Podcast 17: Truth in Telecoms, Top 10 Predictions for Cloud Communications in 2024 from Commio

Johnny introduces why these predictions matter and are worth your time. He also gives a preview of the next Truth in Telecoms planned for Monday 18th Dec. Lots of activity from the FCC further stifling legal A2P SMS, Twilio’s arming up to fight the activist investors, and lots more..

I don’t normally do predictions as they’re: generally statements of the obvious, or woefully optimistic predictions, or framed with weasel-words so no matter what happens it can be claimed to be at least partially correct. However, Tim from Commio is a nice guy, he asked if I would put some predictions together, so I had a go.

Overall 2024 will be a noisy year of change in Programmable Comms / CPaaSAI / UCCaaS / xCxaaSxx, or whatever is your preferred label for this market. Blame analysts for the poor label by focusing on a technology than a market segment, and Wall Street for looking for an easy handle to use for a quite diverse set of businesses.

1) Messaging Monopolies will continue to stifle innovation and use of A2P SMS in the US. Check out this post on the Messaging Monopolies to understand more.

Carriers (telcos) are like the Greek Gods on Mount Olympus demanding worship, and providing the old-boys network (messaging monopolies) with private visions of what they require. 

TCR (The Campaign Registry, now owned by Tata Communications) has created a process straight out of George Orwell’s 1984. Share every thought about your campaign with Big Brother (TCR). While if they used identity and knowledge of the A2P industry over the past decade, it could have been so much easier. “Alan’s a good guy, great A2P stats over the years, of course he can send and SMS.”

What the situation means is you need a partner like Commio to navigate all the monopolies and optimize the much more significant costs being imposed on the industry. These costs are making some use cases uneconomic.

We must draw a line in the sand. These monopolies and the carriers are making billions on spamming our elderly parents and children, the TCR was supposed to stop that, well that’s what they told the FCC. They have also vastly inflated A2P messaging pricing, and are forcing TCR registration on the UCaaS industry.

It’s getting even more complex through 2024:

  • a) 800SMS an alternative to 10DLC has Twilio’s vetting process, and there’s a rumor another vetting company may be added as the Gods do not like Twilio.
  • b) FCC is closing the lead gen business and we only have 6 months to comply.
  • c) The election interference we exposed earlier this year is only starting to receive media attention. This through an election year will raise the political temperature for A2P SMS in the US.
  • d) FCC and the old-boys network (CTIA, and other monopolies etc.) have their end of year party in Dec in DC. We’ll likely see knee-jerk reactions to what is happening, making life even more complex for what was once a simple act of sending an A2P SMS.

2) RCS. Apple’s RCS announcement made the RBM (RCS Business Messaging) community excited. But Apple did not say anything about RBM. Apple said nothing about iMessage and RCS. Only iOS supporting person-to-person (p2p) RCS to improve the SMS/MMS experience for its customers. The EU regulator’s threats forced this action by Apple. It could be limited to EU countries. There’s no need to move beyond your existing Android focused RBM plans in 2024. This is all part of some 4D chess being played between Google and Apple.

3) CAMARA. The GSMA is defining a long list of APIs, https://camaraproject.org/.  You’re going to hear alot about this in 2024. Examples of the APIs are device location, device status, SIM swap, one time password, WebRTC, KYC (Know Your Customer), Carrier Billing, 5G Quality of Service, etc. Many of these are already available from your CSP (Campaign Service Provider). GSMA tried and failed ten years ago with OneAPI, history will be repeated.

4) CPaaSAI. The industry has yet another new acronym, CPaaSAI, simply CPaaS and AI. It’s really LLM (Large Language Model). You will see this pop up in the press and analyst reports through 2024, as marketing needs new things to talk about in an attempt to differentiate. As with CPaaS, look under the hood on what is actually offered. One CPaaS can be 95+% SMS aggregation, while another can be Commio. Here are a couple of excellent TADSummit Podcasts on CPaaSAI innovators:

5) Passkeys. SMS 2FA are expensive and can be used for fraud, see Elon Musk’s rant. Passkeys are tokens to replace passwords, like your fingerprint reader. 2024 will see broad adoption across enterprises, not just high tech web companies like Google. Here are a couple of excellent presentations from Guillaume Bourcy and Dan Jenkins at TADSummit this year.

6) IP Messaging. We’re starting to witness a broader shift to IP in messaging, I’ve already mentioned passkeys. We are also seeing a rise in IP messaging around the world, e.g. email (Twitter uses for 2FA), WhatsApp, LINE, WeChat, and in-app (railway and Airline apps). CSP partner is critical to help you through this slow transition.

7) vCon. Your conversations are important, we can now automate listening or listen at scale. LLMs (bots) need food, the content of your customer / employee conversations. BUT compliance of those conversations is also important, for PII (Personal Identifiable Information) and other industry regulations. The IETF are creating a standard, vCon, this enables standardized robot food (cheaper training), and automation of compliance. You should start building LLMs for your business, and treat your conversations as gold dust that should not be given away to Google, Meta, or Microsoft. This is why SMS will remain important, those conversations are private to you and the customer. Well until Google starts running SMS for all the carriers.

8) LLMs are getting interesting. Yes, they still hallucinate, and need careful implementation to ensure you remain in control. It’s early days. But things are moving fast. At TADSummit we had thought leaders sharing their LLM experience. Sharing architectures, applications, key learning so far, and self-help guides. Do not assume Google, Microsoft, AWS have the answer you seek. You can still remain in control of your data. Check out the impressive TADSummit presentations on LLM applications from Paul Sweeney, Rob Pickering, Karel and Borja.

9) Continued Rise in No Code. What is a developer? It’s anyone with a problem they’re motivated to solve themselves. The tools are there for all of us, not just coders.

10) IoT is finally becoming programmable. IoT was massively overhyped. However, we’re seeing a more dev centric approach emerging. Keep an eye on IoT, and keep an eye on Stacuity. Here’s their keynote from TADSummit.

Top 3 Tips.

1) Ignore the noise – RCS, CAMARA

2) CSP partner is critical for navigating through 2024

3) You can build a LLM for your business, it’s not that difficult.