CW Developer Network

Feb 25 2019   8:01AM GMT

Ribbon roots out rampant robocalling

Adrian Bridgwater Adrian Bridgwater Profile: Adrian Bridgwater

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Companies change their ‘descriptor intros’ (not an official term, but it should be) all the time.

Ribbon Communications has tuned its message accordingly, given that the firm was only formed in its current iteration and formation in 2017 after the merger of Genband and Sonus Networks.

Today the company calls itself a software leader in secure and intelligent cloud communications.

Why the name Ribbon?

The firm’s about pages mention the ‘complex woven’ nature of real-time communications (we’re thinking ribbons and threads here) and the need to do more than just connect point A to point B (more cords, yarns, bindings and other selected items of haberdashery)… but ultimately nobody ‘fesses up’ to that being the actual connection.

With the company’s Ribbon Perspectives event on the horizon in April 2019, what has the firm used for news at this year’s Mobile World Congress?

Ribbon’s latest announcements see it come forward with the affirmation that two of its key solutions have successfully completed interoperability testing to support a major industry effort designed to help communications service providers (CSPs) protect consumers against unwanted robocalls and caller ID spoofing.

A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerised autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message — robocalls are often negatively associated with telemarketing phone campaigns, but can also be used for public-service or emergency announcements — and some robocalls use personalised audio messages to simulate an actual personal phone call.

Ribbon’s software and appliance-based session border controllers (SBC 5000 Series, SBC 7000 and SBC SWe) and its policy and routing (PSX) software solutions have completed testing with Neustar, a global information services provider and the exclusive host of the ATIS Robocalling Testbed.

“Nuisance and spoofed calls have been cited as the largest source of consumer complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and are now the agency’s top priority, with the FCC Chairman calling on all CSPs to work together to make call authentication a reality,” said Kevin Riley, chief technology officer for Ribbon. “Our newly tested, standards-based solutions allow CSPs to now offer consumers significantly improved call authentication and verification protection against the annoying spoofed calls and robocalls that many of us receive on a daily basis.”

This testing supports a joint effort from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) called STIR-SHAKEN, which is aimed at boosting consumer protection against robocalls and spoofing.

Ribbon’s software-based solutions comply with the IETF’s Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) standards and the Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (SHAKEN) framework, which was developed by the ATIS/SIP Forum NNI Task Force.

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) 150 member companies are currently working to address issues relating to 5G, robocall mitigation, smart cities, artificial intelligence-enabled networks, distributed ledger/blockchain technology, cybersecurity, IoT, emergency services, quality of service and billing support.

A human, not a robocaller. Image: Ribbon.

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