Monetizing Open Network APIs: Learning from API Success Stories | i14y Lab Summit

Monetizing Open Network APIs: Learning from API Success Stories

Learn from Noel Wirzius at the i14y Lab Summit 2023 as he delves into strategies for monetizing Open Network APIs and making telecom resources accessible to developers.

Monetizing Open Network APIs: Learning from API Success Stories

Opening the Doors to Telecom Capabilities

With a focus on making telecom resources accessible to developers, this presentation explored the potential of APIs and the strategies employed to make them accessible and profitable. Noel Wirzius is the Product Lead for Network APIs with Deutsche Telekom and collaborates in CAMARA, an open source project within Linux Foundation to define, develop and test the APIs that works in close collaboration with the GSMA Operator Platform Group.


Today, telcos collect vast amounts of data related to devices and network operations. This data is now being made available to developers through APIs, which serve as simple interfaces for accessing and doing something useful with this valuable information.

The data includes:


  • Tarif Info: a fairly complete set of customer data, including personal information such as address and gender.
  • Sim-Card Info: e.g. regarding the movement and status of SIM cards.
  • Network Info: Furnishing data on network congestion and performance.


The goal is to open up this information to developers, allowing them to request real-time status updates and interact directly with the network to set parameters.

Quality Enhancement Through APIs

Noel Wirzius emphasized the concept of "Quality on Demand." With API access, developers can for example determine the fastest network routes, improving the quality of their network interactions. Or it can be used to grant higher quality of service for certain applications. For instance, at crowded events like festivals, with chronically overloaded mobile networks,  small sales transactions, such as for beverages, can be prioritized to higher quality levels that ensure  smooth operations, allowing vendors to move away from having to rely on cash transactions.


APIs also play a vital role in monitoring device connectivity. Developers can check device connection statuses, ensuring seamless user experiences. Furthermore, APIs enable location verification without relying on GPS, opening up new possibilities for location-based services.


Motion data, generated by tracking the movement of people in specific areas at defined timestamps, is another valuable resource made accessible through APIs. This data allows companies to adjust their operations and services based on real-time traffic patterns, optimizing their offerings.

Quality Enhancement Through APIs

Challenges in the Telco World

There are, of course, challenges. Noel Wirzius pointed out these three::


API Understanding: Developers outside the telco industry often have limited knowledge of telco APIs. To address this, testbeds were established, inviting companies and developers to test APIs in different locations, fostering understanding and collaboration.


API Standardization: Efforts are underway in the CAMARA project to standardize API calls across different networks, simplifying the process for companies transitioning between telco providers.

Open Gateway: The focus is on bringing APIs into the network and working on API roaming contracts. The aim is to build a gateway for easy access to APIs from multiple telcos.

Looking Beyond Deutsche Telekom

Noel Wirzius emphasized that Deutsche Telekom is not alone in these endeavors. The Mobile World Congress (MWC) witnessed extensive coverage of Network APIs, indicating significant industry interest. Multiple telcos are exploring Network API presentations, and major analyst firms are writing reports on the subject.

Looking Beyond Deutsche Telekom

Monetizing APIs: Marketplace or Aggregation?

The presentation closed with a crucial question: How should telcos address the market for APIs?


Telco-Specific Marketplaces: Telcos could create their individual marketplaces where developers sign up and request specific telco APIs. However, this approach could result in numerous endpoints to manage, leading to complexities in collaboration.


Aggregation: Alternatively, groups could aggregate APIs from various telcos and build their products on top of them. This approach offers a more streamlined experience for developers who can access APIs directly in their cloud instances, making it an attractive proposition.


In conclusion, the presentation highlighted the transformative potential of Network APIs in the telecom industry. By opening access to valuable resources and fostering collaboration, telcos are paving the way for innovation and monetization in this evolving landscape.


For more in-depth insights from this discussion on Open Network APIs, you can watch the full recording of the presentation from the i14y Lab Summit 2023.

Monetizing APIs: Marketplace or Aggregation?
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