International Telecoms Week (ITW) might have been a fixture on the conference circuit for many years but until a couple of years ago, I had never attended myself. It has now been three in a row for me. 

ITW 2024 again took place in National Harbor, a relatively short commute from Washington D.C. It attracted getting on for 7,000 people from around the world and is an event put together by Capacity Media. Many of you reading this will be familiar with other shows in their stable, most notably Capacity Europe in the UK and their (newly rebranded) ITW Asia event which will be back in Singapore this December. They all originally had a heavy Voice focus but the world of Business Messaging figures a lot now amongst all the interest groups attending. XConnect and Somos were there in full force with a team of a dozen present across the event. 

ITW proceedings actually got off the ground for me when I had the honour of managing and refereeing a sports event for one our clients, LANCK Telecom. The LANCK Connect Cup on the morning of Tuesday May 14th was the second time this great initiative has been run.  Approximately 100 people from our Mobile community were brought together to play football (soccer) and volleyball and socialise. As is often the way with such events, it proved a great environment to both cement existing relationships and forge new connections. The camaraderie was wonderful and I have no doubt proceedings will be reprised in 2025! 

Lanck Football at ITW

Talking about excellent gatherings, the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) ran a Meet-Up (networking event) on May 15th and 100 people came through the course of the evening. There was a lovely relaxed atmosphere and great drinks and food ensured all enjoyed the event. You can imagine just how many networking events are made available for the delegates but the high turnout said it all: MEF really does provide a great neutral platform for interaction and XConnect is supremely active across the organisation, doing some of the heavy lifting in a number of working groups such as Trusted Messaging.  

Beyond MEF, XConnect is active across a host of industry trade organizations, the GSMA, i3forum, Comms Council UK, One Consortium and CFCA to name but a few. Collaboration truly is the name of the game and I look forward to personally meeting a good number of you in person at events these, and indeed other, organisations are putting on through 2024.  

A large portion of XConnect’s client base is active in the world of Business Messaging and it was great to put together the messaging related track of panel discussions with Capacity’s conference producer Chris Davison. The five panel discussions on May 16th ensured all the major ‘food groups’ were hit – CPaaS growth, conversational commerce, pricing related issues, regulation, security, authentication and identity! You name it, the panels covered the lot. I’d say the common strand throughout was the theme of trust which (depending on your viewpoint) is either a precious commodity at risk or something that sorely needs to be won back given all the bad actors and the scourge of things such as the Artificial Inflation of Traffic (AIT) situation pervading much of the Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS world.  

ITW naturally proved a great opportunity to meet with both existing and prospective clients and it was interesting to hear about the Business Messaging industry from so many different perspectives. It’s clear there is a lot of pressure (primarily in the area of international A2P  SMS) but do it right, it’s also apparent there is huge potential headroom for growth. Central to all this is having the understanding and buy-in from mobile network operators (MNOs). And trust (there I go again with that!) needs to be there in spades to have any chance of achieving this all - and this is exactly where we here at XConnect come in. XConnect’s authoritative number data is proving hugely valuable for our clients globally, helping them make intelligent decisions and reduce costs when it comes to their A2P SMS and Voice businesses plus much more in the anti-fraud world. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you route more efficiently and provide concrete data that could help you reduce fraud on many fronts, then you know who you can come to –!