November 19, 2020 / Written by Angela Garfinkel

How did SHAKEN and Telecom Network Analytics Get Created?

In 2021, an analytic provider estimated approximately 110 billion scam calls were sent out in that year alone, which can explain 90% of calls from unknown numbers go unanswered. 

Telemarketing calls are the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

The FTC spent years chasing scammers without a way to trace back to the originator.  As a result, they spearheaded two initiatives that converged to create the current landscape. 

The FTC coordinated with the FCC to update a technical standard, that now requires additional meta data on every call, that identifies the carrier that originated the call.  The result?  SHAKEN

The FTC put out a $25,000 challenge to the public to develop a technological solution that consumers could deploy on their wireless devices to block robocalls.  The Result?  Network Analytics


How does SHAKEN impact outbound calling?

FCC mandated all telephone carriers who terminate traffic in the USA to be SHAKEN, on their IP Networks.  Authorized SHAKEN Service Providers are granted a Certificate, which is used to create unique tokens that are inserted into every call’s meta data.

An inserted token is commonly referred to as a carrier signing a call.

Carriers must adhere to the SHAKEN Governing Body’s rules including real KYC or risk Certificate revocation. SHAKEN provides regulators with a quick, easy way to trace back any call to the originator.  Although SHAKEN is mandated by the FCC, due to legacy networks, only 25% of all calls are delivered with a token.

Tokens identify the originating carrier and include the carrier’s Attestation for the call. Carriers must use the appropriate level of SHAKEN attestation when signing calls:

  • A-Attestation (Full attestation) indicates the carrier that originated the call knows its customer (KYC) and the customer is authorized to use the Caller ID number displayed in the call. “TRUST ME”
  • B-Attestation (Partial attestation) indicates that the telecom carrier that originated the call knows the customer (KYC) but does not know if the customer is authorized to use the Caller ID number displayed in the call.
  • C-Attestation (Gateway attestation) indicates the call traversed the carrier’s network unsigned. The originating carrier and its customer of the call are unknown – Calls with this level of attestation are most likely to be blocked or tagged as spam.

How do Analytics impact outbound calling?

FTC, impatiently waiting for SHAKEN implementation, posted a $25,000 prize for the best Robo Call killer. The winner delivered an App that allowed crowd sourcing to identify scam calls from their wireless handsets. 

Soon, Analytic Vendors realized that they could sit on a carriers’ network, utilizing real-time call data, and use algorithms and machine learning to identify spam indicators and scam-likely calls. 

Prior to the implementation date of SHAKEN set by the FCC, the FCC required all carriers to deploy and report their Robo Call mitigation plan.  As a result, Carriers deploy top of network analytics, to generate spam risk warnings like “Scam Likely” for customers.

Analytics Vendors use behavioral analytics to examine calls across a carriers' network in six (6) minute increments, utilizing call data like velocity of dial, frequency of dial, and average length of calls from a particular caller’s number to identify suspicious callers. 

Today, the single most weighted data point used by all the algorithms is the SHAKEN Attestation. An A Attestation tells the algorithm that an Authorized Shaken Service Provider knows its customer and knows the Caller ID is not spoofed. “TRUST ME”

Unfortunately, now that SHAKEN has deployed, Analytics Vendors will not be going away. Carriers have been able to use these tools to streamline their networks, reduce operating costs, and block billions of unwanted calls.

What does all this mean?

SIP matters

All calls must be signed with an A Attestation. But most important, the unique call token must be delivered to the called party carrier.

Caller ID matters

All Caller ID numbers must but rested, warmed up, and scored before use.

All Caller ID numbers must be stored in the various databases used by the Analytic Vendors, including CNAM & Authentication Hub.

All Caller ID numbers need to be utilized with Intelligent Caller ID mapping.

Monitoring & Reporting matters

All Caller ID numbers must be monitored as calling campaigns, markets, and demographics change.

SIP reporting analyzing ALOC, Contact Rates, market penetration – need to be viewed weekly.



Written by Angela Garfinkel

Angela Garfinkel, Director at Quality Voice and Data, brings over 30 years of experience in call center and business process outsourcing. Well known in the telemarketing and telecommunications industry, she co-authored a course for The Direct Marketing Association and actively participates in professional groups like PACE. Her educational background includes an MBA and an undergraduate degree in Telecommunications Management from the University of Nebraska.