CEO Statement 2023:
Prioritising Precision, Partnerships, and Trust in Telecoms
2022 was a big year for XConnect as we continue our relentless drive to ensure quality and service excellence in Number Information Services for our telecoms, messaging, and identity customers.
In 2022, we hit a new record of 3 billion queries a month (36 billion / annum run rate). What was even more impressive is that it only took 6 months for us to leap from 2 billion to 3 billion queries, and this is a testament to the rapid growth we’re experiencing. It also demonstrates how much the largest global voice and messaging providers recognise the value our data can bring to their operations.
Due to increase in demand from around the world, we’ve introduced two new points of presence (PoPs) in Singapore and India, highlighting our commitment to our customers to deliver the lowest latency, highest quality, and accuracy.
2022 also saw the introduction of our new HLR-based products, Live Status and Live Routing. This reflects that the ‘wild west’ of uncontrolled, privacy breaching access to mobile network operators’ HLR is now being increasingly addressed thanks to the introduction of smart signalling firewalls.
The introduction of these services has allowed XConnect to create a privacy compliant and more carrier-grade offering of HLR-based services to support application to person (A2P) and identity and verification (ID&V) customers with issues around fraud reduction, smart routing, multi-factor authentication (MFA), optimised access to MNO subscriber APIs and general validation applications. This is a technically complex product and a real testament to the skills of our team.
Demonstrating our continued commitment to privacy and information security, I am pleased to say that we once again achieved our formal ISO 27001:2013 certification based on an annual audit by independent assessors. This is a demanding assessment based on 114 controls divided into 14 domains, and 100s of hours of time and effort by a highly experienced team. To enhance our commitment, our CIO – Susan Duker, undertook the training and independent testing to achieve the CISSP (Certified Information Security Services Professional) certification, an internationally recognised certification for proficiency and preparedness in Information Security – of which there are under 160,000 worldwide. These foundations of trust and security are key assets when providing services to the largest global providers of voice, messaging, and identity.
It is the hard work of our worldwide team that has helped us achieve new milestones. We are laser-focussed on providing simple and cost-effective solutions to our customers and I see huge potential for solving industry challenges in 2023.
2023 in Focus
Our top priorities in 2023 are centred around restoring trust in telecoms for our customers. We’re continuously building momentum and exploring strategic partnership and collaboration opportunities to establish simple and flexible numbering intelligence solutions for the entire telco ecosystem.
Here are our core focuses for the year ahead:
Validation for Voice - Restoring Trust in CLI
In 2022, there was a significant step in the global telco industry looking at caller ID, with specific significant activities to mitigate robocalling. The biggest of which was the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not only introducing STIR/SHAKEN for domestic USA traffic but, in 2022, extending these obligations with the introduction of new regulations for international carriers delivering traffic into the US. The first set of these obligations went live on December 19th 2022, and XConnect was able to provide secure access to the most comprehensive of DNO data sets in the USA. In fact, our parent company, Somos, has been responsible for this and we completed the integration into our Validation services in Q3 ’22.
There are already over ten countries worldwide with new regulations in the past year or so impacting caller ID, especially on Inbound international calls using the country’s CLI – this will likely grow significantly in 2023 and beyond. These regulations, which vary by country, include validation of Caller ID based on regulated national number plans, invalid numbers (such as Do Not Originate numbers) as well as attestation and call signing using STIR/SHAKEN protocols.
We’re likely to see similar models introduced further around the world, in the near future, with the UK just recently passing guidelines via Ofcom for validation of CLI against the UK’s Do Not Originate (DNO) list as well the national\number plan.
In response, a big focus for 2023 will be supporting carriers to navigate this increasingly complex international world of validation and attestation. A foundation is for us to continue to provide the trusted information to carriers as necessary for regulatory compliance with up-to-date global numbering plans and DNO lists. The goal is not just to reduce scam, spam, fraud and spoofing but also, by restoring trust in caller ID. It enables carriers to open up new opportunities in the voice market for things like rich caller ID.
Whilst industry regulations are currently focused on the voice side, we expect 2023 will see significant industry efforts and possibly regulatory obligations on validating the Sender ID for A2P SMS messages. This will further expand the value of our DNO solution as we ensure compliance requirements are met across the board.
Another critical focal point is delivery assurance of high-value A2P messaging traffic. The need to guarantee traffic delivery is increasing interest for our HLR offering. We’re providing data to allow customers to assess risk and connectivity when conducting high-value transactions.
Our continued goal for 2023 is to put our customers in control of their A2P messaging services with a simple, secure, and transparent approach to optimising A2P traffic.
We’re also seeing the continued adoption and charging of Origin Based Rating (OBR) and increasing complexity of when it is applied. This is an evolving challenge for carriers and has the potential to cause costly consequences for their business. This is driving demand for our datasets by operators to manage the identification and blocking/the identification and charging and/or the identification and rerouting of calls.
We’ve seen substantial growth in national and global operators using this, but also, we’re partnering with more platform providers who incorporate our data within their services to operators and carriers. This is a key area of growth for XConnect, and we look forward to developing these relationships and continuing to support them into the future.
In 2023, our focus is on driving new momentum through powerful partnerships and collaboration, solving the top industry challenges, and optimising our customer’s operations.
Our priority is to empower our customers to effectively build trust, gain control over their traffic, and grow their business with confidence.
Part of our execution on this will involve expanding our footprint further and adding additional PoPs across North and South America. Our relationship with Somos puts us in a unique position to deliver services in the USA and globally thanks to its US datasets and expertise in this space.
Every year, XConnect takes its innovation to a new level, investing in both the data and solutions that we believe will benefit the industry, today and in the future.
We’re looking forward to another year of tremendous growth.
Eli Katz, Founder and CEO
XConnect, a Somos Company