN

By Alan Percy, CMO @TelcoBridges

According to Metcalfe’s Law, “the effect of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the connected users”.   As service providers begin deploying STIR/SHAKEN, you can directly apply the law in determining the impact or effectiveness of protecting the integrity of the caller identity.  Without wide adoption, STIR/SHAKEN will have little value.

In the last few year there has been much progress on the legislative effort to mandate the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, but the reality of doing so is much different.

Last month, we hosted a discussion with Jim Dalton from TransNexus on the challenges that smaller and mixed SIP/TDM service providers are having with STIR/SHAKEN Challengesimplementation of STIR/SHAKEN.  His first-hand experiences with service providers include:

  • The cost of upgrading their software and equipment to generate and verify SHAKEN identity tokens.
  • Tokens are blocked by softswitches or SBCs within the service provider network
  • Tokens that are lost in transport (on both SIP and TDM interconnects)
  • SIP over UDP packets become so large that they are fragmented
  • The destination softswitch or SBCs strip the SHAKEN identity tokens
  • Many rural and smaller service providers depend on TDM interconnects, unable to relay identity tokens

The result of any of the above is the same – an inability to pass or validate SHAKEN identity tokens, the service provider and all their subscribers are not part of the “square of the connected users”.   This means their subscriber’s calls may be blocked or ignored, and without callerID verification, makes them easy targets for spoofers and fraudsters.

So how do smaller and rural service providers participate in the STIR/SHAKEN solution?

Jim and his team have been working with the ATIS and others to devise an out-of-OOB SHAKEN Graphicband mechanism to deliver SHAKEN tokens via the Internet.   A seemingly simple solution to a complex problem, Out-of-Band SHAKEN uses HTTPS to deliver the identity token from the originating service provider’s Authentication Service (AS) to the terminating service provider’s Verification Service (VS).

Not only does this mechanism solve the issues with SIP softswitches, it also enables STIR/SHAKEN on TDM switches using media gateways.

There is much more detail covered in the recorded webinar in the TelcoBridges’ Video Library, along with past events on both STIR/SHAKEN and a range of other topics.

Both TelcoBridges and TransNexus have created a promotional bundle of services and software to help service providers implement Out-of-Band SHAKEN.   Request a consultation to learn how TelcoBridges and TransNexus can get your subscribers part of the “square of the connected users”.

STIR-SHAKEN Top 10 FAQ Video

No topic has generated as much interest, consumer complaints, and coordinated technical hurdles in telecommunications as the problem with illegal robocalling and the associated fraud. We were astounded by the response to our “How To” webinar held in February, by far the most registrations, attendees and questions. With more than 137 questions in the queue at the end of the session, we thought it best to organize a follow-up, taking time to analyze the list of questions and come up with a TOP 10 FAQ. Thanks for joining us as we work through the STIR/SHAKE Frequently Asked questions!

Continue reading STIR-SHAKEN Top 10 FAQ Video

SIPNOC 2018 – The Robocall Summit

By Alan Percy, TelcoBridges

The SIP Network Operators Conference meeting was held in Herndon, VA this last week, bringing together roughly 100 service providers, suppliers and government regulators.  This year’s conference allocated one entire day to dig deeper into the #1 issue in telecommunications – Illegal Robocalling.

The magnitude and urgency of solving the issue was reinforced by keynote presentations from both Eric Berger, CTO of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Ian Scott, Chairman and CEO at the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).   Both presentation implored the service providers and their suppliers to move quickly to fully deploy the STIR/SHAKEN framework by the end of 2019.

(If you are not familiar with STIR/SHAKEN – take a listen to the tutorial found on YouTube here) Continue reading SIPNOC 2018 – The Robocall Summit

The Battle against Robocallers Gets Teeth – Round 4

By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing, TelcoBridges

The battle to stop illegal robocalling is about to get teeth with introduction this week of the TRACED Act, introduced as a bill to the US Senate by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass) Continue reading The Battle against Robocallers Gets Teeth – Round 4

The State of Robocalling – a discussion with Eric Burger, FCC

by Harry Wakefield, Marketing Communications, TelcoBridges

TelcoBridges executives were in Chicago this week for the 2018 IIT RTC Conference and Expo. Our own Alan Percy sat down and recorded a podcast with FCC Chief Technology Officer Eric Burger, discussing one of our favourite subjects, robocalling fraud and actions the FCC is taking to protect consumers.


Listen at: https://youtu.be/nUTA2m1Chnk Continue reading The State of Robocalling – a discussion with Eric Burger, FCC