What is CNAM?

Caller ID Name Display (CNAM), or as it is often called, text caller ID, is usually displayed along with your Caller ID (CLI) on the phone of the person you are calling.

Note: Do not confuse CNAM with Outbound Caller ID. CNAM is usually a text, and Outbound Caller ID is a phone number. See How Do I Change Outbound Caller ID article for more details.


How CNAM works

The caller name or CNAM is an additional subscription function for call recipients (via their local operator). Display names are defined for telephone numbers used as Caller ID for outgoing calls and are stored in 3rd party databases, where they are queried by the terminating (call recipient) service provider and displayed to the person you are calling. This only works if the call recipient has subscribed to CNAM function with their service provider.

We can update CNAM for each phone number in your account, however, local operators might work with different databases, which are updated at their own discretion.

Intermedia can only control CNAM for its own numbers. If you use a number that is owned by a different service provider as a CLI, we cannot change CNAM for that number. You will need to contact that number's operator to update its CNAM.

Note: CNAM name can be a max of 15 characters in length, and can only contain letters, numbers and spaces. Private, Unavailable, and Unknown are not allowed. CNAM cannot be a phone number.

CNAM for Toll-free

Outbound CNAM cannot be set for Toll-Free numbers, only for local numbers, because Toll-Free numbers were originally designed to be used as numbers to be called, not called from.

Outbound CNAM

Intermedia uploads CNAM updates every Monday about 10:30 PST. The update is submitted to 2 of the major databases we are in communication with and it takes up to 72 hours to propagate to most other databases.

This means that most calls will display the correct CNAM by Thursday. However there might be some calls that will not display the correct CNAM even after 72 hours, if the terminating service provider uses a CNAM database that does not update. We have no control over each individual database updating its records.

Because of this, for some call recipients, the old information can be displayed for several weeks until their database have updated its records, or not update at all unless the person you call contacts them and requests an update. Intermedia does not perform this change and is not in control of CNAM. We simply submit the request on behalf of our customers to the entities that manage CNAM databases. Because of this, we cannot expedite CNAM change request.

Important: to update Outbound CNAM for your phone number, please contact Support.

Inbound CNAM

Hunt Group and CNAM on Intermedia Unite platform

When utilizing Hunt Groups, phones will display 10 characters of CNAM first, then 10 characters of the name of the Hunt Group when the call reaches the phones. This behavior is to accommodate technical limitations of digital telephony and phones' limited screen real estate.
Note: CNAM and the name of the Hunt Group are separated by comma.

Contact directory and CNAM

Local contact directory on a phone always overrides CNAM. Phones will display the name that has been added to their contact directories when a call reaches the phone, instead of the CNAM.