Telcom News Roundup: February 2023

3 min read

Spring days are already here and before you wander away to revel in some sunshine , be sure to check out our recent telco news roundup.

“Super apps” are to disrupt conversational commerce

According to InternetRetailing, the use of “super apps” combining messaging, social, content and payments will be the next big thing in conversational commerce. As consumers expect new levels of convenience, the ability to orchestrate much more engaging commerce interactions from a single platform becomes paramount and is believed to be the main driver behind this development.

Juniper Research estimates that by 2027, global spending via “super apps” will reach $135 billion, rising from $39 billion in 2023. However, this will require communication platform providers to have the ability to support the surge in messaging app traffic, as well as the ability to provide depth within these channels through the use of value-added services. This will ensure that the apps remain an integral part of the ecosystem as the capabilities of OTT messaging increase.

The research author Elisha Sudlow-Poole explains: “As the development of “super apps” will create a new ecosystem for business messaging, communication service providers must ensure strong, proactive partnerships with the most popular “super apps” to maximise their role in the conversational commerce value chain.”

AI chatbots will be subject to UK Online Safety Bill

According to Department for Culture, Media and Sport junior minister Lord Parkinson, the content generated by AI chatbots such as ChatGPT will fall within the scope of the UK Online Safety Bill, which the Parliament is currently drafting, reports The Telegraph

The Online Safety Bill enforced by UK communications regulator Ofcom currently requires websites such as social platforms and search engines to protect users from “legal but harmful” content.

It is believed that regulating this software will reduce the possibility of promoting self-harm, eating disorder, abuse, and other possibly harmful information to young users under the threat of penalising tech companies, should such incidents occur.

The concern seems to stem from the fact that chatbots are susceptible to political bias depending on the data used to train them, as evidenced by developments such as ChatGPT’s refusal to recognise the achievements of US Republicans while readily praising Democrats and a recent experiment demonstrating various answers based on UK newspapers used to train ChatGPT’s algorithm.

Twitter to charge for SMS two-factor authentication

Starting March 20, 2023, only Twitter Blue subscribers will have access to text messages as a two-factor authentication method. The rest of the users will have two options to choose from: a mobile authentication app and a security key.

Twitter’s reasoning behind this decision is that bad actors are abusing phone-number-based 2FA. It is worth pointing out that according to a Twitter account security report, only 2.6% of Twitter users had 2FA enabled as of 2021, with 74.4% using SMS authentication. Twitter free users will have 30 days to disable the SMS authentication and choose another way to sign in using 2FA. Disabling text message 2FA won’t automatically disassociate the user’s phone number from their account, Twitter said.

If you want to learn more about two-factor authentication and the ways it can help you protect your audience, make sure to check our article.

Vodafone expands collaboration with Google on messaging services

On February 21, 2023, Vodafone announced plans to expand its European collaboration with Google on mobile messaging services, Pixel devices and Vodafone’s TV platform.

As a result of the expanded agreement between the companies, Vodafone subscribers will gain access to rich messaging, with Google Jibe Cloud powering Vodafone’s use of Rich Communications Services. 

Messages by Google will be the default messaging app on all applicable Android devices sold via Vodafone’s carrier sales channels, enabling an interactive modern messaging experience, which works on all Android smartphones, regardless of model or mobile network. This includes high-quality images and videos, read receipts, enhanced group messaging and encryption for one-to-one chats. 

Vodafone Business customers will also benefit from the expanded relationship with Google since the latter’s RCS business messaging platform serves over 500 million users across the globe. This will dramatically simplify business onboarding and operations, helping enterprises engage with consumers through innovative conversational experiences for services and sales. 

If you consider making RCS part of your business communications, do not hesitate to learn more here.

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