Verizon and Ribbon’s Partnership Advances Industry Standards for STIR/SHAKEN
On October 1, 2020, the FCC invited comments from the telecommunications industry to ascertain progress on implementing Caller ID Authentication. Verizon’s reply underscored the extensive amount of time and effort its team(s) have put in, yielding substantial progress.
Two highlights stand out:
- All of Verizon’s wireless traffic, which is the vast majority of its traffic, has been STIR/SHAKEN-enabled since March 2019. Verizon authenticates billions of wireless calls that remain on its network and has signed over 18 billion calls externally since the start of external bilateral signing arrangements in 2019. The company now bilaterally exchanges STIR/SHAKEN traffic with fourteen service providers.
- Verizon also reported significant progress on its wireline network. When it acts as an intermediate provider, Verizon has configured its IP-based systems to pass the STIR/SHAKEN unaltered, receiving, and passing hundreds of thousands of SHAKEN identity headers a month from upstream wholesale customers. Verizon also expects to be on pace to achieve 100% completion before June 2021 for interconnections with other carriers.
Along with the progress within its own network and with its interconnection partners, Verizon is fully engaged in industry efforts to enhance and enrich the current STIR/SHAKEN standards and technology, which will benefit the entire telecommunications industry. Ribbon is proud to be partnering with Verizon on the following, as referenced in Verizon’s reply to the FCC:
- Evolving the ATIS 100082 API specification such that it expands the scope of use cases that can be handled and to introduce concepts beyond the initial baseline. Specifically, these concepts include:
- A profile parameter that enables signing or verification actions for certain network elements using specific cryptographic algorithms, expanding the options for how to process these actions
- The ability to take a calling name received in a verification request and based on the verification result, modify the calling name in the verification response, providing insight to the end user regarding the originating caller
- The ability to process bundled requests (i.e., a single query to the authentication service can have multiple requests for Identity headers) for increased efficiency
- Contributing to developing standards that impact the display framework by taking the attestation level into account, which will improve analytics and the experience for customers
- The ability to sign for 911 calls to NG911 PSAPs, including evolving the API to account for the RPH passport that supports GETS/WPS and emergency services traffic.
Much like Verizon, Ribbon has made significant progress with all of our products that might be involved in originating or terminating a phone call now supporting STIR/SHAKEN attestation, signing, or verification. Ribbon’s STIR/SHAKEN solutions can be deployed within a service provider’s network or provided to our customers on a consumption basis from a Ribbon-hosted managed service. Ribbon will continue to invest in STIR/SHAKEN to add product capabilities to meet evolving standards as well as a participant in ATIS. While Ribbon firmly believes in the value of STIR/SHAKEN to ensure the best possible information regarding a caller’s identity is known, we also recognize that for end customers and enterprises to truly trust in the phone call, they need to know more than just caller identity.
To meet this bigger need, Ribbon also continues to invest in a more comprehensive identity assurance framework to provide services that can quantify caller intent and reputation. Ribbon foresees a day when every call a service provider terminates will have insights into caller identity, intent, and reputation That will be when the telecommunications industry fully restores trust in the phone call.