2023 has been a year of momentous growth and expansion for XConnect. As the telecoms market continues to evolve and present new challenges and opportunities, we’ve doubled down on our investment into our people, worldwide presence, and processes – our query numbers have grown another 35% this year.
This year, our team has gone from strength to strength as we welcomed world-class talent from across the globe. We’ve built out the XConnect team with well-established and highly experienced names in the Numbering Information Services (NIS) space across Europe and the USA, including Pablo Jimenez, Lloyd Tjom, Kristina Ristovska, Barbara Shankland and James Williams. These new hires, along with our partner network in LATAM, MEA and APAC, are examples of how we’re delivering on our mission to provide top-quality engagement and services to our new and existing customers right across the globe.
Beyond this, we’ve expanded our global presence with the launch of three new Points of Presence (PoPs) in Mumbai, Singapore, and Sao Paulo. This takes our total number of PoPs across the world to seven. 2023 also saw the opening of our Atlanta office to meet the demands of the growing US market and support our 24x7 customer service offering. Our growing reach is a true testament to our commitment to customers across all corners of the world.
Another key focus area for XConnect has been our relentless drive to restore trust in communications. We have been a significant contributor towards key global initiatives within the ecosystem. I am immensely proud to have been appointed to the i3forum board and see our Chief Strategy Officer, Tim Ward, elected to the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) board. It is a real honour to be chosen by the industry as one of only two companies that have board representation on both the i3forum and MEF and, along with our continued involvement with the GSMA and local industry groups such as NICC, we’re focusing our attention on supporting the future of both the voice and messaging ecosystems.
We witness changes in our customers’ telco demands every year and 2023 was no exception. Over the past year, we’ve been firmly focused on delivering new value to our customers to serve their ever-changing needs. Some of our notable achievements include meeting demand for Home Location Register (HLR) services, the launch of our new customer portal, and forming powerful partnerships with industry hyper-scalers, including a world-leading trusted communication provider and one of the biggest eCommerce brands.
I am so proud of everything the XConnect team has achieved in 2023. Our efforts this year have truly reinforced our customer-centric culture, reflecting the unmatched dedication of our global team.
Our Priorities for 2024
Our core priorities for 2024 are driven by the next stage of our journey to restore trust in communications. It will be another year of continuous momentum for XConnect as we address new market demand, expand our datasets, and strengthen our anti-fraud proposition.
Here’s what we will be focusing on as we look to the year ahead:
The Next Stage of the Trust in Communications Journey
As the ecosystem matures in terms of what datasets are important for restoring trust, XConnect will be at the cutting-edge of supporting players at all levels. 2023 has witnessed great strides in addressing spam, scams, and spoofing in the telecoms industry as part of the first stage of restoring trust. Globally, more regulators are introducing legislation to fight fraud, and we are enhancing our suite of services to support the industry in this fight. In 2024, we will transition our efforts into establishing authentication for numbers to further support carriers and operators. We expect to see branded calls that provide the originator brand name, logo, and reason code for the call as the next big stage of rebuilding confidence in calling line identification (CLI). We are active supporters of this with major involvement and engagement in the i3Forum One Consortium project, an integral part of the "Restoring Trust Initiative", along with our signatory status on the MEF’s Trust in Enterprise Messaging programme.
Validating Numbers with a Multifaceted Approach
A big focus for XConnect in 2024 will be on strengthening our validation capabilities. Authoritative data provides a baseline level of validation for phone numbers and the next step on this journey is enhancing authoritative data with non-authoritative data to rate the risk associated with a number. This data provides a subjective fraud score on a particular number based on information gathered from industry shared sources including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and fraud management platforms. Artificial Inflation of Traffic (AIT) and messaging fraud are having a material impact on trust and our additional datasets will help the voice and messaging industries resolve these challenges.
There is no magic panacea for addressing fraud in telecoms. Only by working collaboratively across the industry can we get the edge over fraudsters. Our authoritative and non-authoritative data provide two distinct offerings as the next step to provide access to high-grade risk scoring for numbers.
Serving the Expanding US Market
2024 will see XConnect build on the growth achieved in 2023. We will be expanding our US product sets and sales support by working closely with our parent company, Somos. We have an excellent opportunity to leverage the assets and datasets from Somos, who runs 4 out of the 5 foundational numbering datasets which are the critical infrastructure of the entire telecoms infrastructure in the United States. This provides us with access to a powerful combination of datasets, including Do Not Originate (DNO) and DNO-T for SMS lists, which have become vital elements in the fight against fraud and are now being mandated at the FCC regulator level.
Supporting the RCS Opportunity
The recent announcement that Apple is adding support for Rich Communication Services
(RCS) messaging in 2024 has the potential to cause a ground-breaking generational shift by accelerating the adoption of this channel. 2024 is now the year of huge potential for RCS and XConnect is ready to support this evolution. We will expand out offerings to help address the interesting routing and reconciliation challenges that are arising with RCS. The increased adoption of RCS bolsters the need to strengthen our anti-fraud proposition so the messaging industry can move from basic to enhanced messaging.
New Year, New Innovation
2024 holds an exciting opportunity for the telco industry to accelerate the sophistication of communications channels across the ecosystem. To support this, as Dario Betti, CEO of MEF described, we are the “oil that keeps the telecom engine running smoothly”. As a neutral provider of critical information for the communications industry, we are here to enable the voice and messaging markets to successfully grow and evolve. We will continue to provide reliable and cost-effective phone number intelligence by investing in our team and resources to support our customers in the year ahead.
Our goal is to provide a seamless experience to overcome future challenges and capture new market opportunities. In 2024, we’re going to execute on the next stage of restoring trust in communications and deliver new levels of innovation for our customers and partners.
Thank you to our wonderful team for your unwavering support over the past year, and here’s to another big year in 2024.
Eli Katz, Founder and CEO
XConnect, a Somos Company
06 February 2024
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