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Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm running the next Future of Voice Workshop in London, on the 27th October

The next in the series of ground-breaking workshops on The Future of Voice is taking place on 27th October in a central London venue.

Associate Martin Geddes and I ran previous successful public events in London and California over the summer, and we've also been privately advising various operators and others market participants about the current state of telephony and messaging.

The public events have featured a really broad cross-section of the voice ecosystem: we've had Tier 1 operators' strategy groups, start-up 4G network operators, vendors from hardware & software domains, regulators, Internet VoIP specialists, voice-centric developers and investors. We've even had some of the internal "Telco-OTT" skunkworks divisions of major telcos join the discussion.

The workshop format is designed for interactive learning and networking, with a maximum of just 20 attendees. Martin and I try to "curate" the group for optimal discussion and differences of viewpoint, as we've seen that generate the most interesting and unexpected debate and alignment.

The timing for Future of Voice is particularly exciting. Whilst I've been following and commentating on voice and VoIP for years, it's only really in the last 6 months that I've seen a sudden ramp-up of concern and attention from operators, as they realise that some major tectonic shifts are occurring, especially in mobile. Core revenues now look under threat, and the need for both defensive and offensive action is urgent.

Some of the areas we'll be covering on the day include:

- Why do people make calls anyway? What's the underlying psychology of human communication, that's driving the fragmentation of mechanisms by which we reach each other?
- What's the difference between "voice services in general" and classical "telephony"? What other formats and business models are there for voice comms, beyond the familiar 100-year old "call"?
- How should telcos' respond to OTT voice and messaging providers? Should they try to block them, beat them, buy them, or copy them?
- What exactly is a "voice application"? How are they enabled by "voice platforms"? And who is in control, the telcos, Internet VoIP players, developers..... or nobody at all?
- What's going on with messaging and social networking? Is SMS revenue about to fall off a cliff.. and can the telcos' preferred answer of RCS be the saviour (I think my regular readers will know my answer about that one, but something different may come out in discussion)
- What are the organisational challenges for telcos in coping with voice? Who "owns" the core voice and messaging portfolio within operators, and what should they be thinking about?
- What differences does LTE make to the telephony marketplace? Is VoLTE the answer?
- How does the enterprise and B2C/customer-care communications fit into all of this?
- Will be still be paying per-minute and per-message in the future? Will it all have been competed away to zero, or given away by Apple or Google or Skype? Or are there other potentially successful business models to consider?

This is going to be a busy and intense day. If your company or livelihood depends on understanding where voice service is going, and you want to know what you peers are thinking, you should be there.

More details are at futureofcomms.com

You can book online here, or contact me via information AT disruptive-analysis DOT com to inquire about invoicing or private internal events.

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