Do Telcos need to partner with API Aggregators?
July 17th, 2014
APIs for google maps and the like have given developers a taste of what’s possible when services are easy to access. But there is only one google maps. What’s interesting about telco APIs is … it is very useful for app developers to be able to access the same services provided by multiple operators via a single API. For example, you might want to be able to send an SMS from anywhere in the world. Apps are global, the API is not.
Models for Accessing Telco APIs
Stefan Weil from GSMA addressed this point at TelecomAPI in Munich, and presented different models for accessing telco APIs.
Individual Endpoints: Handling many individual endpoints is just too hard for app developers.
Standardized Endpoints: Standardized endpoints are hard to put in place. Standardization is in the interests of the app developers, but requires effort and cooperation between the operators.
Aggregation: The aggregation option is interesting. If a company is willing to negotiate with lots of telcos, they can supply a simplified API to app developers, and spread the costs across many API users.
Federation: Federation simplifies the problem for the app developers, but again depends on cooperation between operators. Very hard to achieve.
Is the Aggregation option winning?
Stefan also presented a picture of where some players in the telco API space fit in this model (you can see the original slide in Alan Quayle’s review of the conference on slideshare, see slide 40).
The cluster of companies operating in the Aggregation space speaks for itself.
Again from Stefan’s slide. This issue is not specific to Telcos – it arises in other industries as well….
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