Got name? T-Mobile USA does, now offering subscribers on the Samsung Exhibit 4G a caller ID service, and it will be adding it to more handsets, including the T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide from HTC later this month.
It marks the first carrier implementation of Name ID from Cequint, which provides City ID that is now on more than 50 million devices. While City ID gives mobile phone owners some idea of what city and state the caller is from, name ID is just a bit more specific.
Similar to traditional landline caller ID, Name ID accesses operator-validated name information managed by TNS and displays it on the incoming call screen to show the name, city and state of previously unknown callers who are not stored in a mobile phone’s contacts or address book. T-Mobile customers who use the service will be able to add new contact information to the phone’s contact list with a single click.
Cequint was acquired by TNS last year, and at the time of the announcement, executives said the combination of the TNS database and network services with Cequint’s operator and OEM relationships would lead to bigger and better things. TNS oversees a line information database (LID) of operator-validated names; combined with Cequint’s software in handsets, they’re able to deliver the Name ID.
Given that caller ID is such a popular service in the landline world, why is it missing in mobile? The answer, according to Cequint President Scott Weller, is even though it’s a straightforward and familiar service, it requires integration with the handset OEMs at the firmware level and integration with the operators, “so there’s a fair amount of work behind the scenes.”
Weller figures Cequint’s City ID technology is available in roughly 80 percent of the handsets that are getting shipped around the U.S. these days. Most of what Cequint does on a daily basis nowadays is integration with the handset makers. In fact, it’s working with all the majors with the exception of Apple.
T-Mobile is currently offering a free 10-day trial of the service, after which Name ID is available for a monthly recurring charge of $3.99. The City ID product runs $1.99 per month after the initial trial period.