On the surface the Robocalling announcement about the efforts by AT&T and Comcast yesterday sounded like a big deal. Well folks, it really isn't. The move by the two is more of what can be labeled as a "pushback defense" ploy against the FCC telling the two giants to get moving on the robocalling problem than delivering a real fix. It PR terms it's grandstanding. In marketing speak it's "directional" but anyone with a B.S. detector, it's a more of a tactic to slow down the FCC by following the doctrine of the industry doing something so govenment doesn't (the govenment that governs best govern's least.)
Given landlines are a dying breed vs. mobile, this STIR/Shaken this news is not really "big news." As a matter of fact, it's not really news at all, but more of a deflection to buy time before the FCC comes down on the two telecom giants.
Granted this deployment of SHAKEN/STIR is something that eventually every operator, carrier and service provider will have to do, or chooses to do, but companies like (former client) YouMail and T-Mobile have been doing this without a standard to follow. So too has Google, which has had a reporting mode in GoogleVoice for spam calls in the service for as long as I can remember.
Unfortunately, a closer read of the announcement, which was picked up by many a media outlet to some acclaim, really shows how thinly SHAKEN/STIR is deployed by the two behemouths as it's not yet being implmented yet by Comcast's Xfinity Mobile, nor AT&T's own mobile service. It's only being deployed on landline services from both companies, and not even for all of those either.
In the announcement "AT&T Phone digital home service and Comcast’s Xfinity Voice home phone service" are what's been tested. For those who don't know what AT&T Digital Home Phone service is, it's only available to customers who have UVerse, AT&T's upgraded DSL service, and in some places gigabit fiber, not all the customers connected to AT&T POTS/PSTN service.
To Comcast/Xfinity's defense, they're totally dependent on Verizon which provides the wireless network's RAN, switching, calling features and mobile connetivity to Xfinity. That reliance on Verizon gives Comcast's mobile team an excusable out for not being part of the testing or deploying SHAKEN/STIR on their mobile network yet.
Here's why. As an MVNO Xfinity is presently totally dependent on Verizon for just about everything beyond selling the service to their customers. Note: I do think this will change over time as it affects Xfinity (and Spectrum's) ability to fully integrate with their own Internet and VoIP services. The upside to them in going more with their own technology is as they start to add "advanced" features and services that can work with to their VoIP platform, the more money they can make, and the more Verizon becomes more of a dumb pipe. This will naturally occur as the cable operators layer in more cloud based services, move traffic over their own networks, and take greater advantage of CPaaS, WebRTC and API's that are the flavor of the year, as it mirrors their own strategy of putting fiber of their own in the ground and the types of hires the MSO's been making.
So while Comcast has a good reason for not including their mobile customers, AT&T on the otherhand has revealed how old school their mobile voice network is and revealed that it's not SIP or IP based, but still circuit switched, by limiting the sevice to the smaller segment of Digital Voice customers, and ignoring their millions of mobile customers who receive the bulk of the Robocall annoyances.