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Verizon will offer free spam protection to all of its customers

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Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg at CES 2019.
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Verizon announced this week that it will offer free spam and robocall protection to its subscribers starting in March. Features included in its current $3 add-on Call Filter app like spam blocking, robocall filtering, and call blocking, will be offered for free to all Verizon customers with phones that support the features, including iPhones and Android phones. The move finally puts Verizon on par with competing carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T that have been offering the same spam filtering service for free.

Preventing robocalls has been a difficult process because spammy callers have found ways to make spoof calls from local numbers, making it more likely that people will pick up the calls. In late 2018, the Federal Communications Commission mandated that carriers must adopt a new framework called STIR/SHAKEN by 2019, which visually alerts customers when they’re receiving spam calls. T-Mobile has already begun to implement these standards with the call verification feature it launched last week, although it’s only supported on the Galaxy Note 9 for now.

Verizon says it has blocked nearly 1 billion spam calls to date, and it identified more than 300 million numbers associated with robocalls. The company plans to offer more information on how to sign up for the free service as the feature gets closer to launch.