For call center professionals (especially those involved in outbound dialing campaigns), it's important to understand the different terms and features associated with caller ID. We'll explore the differences between the terms “unknown caller” and “no caller ID,” as well as their implications for both callers and recipients of calls.
Caller ID is a feature that allows the recipient of a call to see the phone number and/or name of the person calling before answering. This feature has become increasingly important in telecommunications as it helps to identify spam and unwanted calls. However, there are two different terms that are often used interchangeably: “unknown caller” and “no caller ID.” Let's explore what each term means.
Understanding Caller ID
Before we delve into the differences between “unknown caller” and “no caller ID,” let's first discuss how caller ID works. When a call is made, the calling party's phone number and/or name is transmitted to the recipient's phone. This information is then displayed on the recipient's phone screen before they answer the call.
There are two types of caller ID: name and number, and just number. Name and number caller ID displays both the name and phone number of the person calling, while just number caller ID only displays the phone number.
It's also important to note that Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) can affect caller ID. VOIP is a technology that allows voice communication over the internet instead of traditional telephone lines. When a call is made using VOIP, the phone number and/or name may not be transmitted correctly or may not be transmitted at all, resulting in an unknown or no caller ID.
In the VOIP world, caller ID is based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and it allows the user to know who is calling before answering the phone. Caller ID is a telephone service that transmits the caller's phone number to the called party's telephone equipment during the ringing signal, or when the call is being set up but before the call is answered.
Now let's explore what “unknown caller” means. An unknown caller is a call where the phone number and/or name of the person calling cannot be determined. This can happen for several reasons, but it's most commonly associated with calls made using VOIP.
When an unknown caller makes a call, the recipient's phone may display “unknown caller” on their screen. This can be frustrating for recipients who may be hesitant to answer calls from unknown or unidentified numbers.
It's worth noting that Freeswitch and Asterisk, two open-source telephony platforms, handle unknown callers differently. Freeswitch will display “unknown” as a name if the caller ID is not transmitted, while Asterisk will display “anonymous.”
“No Caller ID”
On the other hand, “no caller ID” means that the call was made with a blocked number or the caller ID was intentionally spoofed. When a call is made with no caller ID, the recipient's phone will typically display “no caller ID” or “private number.”
There are many reasons why someone may choose to block their number or spoof their caller ID. For example, businesses may use this feature when making sales calls, and individuals may use it when they want to remain anonymous.
“Spoofed” calls are calls where the calling party has manipulated data (such as Caller ID) to falsely represent the originator of a communication. For example, a caller may use technology to “spoof” a phone number, making it appear as if the call is coming from a different number than the one they are actually calling from. This can be done for legitimate reasons, such as when a business wants to display a single number for all outgoing calls, or for malicious purposes, such as when a scammer pretends to be a trusted entity to gain access to sensitive information. Spoofing is a common issue in telecommunications and can be difficult to detect and prevent.
Freeswitch and Asterisk handle no caller ID differently as well. Freeswitch will display “blocked” as the name if the caller ID is not transmitted, while Asterisk will display “unknown.”
Pros and Cons of “Unknown Caller” and “No Caller ID”
So what are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of caller ID for both callers and recipients of calls?
The advantage of an “unknown caller” is that it may be less intimidating for recipients who are hesitant to answer calls from unknown or unidentified numbers. However, it can also be frustrating for recipients who want to know who is calling them before answering.
The advantage of “no caller ID” is that it allows callers to remain anonymous if they choose. However, it can also be frustrating for recipients who may not want to answer calls from blocked or private numbers.
Ultimately, the decision to use an unknown or no caller ID is up to the individual making the call. However, it's important to remember that recipients of calls may be hesitant to answer calls from unknown or unidentified numbers.