Currently, smartphones have become the primary communication tool, replacing the traditional phone lines. Picking up or receiving the call to engage in a conversation is as easy as a single click or a touch. Another essential part is identifying callers and deciding whether to receive it.

The rise of spam and robocalls has made it even more crucial for businesses and individuals to recognize unknown callers. CNAM is here to help in the cause. It’s a functionality or service used for caller identification and enhancing the communication experience.

Today, we’ll be running through this topic, i.e., CNAM, and get to know about it as closely as possible. So, let’s jump into it!

What Is CNAM (Caller ID Name)?

What Is CNAM (Caller ID Name)

CNAM stands for Caller ID Name or Caller Name Identification, a feature that displays the calling person’s name to the receiver. It provides the caller’s number and the name registered with that number to the call’s recipient.

When Person A calls Person B, the CNAM service permits the telephone company to convey the name linked with the calling number to Person B’s phone.

CNAM is used on landlines and mobile phones, allowing the call recipient to figure out who the caller is before answering. It is an upgraded version of the traditional Caller ID service, which shows only the caller’s phone number.

How Does CNAM Work?

CNAM is a technology that reveals the calling person’s name to you rather than only the phone number. Here’s how it works:

Before understanding the working mechanism of CNAM, be clear that this service works only in the US and Canada

For example, Person A calls Person B; the call is initiated. When Person A makes a phone call, their phone number is transferred to the receiving carrier’s network. 

The receiving phone carrier then scans for a matchup in a CNAM database with the help of Person A’s phone number. The following database includes phone numbers, names, connected businesses, etc. 

The receiving phone carrier captures the linked name if a match is available in the database. The name is usually below 15 characters. 

Lastly, the receiving carrier forwards the same acquired name to Person B’s phone. And it displays the information on Person B’s caller ID system when the phone rings.

Types of CNAM

Types of CNAM

The main job of CNAM is to display the CNAM information or display name on the recipient’s mobile screen when a call arrives. However, there are a few types of CNAM, which you will learn about here.

Traditional CNAM

Traditional CNAM is one of the most common types of CNAM and is also widely popular. This, by default, displays the name connected to the calling person’s phone number. 

This is the basic service, which is primarily for displaying none other than the caller’s name.

Enhanced CNAM

Enhanced CNAM goes above and beyond by offering more information than just displaying the caller’s name. That extra information can be the organization’s name or the location linked to the calling number.

Local Caller ID

This type of CNAM usually shows the city or state information linked with that calling number. It is used for landline numbers and notably does not display the caller name like the traditional CNAM or phone lines.

Dynamic CNAM

Dynamic CNAM is more advanced than other types of CNAM. Businesses must pick a service provider that provides the specific Dynamic CNAM service. The business can determine the rules regarding which display name to appear in different situations. 

For instance, you can form different names depending on who is calling, like ‘Food Delivery Person’ when the customer is waiting for their ordered food. 

Similarly, ‘Your Doctor’ is used when the customer needs to be reminded of the dental appointment. Dynamic CNAM needs to be configured; the downfall is that it isn’t available in all regions. 

Private CNAM

You might’ve discovered an ‘Unknown’ or ‘Private Number’ instead of the person’s name on the caller ID. And this is because of Private CNAM. It allows you to block your name from being shown on the receiver’s mobile device.

This can be done for various reasons, like hiding identity, preventing phone spam, and avoiding callbacks where caller identification isn’t needed. 

Some service providers offer private CNAM by which the call receiver will see something like ‘Private Number’ or ‘Unknown’ instead of the caller’s name.

CNAM (Caller ID Name) and CLID (Caller Line Identification): Differences

CNAM (Caller ID Name) and CLID (Caller Line Identification) have the same purpose, i.e., showing the caller’s details to the recipient. Although they may sound identical, they have some key differences; let’s look at them:

ConveysName of the caller (or other details) Only phone number
DisplaysNumber as well as namePhone number
FunctionExtracts the caller’s name and displays it along with the phone numberForward the caller’s phone number to the receiver’s phone
AccuracyNot always accurateAlways accurate
Example‘Dr Ankush Mehta’+1 (206) 555 1357

The main distinguishing factor of these telecommunication features is that CLID only displays the phone numbers. At the same time, CNAM displays both the virtual phone number and names associated with that number.

Advantages of CNAM

  • Improved call-answer ratio: People are likelier to pick up calls from familiar names than from an unknown number with no name. Hence, CNAM enhances the call answer rates.
  • Increased brand image: When making business calls, the organization’s name pops up on the receiver’s phone screen; it enhances the impression, right? Registering your name with CNAM can make your business appear more trustworthy and professional.
  • Minimizes spam call chances: Want to avoid getting spam or robocalls? Then, you need to register your number with CNAM.
  • Enhanced customer experience: A company rings a call, the customer sees it with the name, and it brings comfort and trust to them. They will answer the call and engage in the conversation positively.
  • Improved transparency: The identity of the caller gets flashed by CNAM, promoting transparency and gaining trust between an organization and customers.

Disadvantages of CNAM

  • Country restrictions: Not all users can benefit from the CNAM service as it works in America and some parts of Europe. 
  • Supports limited numbers: Not all numbers, i.e., toll-free numbers and specific VoIP numbers, support CNAM, so some callers cannot leverage its functionalities.
  • Outdated information: All the calling persons’ info is stored in a CNAM database, which needs to be updated regularly. Otherwise, outdated or incorrect names may show on the calling screen of the recipients.


And that’s a wrap! So, in this article, I’ve tried my best to make you fully aware of CNAM (Caller ID Name). I hope you like it.

CNAM is a pretty popular name in the field of screening calls and recognizing unknown callers. This functionality transmits the caller’s name and phone number to the recipient’s phone. 

While CNAM functionality has been here for quite some time, its usage is more demanding now. Businesses must appear legitimate and eliminate spammy calls, so leveraging CNAM makes them look professional. Also, CNAM information is critical for improving call decision-making.


How does CNAM work?

First and foremost, you make a phone call; then, the carrier forwards your phone number. The receiving carrier then looks for a match with your information and, if found, returns it to the receiving carrier. The receiving carrier sends the caller’s information to the recipient’s phone.

What is CNAM registration?

CNAM registration is the process of adding your name and contact details to the database, which is helpful for retrieving when you make a call. The moment you register your phone number, your name and the number will pop up on the calling screen of the person you call.

Is CNAM the same as caller ID?

They are not the same, although they perform nearly the same duties. Caller ID displays the phone number of the calling person. Similarly, CNAM (Caller ID Name) displays the phone number and the calling person’s name.

What are the benefits of CNAM?

Some of the benefits of CNAM are an increased call answer rate, increased brand reputation, enhanced customer experience, and many more.

Sandipan Khadka is an Associate Content Writer at Dialaxy with the knack of writing content that is appealing for the readers. He has written broadly in the area of VoIP and call center solutions.