CXTech Week 45 2023 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 45 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.

You can sign up here to receive the CXTech News and Analysis by email or by my Substack. Please forward this on if you think someone should join the list. And please let me know any CXTech news I should include.

Covered this week:

  • TADSummit Podcast Episode 8 Truth in Telecoms ‘sort of’ goes viral, 2k views
  • That’s a Wrap on TADSummit 2023, Looking Forward to TADSummit 2024
  • Nacho Garmilla wins Stacuity’s 1st prize at TADHack Global
  • TelecomsXChange (TCXC) and PAiC have come together to address a critical need faced by doctors and medical professionals in Gaza
  • ‘The challenge is educating people:’ Element’s quest to encrypt remote workspaces
  • People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

TADSummit Podcast Episode 8 Truth in Telecoms ‘sort of’ goes viral, 2k views

I know it sounds a little silly to claim 2k views is ‘viral’ on a YouTube video, normally we’re at tens to hundreds of views. The topic of programmable communications is quite niche. The Podcast has proven popular with 800 views on Podcast #2, and 550 views on Podcast #3. And Podcast #8 is close to 2k views!

In this episode we review how Twilio’s stock price rise to $450 has set off a chain of unintended consequences across the industry. Which is stifling the programmable communications industry and how we need to act on multiple fronts: as an industry we need a call to action that Twilio must get involved with, and we must simplify the findings from our earlier analysis so the general public realize what is happening.

That’s a Wrap on TADSummit 2023, Looking Forward to TADSummit 2024

Thank you to everyone who took part in and supported (sponsored and partnered) TADSummit 2023. Without your support TADSummit can not happen, it’s as simple as that. In particular our sponsors: StrolidStacuityUnifonicSIPhubJambonz, and TelecomsXchange.

The quality of the content and people sets TADSummit apart. No marketing BS, simply practical insights and advice to help you build your business successfully.

The videos were up in a few days and in less than one week all the content, slides, videos, and analysis. The event is only the beginning of distribution. I’ve been promoting the content and will continue to do so throughout the years. Our original content signposts the future of the industry for years to come. Just check out Unifonic’s roadmap from the Keynotes, I’ll be using that slide quite a few times. All the content is here:

We have a simple mission at TADSummit: 1) Promote the Innovators. 2) Fight for Truth in Telecoms.

We’ve reached an interesting point in the programmable communications / telecoms journey. Twilio’s stock price during the pandemic is partially to blame, their $450 stock price caused a chain of unintended consequences:

1) It made the carriers jealous
2) Hence the rise of the fair share movement from telcos around the world
3) SMS price rises across the board, not just 10DLC in the US, also international SMS termination rates
4) TCR (The Campaign Registry) – supposed to stop SMS spam, but it’s a tax on innovation and doesn’t stop SPAM
5) Rise of AIT (Artificially Inflated Traffic) fraud,  the decline in SMS based 2FA, and the rise of passkeys.

We’re now living with these consequences. However, TADSummit is fighting for the industry, promoting innovators, and showing how we adapt and grow.

The vehicles we use are:

Some of the events we’re evaluating for 2024 are:

  • TADSummit Special (March or April online only) a chance to cover what was missed in October 2023, and share latest updates from the TADS Community, it worked well last year.
  • Thinking about a TADSummit event to bring capital to innovation, possibly in NYC and online
  • Thinking about a TADSummit event in Sri Lanka to showcase the most successful country-wide innovation ecosystem in the world, Ideamart.
  • Seeking your guidance on if, when, and where in Europe, as well as all the plans
  • TADHack Open (23-24 March) before Enterprise Connect 2024 (25-28 March)
  • TADHack Global, possibly around the time of TADSummit in Sri Lanka

My requests are:

  • If you want to be on the TADSummit Podcast as an Innovator like Thomas, Dave, Ameed, Bodgan, Arin, Mike and Tim, Karel, and Karim; just let me know.
  • We need sponsors and partners for 2024; and I need your help to wrangle sponsors and partners, thank you.
  • If you want to be part of any of the events just let me know. We’re fighting for the innovators of programmable telecoms.

Nacho Garmilla wins Stacuity’s 1st prize at TADHack Global

We’re delighted to announce that Nacho Garmilla has won our 1st prize at TADHack Global for his innovative sleep apnoea monitoring solution. This involved demonstrating how adding private mobile connectivity to a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine via a Stacuity SIM can improve patients’ adherence to their treatment plans, by providing accurate and real-time feedback regarding their progress.

We loved Nacho’s hack because he was targeting an important problem – obstructive sleep apnoea is a serious condition affecting around 10% of adults. We also loved it because it showed off valuable capabilities of the Stacuity software-defined network:

💚 Creating virtual private networks per SIM/device, in real-time.

💙 Real-time control over device IP addressing – Fixed IP as default.

💛 Exchanging key value data with devices via our Endpoint API, so that IoT sensor readings can be intelligently stored and distributed.

Watch Nacho’s winning video pitch here:

TelecomsXChange (TCXC) and PAiC have come together to address a critical need faced by doctors and medical professionals in Gaza

In response to this challenge, we have jointly decided to offer an AI-enabled USSD Gateway Service, powered by OpenAI . This service allows medical professionals to initiate queries and receive timely responses over USSD when internet and smartphones are unavailable.

The USSD Gateway is running as a cloud-based service, ensuring quick deployment and ease of access. Telecom service providers in the region, such as Palestine Telecommunications Company – Paltel , and Wataniya Mobile by Ooredoo QatarTelecom EgyptEtisalat EgyptVodafone, would need to merely point one USSD code to the gateway. This requires no hardware installations or software licenses and can be operational within a matter of hours.

In an agreement between myself and the CEO of PAiC, we have committed to making this service available at 0% profit. Our primary objective is to provide support and ensure that medical professionals have the necessary tools to possibly save innocent lives under challenging circumstances.

We urge telecom service providers in the region to collaborate in this effort to bring about a swift and impactful implementation. To get this up and running feel free to reach out to me Ameed Jamous or Celeo Arias.

Celeo Arias demonstrated it at TADSummit with Alan Quayle Check out this video walkthrough to see how it functions:

‘The challenge is educating people:’ Element’s quest to encrypt remote workspaces

Matrix just hit 115 million users.

Back at FOSDEM in Feb they announced the idea of Matrix 2.0 – a series of step changes in terms of Matrix’s usability and performance, made up of Sliding Sync (instant login/launch/sync), Native OIDC (industry-standard authentication), Native Group VoIP (end-to-end encrypted large-scale voice & video conferencing) and Faster Joins (lazy-loading room state when your server joins a room).

In September, they announced their developer ecosystem can start playing with these Matrix 2.0 features. There’s still some work to bring them formally into the specification, but they’re putting it out there for folks to experience.

The interview in the linked article in the title is a solid review of the inertia (legacy enterprise vendors like Cisco and Microsoft) slowing end to end encryption in the enterprise. The quote below shows how some governments are leading adoption. It’s an interesting situation, were the end state is clear, but the timing and path to broader enterprise adoption remains unclear.

The UK is really bad. It’s weird, it’s worse than the US for whatever reason. We did a government conference the other week and almost everybody we spoke to was on Teams for really sensitive departments. Without embarrassing them by naming them, they’re the sort of people whose chat history would be incredibly, politically and socially sensitive if it leaked.

So the UK is particularly bad, and Germany is particularly good. I guess they have more first-hand experience of the risks of privacy breaches due to surveillance technology from all ends of the political spectrum. At the beginning of COVID, I recall that Microsoft offered the Government a huge incentive to use Teams, and they pushed back and said they would rather build and use their own self-sovereign secure communication. That’s when we started to work with them on rolling out Matrix for the military. And now BundesMessenger is the Federal encrypted chat system. It took longer to get there, but now they have communication services that they run themselves in their own geography, and they are end-to-end encrypted. So, even if the servers get breached, the history is not going to be compromised. 

We also see good interest in France, Sweden, and almost all European countries. There is also a concern about the risks of putting all of your data unencrypted into a big tech company. I’d say the US is kind of in the middle, Europe as a whole is in a good place, and the UK is in a particularly bad place.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Patrice Crutel is now Senior Director 5G & Mission Critical Services Strategy a Cap Gemini. Thank you to Patrice for providing the location for TADSummit 2023.

Tamer Hamza is now Vice President IT Strategy & Planning (Acting) at Al Rajhi Takaful. I’ve known Tamer since he worked for Zain.

Duygu DEFNE TERLİKSİZ is now Transformation Office Senior Manager at Limak Group of Companies. I’ve known Duygu since she worked at Turkcell. 9 years ago she gave a keynote at TADSummit in Istanbul, see picture below. Dean was also there, and yes, he was asking questions 😉

Swaminathan Venkataraman is now 5G and OSS Strategist at HPE Aruba Networking

 Vivek Parmar has joined InfoVision Inc. as Chief Business Officer

You can sign up here to receive the CXTech News and Analysis by email or by my Substack.