Deutsche Telekom get your act together on programmable telecoms

DT just announced it became Ericsson’s first commercial operator partner in its drive to target developers and enterprises with access to communications and network APIs, a strategy pushed by the vendor after its $6.2 billion buy of Vonage last year.

I reviewed the Vonage Acquisition at the time it was announced in 2021. Essentially an exit deal for Jana Partners and Vonage, not a great deal for Ericsson or its telco customers. In the TADSummit Podcast 3b, Johnny mentioned that one of the PE firms involved claimed the next best offer for Vonage was less than one third of what Ericsson paid.

Ericsson did have its own Parlay Gateway (think prehistoric CPaaS). All the reasons it walked away from selling Parlay / OneAPI to telcos are still there. CAMARA is just OneAPI 2.0.

Check out these posts to better understand the tough situation Ericsson and DT find themselves in.

Is this really the first such deal?

Over the past 2 years Vonage has been focused on CPaaS enabling a number of telcos.

Back in 2013, KDDI closed its API program and resold Twilio instead, it was a Japanese special. Twilio did not repeat this deal with other carriers. In May 2023 KDDI stopped reselling Twilio.

Chatting with people in Japan knowledgeable about the KDDI/Twilio deal, it did generate business, but never enough to make either party happy, it was a special situation.

On the 18th May 2023 KDDI announced a memorandum of understanding to use the Vonage Communication Platform (VCP) provided by Vonage Japan. With a trial over the summer, and to provide the service from this fall.

Etisalat and Vonage made a similar announcement in 2021, as part of Vonage’s fluffing-up to be sold to Ericsson, which we covered in CXTech Week 44 2021. I’ve not seen much action on that deal since the announcement.

But Deutsche Telekom already as a CPaaS

The Wholesale group already has CPaaS / programmable telecoms in hand, I covered their analyst briefing last year.

The Ericsson deal will confuse developers, and in my opinion is inferior to what the wholesale group has already created.

Deutsche Telekom has to break out of its Echo Chamber

The GSMA, TMF, MEF, and all the other book clubs do not understand the programmable telecoms market. DT needs to talk with Twilio, Sinch, Syniverse, Telnyx, Jambonz, Infobip, Unifonic, TelecomsXchange, Telsign, and many others to understand the reality of the programmable comms business.

Check out the TADSummit Agenda, DT will learn more from being at TADSummit than from all the fawning sycophants chanting CAMARA, API, and developers. Not one DT person has commented on the 2 articles below, if DT is serious about this business it would have engaged in a discussion to understand how the industry could be wrong again.

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