Preview of TADSummit & TADHack Global 2024: The Conscience of Our Industry

Call to Action

I’ll begin with a quote from a well-known long-time large Telco ex-CEO.

“The industry is polluted by Tier-2 and 3 crooks and fraudsters, but there is still tons of work to do with the big guys as well.”

Presenting detailed analysis using publicly available facts, that holds some of the industry accountable to its customers should not make people uncomfortable, it should not make organizations require its members to ignore the analysis. It is called investigative journalism, and has been lacking in telecoms for several decades.

We have become numb to some egregious behaviors in telecommunications. Some parts of the telecom ecosystem have become addicted to the revenues from spam SMS, SMS fraud, and robocalling. It makes them $billions in margin. That is why spam and robocalling have not stopped. The flow of cash is simple: scams steal from our elderly, that funds SMS spam / fraud and robocalling by criminals, that 100% margin revenue to carriers pays for share buybacks and dividends to investors. Remember in the US, SMS was a loss leader for most of its existence, and is now a profit center.

There’s a massive transfer of wealth from people’s life savings into investor’s pockets thanks to the inability of the telecom ecosystem to stop spam/robocalling. Attorney generals of every state in the US are up in arms over the problem. FTC (Federal Trade Commission) reported more than $10 billion in fraud in 2023. The actual figure is higher as many people do not report being scammed out of embarrassment. Americans over 60 years of age fell victim to elder fraud crimes more frequently last year than during any other year and accounted for an estimated $3.4 billion in total reported losses, according to a newly released FBI report.

The telecoms industry faces a historic moment. Its members must decide whether we support making the general population miserable through continued SMS spam and robocalling. This can not be ignored, we must all hold the telecom ecosystem accountable to its customers. Chasing the criminals delivers little, it’s a game of whack-a-mole, with arrests and releases on the same day, or uncollected fines. Spam SMS and robocalling must stop at network ingestion, the telco ecosystem must protect its customers. We’ve covered potential solutions through the TADSummit Innovators podcast.

Quoting the American poet, author, actor, and educator, Laurence Overmire,

“To be on the right side of history is to advocate for the rights and well-being of all people.”

We’ve shared a body of work that has been intentionally ignored by the industry’s public bodies and large incumbents of our industry who appear complicit in the continuation of spam, fraud, and robocalling. Yet by the views, engagement, and feedback on our published work, most of our industry has read our work and agrees with it, though the content is shocking and to a degree fantastical compared to the everyday tedium of telecoms.

Sharing well-researched analysis based on publicly available facts should be welcomed in making our industry better, more accountable to its customers, more open to competition and innovation; not shunned and ignored.

Intro to TADSummit

TADSummit will have three sections:

  • Truth in Telecoms – session sharing the reality behind the telecom industry’s facade, an opportunity to discuss our current and future research plans. TADSummit is the “Conscience of our industry”.
  • Truth in AI, Truth in Identity, and Truth in Industry4.0 – bringing the ‘Truth in’ series to a broader audience.
  • TADSummit Innovators – A gathering of the best and the brightest founders and CxOs leading change in programmable communications, and beyond. 

TADSummit is the thought-leadership event in programmable communications / telecoms since 2013. There is no other conference that matches the practical focus, domination of attendance by founders and CxOs (80%), and eleven years of proven thought leadership. No bland fireside chats by people with no practical experience repeating mindless marketing phrases. Rather practitioners frankly share their experiences to help all innovators succeed.

Consistency and credibility are critical to TADSummit’s success. In addition to our no-BS policy, we vocally support developers and innovators. The TADSummit YouTube channel has 330k views, 19.3k subscribers, and 11.3 khr of viewing. We’ve become the industry’s conscience, exposing the reality of what is happening, with the objective of leveling the playing field for innovators, and bringing back the focus on customers, that is consumers and small businesses.

For 2024 we’re planning one event in North America, likely close to NYC (New York City), with tentative dates: TADSummit (22-23 Oct, close to NYC) and TADHack (19/20 Oct, global). 

We’ll have sponsorship, partnership, and anonymous donation opportunities. We understand telecoms journalism makes some organizations uncomfortable. However, the Truth will always come out, please support our work.

The themes for TADSummit 2024 are:

  • Identity
  • Open source
  • Accelerated shift to IP given the ‘crapification’ of PSTN services
  • Conversation intelligence and vCons
  • Industry4.0

Telecoms is fundamental to communications between people AND things, it’s immensely powerful; and it’s now programmable. Hence democratized for everyone to build upon. It’s an exciting time, with many new businesses and services being created and shown at TADS.

Truth in Telecoms, AI, Blockchain, Identity, Industry4.0, …

You’ve seen the Truth in Telecoms podcast, with Santa and that Crazy Guy; you’ve read the revelations, the old-boys network is stifling innovation, spamming America, and delivering inappropriate content to our parents and children so they can make a buck. The old-boy / legacy organizations claim only they can restore trust in the services customers (individuals and businesses) are walking away from because of fraud, scams, miserable experiences, price-hikes, fines, byzantine processes, and more. A ‘board of offenders’ will not change their spots. Change must come from all participants in telecoms.

A2P SMS traffic is in decline because of the ‘laundromat’ services provided by legacy industry bodies. You’ve seen the videos about how everything is working with SMS SPAM control in the US, it most definitely is not. 

Robocalling remains a problem because STIR SHAKEN’s implementation is flawed. The back door was closed (VoIP gateways), yet the front door (PSTN gateways) was left wide open. Bland statements are made on improving adoption, but the PSTN gateway door remains open, and the STIR/SHAKEN technology is dated given currently available tools.

Until the TADSummit Podcast, no one had expressed outloud what many people privately thought. TADSummit is your opportunity to understand the reality of our industry, and meet the people affecting change.

Quoting a few of the programmable telecoms leaders:

“CPaaS is done!” Robert Vis, Bird.

“Omni-channel lie” Robert Vis, Bird.


“CPast.” Anthony Minessale II, FreeSWITCH & SignalWire.

And we must include an excerpt from Anthony Minessale’s song, Stop livin’ in the CPast.

We’ll review our body of work, latest investigations, and discuss future research plans:

Questions:

  • Are you willing to sponsor / partner / anonymously support TADSummit / TADHack?
  • Where / when would a NYC-based TADSummit work for you? 
  • Do you have facilities in NYC we could use?
  • Please get in contact, we need your support.

TADSummit Innovators

Leaders in programmable telecoms will share how they are transforming the industry, e.g. how Bird is driving SMS charges close to costs, and focusing on the value they deliver to businesses. The innovators driving change are generally not working in large corporations, nor attending old-boy gatherings. They are working in their own companies, intensely focused on their customers. 

The future of communications is revealed today through what those companies, not through panel discussions or fireside chats. Quoting William Gibson, “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” TADSummit’s objective is to help innovators succeed.

The TADSummit Innovators Podcast shows some of the people you’re going to meet:

Session will be a series of pitches with Q&A, followed by a reception for networking and setting up follow-on meetings with investors, partners, and potential new customers.

TADHack Global

TADHack is the largest and longest running series of hackathons focused on programmable communications, see Appendix at the end. TADHack primes the innovation pump into TADSummit and the broader programmable communications industry for over one decade. TADHack will run the weekend before TADSummit. At TADHack Open this year some of the people who took part are now interning on projects using the TADHack sponsors’ technologies, SignalWire AI Gateway and vCon from STROLID.

TADHack YouTube channel has 125k views and 3500 hours of viewing with some pitches viewed 3-4k times, on Linkedin we have 6k followers and average 50k views per week, the TADHack email list is 10k (active). 

We anticipate locations around Africa (both in-person locations and remote), South America (Colombia and Peru), Asia (Sri Lanka), with about half the hacks coming in remotely (from people in US, Canada, UK, Malaysia, Ireland, Australia, Spain etc.)

TADHack Global Sponsor benefits are:

  • Credibility with a large community of developers skilled in programmable communications / telecoms, creating advocates for your platform around the world.
  • Feedback on the APIs, support, and other processes. It’s a great way to test out new capabilities with a friendly and knowledgeable community.
  • Logo in sponsor position on TADHack Global website and banner (your logo is in all pitch videos);
  • Coverage in the CXTech newsletter, on the TADHack weblog, and at TADSummit.
  • To win any of the TADHack prizes requires they use the sponsors’ technologies.
  • You can publish articles on the TADHack weblog or webinars in the run up to the event to educate developers on your platform.
  • You have access to all photos, videos and contact info of people involved (within local personal data restrictions).
  • Hacks created on sponsors’ tech with all the usual promotion and coverage (videos, blogs, social media).

Questions:

  • Are you willing to sponsor / partner / anonymously support TADSummit / TADHack?
  • Where / when would a NYC-based TADSummit work for you? 
  • Do you have facilities in NYC we could use?
  • Please get in contact, we need your support.

Appendix: TADHack through the Years

TADHack Open 2024 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2024/03/24/tadhack-open-2024-results/

TADHack Global 2023 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2023/10/23/tadhack-global-2023-winners/

TADHack at Network X – https://blog.tadhack.com/2023/10/24/tadhack-at-network-x/ 

TADHack Open 2023 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2023/03/27/tadhack-open-2023-summary/ 

TADHack Global 2022 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2022/10/17/tadhack-global-2022-summary/ 

TADHack-mini Orlando at Avaya ENGAGE 2021 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2021/12/12/avaya-engage-the-results/

TADHack Global 2021 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2021/09/26/tadhack-global-2021-summary/ 

7 years of TADHack – https://youtu.be/YbaGOsohtrE 

TADHack Global 2020 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2020/10/11/tadhack-global-2020-results/ 

TADHack-mini Orlando Online 2020- https://blog.tadhack.com/2020/03/29/tadhack-mini-orlando-2020-winners/ , https://blog.tadhack.com/2020/03/29/review-of-tadhack-mini-orlando-online-2020/ , https://blog.tadhack.com/2020/03/30/thinking-about-tadhack-mini-orlando-online-2020/ 

TADHack-mini Phoenix 2020 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2020/02/02/tadhack-mini-phoenix-2020-summary/ 

TADHack Global 2019 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2019/10/13/tadhack-global-2019-winners/ 

TADHack-mini Orlando 2019 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2019/03/18/tadhack-mini-orlando-2019-summary/ 

5 Years of TADHack – https://blog.tadhack.com/2018/11/09/reviewing-5-years-of-tadhack 

TADHack Global 2018 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2018/10/14/tadhack-global-2018-location-winners/ 

TADHack-mini Orlando 2018 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2018/03/13/tadhack-mini-orlando-2018-review/ 

TADHack Global 2017 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2017/10/04/wrapping-up-tadhack-global-2017/ 

TADHack-mini Orlando 2017 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2017/04/02/tadhack-mini-orlando-review/ 

TADHack Global 2016 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2016/10/16/tadhack-2016-winners/ 

TADHack-mini Uruguay 2016 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2016/05/11/tadhack-mini-uruguay-2016-summary/ 

TADHack-mini London 2016 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2016/04/10/quick-summary-of-tadhack-mini-london-2016-and-the- winners/

TADHack-mini Tokyo 2016 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2016/02/14/tadhack-japan-prizes/ 

TADHack Global 2015 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2015/06/17/tadhack-global-2015-summary/ 

TADHack-mini Chicago 2015 Highlights – https://blog.tadhack.com/2015/10/04/tadhack-mini-chicago-winners/ 

TADHack-mini London 2015 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2015/04/16/tadhack-mini-london-review1/ 

TADHack 2014 – https://blog.tadhack.com/2014/06/11/tadhack-review/

1 thought on “Preview of TADSummit & TADHack Global 2024: The Conscience of Our Industry

  1. Pingback: Podcast 72: TADSummit Innovators, Fabrizio Salanitri, Horisen - Blog @ Telecom Application Developer Summit (TADS)

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