O2 UK Begins Rolling Out New, Free Caller Identification Feature

Mobile operator O2 (Virgin Media) has today officially confirmed that they’ve started rolling out Hiya’s new Brand ID technology to customers for free, which is a caller identification solution that can reduce the number of calls customers receive from unknown numbers (e.g. scammers) by providing details of the organisation making the call.

The news isn’t all that surprising as VMO2 announced in February 2024 that they’d become the second major UK telecoms provider, after BT (EE), to adopt Hiya’s AI-based technologies for call filtering and management (here). Brand ID forms a part of Hiya’s portfolio of solutions, and so it seemed inevitable that O2 might adopt it, with the operator beginning this process last month.

NOTE: The adoption of Hiya’s technologies should also benefit O2’s Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) partners, such as giffgaff and Tesco Mobile.

According to today’s official announcement, the tool will act as an anti-fraud filter, only displaying caller information after verifying the company making the call. The technology is being rolled out automatically to millions of O2 Pay Monthly and business customers over the “coming months“, starting with those using Android smartphones.

Around 150 UK businesses are already said to have signed up to the service, including major banks and insurers, although clearly this also means that many more have yet to join. The new feature comes as research from Hiya reveals that nearly half – 46% – of unidentified calls are ignored, with 92% of people admitting they suspect unidentified calls to be fraudulent.

Murray Mackenzie, Director of Fraud at Virgin Media O2, said:

“As part of our relentless efforts to stop the scammers, we’re rolling out next-generation caller ID to provide our customers with reliable information about who is calling before they even pick up the phone.

By giving them confidence in who is calling and why, customers will be better able to spot fraudulent call attempts and ensure they’re only speaking to people and organisations they want to.

With more than a hundred major UK businesses already signed up to the service, this free feature will help give our customers greater peace of mind.”

The new service is being run alongside O2’s existing fraud protection measures, which includes AI-powered spam text detection technology that has already prevented more than 89 million fraudulent texts from reaching customers in 2023 alone. All of this is integrated at the network-level, which means that customers don’t need to do anything in order to benefit.

Later this year, O2 will also introduce Call Defence, another free AI-powered spam fighting tool to help further protect mobile customers from fraud. Hiya’s Adaptive AI system will analyse a call number behaviour to determine whether a call is suspected scam or spam labelling the call accordingly and thereby helps keep customers safe from scammers.

Phone spam and fraud are persistent challenges for telco carriers worldwide. Scammers are constantly evolving their methods looking for new ways to gain personal information from customers, which is why VMO2 are also urging all mobile customers to report suspicious texts for free by forwarding them on to 7726.

Recent Posts