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22/02/2024 - Jodie Penk

What is CNAM?

CNAM stands for Caller ID Name and refers to the process of linking a phone number to a name within the CNAM database. This means that as a call is made, the database is notified, pulls the name associated with the number and displays this name to the recipient of the phone call in real time. CNAM is predominantly used in businesses, as it immediately lets customers know who’s on the other end of the phone, therefore increasing the pick-up rate. 

Cnam office phones
Image by Ronald Carreño

How Does CNAM Work?

CNAM is a series of clever technologies that all start with your service provider. They will maintain a database which stores your name / business name and directly links this to your phone number. When initially signing up CNAM service, you will provide your name or business name – it is important to remember that this will be what is shown on the receiving end of the phone call so, if your business name changes you need to inform your service provider!

When you make a call your number reaches the service providers network, which would then normally be sent straight to the recipient. In the case of CNAM, it reaches the network and then the database is scrubbed looking for the correlating name to the number, Once this is found, it is then sent back to the network and onto the end user – this takes 0.9 seconds on average! At Fuse 2, we can offer this service at network level on all calls from the USA to the customers PBX. Offering CNAM at network level allows us to constantly measure inbound calls to ensure the highest level of security possible.

Why is CNAM important?

There are many different reasons as to why businesses would need CNAM call functionality however, the main reason is the added security. Now it is not an uncommon occurrence to receive phishing calls from people impersonating large franchises with the aim to scam the public. With the CNAM functionality activated, customers can easily identify a legitimate business by the name which appears on their phone.

The Benefits of CNAM

There are many benefits to CNAM including enhanced professional image, free advertising and streamlined communications. However, the main benefits all relate to the enhanced security and fraud prevention measures. Customers can easily identify a genuine call from a scam call therefore increasing pick-up rate and decreasing the risk of a potential security breach. All of these benefits ultimately result in an enhanced customer experience.

  • Streamlined Communication
  • Enhanced professional Image & Advertising
  • Enhanced Customer Experience
  • Increased Pickup Rate

Pros vs Cons of CNAM


  • Streamlined Communication
  • Enhanced Professional Image & Advertising
  • Enhanced Customer Experience
  • Increased Pickup Rate
  • Enhanced Trust & Reputation


  • Dependance on Carrier Updates
  • Inconsistency Across Networks
  • Not all carriers offer CNAM services
Receptionist answering CNAM phone system
Image by Rodrigo Salomón Cañas

Using CNAM in Marketing and Branding

CNAM is a great way to get your business name out there to the public, you could see it as additional marketing! Having your business / brand name appear on the recipients caller ID acts as a reminder of your company and can increase your brand recall and reputation. Displaying your business name via CNAM also helps in portraying a professional brand image, this therefore results in an enhanced sense of legitimacy. 

CNAM Integrations with other platforms

CNAM can be seamlessly integrated to all mainstream PBX systems, as it is the service provider who controls the CNAM database and pulls this through before the call reaches the PBX. This therefore means that the PBX receives the call as it would have before the CNAM functionality was introduced, meaning no change to the call flow.

Where Is CNAM Available?

CNAM is currently only available in the USA for both inbound and outbound calling.

Who Updates the CNAM Databases?

Your service provider will be in charge of updating the CNAM database and it is their responsibility to ensure that all details are as relevant and accurate as possible. This does however mean that you will need to notify your service provider of any details which may change, like business name, to guarantee that you are always displaying accurate information to the receiver of the call. You will not be reminded to update your CNAM information, so it is critical that you remember to notify the service provider should anything change in your business. The database will only be changed as an when prompted to by yourself!

Types of CNAM

Inbound CNAM

This is where your service provider will complete a search of USA Calling numbers within the CNAM database, upon receipt of a name record, they then inject this into the call information that is passed to customers PBX systems. That way, customers receive both the phone number of the person calling and their name if the person making the call has populated their CNAM records with their provider.

Outbound CNAM

This is where your service provider will populate your name record within the CNAM database. This way when you make calls to others that have CNAM capability they will receive your phone number and the name of your business based on the entered record.

Image by Michal Jarmoluk

What Is the Difference Between Caller ID and CNAM?

Caller ID is simply the telephone service which displays a caller’s phone number on the recipients phone which is useful for detecting unwanted calls if you do not recognise the phone number. This is a basic identification service which has been in place for decades and comes as standard on all communications – landline and mobile.

CNAM however, has the ability to use the phone number making the call to then match this to an associating number within the CNAM database to then display this name on the end users devise. This therefore removes the guesswork of a Caller ID number and greatly reduces the risk of fraudulent calls.

How Does CNAM Fight Fraud?

Many fraudulent calls are carried out by extremely malicious call centres, often impersonating large well-known brands. You may have experienced a call like this, from someone claiming to be your electricity provider or your phone provider.

Unfortunately, these types of calls are becoming an everyday occurrence for most of the population. With technology like CNAM, the likeliness of receiving (and answering!) one of these calls is greatly reduced as the business name is clearly displayed on screen. This prevention can even be enhanced, when choosing a service provider, like Fuse 2, who own their own independent network. This means engineers can easily detect fraudulent calls and block them from making it through the network to the end user.

Fuse 2 are now the official range holder of all iHub numbers. If you have any information regarding legacy iHub services please get in touch +44 330 088 0333