IPhone6 UNKNOWN CallerID Issue

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This was an issue that we came across back in April of 2015. Placing these notes here for future reference.

The purpose of this email is to make you aware of a phone service issue that is presenting as phone calls to certain people showing up with UNKNOWN CallerID.

Since isolating the issue to iPhone 6 devices and working with our upstream providers, we have learned why this issue is occurring.

Cellular phone companies are rolling out a new service called HD Voice or Voice Over LTE. This is supposed to let calls on cell phones sound like normal phone calls instead of the lower quality cell phone calls we’ve all come to know and love over the last few decades. The problem is occurring when normal calls hit the cellular network, they are converting to a data cell and delivering the data all the way to the device. If there are any compatibility issues with that device, it doesn’t receive the originating 10 digit number and simply shows up as UNKNOWN. As this is an emerging technology there are definitely issues they have to work out and this is one of them. This issue is not necessarily a problem with AT&T or Verizon but with newer Apple devices, specifically the iPhone 6. Supposedly Apple is working on a solution but as with most Apple updates there is no time line to resolution published.

The carriers have stepped in and created a fix but individual subscribers have to call and request the feature be enabled on their specific phones. There are two options: 1. Have HD Voice disabled for your cell phone line. 2. Request the carrier enable VoLTECID (Voice Over LTE CallerID) for your cell phone line.

Doing either of the above will resolve the issue for that particular phone. My question to the AT&T customer support rep was “why doesn’t AT&T just enable VoLTECID for everyone and solve the problem?” to which there was really no answer. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the carriers and cell phone providers to come to a permanent resolution of this issue.

Once again, this is a national issue involving all cellular providers that are servicing iPhone 6 devices. There may be other devices that are affected but we have not come across any to date. We have also had no reports of this issue occurring on land lines.