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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

T-Mobile announced Thursday it will offer ScamShield, a free scam-blocking service, to all T-Mobile, Metro and Sprint customers.

Why it matters: Robocalls remain the scourge of the industry, with billions of unwanted calls pummeling customers last year.

  • "People are being robbed. People are being scammed," CEO Mike Sievert said on a call with reporters on Thursday. And, yet, he said some rivals make customers pay for spam protection, calling out Verizon for charging many customers $7.99 per month for the service.
  • "This industry shouldn’t be profiting from this phenomenon," Sievert said.

The big picture: T-Mobile's moves are a mix of industry-wide efforts as well as things it is doing on its own, including:

  • Using network patterns to identify spam calls and allowing users to get a warning or, if they choose, block such calls from ringing.
  • Offering customers a free second phone number they can give out to businesses so they can save their main number for their close friends (or vice versa).
  • Allowing customers to change their number if they are getting too many spam calls.
  • Free ID monitoring and alerts from McAfee.

"This is no easy task, but we're making real headway," network head Neville Ray said on the call.

Meanwhile: Sievert and Ray said the company is ahead of schedule on its 5G rollout, including turning on the mid-band spectrum it acquired as part of its Sprint deal.

  • T-Mobile already uses low-band spectrum to cover much of the country with 5G service, but the mid-band spectrum allows for faster speeds than are possible with low-band 5G.

Go deeper

Kroger CEO: Shift to online shopping accelerated during pandemic

Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen Photo: Axios screenshot

The shift to online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated beyond most analysts' predictions, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said on Wednesday at an Axios event.

The big picture: McMullen said the industry had expected the shift to online to take about 3 years. Instead, it took place in only two weeks.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Anita Dunn advises Dems on economy message for '22

Signs from a President Biden event yesterday in Kansas City, Mo. Photo: Chase Castor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a midterm preview, top Democratic strategist Anita Dunn advises the party's House and Senate members to frame Republicans "as being against the economic interests of working Americans."

What she's saying: "Explicitly framing Republicans as opposing policies to lower costs does better than simply framing Republicans as the 'party of no,'" Dunn, White House senior adviser until August, writes in the memo.

JPMorgan: "Full global recovery" in 2022

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase Global Research says in a forecast to clients: "2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic, and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The big picture: The bullish report sees "a return of global mobility, and a release of pent-up demand from consumers (e.g. travel, services)."