Know Who’s Calling … before you answer

March 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Calling Name is becoming available for mobile phones, finally!

Although wireline subscribers loved Calling Name,
mobile subscribers never received the feature … until recently.

Mobile Operators are now delivering the most valuable wireline telephone feature, ever: Calling Name. Most mobile subscribers want this feature [Forrester]. Recently, T-Mobile has been offering it, and others are quickly adding it as an option. Fortunately, it is not necessary to get a new phone–just ask for it! Conveniently, your service provider may include it, for free trial use, in your new phone. After a couple of weeks of trying the service for free, you are presented with the option of keeping the service.

How is Calling Name an improvement?
Today, when someone calls you, your mobile phone receives the calling number (303 555 1212), and so you are burdened with determining who this number belongs to, and whether you want to answer the call … while the phone is ringing. A name will be displayed only if you have this number stored in your phone’s Address Book. Calling Name informs you of the caller, and also lets your phone display any additional information (e.g., “Mom”) that you may have form this number in your Address Book.

Calling number (current operation)

Calling number and Name displayed













* Subscriber revenues from Calling Name were greater than any other feature, due to the broad appeal to the Called person to choose when they wish to take an incoming call. We all wish to use our limited time wisely, it seems, so Calling Name appealed to everyone, independent of household income. At its peak (in the late 1990s), most homes in the U.S. subscribed to this service, at around $6/month (at $72/year/household x 100M Households, we’re talking $7,000,000,000 per year in the U.S. market, alone). Call Waiting, Three-way calling, Voice Mail … they all paled to Calling Name.

Having helped to deliver these innovative features to wireline subscribers (I worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories, when AT&T was a monopoly), it’s exciting to see the benefits of Calling Name (a.k.a. Caller ID) becoming available to a new generation of mobile subscribers!

T-Mobile "Name ID" delivers the Caller's Name (not just the number)


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