Speaking Engagements & Private Workshops - Get Dean Bubley to present or chair your event

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To discuss Dean Bubley's appearance at a specific event, contact information AT disruptive-analysis DOT com

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vacation + H2'2015 Research Plans

A quick note - I'm going to be mostly offline over the next 3 weeks, as I'm travelling places with very limited Internet connection. Response to client inquiries etc is likely to be slow until August 6th. If you want to order a research report, you may wish to wait until my return before clicking "buy now", as I may not be able to send through the documents beforehand.

Also, a heads-up on some of my current expected research plans and other engagements for the remainder of the year:

1) WebRTC Report Update - I'm currently working on a summer revision to my main report, to be published when I return. Continued coverage & the most comprehensive forecasts & strategy analysis on WebRTC, spanning enterprise, SPs/telcos and consumer markets.

2) Contextual Communications - the first workshop I ran a month ago with Martin Geddes was a tremendous success, and we're looking into doing a follow-up, perhaps in the US. This is undoubtedly the next major trend in voice, video & messaging - and the more I dig into it, the more multi-faceted it becomes. Expect more detailed research & analysis in H2.

3) Network Evolution - I'm collaborating with Telco 2.0, as associate lead analyst on its Future of the Network subscription research stream. More detail to come in August, but I'm covering the full range of mobile & fixed network areas, from NFV/SDN to 5G, from IoT networking to spectrum policy. Reports issued during the year will cover telcos+WiFi, Gigabit Cable, Government-run networks, 4G Benchmarking, 5G roadmap and much more. Drop me an email if you're interested in content, briefings, or potentially purchasing a subscription.

4) Private Advisory - I've been working on various client engagements in recent months, with others in the pipeline. My coverage spans the full range of communications industry strategy & technology, from WebRTC use-cases, through regulatory policy work, to market assessment & forecast of disruptive trends, such as virtual/other SIM cards, WiFi, encryption & IoT. Please email for details or to discuss a project or private workshop: information AT disruptive-analysis DOT com

5) Speaking engagements - I have assorted public and private conferences & other events already lined up in coming months, including the Paris WebRTC conference in December and the IIT Realtime Comms event in Chicago in October, and the next Great Telco Debate in London on Nov 4th. Please get in touch if you need a speaker or moderator on overall telecoms trends, or a more specific angle relating to voice/video/WebRTC/UC or 4G/5G/WiFi/regulation & policy

Lastly, I'm also doing an increasing amount of more general Futurism work & analysis. I recently contributed a chapter to the Fast Future book on The Future of Business, and I'll be at the Anticipating 2040 conference in October in London, run by London Futurists. While my main focus is around how improved communications technology will impact humanity, I'm also keeping a close (& cynical) eye on other areas of disruption such as drones, AI, robotics, human enhancement, biomedical innovation, future politics and other strands of development.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Telecoms Regulation and the mythical "Level Playing Field": A Flawed Analogy

Much of the recent discussion around telecom regulation, especially in the EU, but also the US, India and elsewhere, has been about the idea of a "level playing field". This is typically used in discussions about the role of telcos vs. the so-called "OTTs". The usual story is that telcos are subject to rules (eg on interoperability or emergency-call support) that Internet application providers are not.

There's just one glaring problem.

There is no "playing field". It cannot be "level", because it does not exist.

It's a flawed and misleading analogy, intended to set the frame of debate and discussion. It's a duplicitous move by (mostly) telecom industry lobbyists, to redefine the regulatory arguments in their terms.

Analogies are important. They can be hugely informative, or hugely misleading. They direct our thoughts, and can sometimes make an argument much easier to understand - but they can also distract and mis-direct our thinking.

I recently read a fantastic book by John Pollack called "Shortcut: How Analogies Reveal Connections, Spark Innovation, and Sell our Greatest Ideas". (I'm also now reading "I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like" by Dr. mardy Grothe).

So here, the analogy with a playing field contains a fundamental error - playing fields are where two teams meet, to play a common sport. You want a level playing-field so that one side isn't advantaged by the slope of the pitch.

But if the two teams are playing totally different sports, the flatness of the pitch is really not very important. 

If a polo team turns up against a rugby squad, or a cycling peloton vs. a swimming team or a lone golfer, the idea of a “playing field” is obviously ridiculous.

This is the case for much of the telecom vs. Internet discussion. SnapChat and Instagram are not playing the same sport as each other, or SMS. Skype doesn’t really map onto phone calls well either. Netflix isn’t playing the same game as the BBC. Google isn’t playing the same sport as anyone.

The levelness – or bumpiness – of the “playing field” is a useless analogy. It is becoming manipulatively used to try to push regulators towards the ideas of mandated interoperability, emergency-call support and so forth.

It’s basically the Football Premier League trying to convince the world’s sports authorities to forcce rugby, American Football, tennis, hockey and beach-volleyball to all use the same size & shaped ball as them. It’s Bernie Ecclestone trying to get F1 rules applied to rallying and Nascar.

A much better analogy would be to try to get telecom regulation to work along the lines of the Olympic ideals and principles – fair play, mutual respect, and a focus on outright excellence, but with appropriate checks and monitoring. Those ideals can apply to all sports, with each specific one having its own set of rules.

The fragmentation of voice, video and messaging into diverse applications, and especially their shift to being features embedded in other apps/websites, means that “voice” is not a singular sport. We already know that messaging isn’t homogeneous, because we’ve had diverse forms for many years.

Trying to assert a “level playing field” between telephony, Skype, Talko and 1000 new WebRTC-powered apps is a completely flawed use of analogy. We can define some common Olympic-style principles (eg around privacy), but the notion that a pre-defined standard approach should be some sort of “baseline” for other proprietary modes of communication is ridiculous.

To use an extreme example, consider a mobile karaoke app. It is clearly about "voice". But equally, it is clearly not a "phone call". Same for a medical diagnostic app using breathing patterns, or a push-to-talk collaboration function in an oilfield-maintence worker's system. Walkie-talkie systems for security guards, a co-browsing tool for grandparents and children to read a book together from a distance, or any number of other applications are NOT the same "sport" or using the same pitch/field/velodrome/pool as phone calls.

Is there some overlap in use-cases? Perhaps. But that's more a function of telephony being a one-size-fits-all tool. Does a Swiss-Army knife have functional equivalence to a sushi-chef's knife?

The myth of the "Level Playing Field" needs to be expunged from current EU thinking on the Digital Single Market, especially with regard to communications applications. There are some valid areas where "levelness" is important - security, for example - but the majority of  the telcos' inputs (eg on interoperability or the spurious "platform neutrality") are self-serving irrelevance.

Pick your analogies more accurately, and you get the right to lead opinion. Pick flawed analogies, and you deserve to be viewed with suspicion that you're trying to muddle the debate.

(A few other telecom analogies are awful too - "dumb pipe" is completely wrong, and "over the top" invokes images of dominance/power that are false too. "Delivery" and "Distribution" applied to data are nonsensical - there is no equivalence with physical goods being shipped. Even "neutral" is questionable).

Friday, July 03, 2015

Videoconferencing does not replace business travel

I did a short radio interview the other day, about London airport expansion, and the possible new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick. I wasn’t speaking about the choice of one location vs. the other. Instead, I was speaking as a frequent traveller, and why additional capacity is likely to be needed in the first place.

Some of the reasons are aviation-related: congested airports have no wiggle-room if something goes wrong. I’ve suffered big delays when weather or other incidents has meant that airports can only operate at reduced capacity, with greater spacing between landings and take-offs. Then there’s a desire for more direct flights from London to cities across Asia, the Americas, and MEA. Changing planes in NY or Singapore or Istanbul is always possible, but that just adds more time (and additional fuel-heavy take-offs). Various other reasons apply too.

But I’m not an aviation specialist. I’m a communications industry analyst & consultant.
What really stumped the radio-host was when he suggested videoconferencing might replace most business travel, so fewer flights would be needed and therefore perhaps less airport capacity.

I responded that ironically, about half my own travel is to events/clients actually involved in the videoconferencing industry, or in other aspects of advanced communications. I regularly attend and speak at video, UC & WebRTC events in person, have private workshops with operators or vendors, meetings with investors and so on.

Could I do some or all of these via a phone-call or video session? In theory yes, some could be done remotely, but in my view they would be much less productive – and many wouldn’t happen at all. This isn’t just my personal dislike for video either (I prefer voice-only, in general), but a more general observation.

Thinking about it, I’m pretty sure that the people who pitch online alternatives as a replacement for in-person meetings probably don’t do much of either. There are at least 10 reasons why audio & video-conferencing is not a replacement for business travel.
Firstly, it is worth noting that the applicability of video/collaboration tools will necessarily depend on the type of meeting involved. There are multiple “use-cases” for physical business travel, each with different characteristics:

  • Short one-to-one meetings (maybe 1hr in length) for sales calls, introductions, catch-ups with colleagues etc. These can be sub-divided into company internal meetings (eg boss/employee) or external (eg salesman/client) which have different dynamics
  • Internal small-group meetings, eg a project team distributed across multiple locations. Again, these can be internal or external (eg consultant presenting to the board)
  • Site visits, where someone is shown around multiple physical parts of a location, has a variety of meetings & so on.
  • Trade shows where the emphasis is on booths and the “show floor”
  • Conferences of 1-3 days duration, with multiple presentations, panels, break-out sessions etc
  • Seminars (maybe 1-3hrs) with a few speakers and predominantly “broadcast” mode with some Q&A
  • Interactive workshops where people interact in small groups
  • Team-building sessions combining a mix of presentation and social/bonding activities
  • Many other types of “meeting”.
While any of these can use the same transportation mode (ie a flight) they would all need to be re-invented with different forms of conferencing or collaboration application. Some are easier than others – informal meetings with a small dispersed project team, for example, can be done with a simple audio or video bridge, ideally with file/screen-sharing as well. Webinars can replace some seminars.

But a full-on trade show, with demos and new products, as well as private meeting spaces for confidential discussions, cannot really be replicated online to any reasonable extent. Neither can good interactive workshops, or even summit-type conferences. As a regular panel moderator and conference chair, I don’t think anywhere near the same experience could be done via video as in person. Maybe in 10 years time, with Oculus Rift version 8 and some advanced haptic interfaces and full body-suits, but I’m not convinced.

Some of the limitations of videoconferencing-style replacement for physical meetings:

  • Lack of detail – while you can replicate lifelike scenes with 4K video, it’s still not fully immersive without stereoscopic vision, ultra-fast frame rate etc.
  • No way to support culturally-important actions like handshakes or physical exchanges of business cards
  • Security and privacy – how can you be sure that the quiet chat over a virtual coffee remains confidential?
  • Subconscious awareness of body language and micro-expressions
  • Cognitive absorption – what part of your concentration is diverted to seeing how you appear on-screen to other people?
  • Technical complexities of managing virtual events with multiple parties, using different networks & devices. WebRTC and its peers only go so far
  • Dependency on camera/sound crews, cameras, microphones – which then mean you get an “edited” version of an event rather than your own choice of where to sit/stand/walk around
  • Lack of sync between timezones. Do you want to get “virtual jetlag” by attending the breakfast session at 9pm at night in your timezone & listening to conference presentations until 4am?
  • How do you facilitate networking over meals, provide “back-channels” to whisper to your neighbour during sessions, manage realistic arguments or back-and-forth discussions and so on?

Overall, while online collaboration is OK for some use-cases, it is generally a second-class citizen, with numerous almost-intractable limitations. It would reduce the effectiveness of companies, compromise security and productivity, and advantage people with geographic proximity.

In many ways, videoconferencing is becoming more important. In future we may have access to contextual communications tools which may improve some interactions so they're better than real-life speech and vision. But it’s usually more accurate to consider it as a “better phone call” or “richer than an email exchange”. It’s a big step down from interaction in person. Conferencing can enable extra conversations, or allow extra people to attend existing physical meetings remotely. But that is not the same as replacing the core in-person conversations.

Ironically, better remote conversations may lead to more international business and travel. A more-effective initial introduction via video/voice may well lead to new relationships being built. And later, those relationships will often involve in-person meetings, for site visits, events, interactive workshops and so on. Certainly, without my extra “reach” via both conferencing and social-media, I wouldn’t have nearly as many international clients to work with.

It’s also worth noting that while videoconferencing might be able to replicate some aspects of traditional meetings, the latter have evolved as well. Many conferences now employ techniques that are experiential or immersive. Group exercises, interaction with voting terminals, not to mention the improved venues and carefully-crafted social interaction episodes.

A similar story is true for consumers. Wearing a virtual-reality headset in a tanning salon is not a substitute for feeling the beach sand between your toes. Videoconferencing into your distant family’s Xmas dinner doesn’t work, if you can’t taste the turkey and pull the crackers. Listening to a rock concert on the radio doesn’t compare to jostling and jumping with other 
fans of the band in the arena.

Nobody can conclude a deal with a video-handshake in a virtual restaurant, or experience Burning Man by conference-call. 

Those are "contexts" that cannot be replicated online.

You have to be there.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

WiFi Offload.... or Onload?

One of the things I get annoyed by regularly is the mis-characterisation of a lot of WiFi use on smartphones / tablets as "offload".

In my view, true "offload" is a term only applicable to data which would otherwise have transited a cellular network, and which has been deliberately pushed to WiFi at a public hotspot, with the intervention of a service provider.

It is very different to "private WiFi" use, where the user has unilaterally decided to connected to a network (for example at home or office) of their own volition, or because a venue or other sponsor has made WiFi access available.

Care also needs to be taken about elasticity - user behaviour may change when on WiFi, even with "proper offload" - if the connection is cheaper or (more often) free/unmetered. At that point, a notional volume of traffic X that might be used on mobile might become 2X or 10X when on WiFi. This could be because of a shift in user perception ("Hmm, yes I will watch Game of Thrones streamed on my phone"), or it could be because an app-developer has created a different experience when connected to WiFi (eg auto-playing video, or enabling downloads of updates).  

[Sidenote: connectivity is not "all the same" - both users and developers make very different decisions when a device is on WiFi vs. 3G/4G. People & apps/OSs are aware of, and care about, the type of network which they're connected to. The notion that it doesn't matter is a core fallacy behind the notion of so-called "seamless" HetNets and integrated infrastructure] 

In other words, only a tiny fraction of smartphone WiFi use can be called "offload" with any reasonable definition. I'd estimate that it's well under 5% globally, and probably under 10% of phones' WiFi usage even on those networks which have extensive operator-driven offload implemented. For tablets, the numbers will be lower still, as the majority are non-cellular and therefore can never "offload", while even mobile-enabled ones are mostly non-activated or primarily used in static locations with private WiFi.

But there is another trend emerging in parallel to "real offload" that will make the numbers even more confusing.

In some cases, people or applications might deliberately switch to cellular from WiFi, for example if the WiFi network is congested, coverage is poor, or there are localised authentication problems. In other words, we will see "offload" from both cellular-to-WiFi AND WiFi-to-cellular. It may be that one direction of this gets referred to as "onload". It may also be that the WiFi-to-cellular onload is larger in volume. This would mostly driven by users' deliberate switching, but perhaps also by WiFi-primary policy clients on devices, for example from services provided by cable operators.

Takeouts from this:
  • Be skeptical of most alleged "WiFi offload" figures - they're usually nonsense
  • Most smartphone WiFi usage is private - traffic that would never have used cellular anwhere
  • Be aware that WiFi/cellular onload happens, as well as cellular/WiFi offload
  • Claims that "nobody cares which network they are on" are either ignorant or duplicitous
  • View all discussions of cellular/WiFi combinations through the lens of WiFi-primary users as well as cellular-primary viewpoints

Friday, June 12, 2015

Qualcomm's MuLTEfire is what LTE-U should have been, instead of LAA

Yesterday, Qualcomm rather quietly announced a project called MuLTEfire on its blog.

It describes it as "a new, LTE-based technology that solely operates in unlicensed spectrum, and doesn’t require an 'anchor' in licensed spectrum"

This is a very different proposition to the other type of LTE-U, called LAA (licence-assisted access), which requires a provider to "anchor" the service in a separate (licensed) band. That has proven very controversial in recent months, with fears that its coexistence with WiFi in the 5GHz band could prove damaging, with extra interference. There are claims and counterclaims there, with both technical and "moral" viewpoints.

But I've been critical of LAA for another reason - I think it is potentially anti-competitive, as it is only usable by operators that have (paid) spectrum for other LTE networks. It could be seen as a way of extending an oligopoly position into an adjacent marketplace, as inevitably its use in a band reduces theoretical capacity available to others, even if it behaves "politely".

My view of unlicenced-band cellular has been that it should be available to all to implement, in the same way that WiFi is. At least in concept, MuLTEfire is what I'd envisioned when I first thought about unlicenced 4G.  

(I'm not 100% certain, but I think I may have personally invented the concept of unlicenced-band LTE myself, as per this blog post from July 2008 . I also suggested SIM-free LTE a couple of months later) 

Fully-open unlicenced LTE has some rather interesting possibilities.  By decoupling LTE from the constraints of licenced spectrum - and, ideally, without a SIM card or with some sort of soft- or programmable SIM - then we could see a set of revolutionary new business models. For example, it would become possible for venues to offer "free 4G" to visitors, or for all sorts of novel "anti-roaming" propositions to be provided. We could also see true "private cellular" networks - which have already been proven in concept by the use of light-licensed GSM guard-bands and pico/femtocells in the UK and Netherlands.

Obviously, any company considering its deployment could equally-well use WiFi in the same places. But LTE-U in MuLTEfire might allow easier roaming, especially in devices which don't have SIM-based WiFi capabilities enabled.There are also all sorts of interesting options for hybrid MVNOs/MNOs, neutral-hosts for indoor coverage, and a bunch of other concepts I've got at the back of my mind.

In particular, given this is cellular technology, it is actually much more aligned with the notion of "seamless" connection than the WiFi is. I'm a deep skeptic of integration of WiFi with cellular, as it introduces too many compromises in terms of user choice and policy/preference conflicts.

Qualcomm's timing here is very interesting - the FCC has been asking for submissions about LTE-U / LAA, with the initial comments also due yesterday. And there's a big spectrum management event in Brussels next week - I'm presenting on Tuesday afternoon and will be mentioning LTE-U on a panel which also includes a Qualcomm speaker.

Now clearly, a lot depends on the details (eg IPR costs, whether the coexistence works as billed) and whether the project gets traction. But for a mobile-industry giant such as Qualcomm to even suggest a SIM-free variants of cellular is a major step forward, and one that I've been advocating for years.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

What's YOUR view of contextual communications?

In recent months, I've been drilling into the new "hot topic" of contextual comms. Martin Geddes & I are so enthused by the topic that we're running a workshop on June 15th in London (details here), and we're already considering follow-ups, maybe in the US later in the year.

We're combining both the "here & now" of context with a view on where we might be heading in the medium-to-longer term. Martin wrote a very forward-looking and provocative piece on the possible future recently (here).

I'm really interested in what "contextual communications" means to everyone else. There's no fixed definition at the moment, and I suspect that we're going to get an "Olympic Rings" multi-way Venn diagram. Some views of context will overlap, while others will be miles apart. For instance, I've seen or heard all of these described as Contextual Comms:

  • Sending web-form info to an contact-centre agent during "click to call"
  • Embedding video/telepresence into a robot
  • Using mic & speakers on a phone to map out a room acoustically & tweak the echo/noise processing
  • Use a media-server to analyse a caller's tone (eg angry vs. happy) or facial expressions, and adjust the experience or script for a salesperson
  • Using a device orientation sensor to work out if a phone is flat on a table, or help to the ear, and adust the UI accordingly
  • Using machine-learning and analytics to assess the best time to call someone
  • Mechanisms for indicating the purpose of a call
  • Embedding a call into a timeline or activity-stream interface for UC and collaboration, so it can be recorded, captured & seen alongside text commentary or speech analytics
I'm sure there are dozens more as well. I'm looking forward to distilling some sort of map or ontology, so we can collectively understand this new landscape a bit more clearly. Is it one thing with lots of variants? Or 5 separate trends with a little overlap?

Do YOU have a good example or definition of Contextual Comms? I'd love to hear from you, either via a comment here, or by doing an interview briefing.

And if you'd like to talk about it publicly, we're offering all the workshop attendees an chance to present or demo their view - basically an "open mic" section of the day to showcase their unique take on context.

If you'd like more detail about the event, or to get in touch separately about context, please comment,  see this page to book a spacea, or email information AT disruptive-analysis DOT com.

Monday, June 01, 2015

WebRTC & Contextual Comms may help so-called "OTT" apps avoid regulation

Last week, the Belgian authorities tried to claim that Skype is a telecoms "operator" and should comply with a similar set of laws to fixed and mobile telcos, especially around data-retention and lawful interception.

The Indian regulator TRAI has been undertaking a consultation about whether so-called "OTTs" should be somehow "regulated". (TRAI's consultation document is one of the most woefully-written and factually incorrect pieces of official literature I've ever read).

Slightly different but in the same general domain, the UK Government is looking at ways to limit the use of encryption and anonymity with Internet communications services, again to collect metadata. (Sidenote: I think some of the proposals are rather technically ignorant and will get sidelines - and it's worth noting the UK remains one of a dwindling set of places without either official ID cards, nor a requirement to register SIM cards).

A major principle that keeps cropping up is that regulators, telcos and governments assert that services such as Skype and WhatsApp are somehow "equivalent" to traditional phone calls or SMS, and therefore should attract similar regulation.

This also intersects with another set of regulatory pushes (notably by Telefonica's increasingly shrill & incoherent policy team) to try to force interoperability onto 3rd-party communications apps. Sometimes calling it "platform neutrality" this seems to be a transparent attempt to reduce competition from new voice/video/messaging apps by dis-allowing "walled gardens". Given that the only likely medium for mass interop is the PSTN (and E.164 numbers), this is a blatantly defensive move to ensure the old phone network remains at the centre in future. It's unworkable, but unfortunately the current EU Commissioners seem more keen than their predecessors to try to implement stupid/unworkable ideas from the telco lobbyists.

Yet this is all very rearward-looking. The most successful future communications apps are not going to be yet more "free standalone messaging" services that look like SMS or WhatsApp, nor "cheap generic VoIP calling" ones that emulate Skype. 

Those ships have sailed already. It's another reason why most telcos' "IP communicator" apps will fail, especially if based on lower-than-lowest common denominators like RCS.

Instead, any new winners are going to be unique in some way - features like disappearing messages (SnapChat), blending realtime 2-way voice with asynchronous (eg Talko), embedded voice/video as a secondary feature in other social or business apps (probably with WebRTC), or with a strong contextual-comms element (using the user's physical status or intended purpose).

The interesting thing here is that not only would these be differentiated but it would also seem impossible, or at least much harder, to claim (note: I'm not a lawyer) that these are "equivalent to the phone service".

I also think existing services need to assert their "non-equivalence" much more vehemently - and point to the lack of innovation in telephony and SMS over decades. 

Regulators should not be accepting telcos' arguments that they need to cross-subsidise network investments with profits from over-priced, near-obsolete services.

In the Skype case, I'd say that one option Microsoft has in Belgium is to ditch the interconnection to the PSTN, and possibly move to a video-only model. Both would indicate that it is not a "phone service" but something entirely different. Given that there is no successful telco video-calling service (nor, with RCS & ViLTE as proposals, will there ever be) it would be much harder for the authorities to claim equivalence.

A more interesting defence of Skype's uniqueness could come from analysis of the proportion of calls preceded by a messaging session. In my view, the user experience of Skype is very different to the PSTN, as it is not based around unexpected, interruptive calls, but is instead an "escalation" method of rendezvous and arrangement. You use presence, chat with IM, and then say "OK for a call?". That is different to traditional comms experiences.
In fact, I'd argue that designing a new service to be too unique & differentiated to meaningfully interoperate with the PSTN or SMS means that:

a) It stands a chance of success, against 100s of "me too" apps and installed bases of 500m+ for entrenched competitors.
b) It will be harder to capture with pernicious regulations and telco lobbying, as it's clearly something new, and not just a cheaper substitute for protected legacy services.

Having given this a lot of thought, I've reached the following conclusions:
  • New communications apps SHOULD NOT interop with phone calls (like SkypeOut or iMessage) if at all possible. If they do, they risk being classified as "similar" to regulated services.
  • Avoid using E.164 phone numbers as identifiers as possible, for similar reasons
  • Ensure that user behaviour and features are very clearly distinct from traditional "calls" or SMS, to the degree that "interoperability" is meaningless
  • Concentrate on communications-as-a-feature rather than as a standalone service, unless it is a completely unique and differentiated format. WebRTC is the likely key enabler. (Click here for my research report)
  • Create "clear blue water" between legacy phone-calls / messages by using contextual communications capabilities that cannot be replicated in traditional telco service. Focus on how, and why a specific instance is occurring, and use external data to help reach the desired outcome.
  • Where there is a specific business need for interop, avoid using 3GPP/telco standards wherever possible (SMS, SS7, IMS, RCS) and use the web or proprietary mechanisms instead.

As a reminder, I'm running a workshop on Contextual Communications on June 15th in London, along with Martin Geddes. Sign up here.