July 2020 Newsletter

Who Just Called You?

**** The 4specs Perspective

Was it someone working from home? or a another spam call?

Having the correct Caller ID on the phone of people working remotely is essential to their getting through to the people they are calling from their remote home office. I generally do not answer calls from the 702 (Las Vegas) and 435 (Utah - where I used to live) area codes unless there is a Caller ID that I recognize. This reduces the number of spam calls I answer.

While researching this newsletter I found that most articles I found focused on incoming Caller ID so you knew who was calling. I am discussing outgoing Caller ID to ensure your employee's calls get through.

Several weeks ago I had a scheduled business phone call. When the call came in, my phone indicated someone else calling. It was the expected time for the call and I answered. He was calling from a company cell phone and did not know what the Caller ID indicated.

I used an Internet service to check for him - [Link no longer works] [New link to test]

Some phone providers will easily update an incorrect Caller ID, some will not. The Caller ID database is called CNAM. This link explains why Caller ID does not work as expected:


Here is my experience on updating my Caller ID on cell phones. With my move to Las Vegas 2 years ago I needed to get the Caller ID to work properly. I changed cell phone numbers and again struggled with the Caller ID. Even today the Caller ID is not satisfactory on my cell phone and is generally used only for personal calls and not business calls.

Here is some of what I found:

[Added 7/13/2020] Caller ID is not used in wireless to wireless calls [link no longer works]

OOMA - a voice over IP system - will update Caller ID. This is the primary system I use for outgoing phone calls. To update my Caller ID I simply called support and the changes were made. I also used OOMA to select the phone numbers I use and then transferred them to my cell phone once I got the Caller ID updated.

ATT cell phone - will update with a post-paid or pay-as-you-go account and will not update a lower-cost prepaid account according to the ATT store I visited. The Caller ID will show a neutral response such as location or wireless caller.

T-Mobile - will apparently update Caller ID when asked. While I did not use it, their post-paid accounts can update online. I am now using T-Mobile as my primary phone and the caller is is set up correctly. [November 2021]

Verizon - have not worked with them.

MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) is a cell service that pays ATT, T-Mobile and Verizon to carry their calls but does not own the towers and supporting equipment. These plans are typically less expensive and will generally have limits on the amount of full-speed data. Examples are:

Straight Talk - run by Walmart

Google FI - This is the cell phone system I used as it is the lowest cost for a low data usage phone. Google will not update Caller ID (I tried). My cell phone Caller ID shows Las Vegas. My assumption is that Google expects that most incoming calls will be from contacts in your phone and will be identified that way so why pay for maintaining the CNAM database..

Questions, comments and suggestions are always appreciated.



Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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