Voice calls: known issues and limitations

This article lists known regulations and restrictions around voice calls, including caller ID restrictions, country- or region-specific configuration steps, and any other anomalies, limitations, or quirks that we're aware of.

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Background

The telephone is still one of the most useful and direct methods of contacting people on your team whether you're dealing with a major incident or just checking in for a progress report. Unlike SMS, email, or even the mobile apps, voice calls allow instant two-way communication about an issue and can even involve multiple resolvers on a single call.

Unfortunately, it's also easy for people and organizations to use the telephone as an instrument of harm or disruption. Whether that's unwanted telemarketing, phishing schemes, number spoofing (caller impersonation), or attempting to place expensive, long-distance calls using someone else's number, the ways in which bad actors can attempt to profit are ever-evolving.

To help combat this, countries are implementing more stringent regulations on how companies (such as Everbridge xMatters) are allowed to place calls using their service providers, especially when the calls originate from a different region. Voice calls may therefore behave differently or require different configurations depending on where you live.

China

Carriers in China must follow a real-name registration policy to avoid and prevent potential illegal activities such as telemarketing, spam, fraud, and others. In addition, China has regulations in place that prohibit any company from attempting to connect a high volume of voice calls that are on average less than three minutes long. 

All xMatters customers that want to send voice calls to users in China must request a Chinese Direct Inward Dialing (DID) number from China Mobile International. These numbers will be registered under the customer's name, and will require them to complete a registration form and provide the following information:

  • A copy of the legal or key representative's ID.
  • A copy of the project manager's ID. The project manager must be a Chinese contact within China.
  • A copy of the business license/registration.

For more information about these policies, refer to the Chinese government's Real-Name Registration policy at this link: 电话用户真实身份信息登记规定 (moj.gov.cn).

(The above link is in Chinese, but an English version using Google Translate can be found here: English version.)

To request a DID application, contact Support.

UK

Due to rising telephone scams and fraud, United Kingdom regulators updated their guidelines for UK phone numbers and messaging long codes. These guidelines, called “Know your Customer (KYC)”, aim to reduce spam, fraud, and bad actors in the telecommunications space by requiring that businesses and individuals provide verified identity data when acquiring UK phone numbers and long codes.

To respect these updated guidelines, the UK phone numbers and long codes that xMatters uses to notify your users must be associated with this KYC data by September 30th, 2024.

  • For customers with a United Kingdom address and registration, the xMatters Support and Customer Success teams will work with you to gather the required data and link the bundle to your existing phone numbers.
  • For customers that will not meet the new regulatory requirements, the xMatters Support and Customer Success teams will work with you to migrate to a new set of phone numbers before September 30th, 2024.

Who will this affect?

xMatters accounts which have UK phone numbers for Voice Notifications, Conference Bridging or SMS messages will be required to have associated regulatory bundle data by September 30th, 2024.

What do I need to do?

Scenario 1:

If you do not have any UK phone numbers, then no action is required at this time.

Scenario 2:

If all of the following are true:

  • Your xMatters organization is configured to make or receive calls or SMS messages via a UK phone number
  • Your business has a valid United Kingdom address
  • Your business is registered in the UK Companies House Registry

Then xMatters will submit a “Know your Customer” regulatory bundle on your behalf. We may reach out to you for assistance with preparing the regulatory bundle which will typically require the following information:

  • Business Registration Number (such as the UK Companies House Registration Number)
  • Business Name
  • UK Business Address (Must be a valid United Kingdom Address)
  • Business Website Address
  • Business’ Authorized Representative
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Work Email
  • Phone Number

Scenario 3:

If your xMatters organization is configured to make or receive calls or SMS messages via a UK phone number, and at least one of the following is true:

  • Your business does not have a valid United Kingdom address
  • Your business is not registered in the UK Companies House Registry

Then xMatters will need to update your xMatters organization to use different phone numbers. The xMatters Support and Customer Success teams will help you during the migration to identify a timeline for switching over to the new numbers.

Why can't xMatters register the numbers using our own business information?

Since xMatters notification content is customizable by our customers, providers expect that the underlying numbers should be attributed to those businesses whenever possible.

 

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