Like virtually all voice telephony consumers, Wabash subscribers have been suffering from illegal robocalls, a source of much annoyance and a conduit for fraud. As a result, consumers are less likely to answer calls from phone numbers they do not recognize. Commercial subscribers that have legitimate business with their customers are suffering from significantly lower call answer rates. Whether it’s a prescription refill, doctor’s appointment reminders, school closings, or reverse 911 calls, there are legitimate cases where businesses, schools, and government agencies need to urgently communicate with subscribers. Improving subscriber trust in the public phone network is a major goal of the STIR/SHAKEN framework, a requirement of the TRACED Act signed into law in 2019.
“We wanted to deliver a highly reliable STIR/SHAKEN solution for our subscribers, without significant expense”
To implement STIR/SHAKEN at Wabash Communications, there were a number of technical and business challenges:
- The SIP-based Ribbon C15 softswitch at the core of the Wabash network did not support STIR/SHAKEN. To add the feature would require an expensive upgrade.
- The interconnect trunks that pass traffic to other operators are SS7 based and are not compatible with the original SIP-based STIR/SHAKEN framework.
- Parts of the Wabash network infrastructure are not yet fully depreciated. Replacing this equipment would result in a significant write-down expense.
“Like many of the NTCA members, we have TDM equipment that is not yet depreciated…we have a fiscal responsibility to our subscribers and owners.”
Based on his participation in the ATIS STI-GA board discussions, Dave Frigen knew an effort was underway to standardize Out-of-Band STIR/SHAKEN, an innovative way to implement STIR/SHAKEN for hybrid SIP/TDM and pure TDM operators that would be compatible with the challenge at Wabash, integrated into his existing Ribbon C15 softswitch.