CXTech Week 34 2023 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 34 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:

  • The Campaign Registry and Foreign Ownership: A Matter of National Security
  • SIPhub is the latest sponsor of TADSummit
  • The TADSummit Podcast
  • SMS Firm Enabled Scams by Giving Free Trials to Users
  • Commio: New FCC Robocall Regulations
  • The SPAC King Grants an Audience to His Former Subjects
  • People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

The Campaign Registry and Foreign Ownership: A Matter of National Security

I’ve written about the TCRA (TCR Acquisition) in the past, e.g. CXTech Week 22 2023. And tracked the impact TCR (The Campaign Registry) has on the US A2P market. I was approached on Wednesday of this week with Rick Joyce’s email and document he’d sent to the Washington Post in July and to the US carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) with no response. Please do not contact Rick, he’s retired and disappointed with the lack of engagement on this critical issue.

Rick is a highly respected telecoms lawyer, chair of telecommunications at Venable LLP for over a decade. Around Rick’s email and document I viewed a deluge of other information about the TCR situation that left me feeling sick to the pit my stomach on how people have been treated and all the shenanigans (euphemism). I had to act, so the next day I published Rick’s document and made a call to action.

I know it’s easy to write this off as jingoism, and being frank, Johnny Tarone, Rick’s partner at TCRA, has his volume control set at not at 11, rather 111, which is highly entertaining. But never discount what Johnny’s saying, always dig deeper to understand the crux of the points he’s making, they are important. As I pushed back on the deluge of information, documentation and TCR insiders have proven everything shown to me are facts. The pit of my stomach grew deeper.

Most businesses in programmable telecoms are being adversely impacted because we’re not openly talking about TCR and many other issues around voice and messaging spam. A fox (an SMS aggregator) is guarding the hen house (TCR). The pricing and processes of A2P SMS are stifling competition, as evidenced by this Route Mobile article.  

TADSummit‘s policy is no BS and we’re going to lead an open industry-wide discussion, it will be uncomfortable for some people. My objective is a more open / fair / competitive US A2P SMS ecosystem that truly reduces SPAM. India just landed a spacecraft on the moon’s unexplored south pole, and we still can not stop SPAM? It’s time we looked at the motivations of the organizations involved in controlling spam.

Check out the discussion on this article on Linkedin below, read the weblog and the linked documents, do not discount as jingoism, do not discount that everything is awesome with the TCR, look at other countries and how they have solved this issue, e.g. the carrier hubs in Europe, without a singular monopoly for 10DLC.

Don’t forget to register for TADSummit, 19-20 Oct, Paris and online.

SIPhub is the latest sponsor of TADSummit

I’m excited to announce SIPhub is a sponsor of TADSummit – the longest running conference focused on programmable telecoms / communications / CPaaS / UCaaS / CCaaS. Bogdan-Andrei Iancu‘s keynote is show below, an important discussion on how to grow the open source telecom software ecosystem. OpenSIPS Project is also a TADSummit partner.

For all the telcos focused on cloudification, you’ll not see the benefits claimed. Instead focus on replacing the legacy closed source software with open source telecom software. This is the first step towards your techco vision, freedom from you vendors, lower costs, roadmap ownership, its built for the cloud, and respond to customers’ needs in weeks not years.

The Symbiosis of Open Source and Industry or how they do self-support one each other – study case of OpenSIPS and SIPhub

Bogdan-Andrei Iancu. Founder and Developer at OpenSIPS Project.

  • Open Source is about sharing, cooperation, and communities. It’s a group of smart motivated people unconstrained by the shackles of corporate processes and middle managers to build cool stuff that changes the world.
  • Nevertheless, running large Open Source projects is a resource consuming activity, both in costs and manpower.
  • How does this fit into the idealistic concept of Free Software? How does an Open Source project secures resources to sustain itself? And how can the broader Industry benefit of the the software created by such important projects?
  • The answers are to be found in the duality of the projects, which are tightly and cross connected with the Industry into a “supporter” versus “resources” continuous exchange. We’ll explore this framework to better understand how we can create a more vibrant and sustainable open source ecosystem.

The TADSummit Podcast

Save the date, 1st September 2023, for the first ever TADSummit Podcast.

I’ve avoided doing a podcast for years. However, the BS in telecoms is too damned high!

We have two objectives with this podcast:

  • Truth In Telecoms; and
  • Help members of the TADS community grow faster.

We’re going to kick off a weekly podcast published on Fridays.

On the podcast we’ll have a guest from the TADS community, Giovanni (Johnny) Tarone, and myself. The structure will be:

  • A painfully honest review of the latest news, chatter, hot topics; and
  • Our guest will share their vision, explain how they plan to achieve that, and then we’ll kick around ideas on how they could fast track that vision.

Our first guest will be Thomas Howe, CTO of STROLID and a sponsor of TADSummit and TADHack. I’m looking forward to Thomas and Johnny meeting, this is going to be fun!

With the first TADSummit podcast we’ll also get to know a little about Johnny, he’s done much; and we’ll chat about a subject near and dear to his heart, TCR (The Campaign Registry).

Don’t forget to register for TADSummit, 19-20 Oct, Paris and online.

SMS Firm Enabled Scams by Giving Free Trials to Users

Another interesting post from Eric Priezkalns. Well-known Australian brands were impersonated by fraudsters who exploited a gap in the controls at Burst SMS, a comms provider based in Sydney.

Burst SMS failed to check if trial customers had the rights to the Sender IDs they were using for their messages. As a consequence, at least 108 SMS messages were sent that impersonated other businesses during the month of service that the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) investigated.

Free SMS for developers are critical (I assume that is what was meant by trial customers), it enables them to test out ideas, build integrations, and get stuff working for production. However, those SMS should at a minimum have the same rules applied as all customers, if not stricker rules because sign up for a developer account often only requires ownership of an email account.

I’ve seen stuff like this happen before with developer accounts. You want to make it easy for developers to get stuff working, however, you still need a whole host of protections, for example to avoid premium rate SMS being messaged. About 20 years ago BT learned that lesson the hard way with its telecom API trials.

Commio: New FCC Robocall Regulations

Rule Updates to Affect Political and Nonprofit Callers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced new rules (source) around robocalling from nonprofit or political entities that restrict the number of calls to any given landline number to three during a 30-day period. While there is an exception for prior consent, the new rules have made it more difficult to obtain consent. The regulations are effective July 20, 2023, just as election season is starting to heat up.

The Fine Print

Specifically, the new rules require:

  • A Maximum of Three Calls in 30 Days
  • Automated Opt-Out 
  • Access to Opt-Out Via Your Phone Number
  • Written Policy, Staff Training 

The SPAC King Grants an Audience to His Former Subjects

I consider SPACs a scam, poorly regulated, that makes tens-hundreds of millions for the SPAC, fleeces the shareholders of the real business, and often leaves the existing business in ruins. If you buy technology from a bankrupt SPAC, really do your due diligence There will have been little to no product investment, most of the good people will have left as tiers of talent are removed to cut costs, and expect to discover shenanigans of machiavellian proportions.

In any just world, Chamath Palihapitiya would be ashamed of himself. The well-known venture capitalist and podcaster lent his reputation to a slew of companies going public via his special-purpose acquisition companies. He was the ruinous “SPAC King.” Read the article, and avoid companies or bankrupt assets that have been tainted by SPACs.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Andres Canabarro Sica has started a teaching position at Universidad ORT Uruguay. Check out his winning hack at at TADHack Uruguay.

Stefanie Machauf is now Country Marketing & Communications Manager for Germany at Carrier Klimatechnik Deutschland. I’ve known Stefanie since her time at tyntec.

Dieter Hovorka is now Advisor Smart City & Emerging Technologies at TR1ton Group.

Suzanne (Koumantzelis) McCormac is now Vice President Outbound Marketing at Cohesity.

Abbas Giwa is now Radio High Level Support Engineer at MTN.

Sofie Maddens is now Chief, a.i., Digital Knowledge Hub Department at International Telecommunication Union.

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