Consumers in some countries are inundated with scam and spam calls from overseas, many of which are spoofed to appear domestic in origin. The lack of integrity surrounding the apparent A-number of a call also means carriers get hit with refiling frauds. However, there is almost no international cooperation on how to tackle this phenomenon, and technologies which promised to validate calls across borders have delivered woeful results on the few occasions they have been tried. This is a problem for all telcos, but international carriers are especially concerned about the dangers of having to satisfy many contradictory rules and regulations from the different countries they serve. In this episode, Philippe Millet, Chair of the i3forum and previously a long-serving executive at Orange Group, joins us to talk about the launch of One Consortium, a new initiative that seeks to bring carriers and regulators together so they can agree a common roadmap for call validation.

Topical news items are also debated by the show’s three regular presenters, industry analyst Ed Finegold, senior risk executive Lee Scargall, and the Editor of Commsrisk, Eric Priezkalns.

Transcript (auto-generated)

Hello, my name is Eric Priezkalns and this is The Communications Risk Show. Every Wednesday,
we talk to experts who know about the risks faced by communications providers and their
customers. We broadcast live, so you can also join the conversation, submitting questions and
observations as we go along. To ask a question, just type it into the box immediately beneath
the live stream on our website at Messages are anonymous, so include your name if
you want me to read it out. We also stream live on LinkedIn. Feel free to leave a comment over
there. A member of our team will pass them along and I'll try to read out as many of your comments
and questions as time permits. Now, later today, we'll be talking about the formation of the One
Consortium with Phillipe Millet, Chairman of the i3 Forum, who knows the telecoms industry inside
out from the time he spent working with Orange, as well as the time he spent running the i3 Forum.
Now, the One Consortium is a new initiative that seeks to harmonise the validation of international
calls and promote a consistent approach to tackling CLI spoofing and associated frauds.
The concern is that we will never have effective solutions if the rules and technology applied to
validating a call at its origin are incompatible with the rules and technology applied for the
same purpose at its destination. And we still will not be successful unless those rules also make
sense for the carriers in between by helping them to tackle refiling frauds that also seek to disguise
the true origin of a call. But first, as always, let's chat about recent news with my co-presenters
Ed Finegold and Lee Scargall. Ed joins us from Chicago, where he's a respected author,
analyst and strategic advisor to tech and telecoms businesses, whilst Lee is an executive
and consultant who's managed the risk of com providers in the Middle East, Europe, Caribbean,
Asia and all over the place. But he joins us today from Bahrain. Guys, great to have you on the show
again. Really excited about episode two in the new season. And let's get stuck straight in with
a topic that matters a lot to me and hopefully will matter to people watching the show as well.
It's a huge surge in artificial intelligence being used to create web articles by paraphrasing
other content found on the web, not just big mainstream topics. Now I'm starting to notice
there's a surge of obviously ripped off content discussing niche topics of the type we talk about
on the show. I read one the other day about graph based fraud detection. And I tell you,
there aren't many human beings writing articles to the web about that particular topic.
Very obviously ripped off. In fact, we could I could find the original press release that had
been paraphrased multiple times at multiple sites by a string of bogus authors, obviously
artificial intelligence. In fact, this is becoming so common that the telecommunications UK fraud
forum Tuff is even linking to this AI generated content and encouraging its members to read it.
So let's begin. Lee, let's start with you to keep everybody on their toes. Are you surprised
that an organisation like Tuff would be promoting effectively artificially intelligent copycats
of the writing, the work, the advice given by real people?
I don't speak for Tuff, but I'm guessing they didn't realise it was AI generated content, right?
So the problem here is that AI is getting really good at this, right? It can scrape the internet
and it can copy other people's work, repackage it. And so the article actually looks like an
original one. I think the big debate here, Eric, is about copyrighted work, right? Should that be
allowed to be used in training sequences of AI algorithms? Now, my understanding is in the UK,
the planning to exempt original work from copyright protection, right? And this has caused a lot of
artists, authors, musicians, all the creative types, right? They've recently been in protest.
And also on the flip side of that, if somebody actually uses AI to generate content, then who's
actually eligible to claim the copyright? Is it the programmer? Is it the user of the system? So
there's very little rules and regulation on this at the moment, but I think it's going to be an
area which there's going to be lots of focus over the next couple of months.
I think this is a huge area. So Ed, let's bring you in here now as an author as well. I'm really
keen to have your point of view as an author here, as well as somebody who knows about technology.
Do you worry that a writer like yourself could be driven out of business by artificial intelligence?
That was my initial reaction when chat GPT and generative AI started getting really popular.
It was like, oh man, I'm done. What am I doing next? And so in preparation for that,
I've actually been building a lot of electric guitars and restoring them and fixing them.
So if anyone's got a guitar problem, please reach out. That's my backup profession.
No, in all seriousness though as well, I actually, so having had that knee-jerk reaction early on,
I chatted with a couple of friends of mine who I talk to all the time, one of whom is the CFO of a
private school in New York City and the other of whom is a VP with Citibank. And we always have
professional conversations of different sorts. And the point that they were making to me was
if you can use something like generative AI to save yourself 10, 20, 30% of your time,
that immediately goes right to your productivity, especially as a smaller one-person shop.
And you got to look at it that way. And so I started looking at it more like a tool. The
difference between, well, if I had the choice between a horse-drawn carriage or a horse-drawn
wagon or a pickup truck, what would I take? I take the pickup truck every time, right?
And so I think in this case, it's a similar kind of thing. Why would you stay in the past
and not use a tool like generative AI, not to write, but to do research on the initial gross
collection of research where you would otherwise spend an enormous amount of time doing search and
sorting through things? It's going to do it a lot more efficiently if you use the tool correctly.
You still have to double check its work. And when I say it, I'm talking about ChatGPT and
with Bing in particular, you have to check its work and make sure your sources, you know,
you have to be thorough, but it will save you an enormous amount of time. So I started looking at
that way and I find it very, very useful for that. The subject though being, you know,
is it going to replace writers? Man, I hope not. I hope that society continues to value the thought
of the human and not what you were suggesting, which is like an amalgam of others' thoughts.
Maybe I don't want to undersell AI for lacking the ability to be creative, but I'm going to
for the moment and say, it's not sort of novel, it's not sort of creative. And, you know, in that
sense, like it can do a really good job of copying something and maybe even a better job than a lot
of people can, but you know, when it has to go up against something that's nuanced and deep and
needs to be checked for sources and everything else, it's certainly not there yet, right? That
level of accuracy. I'll say that. I'm the do-monger again here amongst the three of us, obviously.
I'm the one with the most pessimistic view out of the three of us, because I would say,
Ed, when you write a report, whether it's something that people can read online for free
or whether you produce a report that's only for a limited audience and perhaps they have to spend,
you know, there's a price attached with purchasing the report. All you need is for one copy to go
into the hands of somebody who just wants to pump it through a machine and there could be infinite
copies of your work available for free all over the web. And my point with, the reason why I opened
the question to Lee about Tuff is, people who are then receiving that content, which couldn't
exist without your hard work, which is based upon your research, your intellect, your choice of what
to talk about, you're seeing no benefit whatsoever. And people who may not intend to be ripping you
off are now part and parcel of the process of seeing the fruits of your labor and you get no
credit, no reward whatsoever. And I think that is, I think that's deeply troubling. I think that's
deeply troubling that people who are well-meaning, well-intentioned could be recycling endless copies
of your work and there is no legal framework in place to protect you at all from the fact that
your work has been ripped off. So that's why I'm more pessimistic than you are, because I'm starting
to see already, you know, comms risk is competing with articles. I mean, it'd be very easy to take
the entire back catalog of comms risk and just to put it through AI machines and to create all
sorts of like-for-like copies of the articles or even hybrid articles to start merging things
together, who no one would be in a position even to sue. It'd be hard enough just to find it. I mean,
copyright violation occurs already, but usually what damps it down to some extent is it's an
obvious word-for-word copy and you can go and find the individual. You wouldn't even be able to find
who was responsible. It's just some website that's basically scraping your words and trying to
generate revenue from ad traffic or whatever. So why am I in the wrong here for being so pessimistic?
Is it just my nature that's leading me to be wrong here?
No, I don't think you're wrong, Eric. I think the music industry went through a lot of this. And Lee,
I'm sorry, if that was for you, go. But I think the music industry though has gone through a lot
of what you're talking about, you know, and I'm not an expert on that. I'm sure we have people
listening. We probably are. But, you know, there have been so many issues, right, in conflicts and
lawsuits and what have you with regards to artists' rights. You have it going on in Hollywood
now even with the writer's strike. So these kinds of issues come up again. And I appreciate you
bringing this up because as an author, I hadn't necessarily thought my whole way through, you
know, that aspect of it. And I think, you know, most of the time I'm working with publishers who
end up owning the work. But certainly I think it's something that publishers and like, you know,
like Conjurist as well, you know, should certainly be concerned about. One thing I'll say, though,
that I think the value that people get from a lot of this kind of content, right, at least when we
talk to sponsors and what have you, is the targeting to the audience, right, and being
able to reach the audience. And so the irony of that is everybody wants to use AI to make
the targeting better at the same time that you may be using it to copy someone else's work,
right? There's all these various uses for it. So the question then becomes, you know,
are you competing with the pirater to market in a credible way and communicate in a credible way,
you know, to your audience? And to me, I think that's sort of the differentiator
of the delivery of content and the relationship with the audience, as opposed to just the content
itself. Trying to be optimistic and weigh in on the other side of your pessimism.
You're way more, you're way too optimistic for me. I mean, Lee, let's bring you in here on purpose.
Well, I have to bring Lee in here to try and get some more pessimism into the show,
because I've been far too optimistic from the beginning of the show. Lee, it's not just going
to be ripping off people like Ed in terms of like copying the reports that they write,
the analysis that they produce. It's also going to be criminals taking effectively a script
for a scam and creating thousands of different versions of the script for the scam. Is there
a solution? Is there a solution that we need more AI to try and find out what has already
been created by AI? Well, yeah. I mean, I don't know if you've heard of fraud
GPT, which is a service which you pay about $60 a month. And for $60 a month, you can go off to
fraud GPT. You can ask it questions. You can buy these scripts. I think there's no stopping this,
Eric, now. I think the gene is out of the bottle. I'm just surprised it costs $60. Can't some other
frauds to create a cheaper version of fraud GPT for $30 and we get the costs right down?
There are other versions of fraud GPT out there.
Cheaper. You clearly have done your research, Lee. You've clearly done your research,
but presumably to protect your business from these. I mean, how do, forgive me if I'm asking
too many trade secrets, how do you find these things? Is it just as simple as Googling for
these things or are they more hidden on the dark web? I mean, fraud GPT, I actually came across that
just reading an article on one of the mainstream websites. It wasn't on the dark web. And then I
went off and did a bit of research and found there was more. You go on some of these forums and
they're saying, look, it's quite expensive for $60 a month. Try this, this, and this. So,
yeah, it's out there. I think the genie's out of the bottle, I'm afraid.
It's amazing to have competition in an area like that. But this is, I think this just increases
the risk for all of us, increases the risk for all of us. Okay. Let's keep moving forward with
the show. First ad break of the show. It's time for one of our weekly sponsored features, the
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reach out to them. Their website is Right. Back to the topical
chat, guys. And the topic here that has generated a lot of heat on certain sections of social media
over the last week has been concerns, shall we say. I'll try and be as neutral as possible
in my choice of words here, not weighing on either side until we get into the meat of the subject.
People raising concerns about the ownership of the Campaign Registry. Now, the Campaign Registry
is a US organization that's goal, its purpose, is to be a monopoly that maintains an allow list
for A2P SMS and MMS messages based on the 10-digit long codes, usually shortened to 10DLC.
The 10-digit long codes that are preferred in the USA to the alphanumeric sender IDs preferred
in other parts of the world for A2P SMS messages. If a message does not conform to an entry on this
registry, then it shouldn't be able to get through to users of any of the big three mobile networks
or indeed some other mobile networks in the USA. Now, a top lawyer has written to the Washington
seemingly without success, but his letter has been circulated online arguing that Tata Communications,
the big Indian telecoms business, their proposed takeover of Calera, a CPAS founded in Italy and
traded on the New York Stock Exchange, should be blocked because Calera is the sole owner of
the Campaign Registry. In other words, their concern is about foreign influence, foreign control
over a registry which is used to determine which messages may be blocked. And in particular,
they raise a concern that robotexts that will be circulated in the campaign for the 2024
presidential election, well, they're trying to argue that there could be a national security
risk and that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a branch of the US government,
should never have allowed Calera to own the Campaign Registry in the first place because
of this risk. In essence, that the Campaign Registry must be American owned and controlled.
So, let's start with you, Ed. Let's pick on you first with this question. Is it really a matter of
national security whether a registry of this type is owned by a business headquartered in another
country? Do you agree with that point of view that this could be a potential risk to matters like
presidential elections? I mean, for sure, whoever manages this, regardless of what country
they're in, right, because it has that control of communications that impact an election and
election interference has been a not small issue around the world and in the US in the last
decade, right? Yeah, so I think it, you know, necessarily, it's a national security issue and
whoever manages that probably needs to be have some kind of oversight, right? But the question
you're asking, though, is whether or not that's specific to a country like in the or out of the US.
And so we talked about this a little bit before the show, and I don't think it makes a difference
whether it's in or out of the US. I think that's mostly propaganda, malarkey, people trying to make
a drive a political agenda. And the reason I say that is because when you first asked me about this,
it actually brought me to a discussion I've had repeatedly with experts for probably close to 20
years about Bell Labs. A lot of people that raised me in the telecom industry were people that came
up through Bell Labs and talked about what an amazing environment it was to come up in and
one incredible resources and just this really phenomenal model of what a skunk work should be.
And that was something that was reduced, and then sold off right in the Alcatel-Lucent, you know,
Lucent, Alcatel-Lucent deal and ultimately to Nokia. And so you're taking something that was
like a treasure of US innovation that produced an enormous number of classified technologies that
then became commercialized. And that's then was sold off to foreign ownership and it wasn't an
issue. So why would this be an issue? I just, it's so inconsistent, it's aggravating. So I'm
going to stop there because this is such a quagmire of conflicting and like hypocritical issues. I
don't want to go too far with it, but hopefully I've answered at least your question to start.
Well, I think we'll continue with the quagmire and Lee, head first into the quagmire. I'll ask you
an even trickier question now. Is there a degree of hypocrisy here in the sense that we've had
over the last few years, US businesses very obviously angling to create, encourage the
creation of monopolies in other country that will be influential in determining which telecommunications
would take place, which would be blocked. They've been angling for it because it's potentially
lucrative monopolies to take a control of. And they're very happy to take control of what's
happening in other countries. But now we have a group in the USA saying, no, we can't have
foreign interest here in the USA. Is it a degree of hypocrisy? Or is that unfair because different
people have a different attitude. There's a genuine difference of opinion in the industry
here about whether international ownership is a good or a bad thing.
Well, for me, Eric, it just doesn't stop at the ownership of the organization. I actually think
there's bigger threats in particular, which come from the suppliers of the underlying technologies
that are used. I know for a fact, there's many sovereign nations that do SMS content filtering,
but they're actually using software from foreign suppliers. So it could be possible for a foreign
country to kind of exert influence on another through the technology they supply. And actually,
ironically, the majority of those companies who specialize in content filtering domain are
actually based in the USA, right? But it's not about content filtering. It's also about content
scanning as well, and having the ability to read every SMS message where it's deployed.
Well, to be absolutely clear here, the campaign registry does not block messages. They are a
registry, a bit like the sender ID registry we talked about last week in Singapore. Although
they use sender IDs in Singapore, they use 10 digit long codes in the USA. They're a registry.
They're not actually intervening to prevent a message being delivered. They're just maintaining
the list on behalf of others with all the big US mobile operators subscribe. But is there any
substance then to this risk complaint then in terms of what would foreign influence, what would
negative influence be like in terms of determining what isn't an acceptable message?
How does a society, how does a country draw up rules to say what this organization should do?
Lee, I'm picking on you again here.
Pick on me? I think, I mean, this cycles back to Ed's initial point where he said, look,
it doesn't really matter about foreign ownership. It's about whoever's actually doing it, right?
I think whoever is doing it, then they need to be impartial. They need to be kind of arbitrators
of the service. I think you need to have good guidelines on what's allowed, what isn't allowed,
especially when it comes to the campaign registry. But look,
I don't really have a solution to this, but I just know it's a very political issue.
Okay, well, Ed, I'll bring you back in on this one. Is there though an argument here? Is there
some substance to the argument here which says, if you are a comms provider, an SMS aggregator,
some kind of business that makes money from the delivery of SMS messages in bulk,
you shouldn't be owning as a subsidiary, the organization which keeps a list about which
messages should and shouldn't be delivered because there's a conflict of interest.
And that's one of the arguments made by these people. Is there some substance to that argument?
Would you say that that is an unacceptable conflict of interest? Or could it still be
managed through some kind of regulation and oversight to prevent some kind of biasing of
decisions made here? I think it's wiser to split them. It just is. And we talked about this a
little bit last week. It's like a business controls thing. Don't create the temptation.
It's the temptation. And I think we've talked about Frank Abagnale's books, for example,
and he talks about the psychology of this. And it's oftentimes the temptation and the opportunity
that will lead someone who otherwise might not think to do something unethical,
to do something unethical because the opportunity is in front of them and they may not be caught
because there's no oversight to it. And so it's sort of that mentality where if you keep the
function separate in any of these kinds of situations that we're talking about,
where someone can be blacklisted for the wrong reasons and then someone could be victimized
by the other hand for that. Those are the situations we're talking about.
Let's just avoid it. I'm going to separate them so that that kind of abuse cannot occur because
you have it separated. And I think it's interesting that we keep having examples of
businesses wanting to own both sides of it. Of course you want to own both sides of it because
you're going to profit from that. And that's exactly why you shouldn't. So it's a little
bit of a circular discussion, but to me, it's kind of a no brainer. Yeah.
Okay. So is there not an easy answer here? And is the easy answer not that you have the
Federal Communications Commission? They spend $12 billion a year. Why is this even being
outsourced? Are we seriously saying that an organization with a budget of $12 billion
couldn't just be expanded to run what's a relatively simple additional service?
And then you don't have any debates about impartiality, whatever, because now it's a
branch of government running. Or are you as an American saying, no, we don't want that because
the last people you want to do things is the government. Please discuss. In another country,
it would just be a branch of government. Why in the USA is this outsourced to the private sector?
I think you could go ahead and try to do that. And then exactly what happened,
the next cycle will be like, oh, we don't want to spend money on this. It needs to be cheaper.
Then we're going to outsource it to Tata, which is what the story was about in the first place.
And actually, I'm kind of coming back to where we were before, but it occurred to me
in this discussion that a company like Tata, and hello, friends and colleagues who work there or
have worked there, but company like that or companies like that may very well be the best
stewards for these kinds of things, regardless of where they're based. Well, not regardless. I mean,
I think if they're based in North Korea and you're in the US, it's probably a problem,
but you understand what I'm saying. And so the funny thing is, it's that same cycle,
though. It's like, sure, you could stand up. And the US generally doesn't do things that way. And
I'm not sure I'd be convinced the FCC would be able to do that free of major political influence.
You're probably creating a different set of issues. But interestingly, I think if you did
do that and someone agreed with you and you stood up the organization, it would only be a matter of
time before it got compartmentalized out and shipped offshore to the cheapest bidder once
again anyway. And you'd be right back in the middle of it. So just saying we're always caught
in a trap here of chasing our own tails on this issue, because we want more and more government
oversight to make sure private businesses don't misbehave. And then we always want the private
businesses to cut the costs of the government because we don't trust the government to keep
the costs down and do a good job. So we're just going around and around on this topic, are we?
Or maybe that's the theme of this show, right? Is that we are in technology,
always chasing better, faster, cheaper. And we really, really need to be thinking first about
what's smarter, more secure, right? What's more sensible before we get into better, faster,
cheaper. I don't think that's ever happened once. I'm sorry, that's never happened once.
I don't recall a single time when we discussed what was more sensible before we did something
better, faster, cheaper. Sometimes more sensible comes up as a consequence of better, faster,
cheaper, but I don't remember ever more sensible. And this is really a great example of how we don't
discuss things sensibly in advance. The registry is itself a reaction to the problem of everybody
can send messages to everybody else. Oh, whoops. It turns out that some of these messages,
we don't want to have people get these messages because they're dishonest. They're luring people
into dishonest business deals or the outright scams or people pretending to be people they're
not. That's the point of these registries. So that's why we need registries like this.
But then it becomes a big argument. It feels to me like a big argument about who gets to
make the money from running them, as opposed to arguing about the quality of the work being done
and the extent to which the public is protected. And I suspect that probably not many members of
the public know what's going on with things like this. And they just want somebody else to solve
the problem for them. But there probably isn't anybody that we can entirely trust to solve
problems. If you're cynical like me, possibly there's somebody from the FCC watching the show
right now who's very upset that I just said that out loud. But if you're cynical like me,
we don't trust anybody to do these things. Lee, any final thoughts on this topic? I mean,
would you say that you would recommend in other countries that they would take more of a public
ownership approach to doing SMS registries in the type? Or are you more relaxed about
private ownership in these kinds of things? When I actually read through the setup of the
campaign registry, my first feeling was I can't actually believe the FCC are not actually involved
in this and not managing it, right. So it made perfect sense for them to be the impartial
arbitrators of it. Now, if you look at other regulators around the world, they're all involved
in this or to some extent, at least as a minimum, they would have oversight. Some of them actually
manage it. So for me, I think it makes perfect sense that they take ownership of it. Okay, we'll
leave that topic with that thought. Here's the second of our regular sponsored features. Each
week, Geoffrey Ross of Core Authentication, Fraud Prevention and Geolocation Specialists,
OneRoot, takes us on a tour of the world in our phone. And this week,
we will visit the country of Cameroon. Producer James, roll VT.
Hey everyone, from OneRoot, I'm Geoffrey Ross, and this is the world in your phone.
Let's talk about Cameroon. Officially known as the Republic of Cameroon, it is a stunning
African nation renowned for its varied landscape and abundant wildlife. With a French heritage,
its culture and history are fascinating. But did you know that in May 2023, the Telecommunications
Regulatory Board fined the country's four mobile network operators a total of $9.8 million USD
for poor network quality? The penalties were imposed on the telcos due to repeated violations
of the quality and coverage requirements outlined in their operating agreements.
It will be interesting to see the response and the improvements from the four MNOs in the coming
months. Some other interesting facts I've found about Cameroon, it was once colonized by Portugal,
Germany, France, and England. Gaining its independence from France in 1960 and then
from the UK in 1961, the country actually became a republic in 1984. The current president of
Cameroon is the second longest ruling president in Africa and the longest consecutively serving
current non-royal national leader in the world. Cameroon is home to one of the wettest places in
the world, the Dabunska. Located between Mount Cameroon and the Atlantic Ocean, it receives an
annual precipitation of a little over 10 meters per year. Mount Cameroon is the highest active
volcano in western and central Africa, and the Karak Nation Park Forest is the oldest remaining
forest in Africa. Be sure to subscribe to OneRoute on YouTube where you can catch up on the world
and your phone and watch the OneRoute Roundup, the show that spotlights individuals and companies
making a positive difference in the telecom industry. One more fun fact about Cameroon,
two of the three exploding lakes in the world can be found in Cameroon. Eric, back to you
and more of this great communications risk show. Cheers.
Now let's introduce today's guest. Philippe  Millet is the chairman of i3 Forum, a not-for-profit
association he founded in 2008, whose members comprise many of the most important international
wholesale carriers in the world. As chairman, his role is unpaid and voluntary, but it does keep
Philippe  very busy. From 1999 to 2022, Philippe  also worked for Orange, where he was ultimately
responsible for group technical strategy. Welcome Philippe , it's a pleasure to have you on the show.
Let's get the audience immediately up to speed with what you've been doing over the years with
i3 Forum. We've never had you on the show before, there will be people who know about the work that
i3 Forum does, but there may be other people who are not so clear about what the i3 Forum is and
what it's been doing. You're tackling some really big industry challenges, can you please
briefly tell us why you formed the i3 Forum back in 2008? Sure, thanks Eric and thanks for having me.
The i3 Forum was founded 15 years ago with a very simple goal in mind at the time, which was
accelerate the transition from TDM to IP for voice. It was typically an issue that none of us could
tackle on their own or it would have taken like about a thousand years to migrate everything,
so we needed cooperation and that worked really well. We built on this and now the i3 Forum is
where the major players and the less major players, it's not a club of the major players,
but it's a place where all the stakeholders of this international interconnection,
wholesale environments come and work together to find solutions, agree frameworks and
recommendations etc and build actual solutions that none of us could do on their own. So that's
what we do when there are a number of things that require cooperation to be advanced or fixed,
that's where the i3 Forum steps in. So we tackle obviously fraud in this industry,
again industry is international wholesale voice and messaging, numbering plan issues,
which used to be the mother of all opportunities and is now the mother of all issues.
We work on technology issues, trying to get alignments and recommendations.
We also work on market data, how do we get an objective view of what's going on in the markets,
not forecasts and analysis, but actual data points from the market. And the last thing we
are working on is probably the reason why I'm very happy to talk to you today,
this Restore Trust initiative that we are launching.
So let's talk about that, I mean you've some very big, some very weighty topics that you have
influenced and helped the industry to improve its approach over the years already, so thank you for
the work you've really done for the industry. Let's talk specifically now about the One Consortium,
this is something that is completely new, so people may never have heard of it before,
but it's probably going to be heard by a lot of people in the near future because you're planning
to be, let's be frank, you've got ambitions here to have a very big influence on how the voice
ecosystem works going forward. To put it very succinctly, but please correct me to the extent
that I get it wrong, to put it very succinctly, the motivation for the One Consortium stems from
concerns that different countries are already in the process of choosing and imposing different,
perhaps inconsistent rules and requirements for validating the origin of telephone calls.
How serious is the problem of spoofing or manipulating the CLI associated with the call,
and how much is it that you're motivated because of the problem that's created by the fraudsters,
the criminals, the telcos that are ripping each other off, and how much is it to do with the
problem that regulators need to be more consistent in their approach? Okay, so that's, I'm going to
try and keep it short, but it's tempting to go on for 20 minutes. It all starts with spamming,
spoofing, robocalling, phishing, what have you. I think we all experience in our everyday lives
that we don't pick up the phone, we don't answer that message, we ignore things that maybe we
shouldn't because more often than not, it's not something we want to hear or that read.
So it is, I mean, the extent of that is really a public issue that everyone experiences in every
or almost every country. It's a big issue, and that is why the regulators, the NRAs,
National Regulatory Authorities, are stepping in. They're stepping in not because they don't like us
or they don't like the telcos, they're stepping in because one of their missions is to protect
the public. We have a public trust issue, the NRAs are stepping in to try and fix it.
They're doing whatever they want and can domestically. It's not something I want to
talk about because that's not our remit, but they obviously need also to take care of the
international incoming messages and calls. And this is where the problem starts because all of
them are coming up with different approaches, focusing on different things, whether it's
different technologies, different processes, different angles. And it's all interesting,
but it's all different. So for the guys in the middle, but again, the wholesalers,
the interconnection people, voice and messaging, the aggregators, the international wholesale
carriers, it's not sustainable. It's not sustainable. And more often than not, let's
say the measures that are taken have mixed results. I mean, there's no clear cut and for
very good reasons. The regulators are focusing because that's what they can do on determining
the consequences of the issue in the terminating country. They can't do anything about the origin
of the problem in the originating country because they don't talk to each other much.
So all of these regulators are coming with all their different thoughts and requirements that
we need to comply with under penalty of fines and stuff like that. So it's very serious.
So the thinking at the IFEW Forum is, I mean, this can't go on forever. It's not going to get
better on its own ever. So we need to do something about it. And doing something about it is to try
and bring together the entire international ecosystem, international carriers, aggregators,
CPAS players, vendors, other industry associations to work together and come up with what we feel
are sensible frameworks, models with all the layers, the technology, the processes, the
governance, everything. Number one. Number two, reach out to the regulators because now these
guys are, I shouldn't say these guys, the regulators are, no, I mean, honestly, it's just
because I'm going too quick, but the regulators are calling the shots. We used to ignore each other
very comfortably. Now it's not the case anymore for good reasons. We need to engage the NRAs. We
need to be coming up with ideas and proposals and try and build together with the NRAs,
hopefully a kind of joint self-governance model that addresses their concern and that is
sustainable for the industry. Most of that traffic for the industry is legitimate traffic,
i.e. we can charge it, right? So let me jump in here because this is the bit I'm confused about,
because you used the word sustainability. So let's unpack sustainability. Are you saying
that the current expectations on big carriers like Orange, Vodafone Group, Ibasis, the BICs of
the world, that the current expectations cannot go on in future, or are you worried that there
will be a ramping up of expectations because there isn't alignment taking place? So help me
to understand what you mean when you say things aren't sustainable as they currently are.
A bit of both, and not just for the big carriers. The big carriers have deeper pockets.
It's also about the tier two, tier three carriers that are legitimate in this environment and we
want to keep in business. Today we have issues with various flavors of stir shaken being
required by different regulators in France, in the US for instance, and more is in the work
about different requirements in terms of how do you handle national CLIs on international
trunks. Some are saying block it all, so you block the incoming roaming calls. It doesn't
make sense. I mean, it's not just stir shaken, it's a lot of different approaches and it's
unsustainable for cost reasons. All this costs money. It's unsustainable because it doesn't
always, it's inconsistent. So how do you comply with this and the opposite of that, the same thing
at the same time, unless, I mean, it just doesn't even work. So that's why it's unsustainable from
an economic standpoint, from a technical standpoint, and from, I'm going to call it logic
standpoint. Not just for the big guys, not just for the big guys. You've mentioned stir shaken,
so I've got to discuss stir shaken. I apologize to every viewer who is tired of hearing my point
of view on stir shaken at this point. Although at the same time, I love talking about stir shaken
because there's lots of things to do with stir shaken that people don't talk about. So we do
need a bit more balance in the industry. You brought up stir shaken there. Are you neutral
with the topic of stir shaken? When you bring up the fact that we don't have this international
consistency, is this the kind of example where obviously the US has stir shaken, and yet we've
just heard that Ireland is going to reject stir shaken? Is that the thing that's concerning you,
that you've got these impossible demands upon you because you're in between the cause between
Ireland and the USA, and it's not possible to keep both parties happy if the regulators have,
in the end, a different opinion. Is that the difficulty for you, that you're trying to get
the regulators to be more consistent? That is one of the difficulties, and that's the reason why
on top of having the industry work together, we want to engage with the NRAs, the regulators,
and we are suggesting, and we got some positive signals from some of them that are interested,
that there'd be like a parallel stream where they can meet, we can facilitate that,
and they can meet and they can discuss and hopefully align and collaborate at a level
that is not our level. But yes, that's typically one issue. Really, as IT reform and as one
consortium, one consortium doesn't even exist yet. We're going to be building it together with the
rest of the industry. We don't have an opinion on stir shaking yet. Is it going to be part of
one of the frameworks that we're going to develop because it makes sense in some situations?
Maybe, but then at least we'll have hopefully one flavor and not 200 different flavors of that.
So it's not that we're anti or pro this or that. We do have a few ideas. Traceback is certainly
something that we need to develop at the global level, probably not just expanding the
US Industry Traceback Association, but building something that's truly global.
There are things we can do on the roaming issue I mentioned, like is roaming, the signaling thing.
There are other quick fixes. We need to have a discussion about stir shaking and whether or not
we want that in the overall package. Maybe yes, maybe no. It all depends on can we fix the issues
without stir shaking and the costs associated with it, or do we actually really need stir shaking?
Jurisdiction, but at least, please, not 250 different flavors.
Well, I've got a comment here from a viewer. I just want to read out. Does this mean that the US
plan for stir shaking to be adopted in other countries, you don't believe it will be implemented
as they expected? I'm going to be very honest. I have no idea whether there's a plan.
If that's the case, you're telling me this. I didn't know that. If that's the case, then
we'll see. Is it something that actually works for everyone, including the carriers in the middle?
By carriers, I mean everyone, not just the traditional voice carriers. Does it work for
every country? How do you force that upon other countries and regulators that might have a
different angle, might not have the exact same issue? This is why this dialogue is absolutely
essential in the industry and among regulators and in between the two players, if you will.
That's exactly what we're trying to attempt with one consortium for the international ecosystem
and in parallel to that, different streams for the regulators and also the National
Communications Association that do play a role in this as well. Even though it's not our remit,
we focus on international. One last thing. One consortium is not an IP forum thing.
One consortium, we want this for everyone. It needs to be as inclusive as possible because
everyone needs to be able to have a say and by everyone, I mean global, be when we go knocking
on the doors of the regulators, we need to represent, one consortium needs to represent
the industry, not five big carriers or 20 medium carriers. This is when we can be heard, I guess.
We can also share and pool resources. That's going to be efficient for everyone. I mean,
there's many things we can, so one consortium, I3 Forum will be a member of one consortium
along with other industrial associations and hopefully as many traffic-carrying companies,
voice messaging, what have you, as possible. These guys will be the governing entities.
We need to work out the details on how this works, but this will be governed by
the traffic-carrying companies. Let me bring Lee in here. Now, Lee, obviously you've been looking
at this strategic problem of international calls and unwanted calls, nuisance calls for some time
now. Do you feel that what's happening here with Philippe , the I3 Forum, the creation of a new body,
one consortium, has it come as a surprise to you? Are they filling a gap that maybe you expected
others to fill already by now? Yeah, I think it's, first thing, I think it's required.
You know, call authentication is a big issue, spoofing, Wangiri, whatever. We get it.
We get it all the time, right, and we've actually got a good handle in trying to control it.
It has to be, you know, people need to sit down and discuss this. You've got various different
flavors of how to solve this, and I think what we need is we need a
body to come together and to say, look, let's sit down, let's try and solve this problem,
let's kind of select, you know, let's select a couple of options, let's put them on the table,
try and argue the merits for and against each one. But, yes, I've been, you know, if you look at,
there just seems to be a huge gap here, which is being exploited by fraudsters around the world,
and I think it's about time we get on top of this and try and bring some sensible ideas to the table.
Well, I always like sensible ideas. Now, Ed, I want to bring you in here as well,
because I'm keen to have your point of view here. Philippe 's doing a great job. He's stepping up,
he's being counted, he's trying to help the industry create this new body. But has there
been effectively a failure of leadership within the industry that we've gotten to this point
without having this kind of agreement, without having regulators talking to each other, without
anybody expressing a coherent plan? Philippe  made the point, he questioned the comment from the
viewer that said the US plan. I think there probably was a plan in the sense and expectation
of how things would evolve, but probably not a plan in the sense of writing down, this is what
I want others to do, so that people can actually say, did we do the things we said we're going to
do? Well, we're not going to do the same things to do. So leadership, is that the problem here?
Is leadership coming from the right people? Do we need people to, Philippe , step up,
like to step up because we're lacking leadership elsewhere in the industry?
Yeah, I mean, I think we need people like Philippe , perhaps Philippe , because you need
people who are experts, who are willing to go out and have the passion to talk about what the
issues are and get the right people, not just to listen, but to want to learn, right, and engage in
the issue. And I would imagine, at least in my experience working with certain regulatory
organizations in the past, that a lot of times that can be the challenges. You're dealing with
people who are maybe in that position, not because they're really committed to the industry
or the issues, they're in that position because they're in a political career or bureaucratic
career that they're trying to advance. And so getting them to focus on something that's
kind of a complex tactical issue, right, I think can be really, really difficult.
And sometimes they're just not interested, right, is definitely part of it. You know, and then
I think in this case, though, I don't see it as like, I'm trying to figure out where to set the
expectation bar. Is it a failure of leadership? You know, a lot of this is new in a way. So I'm
going to start with giving people benefit of the doubt. Regulation moves slow. They all move,
right, everybody moves slow. Everybody has their own plate. It's kind of hard to bring all those
bodies together. I'm going to kind of grant that. But at the same time, anytime you hear
again and again about these sort of global scale communications issues that come up,
because they do transcend like any one nation state or one regulatory footprint,
right, and then you find out that those people aren't talking to each other over the portion of
the past decade, let's say when it was really, right, like that gets really frustrating. And
it's not only the regulators, operators do it, industries do it. We've seen it in 5G where
operators really didn't engage, I think, external industries early enough on the use cases and how
the ecosystem needed to, you know, evolve. And now people are saying, oh, we're going to do it
better with 6G. So you see that again and again. And yeah, I think, you know, I'm not sure what
it's a failure of. It's at least a failure of people to talk to each other across aisles,
across borders, across industry boundaries. But here's the thing that really riles me, okay.
It hasn't been the case that these regulators have said they're not talking to each other.
It's actually been the other way around. We've had a whole bunch of announcements
about bilateral agreements between regulators in different countries talking about this specific
issue. Time and time again, Australia, Canada, the USA, more and more countries are part of this
web of bilateral agreements. Singapore was brought into it recently. So the regulators, Lee, jump in
here as well. I'm keen to have your view. The regulators are saying, well, we've got to have
these bilateral agreements to discuss how we're going to tackle these problems. And then you never
hear anything about that comes from the conversation they're supposedly having. And people like Philippe ,
people who are running the big carriers, they're left adrift going, well, apparently there's some
bilateral discussion taking place here, but we're not hearing the output. Is that your, do you have
the same impression of me that I'm hearing a lot about information sharing between the regulators?
I'm not hearing a lot about finding a coherent common plan between the regulators.
Yeah, I mean, that's my feeling as well, Eric. The regulators often meet at these
fancy conferences around the world. They're probably thinking though, is it us who have
to solve this problem about call authentication or should it be left to the carriers? I think
there's this void, right? And I think this one consortium, I think it's good because it's going
to bring focus, it's going to get people together, and then hopefully we can get a couple of solutions
on the table. But you're right, Eric, there seems to be, there's a lot of announcements going on,
but kind of very little delivery on anything really. And it's also about priorities too.
We saw that a great example, there was a bilateral agreement between BEREC,
the organization which represents the European regulators and the FCC. The FCC issued a press
release about this bilateral agreement. And of course, when the FCC issued a press release,
they emphasized how it was going to deal with robocalls, nuisance robocalls.
BEREC issued a press release, almost word for word identical, except no mention of robocalls.
They're telling a story about what the two different organizations seem to be priority,
and people like Philippe , who are dealing with BEREC, who are reaching out to the FCC.
It's a mixed message. Philippe , I'm sorry to jump, you know, drop you into the middle of this,
because I know you're more diplomatic than I am in terms of how we talk about these things.
But how significant is the risk to, it's not just big international carriers, I know one consortium,
but to put a scale, a sense of risk on this. How big is the risk to an international carrier
that's carrying traffic between Europe and the USA, if there's a misalignment of expectations
between the two? What is the downside? What's the danger to a business like that?
Obviously, yeah, that's a great question. Obviously, I don't have any numbers to share,
because nobody shares any numbers on this. But I mean, if we need to comply with two or three or
seven or 25 or 100 different requirements, be them in terms of the technology that we need to use,
the processes, database requirements, I mean, the entire, you know, whatever it is,
if we need to comply with each and every one of them, that means money that we need to spend for
each interconnection, each one of us, not just, you know, the industry in general, each one of us
has to spend money complying with this. And then we need to spend money on some magical black box
in the middle, that's not going to be cheap to interwork all of this, because your call from A
to B, it needs to go through. So there's not only the issue of complying with the requirements on the,
you know, inbound and outbound border, what do we do in the middle of it? It's coming this way,
we're complying with this and this and that, and then it needs to comply with something different
coming out. You know, I'm not going to get into details of this, but that's a huge problem. So
potentially there's two things, it drives out the smaller players that don't have the means,
or it pushes them to fraud, which is not something any one of us wants. For the bigger ones
that have deeper buckets, not a question of, you know, big names, it's just the money they have.
If they can pull it off, they might, but it's already a,
it's a business where there's a lot of capital requirements, and the margins are razor,
razor thin. So do we keep doing voice? Do we leave it all to the WhatsApps and,
and, you know, whatever the world, if that's what, you know, the world wants,
maybe that's what's going to happen. But think through guys, there's, there's a lot value that
we bring. And there's a lot of revenue that the various domestic operators and governments
get from that. So think it through. I'm just, you know, making it up as I go, but I think that's
pretty much it. Let's bring in Ed here, because you've got some strong feelings here about whether
this is about an effective way to defend the voice industry as it currently exists.
Yeah, I mean, I have mixed feelings on it. I'll agree. And, and I will, I'll admit, I mean, and
Philippe , I'm not trying to be combative or, or cheeky or anything. And if there's a, you know,
like kind of a no doubt or shame on you answer to this question, please, you know, say so. So I'm
getting out there a little bit, but I feel like there's an aspect of this I want to ask twofold.
One is why are we trying so hard to defend the PSTN or the public switch telephone network? Like
why are we trying so hard to defend this thing? But keep in mind, this is coming from the point
of view of someone who has been a vocal enemy of the phone number, because I see phone numbers as
something we should leave in the 20th century. They are, again, this is making black and white
out of shades of gray, obviously, but I think it's a, it's a thing that's, it was invented in the
1870s. Let's leave it there. It causes so many other problems. We need to look forward. Why are
we doing things like, and again, let's kick stir shaking because we do it all the time on the show.
But to me, the concept of stir shaking is not a bad thing. You know, verifying that who's calling
who is, is no, as part of it, Eric, as part of it, the, the underlying background concept that
you want to know who's calling you, right, is not a bad thing. How it's politicized, how it's
implemented, all right, only as part of the monitoring I'm talking about.
That way of doing it is a bad thing.
That's what I'm talking about.
Checking where a phone call comes from. I mean, we had, we had Feng Ho on the show last season,
and you could do the same thing a lot more efficiently, but sorry to put him.
Yeah. So, but so then it becomes an example, right, of how you spend billions of dollars
to, and a lot of people's time and money and other resources, right, to try to solve
kind of an obsolete, like a problem for something that's obsolete.
It's very, very backward looking. And so anyway, I'll get back to the question. It's like, why are
we, why are we trying so hard to continue to defend the PSTN other than what you just said,
which was that there's obviously people's jobs, there are still revenues flowing through these
networks, there's businesses that we're talking about who are legitimate that need defense.
So if we, if we kind of, obviously you can't necessarily take that out, but beyond those
reasons, why protect the PSTN? Why are we trying to preserve it?
Okay. So I'm very sorry if I came across as defending the old PSTN. Nobody talks about
PSTN anymore. Nobody, none of us do PSTN. We talk voice. You have different paths to voice.
So one is regulated, one is not regulated. That's the difference, but it's voice. And the PSTN
is really not part of it. That's one thing we all did. We transitioned to IP. It's all the same
technology. The underlying networks are paid by us. The old smelly bits that still run the networks
and do traditional regulated voice. The WhatsApps and the over the tops, they do voice. They don't
pay for the network. Nobody pays anything. So it's fine, but somebody has to pay for the network.
In the end, it's going to be you, whether it's PSTN or your fiber or whatever, it's the same
issue. So it's not about defending PSTN or the traditional way of doing this business or that
business. It's not even about voice, it's voice and messaging. It's about public trust. And it's
happening to WhatsApp as well. If you don't pick up, WhatsApp is starting to being used in the same
way that traditional SMSs and calls are being used. If you can't trust what's coming up on your
phone, whether it's a call, an SMS, a WhatsApp message, or what have you, if you can't trust
that, everybody has a problem. Society has a problem. The public has a problem. The businesses
have a problem. The administrations have a problem. The regulator has a problem. The regulator is
trying to fix it and it's making the life of the people who make it happen just impossible. We need
to fix it. WhatsApp is in the exact same situation. They should be with us. They should be
working with us. They have the same issues. In the end, it all boils down, if you're my opinion,
it all boils down to, and welcome, please work with us. It boils down to the issue of,
it's one of my pet projects, Numbering Pan, the mother of all opportunities, the mother of all
sorrows now. Nobody knows who the origin of the call is and who the destination,
like, who is. We know the number. We're not even always sure that it's a legit number
on the A side. Same for messaging. I talk voice because it's easier for people to understand.
We need to fix that and it's the regulators that can fix it. We're just ideally positioned
in the middle because the thing you were talking about earlier, everyone sees it and nobody is
running around like hellish chicken trying to fix it. Everybody's doing their best. No, I mean,
don't get me wrong. Everybody's doing their best. I mean, I'm not anti-NRA. I'm not anti.
Everybody's trying their best. It's a complicated environment and except us, nobody had to look into
it before this, but we're ideally positioned. We see the consequences of this loss of public trust.
We see the NRAs coming up with, you know, trying really hard to come up with sensible
solutions, except they're all different. So that's why this industry is taking the lead
because we might not have the problem in terms of fraudulent traffic. Again, it's regulated,
but we have another problem. It's the NRAs telling us, like we said, inconsistent requirements.
We're ideally positioned. This is why we're stepping in. In the end, it's a public trustee,
so it's not, you know, a rear guard. That's all to say the old coming PSTN that, you know,
everybody hates. Let me jump in here. I've got a few comments from the viewers here,
Philippe , I want to share. So a one that you'll like. Well done, Philippe . We definitely need
the one consortium. Good for you. Good on you for doing this. A comment here as well from
Henk van Hastre, who I know is a regular viewer. We don't need regulators, but heroes that put the
bastards behind bars and fines or take away licenses from operators that are letting this
happen. They know it, but they just don't do anything about it. And I like Henk's comment
there because there's an extent to which we can throw very expensive solutions at this,
can throw lots of technology at the problem. But if we don't in the end prosecute anybody,
if we don't enforce rules, then the problem is not going to go away. And here's my
take on this reason why you need to protect these businesses, Philippe .
We talk about the fracturing in the terms of demands and demands coming from different places.
We talk almost as if the regulator in the USA is just one body raising queries for carriers.
Well, there's 50 states in the USA, each with their own prosecutors. There's numerous federal
agencies, each pursuing very similar requests. Just one country on its own could generate all
sorts of demands and queries for international telecoms businesses. If one country on its own
is producing a lot of uncoordinated, largely looking through a narrow lens of specific
problems without joined together, we could be doing a lot of work to find this criminal,
find that criminal, find the next criminal. We could be spending a lot more time and effort
chasing what's a relatively small number of bad actors with many, many different starting points,
multiple starting points within a country, multiple countries too. This is a recipe
for disaster. We could be starting a lot of investigations and never bringing anything
to a close. And that's been the situation in the USA. There's not been a shortage of money
spent on stir shaken. There's a real shortage of prosecutions to show as a result of stir shaken.
And that's really the problem, isn't it? Businesses of the type that you're representing,
they could be driven out of business long before we in the public see any benefit as a result,
unless there's coordinated, clear prioritization of who we should be going after. And in many ways,
the businesses you represent, they're best placed to understand who you should be going after,
but we're not harnessing their intellect, are we, Philippe ? That's correct. We see it happening.
And even when we don't see the immediate issues, we see the consequences of those issues.
So that's why we're, I think, ideally positioned to ring the alarm bell and then try and do
something about it. And that's really what we're trying to do. But we need everyone on board. The
regulators are there. There's a reason for the regulators. You can have your opinion on them,
but that's not what we're discussing. It's a fact that they are here today and they're
trying their best to fix the issue. They understand what's happening domestically
in their own country. They don't always understand because it's complicated. The
complexities are international and they don't always talk enough to their counterparts around
the world, even though I know it's happening on a small scale. So this is what we need to
accelerate and translate into tangible, concrete, not just recommendations, but actions,
investment. We need to build traction. We need to build this self-slash joint governance model
for the international industry. There is no regulator. It's the high seas. It's the wide
west. And it's fine. Everything's fine. It's not fine anymore when there's a problem. So we need to
to, to, to take it down us, to fix this. And it comes back to United Nations though is failing.
We have a United Nations. We have an international telecommunication union,
totally silent on these topics, totally ineffectual on these topics. I know that you
won't say that Philippe , but I'll say it out loud. Why do we have a United Nations agency
that's supposed to be able to govern international telecommunications and has absolutely no interest
or impact whatsoever on the governance of international telecommunications when it's
affecting the vast majority of us because of bad traffic, affecting businesses, affecting people
too. I do want to, forgive me, I got, I'll get a bit ranty Philippe . I do want to come back to
something you said earlier, because obviously you're a Frenchman and you talked about the
different flavors of stir shaken. I don't want to get bogged down on stir shaken, but for the
audience, when we talk about a different flavor of stir shaken, as is actually occurring between
the flavor of stir shaken in France and the flavor in stir shaken in the USA, why is it wrong that
we've seen in the public? People just say, well, stir shaken, we'll do it. Stir shaken, we'll do
it. Why isn't it the case that it's the same stir shaken in one country, the other country and what
stops them working together? So to both of your question, I'm going to say, I don't really know.
I'm not a technical expert, so I can't go down and explain the details why, but to me,
obviously, if you have two different standards for the same technology and associated processes,
then you have an interworking issue necessarily. So if we have two, it's an issue.
If we have 25 in the future, plus other countries that say, no, don't use this,
use another technology. And by the way, don't use any technology, but use this process.
This is the type of calls you're going to be blocking, but based on their own criteria,
it's a mess in the end. So I have a good read. I'm lucky because I don't know enough to answer
your questions in details and fuel your discussion on stir shaken. But the only thing I can say about
stir shaken is what everybody can see, is that when you look at the numbers and I know the numbers
can be discussed and I'm not an expert, I'm just saying that at best, it's mixed results, right?
So again, keep in mind, you're doing your job as analysts and experts. And my job is to try and
bring everyone together. So I want everyone on board. I want to understand that we're building
this together and I value everybody's concerns and inputs and stuff, because criticizing that
is not going to lead me to a solution. Well, you say it's your job, but you do
this voluntarily. So obviously you're a volunteer, your mission, your mission, your vocation in life.
So you already have this existing association you've been running as a vocation, the i3 Forum
since 2008. Why wasn't it the right choice to simply set up a working group in the i3 Forum?
Why do we really need a new, a whole new non-profit entity to make this work?
Because we need this to be neutral and inclusive, not that the i3 Forum is not neutral and inclusive,
but it's the i3 Forum. Other industrial associations might think, you know, why should I
give my members to the i3 Forum? As a carrier, let's say, or aggregator, am I going to say,
okay, so I need to spend some money to join the i3 Forum to be part of this? Why should I?
So this one consortium body is going to be no membership fees. We'll need a lot of money.
The members will fund the activities, but there's no barrier to entry, right? It's neutral.
It's not the i3 Forum's pet project or toy or anyone's pet project. It's going to be run,
governed, governed by the traffic carrying companies. The organizations such as i3 Forum
will help, you know, guide the work and actually manage the projects and everything. Obviously,
we'll do our job, but it's the people who have the issue that need to be able to choose what
they want in the end, live with it, and incidentally pay for whatever it takes to get there.
So i3 Forum wasn't the appropriate body for that. I hope I make sense.
Well, it makes sense, but it seems like a lot of work. You're going to set up a whole new body.
What things that perhaps people aren't clear on? Who's running it? Where is it? You know,
where is it? Is it legally incorporated somewhere? Who makes decisions? So give me some more detail.
It's not, it doesn't exist yet. If you're interested in more details, you can join the
webinar that we have on September 7th to register. Just go to our website,,
restore trust. You can register there. It's not, it doesn't exist yet because I didn't want to come
with something that was all like packaged and this is it, and you sign there, or you're not part of
it. We need to co-build this with the players that are actually going to, that are going to have to
fix this issue. So can anyone take part in this call on September 7th? September 7th is for
everyone. And the more people, the better. We already have a few NRAs joining. We have
government joining. We have 40, in excess of 40 different carriers and aggregators and
CBAS players, vendors. Should Lee be joining? Lee's thinking to himself, he might like to be
involved in this. Of course. And it's free. So can I join? Can I participate?
I tease a little bit because the risk and insurance fee for course is fully supported.
It's going to be an information session, 45 minutes to explain the vision and the plan we
have in mind. Okay. And then two, three different things happen. Consortium, we are setting up a
working group with a limited number of people. We don't know who yet you can apply. You need to meet
a certain criteria to join. Two, design the one consortium. We'll guide the discussion. We have
ideas. The group will take them or come up with something different. This is how we're going to
build one consortium. This is why it doesn't exist. There's no members yet. It's going to be
in a few months. In parallel, we'll suggest respectfully or offer that the NRAs can use this
overall umbrella of this initiative to maybe initiate discussions between themselves that
we can host and facilitate. Very respectful. You're not going to tell them what to do.
And then that would help engage the industry, engage with NRAs and vice versa. There would be
two places where a lot of them would be. And we're actually doing the same thing on the National
Communications Association. We didn't talk much about it, but it's a
major component as well because they have some issues, even though it's domestic.
But again, the call is from HV or a message, right? So they need to be aligned and they can
also help the regulators in their country understand why some of the suggestions we have make sense.
So it's a very wide ranging. It's a bit crazy, but we're getting amazing traction. We got 180
people registered, something that nobody had heard of a few months ago. So that tells you something.
Well, Steve Jobs said it when it's the crazy ones who change the world. So I applaud you,
Philippe , for being one of the crazy ones. And I certainly do hope you succeed with this. And
I'm certainly on board and we'll get Lee involved and maybe Ed will come along too.
We need as many people as possible backing this because there is a gap in the industry. And we're
very pleased that you have stepped up, Philippe . You and your colleagues, you obviously bring a
lot of weight with you because of the associations, the connections you've built up over the years
across the global industry, but it's a big planet as well. So there's a lot of people
we need to reach out to. So the most we can get. So I know that on screen whilst you've been
talking, people have been seeing the URL to find out more information about the One Consortium
and about registering for your meeting on the 7th of September. I won't read out the time
because of course it depends where you are in the world, but you've picked a time so that some
people over on the West Coast of the USA will be getting up very early in the morning. And some
people in Japan will probably go into bed very late at night, but you picked the best possible
time for everybody to be involved. So please go to that URL you can see on screen,
slash one hyphen consortium to find out more and to register for the event and to participate in
this, what I think will be historic meeting. And that's all we have time for. So Philippe ,
thank you so much for being a guest on today's show. I know we can keep the conversation going,
but maybe we'll keep the conversation going on September 7th. I'm very keen to hear what you've
got to say and what other people are saying in the meeting that will take place then. Thank you for
being on today's show. Thank you very much, Eric. Thank you for having me. It's been great to have
you on the show. Well, I wish I could read out all the questions from the audience. Apologies
to those who submit questions. I didn't have time to read out today, but so much to go through today.
I certainly found it an enjoyable show. I hope you did too. Ed, Lee and I will return next Wednesday,
September the 6th, when our guest will be Josue Martens, a network security manager and blogger
who's based in Cologne, Germany. He's currently working at Accenture, having previously been
telecom security team lead and Golan operator at Unitel. And he's also worked for Samsung
in South Africa. He'll be talking to us about what signaling firewalls do well, but also their
limitations and why they're not always configured to protect telcos and their customers as well as
they might. So join us for the live show on Wednesday, September 6th at 4 p.m. UK, 11 a.m.
U.S. East, 8.30 p.m. India, or why not just shape the show to your diary by clicking the link in the
communications for this show webpage and your diary will automatically sort out the time zones
or even better, subscribe to our broadcast schedule and have the details of every episode
added to your diary automatically in the right time zone for you. Thanks again to today's guest,
Philippe  Millet of the i3 Forum and one of the prime movers behind the new One Consortium. Thanks
to my co-presenters, Ed Finegold in Chicago, and Lee Scargall in Bahrain. And we cannot leave
without saying thanks to the hardworking producers of this show, James Greenley and Matthew Carter.
This has been episode two of the second season of the Communications Risk Show and I've been your
host Eric Priezkalns. Visit the Communications Risk Show website to catch up
with recordings from every previous episode. Remember to visit for the latest
news and opinion about risks in the comms industry, as well as using the great free
resources of the Risk and Assurance Group,, including their
comprehensive crowdsourced leakage and fraud catalogs. Thanks for watching and we'll see
you next Wednesday.