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Using CNAM in Outbound Calling

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Q: What is CNAM? Is it good with fried chicken?


A: CNAM is an acronym which stands for Caller ID Name.

When phone calls are made, there are usually two user-facing identifiable pieces of information: a phone number and a Caller ID Name (usually a 15-character string). CNAM can be used to display the calling party's name alongside the phone number, to help users easily identify a caller.

There are numerous CNAM lookup services which allow you to pay a small fee to lookup the CNAM of a specified caller (by phone number).

CNAM Lookup Services List:
http://www.bulkcnam.com/ Cost: Only $0.005 per query for carriers or $0.009 for hobbyists! No catch, guaranteed with easy paypal integration. Sign Up for a FREE Account and we will credit you 30 FREE CNAM queries to try http://www.bulkcnam.com/.
http://www.calleridservice.com No monthly fees or account minimums and 20 free queries to test our service when you open an account ( instant setup ). Simple HTTP API or Fast AGI that can be placed in your Asterisk dial plan. Also native support for Switchvox PBX systems. Results are never cached so you get up to the minute real-time results. Retail prices are $.006 per query and bulk pricing is available with a volume commitment of at least 25,000 queries per month. Free support and installation assistance is available.
www.callwithus.com offers both CNAM ($0.006) and LRN ($0.0003) look ups. No minimums and monthly charges. Simple HTTP API, easy to integrate to Asterisk dial plan.



Q: Can I use CNAM for an outbound toll-free number?


A: No. I've had the exact same conversation with 2 different long distance carriers, Bellsouth and AT&T and got the same answer from both. The name is controlled by the end carrier, therefore you could possibly put a name on the toll free number but there would be a lot of hoops to jump through but then the name may not show up on the far end.

For instance, carriers like Bellsouth or AT&T may show the name but some local mom and pop carrier won't because the do not have the money to subscribe to those particular databases, so on the far end it will show Toll Free or Unknown.

Unfortunately there is no common database for toll free numbers like there is for local numbers. About the only possible way to get around that, is you would have to have the toll free number point to a local number, but even then it may not always work.

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