Agenda, Attendee List, & Presentation files now available to Telecom Council members in the library.

Telecom Council members, telcos representing over 3B customers across 40 countries and the vendors and investors that support innovation across the communications industry meet to review technologies, startups and case studies pushing CSPs into the future. TC3 presents operator case studies, startup pitches, technology demos, private roundtables, online exhibits and speed networking using Telecom Council's MatchMaker service.

  • Date: 11/15/2021 08:30 AM - 11/16/2021 04:00 PM
  • Location Online in Telecom Council's Virtual Meeting Room (Map)
  • More Info: Zoom instructions 24 hours before meeting starts



Silicon Valley, California, November 18 2021/Meeting Recap/ Every year, the Telecom Council holds our marquee meeting, TC3, to set the tempo for the next 12 months of telecom and innovator partnerships. In our TC3 meeting, we run the usual pitch sessions, where innovators pitch large telecom stakeholders their latest solutions. But we also turn the “pitch session” upside-down, asking the telcos to pitch the entrepreneurs. We ask the network operators to clarify:

  • their technology needs are over the next calendar year, thus what kinds of partners they are seeking
  • their innovation and partnership acquisition programs
  • some case studies of successful partnerships they've recently made with innovators

The information delivered at TC3 helps innovators target the most appropriate carriers among the group, where a fit is most likely. But also helps guide them to pivot towards what carriers clearly state that they need. And it shows them the mechanisms to engage with the carrier. (In fact, TC3 provided those mechanisms, too, in the form of scheduled 1-on-1 meetings, chosen and selected by participating attendees).

TC3 always answers the question of "What's Hot" in telecom, because we see it emerge as part of multiple presentations, horizontally, across all the network operators (and many of the innovators, too.) This year, the heat seemed to consolidate around 5G, Edge, and digital twinning / virtualization.

One of the most important content elements of TC3 is case studies, where we review successful stories of an innovator partnering with a network operator. Through these cases, we can learn the pace of business development, how the process flows, what’s required, and how it pans out. Some take-aways of the case studies this year, were

  • The telcos are reducing the biz dev lead time for innovators, but it still is a slow and deliberate process, taking between 3 and 24 months, with a median around 9 months
  • The telcos are systematic in their evaluations of partners. They seek to meet as many potential partners as possible (300-500), but then need to triage and reduce that number quickly so they can focus on the dozen or so that pass the "gates" in due diligence
  • In the cases where the startups closed the deals, the telcos were able to bring them support, co-development, and eventually massive scale in addressable market.

This year’s TC3, naturally, was under difficult circumstances with the global pandemic curtailing our ability to meet live, in person. So, we took the event virtual, with each day beginning with conference content, and ending with one-on-one virtual meetings. Our Monday content kicked off with a presentation from Gavin Whitechurch, Co-Founder at Topio Networks, about the wide opportunities for startups in the upcoming Edge/5G innovation wave.  On Tuesday, we heard from Alan Minney, Director Ventures & Partnership Industries at Ericsson who, with Mark Lowenstein from Mobile Ecosystem, explored 5G ecosystem development and innovation.

Following a number of carrier introductions, with brief updates on their innovation technology needs, and a series of case studies on 5G, edge, slicing, IoT, smart cities, subscriber WiFi optimization, small cells, digital twins, XR, and more, we transitioned into the typical dog-and-pony show of innovator pitches to network operators, in a rapid fire format of 5 minute presentations followed by 5 minutes Q&A. Innovators had just enough time to explain the company’s innovation, and the key differentiation. The objective wasn’t a full explanation, rather a quick pitch to garner deeper interest, and an invitation for a follow-up meeting, either the next week, or later that day in our 1-on-1 meeting tool in the Telecom Council Portal.

The final content session was a choice of three roundtable sessions.

  • Edge Service Monetization, facilitated by VoltDB
  • Business Cases for Network Slicing, facilitated by Kaloom
  • Private 5G Networks, facilitated by Kelly Drye & Warren

Delegates joining the roundtables were able to contribute to these interactive sessions for an open discussion that truly explored the opportunities and challenges.

While the content may have concluded, the value of TC3 continued with our highly managed MatchMaker Meeting Service. Over 3 days, 43 companies shared 525 prearranged, 15-minute, video meetings where mutual interest was predetermined via the scheduling process - with several companies not only taking initial meetings but also securing follow-up meetings during that timeframe. 

We’d like to thank all our contributors for such a great, compact TC3. And of course, a hearty thanks to our sponsors, VoltDB, Kaloom, and Kelly Drye and Warren.