Home > Business Idea, Future Business Ideas > Redesigning Telco Assets: Caller Privacy

Redesigning Telco Assets: Caller Privacy


This post is part of a series on redesigning telco assets. See also Numbering PlansCall Routing and Billing.

What is the problem?

Traditionally some callers wanted to have their privacy. Think about famous musicians that would have millions of fans calling their mobile if their number got out. Paris Hilton was probably one of the more visible VIPs with problems in this area.

Hiding a number is no longer a guarantee for privacy.

The solutions

Everybody at some moment wants to have some caller privacy. Remember that call from the sales person that did not want to give up or sometimes you just do not want to talk to a person any more, e.g. think ex-partner…

Traditional solutions were about blacklisting numbers. However white or black is not enough. Perhaps you want certain persons to call at certain moments but not at others, e.g. during working hours vs. during holiday. You might even want to know if a call is urgent or not, e.g. your mother might want to talk to you while you are in a meeting. It is important to know if she wants to talk about the weather or about your father who just got brought to hospital.

Also famous people will likely want to have millions of fans calling them, as long as their fans are calling a premium line and an automated system takes all the calls. They could share twitter/Facebook like news with their fans, organize competitions, etc.

However all these solutions rely on smart caller privacy in which one-solution-fits-all is no longer good enough. Open APIs for call routing as discussed in a previous post, should be combined with stronger caller identification. Caller id has long been flagged as totally insecure. Call routing should have more secure mechanisms in which for instance optional SIP headers can contain secure signatures. These secure signatures can then be used for those subscribers that pay for extra security, e.g. important business people.

Also call privacy routing should allow for external rules to be consulted. This should allow an Outlook schedule to be consulted to see if a business person is busy. To check if a person is on a white list, a yellow list, a green list or a black list. Each list can have custom logic, e.g. request the caller if the subject is of low importance, day-to-day business, urgent or an emergency.

Incoming call screening should also be different. Instead of just sharing a caller id that can easily be turned off, a subscriber should be able to enable other services. Examples could be caller profile sharing: get a picture, name, profile, etc. before answering. Also in case somebody flags an emergency then this emergency is summarized on the screen so the subscriber can validate that it really is an emergency.

Where is the revenue?

Many services are possible but again instead of the operator trying to design them all, it is better to open capabilities to others and to live of revenue share.

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