In brief: This technology lets the end-user know that an incoming call is really coming from the number shown on the caller ID display. Call authentication doesn't eliminate the issue of unwanted robocalls by itself but it can help consumers better decide which calls to answer or ignore.

Spam calls are a huge problem for wireless providers and customers alike. Last year alone, Americans were hit with nearly 48 billion unwanted calls but relief could be in sight. In addition to the government taking action, carriers themselves are now stepping up measures to counter robocalls.

AT&T and T-Mobile on Wednesday started rolling out cross-network call authentication technology based on the SHAKEN / STIR standard. SHAKEN stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs and STIR is short for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited.

Personally, if I don't recognize a number, I don't answer. If a call is important enough, they'll leave a voicemail.

A spoofed call will fail the SHAKEN / STIR verification and thus, won't be marked as verified. As more providers adopt SHAKEN / STIR technology, more calls will be verified over time. With any luck, other major carriers will start rolling out similar implementations in the near future.

Here's to hoping spammers don't figure out how to circumvent the security measure before it gets broadly adopted.

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