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Vodafone now blocks unwanted calls before they reach you

Engadget logo Engadget 20/09/2016 Jamie Rigg
© Provided by Engadget

Nuisance callers are having a tough time of it already this year, with Ofcom banning them from withholding numbers and helping to create a simple, text registration option for the UK's leave-me-alone database. But Vodafone's decided to go even further, today announcing that it has begun blocking unwanted calls at the network level, so they don't even reach your phone in the first place.

Vodafone already had a system in place to save customers from the missed call scam, stopping them from returning a dropped call from a premium rate number that would charge silly amounts of money. This new barring technology can block these outright, as well as other types of fraudulent and nuisance calls like the dreaded PPI claim offer.

Said to be the first network-wide system of its kind in the UK, Vodafone admits the technology isn't 100 percent effective. During testing, though, the carrier boasts it was able to block over 425,000 unwanted calls in just one day, apparently seeing a drop in the number of attempts over the course of a week as cold callers began to cotton on.

As to how the technology works exactly, Vodafone is keeping tight-lipped. According to the carrier, human curators of the system use a mixture of personal expertise and computer analysis to identify the calls that need blocking. Vodafone didn't want to say any more than that, though, fearing that revealing the ins and outs could give those holding the phones enough info to develop workarounds.


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