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Ibrahim Gedeon is not the retiring type

The former CTO of Telus talks about technology strategy, compelling AI use cases, the evolution of telecom companies and much more in his exit interview with Light Reading.

Phil Harvey

January 18, 2024

32 Min View

At a Glance

  • Why did wireless-wireline convergence take so long? (7:28)
  • AI's potential to help telcos simplify operations and reduce sprawling numbers of products and features (12:13)
  • Did the telcos bail on pay TV too early? (23:58)

Former Telus CTO Ibrahim Gedeon is not shy about his telecom industry opinions. He's not the retiring type but did, as announced in November, recently step away from his duties at Telus, where he'd spent over 20 years as the top technology strategist.

In this interview, Gedeon reflects on his biggest career challenges and ponders why the telecom industry was too slow to understand and chart a path for the direction that seems so obvious now – all services flowing from a single, hyper-automated, IP-based network.

Part of the problem, he said, is that new technology takes a while to absorb, and the business cases for some new tech need time to evolve. Adding to the complexity are the legacy services and technologies that force carriers to make choices that aren't great for anyone. The whole process, he said, is often not empathetic to the needs of the people or groups using telco services.

"We did VoIP, and if you look at the industry, we've gone backward from everything since VoIP," he said.

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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