CXTech Week 8 2023 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 8 2023 newsletter is to highlight, with commentary, some of the news stories in CXTech this week. What is CXTech?  The C stands for Connectivity, Communications, Collaboration, Conversation, Customer; X for Experience because that’s what matters; and Tech because the focus is enablers.

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Covered this week:

  • TADHack Open Partners with Ideamart for Women
  • RingCentral partners with AWS
  • LINK Mobility Profitable in 2023?
  • Enterprise Connect 2023, Hackathon Report: Focus on Programmable Communications
  • Vodafone expands partnership with Google – and Google baits Dean Bubley
  • Telnyx Storage powered by Filecoin
  • Vodafone develops ‘prototype 5G network’ built on a Raspberry Pi
  • The Rise of Region-locked Data Centers
  • People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

TADHack Open Partners with Ideamart for Women

We’re proud to announce Ideamart for Women is partnering with TADHack Open, 25-26 March. We hope to see many innovative hacks from Sri Lanka at TADHack Open. At TADSummit 2021 we had an excellent keynote on Ideamart for Women.

I’m a big fan of what Ideamart has achieved. It’s a country-wide innovation ecosystem, that engages the whole country. We’ve worked together since the first TADHack Global in 2014.

In my opinion every telco and CPaaS provider should be implementing their version of Ideamart for Women.

Ideamart is broad, with over 100 APIs. It’s not just APIs, it’s also templates for non-programmers to create SMS and Android applications. IdeaMart has led the way in no-code / low-code since 2012. The Bay Area are only now catching up with them.

I cannot understate the importance of engagement and support in Idamart’s success, from schools through to women returning to work after children. Technology and processes are important, but more important is the human element. The engagement across the country, including Jaffna in the north, rural schools, Universities, and other groups is essential to IdeaMart for Women’s achievements of boosting the Ideamart female community by 4x , aiding more than 20 new startups, and created 5 millionaires.

To all the telcos and CPaaS providers out there: where are your female engagement metrics and ‘for women’ program? Without it you’re simply not achieving your country’s or program’s full potential. We’re proud Ideamart for Women is part of TADHack Open.

Thank you to Radisys for making TADHack Open possible. And thank you to WebRTC.Ventures for supporting TADHack Open and providing their COO, Mariana Lopez, to support the teams remotely.

RingCentral partners with AWS

AWS will offer RingCentral MVP and RingCentral Contact Center to its customers, bringing access to UCaaS and CCaaS.

The companies will work on vertical solutions for businesses in healthcare, financial services, retail, education and the public sector.

The partnership initially focuses on execution in North America, expanding to additional countries in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America over a multi-year period.

It’s been true for a decade, this just confirms that telecoms is a software service for enterprises. The focus is now integration of communications into business processes, workflows, and other SaaS packages. Unless a telco’s offer is similarly programmable, it’s no longer competitive for most enterprise customers. That is why telcos are reselling RingCentral, as presented at the TADSummit 2022 keynote from Filipe.

LINK Mobility Profitable in 2023?

Mark Hay posted:

Two analysts covering LINK Mobility previously expected the company to break even in 2022. New consensus forecast suggests the company will finally make a profit in 2023. Earnings growth of 76% is required to achieve expected profit on schedule.

In the last couple of months, a number of long-serving senior employees have left the company, at least in part due to cost reductions. Nearly 60% of the management team are interim positions.

(Key info courtesy of

There’s still much to shake out in LINK Mobility’s roll-ups. I think 76% growth is going to be hard. The fashion set by Twitter of making email OTP the default option is gaining broader adoption. Now, OTP is one of many segments of A2P SMS. However, carrier price rises and carrier wholesale competition put a squeeze on A2P aggregators like LINK.

Enterprise Connect 2023, Hackathon Report: Focus on Programmable Communications

Just a reminder that some of the winners from TADHack Open 2023 will be presenting at Enterprise Connect 2023, on Tuesday, March 28 at 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm. It’s a great opportunity to meet with people creating new value in programmable communications from around the world.

Vodafone expands partnership with Google – and Google baits Dean Bubley

The deal means Vodafone adopts Google’s Jibe Cloud for Vodafone’s use of Rich Communications Services. Google Messages to you and I. I thought they’d already done that.

Also Google has confirmed that Chats in Google Messages will be named RCS Chats. Initially I thought it was an early April Fools. Now, its Google’s flavor of RCS, which doesn’t need a carrier beyond internet access. Likely they thought it would also piss Dean Bubley off to see RCS being used in billions of devices in a few year’s time. Though, I think he’s one of those hard-of-tech people that use an iPhone, so will only witness RCS usage vicariously 😉

Android TV will be adopted as the preferred platform for Vodafone’s television offer in nine countries. Android TV is good, it’s what we use at home on our Sony TV.

Plus the Pixel 7 handset, Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds will also be introduced to Vodafone retail outlets.

Google is a soup to nuts technology and service provider for carriers. After Netflix and Amazon Prime, YouTube is the #3 TV service in our home. For devices, OnePlus has the edge in longevity, my Pixel experiences were good on the software side, though a little disappointing on the hardware side. With Google Messages I can see when other Google Messages users are typing, received and read my message, plus send higher res photos and videos. Its like Whatsapp and many other communication apps. That difference falls into the noise given the diversity of messaging platforms we use. And the chats will now be called RCS Chat, see above link, for the sole reason to piss Dean off.

Given Google Cloud is wrapped up to address many of the telecom industry’s fashionable problems; Google Cloud addresses many enterprise business needs, e.g. Dialog Flow, Workspace; and Google Fi / Google Fiber directly compete on network services. They are very much a supplier / competitor to telcos. Will carriers become the local brands for Google, Amazon and Microsoft in a couple of decades?

Telnyx Storage powered by Filecoin

The beta of Telnyx Storage was released in November. I finally had a chance to play with it this week. Telnyx Storage is a distributed cloud storage. Low cost, low latency, and S3-compatible APIs for easy migration. All powered through the Filecoin Network.

We’ve covered Filecoin and IPFS for many years at TADSummit. David Dias gave a great update on the projects in 2018, in the Web3 session. It’s been a long road, and most of the filecoin web content focused on its price, rather than the value of the decentralized storage network. See below for the speculation in 2021/2022.

I’ve been a little hesitant to play with filecoin as my experiences were a little intimidating. But Telnyx storage brings filecoin into a familiar framework, and is free to play with at the moment.

Vodafone develops ‘prototype 5G network’ built on a Raspberry Pi

We did a similar thing back in 2016 using the LimeSDR for LTE.

We had a Small Cells demo from Lime Micro with Jimmy Chin, showing how their LimeSDR can support network based services, and we had a few LTE networks running on band 5 in the room and were able to roam between them and use ViLTE (Video over LTE) over them. Its amazing the price reduction and functionality increase in femto and pico base stations. James Body dropped a heavy hint on the important role of a neutral host between all these private and public networks.

The Rise of Region-locked Data Centers

In July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its landmark decision Schrems II (case C-311/18). The CJEU’s ruling’s impacted the landscape for personal data transfers outside the European Union. It imposed additional obligations for transfers of personal data from the European Union (EU) to any country that does not benefit from an EU adequacy decision. This includes personal data accessed outside of the EU.

As an example, Infobip will offer customers a separate EU region-locked data centre from 3 April 2023. With this EU region-locked data centre Infobip enables its customers to comply with the EU data transfer requirements imposed by the Schrems II judgment when using Infobip products and services. We’re seeing other region-locked data centers pop up in the Middle East, e.g. in Saudi Arabia, and Southeast Asia.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Job Opportunity: Sales Manager at Stacuity

Aleksandar Turkovic is now Sales Director at Fido. Fido analyzes people’s digital footprint to score customers and predict credit risk. Before Mitto Aleksandar was with Telesign, which uses the mobile network to confirm identity. Increasingly we’re seeing the content of communications being used to make many inferences about customers.

Uros Mijatovic is now Vice President of Business Operations at Mitto. And similar to Aleksandar he spent time with Telesign in the past.

Fahri Kerçek Head of Product Strategy and Productization at Etiya. I’ve known Fahri through his time at Telenity and Netas in Turkey.

Kris Hopkins is now Chief Product Officer at the RAIsonance Group, AI powered technology in Healthcare.

Josh Salomon in now Chief of Democracy at Democratech Israel. I’ve known Josh since his time in Amdocs.

David Rivas is now Chief Technology Officer at Rigetti Computing. I’ve known David since his time with A la Mobile in 2006. They were a bios for mobile phones, a bit like Android, just much smaller than a whole OS. Given history, perhaps it would have been a better option.

Janine Rafalko is now Senior Marketing Manager at Lemongrass. I’ve known Janine since her time at Intrado, after they bought Flowroute.

Chris Vitek is now Strategic Account Director at Waterfield Tech. Since his time at VCTI over a decade ago.

Larry Greenstein is now Product Management of SDR Radios at TrellisWare Technologies. I’ve known Larry for over 20 years, since my time at BT.

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