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Bootstrapping by Services from Wisconsin: SignalWire CEO Anthony Minessale (Part 5)

Posted on Monday, Feb 17th 2020

Sramana Mitra: Where are you finding the most traction right now?

Anthony Minessale: Something that’s really big right now is that the customer has learned how to use VoIP. The carrier industry is very specific. It mostly is the idea of high-density SIP traffic.

Instead of getting a telephone circuit in a data center, you can get a certain number of simultaneous VoIP. A lot of those players have mastered the art of high-density distribution. Some companies are savvy enough to figure out the source of their PSTN access. They don’t have the logic they need.

There are some existing companies that maybe provide similar services but they’re cost prohibitive. There’s this gap between these low-level carriers. We’re finding people who are taking their high-density telecom, and then they can point to us in the cloud and use our logic engines and routing to do things like record calls and bridge them together.

Some customers want to be able to place a whole bunch of calls. There’s a huge push towards that. There’re also companies that want to have some kind of app that lets them do communication through the network. The registration, posting, and bridging of that to application logic is something that we’ve seen a lot of.

Also there’re companies that want to have a lot of telephony but don’t want to be their own network for things like toll free. Toll free text messaging is also popular. Short-code SMS is getting popular. There’s a whole tangent about the computer texting industry. Verizon is trying to insert itself.

There’s a big industry of programmatic text messages like authentication and appointment  reminders. A lot of them are turning to things like short codes and toll-free messaging. There’s a lot of complexity in setting those up. Also the dialog flow from Google is starting to heat up. 

Sramana Mitra: All this is happening in what kind of a competitive landscape?

Anthony Minessale: The earliest adopter of this technology is Twilio. The early founder of Twilio used to spend a lot of time with us. We have a conference for technology. That’s where we bring together the industry to discuss and give presentations. They used to be regulars at that.

The work we’ve done in the open source community has a big impact on creating creativity and ideas. I think Twilio is built on the first software that I discovered. This conversation here is over PSTN. I tried to call you with my cellphone and you couldn’t hear me. That network has a lot of problems with audio calling.

Right now, I’m using VoIP. I’m going through who knows what. The service you’re using now is hosted somewhere online too. Some of that technology has been pushed forward. One of the limitations of it is still lower quality.

If you’ve ever listened to the radio, you always can tell the difference between the DJ’s voice to the person on the phone. The codec that the voice uses is designed to scale. It was a great accomplishment of engineering. The world is really moving towards higher-definition IP communications. At the same time, we try and push stuff past that. They’re the first ones to figure out that they could probably go to the mainstream with some of this technology.

There’re a lot of imitators just trying to do the exact same thing. Most of that is based on the arbitrage of how much per minute each call costs. We can do any of those same things. There’s a lot more that we want to be able to do. 

This segment is part 5 in the series : Bootstrapping by Services from Wisconsin: SignalWire CEO Anthony Minessale
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