Many of you reading this article will be very familiar with the Business Messaging world. With over 300 million listed businesses globally (never mind the undoubted millions that are under the radar), efficient, rapid communication with all types of stakeholders is critical to their success.

As per the GSMA, there are over 5.6 billion unique mobile subscribers, and all have one thing in common - the ability to at least receive an SMS text message. Sure, SMS might have fallen out of favour in the Person-to-Person (P2P) communications world (the likes of WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram picking up the slack) but when it comes to Application-to-Person (A2P), SMS is a central pillar. And we know this business well; we might not be in the actual A2P SMS delivery business ourselves but many of our key clients are and with our unparallelled authoritative number portability and number range data, along with other related information, we arm them with the ability to route traffic rapidly and efficiently. There are on track to be a total of nearly 2.5 trillion (that’s a thousand billion) A2P text transactions this year which is not too shabby at all, we are sure you would agree. There is plenty of potential headroom for growth too. But dial back the clock a few decades and none of this was expected…

The first SMS message was officially sent across what is today the Vodafone network in the UK on December 3rd 1992. Back then, send an SMS and you’d only be able to reach customers of the same mobile network you got your phone from. Plus, it wasn’t exactly cheap. The same went for the world of Voice too. Around the mid to late 1990s though, some enterprising businesses started out quite literally facilitating domestic then global connectivity. Think the likes of Syniverse, who created the first truly global SMS hub. Today we expect to be able to interact with voice, SMS and data services just as we would at home in practically every single country we travel to – the world of international roaming. One of the early pioneers of this was Comfone.

Comfone was started in Switzerland in 1997, as a result of a joint merger between Swisscom and Vodafone. Founders Walter Heutschi, Geraldine Philippe and Toni Stadelmann each played key roles in the development and evolution of roaming to what we know it as today. The company is now in private hands and it was a real pleasure to at long last be able to attend their premier annual event called (very aptly given the name of this blog in particular!) ConneXion.

Comfone ConneXion took place in the capital city of Switzerland from June 3rd to 6th inclusive. And no, that isn’t Zurich. It’s Bern. The event brought together a couple of hundred people (mostly Roaming professionals) from mobile operators around the world. The Comfone team has invited me a number of times over the years to attend the event but this year was the first time the dates did not clash with something else I had to be at. The rest of my colleagues were at Messaging and SMS World in London (another event I like) which I would usually have been at but let’s just say I didn’t suffer at the hands of Comfone’s hospitality…

Comfone do a stellar job of rolling out the red carpet for all attending. Now I’ve put together a fair few events over the years myself and know just how hard it is to cover all the bases but the attention to detail is what truly blew me away. Outstanding, truly next level. A quality location (Switzerland’s national football stadium!), great content and speakers, intelligent event timings, fantastic opportunities to network in beautiful locations (Montreux is a truly magical location you have to see with your own eyes someday) and delicious food and drink to boot. What’s not to like with all that?!

The old sales adage goes that people buy from people and there is no better way for your prospects to get a great idea of your capabilities than meeting dozens of your existing clients all under one roof. ConneXion was a great balance between Comfone personnel, existing clients and prospect alike.

Thanks go to Comfone’s Head of Marketing Sandrine Ayer and her team for providing an exceptional environment and so many from Comfone for hitting the mark - exactly as XConnect do each day hundreds of millions of times, helping organisations globally get a real handle on their SMS and Voice routing thanks to the power of authoritative global number data.

If you ever get a communication from Comfone inviting you to a ConneXion event then I strongly advise you say “Yes” immediately and 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 I likewise recommend you strongly to contact us at!

Next up for me is the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) Nordics event in Stockholm so stay tuned for another edition of our ConneXions coming to you soon!