At the end of last year, AT&T launched a service that would let its mobile phone customers block some nuisance robocalls from some devices. The service serves as a spam filter for eligible users’ phones and also lets them report and block numbers that place unwanted calls. AT&T announced today that Call Protect has blocked more than 1 billion robocalls, an important milestone.
AT&T explains that it analyzes calls on its network for patterns that suggest robocalls, like a number that makes lots of very short calls (because people are hanging up on them) to customers who are on the federal Do Not Call list. Proposed rules from the FCC would let carriers block even more calls.
While any customer can report a number that’s making nuisance calls, only postpaid mobile customers with HD Voice service enabled are able to block calls using the service.
HD Voice is the technology that lets you make calls with higher-quality audio over the data network, and isn’t available on all phones or even in all areas. Once you’re roaming outside of the country or wandering around in the mountains, it no longer works. The service also doesn’t work when the caller is blocking their number from Caller ID.
AT&T CEO Randall “Darth Randy” Stephenson was named the head of the FCC’s Robocall Strike Force, which has been disbanded as each phone company works on its own solutions for calls which are annoying at best and drain consumers’ savings at worst.
While each company implementing its own limited solution isn’t ideal, it’s better than when Stephenson insisted less than a year ago that he would need FCC permission to block any robocalls at all.
(via Fierce Wireless)