CNAM Database Facts:  5 Things to Know
December 21, 2022 / Written by Angela Garfinkel


Do you or your customers ever receive calls from unrecognized numbers? More than likely, the answer is yes. What if the source of these mystery calls was your own business? A recent survey found that 45% of customer service and telemarketing organizations were cited for displaying incorrect caller ID information over the last 3 years. That’s a huge amount of lost customer trust and loyalty! 

To ensure an accurate and reliable caller ID experience and to protect your brand reputation, it is important to understand how CNAM databases work and just how influential they are in setting up caller ID names. 

This blog post will give you 5 things to know about CNAM databases to make sure that your brand is protected when you place outbound calls to prospects and customers.   

CNAM Database Storage Protects Your Brand


1. Defining a CNAM Database

CNAM stands for Calling Name Presentation. It is used in some US-based telephone networks to provide identification of the calling party, and this information is most often displayed in Caller ID.   A CNAM database stores the caller's name, address and other related information associated with a particular phone number. The terminating carrier is responsible for providing the Caller ID information to its customer; on average the fee for this service is between $0.002 and $0.006 per database dip.


2. How Can Storing My Telephone Numbers in the CNAM Database Help My Business?

Storing your telephone numbers in the CNAM Database helps ensure your CNAM is accurate and your brand is protected.   As you place outbound calls, your prospects and customers will know who is calling based on accurate and reliable caller ID information. 

This will ensure that they know who is calling them when they receive a call from your business, allowing you to maintain trust and build stronger customer relationships. Additionally, storage in the CNAM database can help reduce the likelihood that your calls are mislabeled as spam or telemarketer.  


3. What's the Difference between Caller ID and CNAM?

It’s important to understand the difference between Caller ID and CNAM. A CNAME record maps one domain name (an alias) to another (the canonical name). This is useful for running multiple services from a single IP address. ANAME records are often used as an alternative to CNAME records and are managed by DNS administrators like CNAME records. When queried by a DNS client, ANAME records answer with an IP address instead of another domain. ANAME records typically require one DNS query from a client, whereas CNAME records require two. 

Caller ID is the telephone number and CNAM is the name associated with the number, and they are delivered through different methods. When a call is received, the local phone carrier of the person being called does a CNAM dip, fetching the name associated with the caller's number from a CNAM database. 


4. Understanding How a CNAM Database Works

The data submitted to the Line Information Database (LIDB) is maintained by a customer's carrier, and most incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) like the Baby Bells, and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) provide access for customers.   Caller ID name information is not transmitted from the originating office to the destination office, but is instead provided by the terminating carrier who does a database lookup to obtain the caller's name information for the service. Wholesale rates for the fee for the CNAM lookup are on the order of $200 to $600 per 100,000 lookups.

Storing outbound Caller ID numbers in a CNAM database is a tactic used by call centers and telemarketing companies to improve the likelihood that a call is not blocked or labeled in error.  The end result is higher performance when a call is answered by the called party because the Caller ID is branded with a reputable company name.  Note that to ensure accuracy, CNAM databases are updated daily so businesses can easily retrieve caller details.


5. The Benefits of Quality Voice & Data

At Quality Voice & Data, we provide a full suite of telecom services and products to help businesses succeed. Our proprietary technology, and deep-rooted experience within the industry, enables us to digitally sign & deliver calls with full attestation. We provide toll-free numbers, SMS/MMS Messaging, Local Caller ID Numbers, Monitoring and Remediation, Elastic SIP Trunking, and VoIP Phone Systems. 

We understand that customer trust is key for any business. That’s why we offer a free CNAM database lookup service so businesses can easily retrieve caller details without worrying about accuracy or reliability. With Quality Voice & Data as your authorized SHAKEN Service Provider Company you can be sure that your customers will always know who is calling them!



Knowing the 5 things to know about CNAM databases is essential for any call center executive or telemarketing executive who wants to maintain their brand and get more calls answered.   To make sure that your customers get the best possible experience when they receive calls from your business, it’s important to understand the basics of how CNAM databases work.  Quality Voice & Data is an authorized SHAKEN Service Provider Company that specializes in providing reputation-based telecom services and offers a no-obligation consultation.  Contact us today to learn more.  


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Angela Garfinkel currently serves as Director for Quality Voice & Data. With 30+ years of call center and business process outsourcing experience, Angela provides the QVD team with key insights to support product development, marketing and sales.

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.