Caller ID in a Nutshell

Caller ID, better known as CNAM Storage, is the process of taking a short title or company name and registering it into the national CNAM database. This is done so that whenever an outbound call is made from that number, the registered name is displayed on the receiving sides telephone or SIP device.

Now at this point you may be wondering how Caller ID registration actually works and I must admit, it’s a bit simpler than one would assume. While each carrier has their own way of handling the registration process between you (the consumer) and themselves, it generally boils down to the following: The customer puts in the request with their provider and in turn their provider would put in the request to whichever of the major Caller ID vendors they use. This vendor takes the registration information and places it into their database. From here on anyone that also uses this vendor would pull the information as needed.

So now you have your new Caller ID listing and you are ready to get started on making calls on behalf of either yourself or your company. But what happens when you call out and your number is returning incorrect information! As stated earlier in this article, the Caller ID name has been registered with your carrier and likewise their vendor, but it’s still not coming in correctly. This is generally where most people will encounter issues with their CNAM service. While the information has been registered correctly there are two things you will need to take into consideration: The first being that CNAM is limited to 15 characters (including spaces) so if your Caller ID is getting cut off this would be why. The other issue that can occur would be that the wrong information is being displayed. This is not an uncommon outcome after CNAM has been updated. More often than not this is due to the party receiving the call not having the correct records in place.

The main thing you want to keep in mind is that when a call is initiated there are two parties – the sending side and the receiving side. Now while the sending side would be responsible for making sure that the Caller ID is registered with their vendor, it would be the receiving side’s responsibility to perform what we would call the CNAM dip. The CNAM dip should be performed on any call into a number that supports the Caller ID feature. It would consist of the receiving side’s carrier taking the number the call is coming from and checking it either directly with their provider, or checking from a cached database that contains the name and number listings for caller ID.

Now in order to fix this, the first thing you would want to do would be to call your vendor and verify that the number is correctly registered. If the number is found to be registered correctly the receiving party would need to reach out to their provider to have this corrected. While this can be rather difficult at times this is generally the only way to handle this issue as most carriers would not make a change for someone that is not a customer of theirs. Once the receiving party has updated their database, the issue will be resolved. This is Caller ID Storage in a nutshell.

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