We are often asked to explain how Caller Name services work, in reference to making outbound calls on our Hosted phone service or SIP Trunk platform. The first thing to know is that there are two different types of information that are presented when you make an outbound call:
1. CallerID : This is simply a string of digits that represents the phone number associated with your service. In the case of Hosted VoIP service, the service provider may be able to provide options to you to present the desired CallerID. The service provider, and therefore the customer, can therefore have contol over the CallerId number that is presented with the call.
2. Caller Name (CNAM): The Caller Name must be setup with the carrier (or VoIP service provider) to be associated with a given phone number. For example, 732-490-9007 is associated with ConnectMe. So, an outbound call which uses 732-490-9007 as the callerID should show up as “ConnectME” on the receiving phone line. However, the carrier, or service provider cannot supply the calling information on the phone. Instead, they provide the callerID, and then it is the responsibility of the called party’s terminating carrier to associate that number with the name. The way this is done, is using a process called a “CNAM DIP”. So, when I call someone at their home phone, the carrier the person uses for their home phone, does a lookup in a database to determine the name. Doing this CNAM DIP is the only reliable and acceptable way to provide a name.
The system of CNAM dips however is imperfect. That is due to the fact that we rely on each and every carrier completing calls to do what they are supposed to on the name lookups. Unfortunately they do not all do this in a timely manner. Sometimes they cache name information for long periods of time to save on costs. This can cause a delay of days, weeks or longer. They may also have problems with their CNAM lookup process. Also, there are several CNAM databases from which a carrier may dip. Carriers may chose which database provider they will reference. This again is an opportunity for incorrect or inconsistent data.
The only thing that is in the control of your service provider, is that they are using the correct CallerID, and that the company information has been submitted to all of the database providers.
ConnectMeVoice is a Hosted VoIP provider, and we are happy to answer any questions regarding CNAM or callerId. Please contact us at any time.