Yesterday GSMA announced the OneAPI Exchange, a new, flexible technical platform that aims to deliver network capabilities to mobile apps. This latest phase of the OneAPI global initiative has been undertaken with leading mobile operators including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone. The OneAPI Exchange will be operated by leading technology provider Apigee.
Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA said,”The OneAPI Exchange promises to elevate the mobile app experience for consumers. By supporting closer operator-developer relationships and greater cross-carrier interoperability, the platform will lead to seamless access to exciting mobile apps with enhanced features. End users will benefit from operator services they already know and trust, such as billing, messaging and operator identity, embedded within the apps they choose.”
When a developer selects and registers with an operator developer programme, they are able to build applications that utilise that operator’s APIs. The OneAPI Exchange also allows a developer to specify which other operators’ networks they would like their app to work with, so services are not limited to the customers of a single operator. The platform seamlessly maps the APIs used by the app onto those used by the consumer’s operator. This federated approach enables operators to either customise the services available on their own platforms, while still reaching a mass market, or expose their network capabilities to developers through standardised APIs.
As part of the wider OneAPI programme, the OneAPI Gateway was commercially launched in 2012 with leading Canadian operators Bell Mobility, Rogers and TELUS and operated by Transaction Network Services (TNS) and Aepona. This platform, which has delivered access to apps that use network APIs to 93 per cent of Canadian consumers, will be integrated into the global OneAPI Exchange solution.
Standardised location, messaging and payment APIs are already commercially available in Canada through the OneAPI Gateway. A standardised identity API, which allows consumers to register with applications without the need to share a user identity and password with third parties, will be available across the global OneAPI Exchange in Q2 2013. A payment API will also go live on the OneAPI Exchange this year. There will also be the opportunity for other technology providers to collaborate in technical infrastructure developments going forward.
Through the OneAPI Exchange platform, developers will be able to create ‘stickier’ apps, enhanced by embedded operator functionality exposed via APIs. Closer operator-developer cooperation will facilitate the worldwide rollout of their apps. Using the OneAPI Exchange, developers can access network APIs using open and standardised web technologies, enabling easy integration across all platform types including Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone as well as WebApps, that run within mobile handset web browsers and the native HTML5 platforms from FirefoxOS, Tizen and Ubuntu.
The OneAPI Exchange further allows developers to maintain a direct relationship with their chosen operator and their development resources. Within this environment, they can then subscribe to an operator network API and choose the additional operators they would like their app to work with. All billing, metrics and usage data is then streamlined through a single operator, eliminating the need for direct and complex multi-carrier onboarding.