Transaction Network Services (TNS) today launched its latest Robocall Investigation Report covering the first half of the year, with updates on STIR/SHAKEN implementation by large and small carriers, emerging call authentication challenges, the rise in AI voice scams, and how branded calling solutions are helping restore trust in voice calling. 

The latest edition of TNS’ Robocall Investigation Report delivers the most accurate data from the first 6 months of 2023 to help carriers make mission-critical decisions and is available to download now.

June 30, 2023 marked the third and final major FCC-mandated deadline for service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN, with requirements now extended to all IP-based voice service provider networks. The TNS Robocall Investigation Report tells the story of a shifting landscape of opportunities and challenges facing carriers and regulators as STIR/SHAKEN matures from the deployment phase to a fully operational service.  

“Over the past 3 years, carriers and the FCC can point to tangible progress in identifying illegally spoofed calls, authenticating caller ID data and, ultimately, protecting consumers from scam and nuisance robocalls,” said Denny Randolph, President of TNS’ Communications Market business. “However, our half-year report reveals stiffening headwinds with call attestation accuracy, diminished carrier interconnectivity, and dropped traffic due to insufficient SIP peering – all of which can undermine the full benefits of STIR/SHAKEN if not addressed.”  

The latest TNS Robocall Investigation Report includes several new insights: 

Unwanted robocall traffic from Tier-1 carriers plummets. In the first half of 2023, only 2% of unwanted robocall traffic originated from the top 7 US carriers (Verizon, UScellular, T-Mobile, Lumen, Comcast, Charter and AT&T), a significant drop from 8% during the same period last year. Credit STIR/SHAKEN implementation progress – 80% of calls from Tier-1 carriers are now signed (authenticated by STIR/SHAKEN).

STIR/SHAKEN call authentication gap widens. While smaller service providers are making strides implementing STIR/SHAKEN, they are falling farther behind Tier-1 carriers when it comes to signing voice traffic. In the first half of 2023, the call authentication gap doubled between large and small carriers – risking lost voice traffic revenue if smaller carriers struggle to sign calls.  

VoIP networks remain top robocaller target. VoIP networks remain the top target for bad actors launching robocall campaigns, with 70% of all unwanted traffic originating from VoIP numbers in the first six months of 2023.  

Rise of AI voice scams reinforce value of STIR/SHAKEN. AI voice scams and the use of sophisticated deepfake technologies reinforce the critical need for smaller providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN. The call authentication standards help identify spoofed numbers and can provide real-time notification that the phone number on incoming calls may be spoofed, as these calls will be signed differently.  

Restoring Trust to Voice Calling. According to new TNS survey data, 78% of Americans are more willing to answer calls if Caller ID displays a business logo or name. Capitalizing on consumer demand for branded calling requires carriers and regulators to increase the volume of call traffic authenticated through STIR/SHAKEN so that legitimate brands can reach customers with critical call information.  

TNS supports more than 150 service providers in North America including four of the top seven US carriers and two of the top four wireless providers. With nearly 250 million active subscribers and broader access to the largest cross-carrier call events, TNS has an unsurpassed ability to categorize and properly attribute incoming calls. This visibility is key to differentiating between legitimate robocall activity and scams. 

The new TNS Robocall Investigation Report with more detailed data and findings is available to download now.

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