Caller ID technology has been commercially available and in use since 1984, but very few people know exactly how the service functions. It’s just another one of those technological mysteries that just works – until it doesn’t.
Misconception #1 – Caller ID Name is attached to the phone number.
Caller ID Name and Caller ID Number are two completely different services. The phone number you use is assigned to your account by your telephone provider. When you make/place a call, your telephone provider delivers your number to the receiving party.
Caller ID Name is not sent to the receiving party along with the telephone number. The receiving party’s phone company cross references the incoming phone number with a caller ID name database to which they subscribe. Once matched, the name is attached and delivered to the receiving party’s phone. The receiving party then sees a phone number and name appear on their phone’s display.
The main issues around caller ID name stem from the fact that there are multiple caller ID name databases. If the caller ID name isn’t the same in every database, the name could appear correctly to some receiving callers and incorrectly to others.
Misconception # 2 - Your phone company has control over your caller ID name.
As we’ve stated above, your phone company manages and has complete control of your phone number. That isn’t the case with caller ID name, however. In most cases, your phone provider will have limited control.
For example, let’s pretend your business (Company X) has acquired a competitor (Company Y) and now wants Company Y’s phone numbers to display as Company X. A modification request is submitted to the phone company who provides phone service for Company Y. The phone company submits the updated name to the CNAM databases with which they subscribe. At that point, the phone company has done all they can do.
There may still be instances where receiving parties will still see the caller ID name as Company Y. This is because the receiving party’s phone company doesn’t subscribe to the same databases where the name change was made.
The other CNAM databases should eventually update, however, it may take up to six months or more for this update to occur.
Misconception # 3 - Moving to Voice over IP will solve caller ID name issues.
Because of the multiple database issue, moving to VoIP doesn’t guarantee caller ID name issues will be solved.
It seems, however, that as the proliferation of VoIP continues across corporate America, we’ll be seeing more “end-to-end networks.” Unlike the traditional phone network, Voice over IP calls traverse data networks. Many of these data networks are becoming more integrated and connected. Making the technology that sends and receives voice calls the same from caller to reciver.
Because of this, caller ID name information can be sent and received by IP carriers via SIP protocal.
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