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Virgin Media O2 UK Adopt Hiya AI to Tackle SPAM and Fraud Calls

Monday, Feb 12th, 2024 (9:59 am) - Score 1,840
Hiya-Protect-working-on-smartphones

Broadband ISP and mobile operator Virgin Media and O2 have today announced that they’ve become the second major UK telecoms provider, after BT (EE), to adopt Hiya’s AI-based technologies, which can analyse call behaviour in real-time and determine whether to flag an incoming call as ‘suspected spam’ or block fraud.

Most of the major broadband, phone and mobile network providers have already implemented technical measures to tackle Nuisance Calls, although these aren’t always 100% effective. But Hiya’s service is designed to run alongside VMO2’s existing fraud protection services, including firewall technology, which has already blocked more than 89 million fraudulent texts from reaching customers in 2023.

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

The new Hiya Protect service, which will be “rolled out in the background to all customers in the coming months” (at no extra cost to customers), uses Adaptive AI to analyse call number behaviour to determine whether to flag a call to the customer as suspected spam or block it as fraud, preventing it from reaching customers’ phones before it even rings.

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In addition, the operator will also roll out Hiya’s caller identification service, Hiya Connect, which will allow companies to add identity information to their calls with their company name, logo, call purpose and location, so recipients immediately know who is calling and why. The hope is that customers will then have greater confidence in the legitimacy of calls and will thus be more likely to answer their phone.

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

“In the fight against fraud, we’re committed to rolling out the latest technology to help keep our customers safe.

From AI tools to help us block fraudulent calls, to services that help identify callers before a customer has even picked up the phone, our extensive partnership with Hiya will see us continue to improve on our existing measures and give customers’ additional protection from spam and fraudsters.”

Phone spam and fraud are persistent challenges for telco carriers worldwide. In the UK alone, 28% of unknown calls were spam, according to the latest Hiya study – and nearly 10% of those were fraud calls. With scammers constantly evolving their methods and looking for new ways to gain personal information from customers, VMO2 is also urging all mobile customers to report suspicious texts for free by forwarding them on to 7726.

Just to be clear, we believe VMO2 will be integrating Hiya’s new technologies at the network-level, which means that it should be a seamless change for customers.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
12 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Andrew says:

    Great news, EE need to have this, and the EE NVMOs

    How well does it work?

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      EE = BT, they already have it.

    2. Avatar photo Martyn says:

      I get daily spam phone calls, I search the number and its “tried to sell me energy products” or something similar, all numbers are the same with the odd 1 or 2 digits changed.

    3. Avatar photo aled says:

      What precisely is the nature of this?

      When I see global roll-out of cloud analysing all calls, is it effectively an AI tool that is also conveniently a spying tool that can monitor all calls globally?

  2. Avatar photo Andrew says:

    @Mark – yet, I still get Silent ‘No caller ID’ calls, all the time, hopefully it improves

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Yes, none of these solutions are perfect, which is because it’s difficult to be 100% secure against such things without also over-blocking legitimate calls. But the technologies for tackling such issues are improving.

  3. Avatar photo AQX says:

    Been using Hiya for years without issues, wonder how VMo2 will mess it up and make it useless.

  4. Avatar photo Obi says:

    Samsung phones have this as well, one of the few things I miss when I switched to an iPhone, along with split screen view.

    1. Avatar photo Mike says:

      You can get Hiya on Apple app store.

  5. Avatar photo Elaine Oneill says:

    What is it with virgin I don’t understand this many thanks

    1. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      Hiya uses a technology called “Adaptive AI” to detect unwanted calls and spam, and is reportedly much more successful than conventional systems. As Mark said VMO2 will implement this at network-level, so you won’t need to do anything.

  6. Avatar photo Henry schwartz says:

    If that good

    Assassin syndicate

Comments are closed

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