Global Communication Service Providers (CSP) continue to see APIs as a means of leveraging their network and subscriber assets to generate revenues with high margins. With a couple of notable exceptions within the carrier community, the Telecom API market ecosystem remains one in which largely third-parties, such as OTT players, maintain the end-user relationship with app and service clients, while CSPs merely provide essentially data as a service on a B2B basis.
While this model may suffice for CSPs with respect to the consumer segment and SMBs, it is not sustainable for large corporate clients. CSPs are facing increasing pressure to provide a greater variety of high quality enterprise communications and business collaboration solutions.
Accordingly, Mind Commerce sees this as an area ripe for leveraging Telecom APIs to offer value-added carrier offerings such as team collaboration, telepresence, and unified communications (UC) as part of a Telecom API enabled marketplace.
This vision for the Telecom API market is beginning to come true. With the help of leading Telecom API and Communications-enabled app providers like Ribbon Communications, AT&T has recently launched an API Marketplace, which is something that Mind Commerce has recommended since 2011. Ribbon is also working with Koninklijke PTT Nederland (KPN) to support the KPN API Store.
Telecom API Market Now has Communication Enabled Application Stores at AT&T and KPN
Offering a turn-key approach by levering solutions such as Ribbon’s Kandy APIs and Wrappers, AT&T plans to facilitate enterprise customer ability to leverage telecom assets for embedded applications. Mind Commerce discussed with Ribbon pre-packaged applications (to form specific communication enabled solutions) called Kandy Wrappers over two years ago. We believe this collaboration between Ribbon, AT&T and KPN respectively will be the rocket fuel to boost the Telecom API market to the next level.
In a generic sense, a Communications Enabled Application (CEA) represents a set of information technology (IT) components and communication technology components that are integrated using a particular service-oriented architecture (SOA) to increase the productivity of an organization and/or improve the quality of users’ experiences. CEAs are typically enabled by way of various Telecom API market resources such as APIs, SDKs, and platforms including those offered in an “as a Service” model. Most notable examples include Communication Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
Leading Telecom API market vendors such as Mavenir support the Programmable Telecom (Telecom APIs, platforms, and apps) ecosystem. The company recently announced its Mobile-Native Unified Communications and Collaboration as a Service (mUCaaS) solution. One of the key differentiators claimed by this solution is the ability for business-critical communications are prioritized by the mobile network using quality of service indicators that don’t have to compete with other existing OTT UCaaS applications.
Telecom API Market Dynamics
For many larger Telecom API vendors, a substantial proportion of revenue continues to be generated from SIP Trunking in support of their client’s VoIP, UC, and other IP-based communications apps and services. However, many smaller players are innovating in areas that have high growth potential such as analytics data, device information, edge computing, and number management for calls, data, and subscribers. The last category in particular is emerging as an important area for unwanted call management solutions including robocall management.
Longer term, Mind Commerce sees CSPs leveraging Telecom APIs and related tools to support a variety of industry requirements in which carriers are amply positioned to leverage their market position. Those opportunities include Internet of Things (IoT) authentication, robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), and support of Blockchain. Three areas that represent great opportunities for carriers to aggressively pursue solution development in the more near-term timeframe are AI, IoT, and Mobile Edge Computing.
Telecom API Market in IoT
IoT represents a huge and largely untapped market for CSPs, which Mind Commerce sees emerging once carriers begin to fully leverage 5G for IoT apps and services. More specifically, we have identified the opportunity for carriers to act as a orchestrator/mediator within the IoT ecosystem.
Mind Commerce continues to see a Major Opportunity for CSPs to support IoT via Telecom API enabled Network and Device Authentication
Uniquely positioned as owner of the primary network to be used for IoT, and provider of data services for humans and machines alike, CSPs have the opportunity to provide various critical services such as IoT authentication, authorization, and accounting. This will include use of Telecom API resources to help manage IoT related access control, permissions, and usage tracking.
Telecom API Market in Mobile Edge Computing
Carriers are also well-positioned to leverage Telecom API enabled capabilities in support of many Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) use cases as MEC is rolled-out to optimize LTE, 5G, and IoT. Many MEC use cases will require support from multiple Telecom API Market categories such as Location, Presence, Subscriber Data, and QoS in support of zone-based enterprise apps, services, and data analytics.
This will create both a challenge and opportunity for CSPs, which will need the assistance of systems integrators for implementation and managed infrastructure services providers for ongoing operations. Providing programmability for Mobile Edge Computing market apps to third-parties such as OTT service providers will be a very important part of the evolving CSP communication enabled application marketplace.
Telecom API Market in Artificial Intelligence
While many Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities will be embedded within other areas (such as platforms, devices, semiconductors, etc.), AI will also be closely associated with end-users, creating an opportunity for CSPs to provide resource support for many AI enabled use cases. This will include basic support for AI, such as user verification, as well as more advanced functionality, such as identifying resource usage and behaviors among a closed user group like enterprise collaboration teams.
Mind Commerce sees the Telecom API market evolving to support the AIoT market as CSP APIs will enable authentication for IoT and AI will provide the means for machine learning as well as behavior detection algorithms to protect IoT devices and networks from potential harm.
Telecom API Market Report
Now in its seventh year of covering the Telecom API market, Mind Commerce is pleased to offer the most comprehensive research covering the ecosystem including players, platforms, tools, solutions, and service offerings. By way of example, AT&T launched their Enterprise-Focused API Program in 2013 based in part on Mind Commerce Telecom API market research.
Telecom API Market by Technology, Application and Service Type, Stakeholder, User Type, Deployment (Enterprise Hosted, Public Cloud, Private Cloud), and Platform as a Service Type 2019 – 2024 provides an in-depth assessment of the global Telecom API market, including business models, value chain analysis, operator strategies and a quantitative assessment of the industry from 2019 to 2024.
This report evaluates the current state of the market and outlook for the future including analysis and forecasts for the Telecom API market segmented many ways including:
- Globally, Regionally, and Countries
- Stakeholder Type (Carriers and Vendors)
- Network Technology (2G, 3G, LTE, and 5G)
- API Category (Presence, Location, SCM, etc.)
- App Developer (Carrier, Enterprise, Long Tail, and Partner)
- Deployment Type (Enterprise Hosted, Private Cloud, and Public Cloud)
- Implementation (Development and Set-up) and by Ongoing Operations
- Solution (AI, Analytics, Blockchain, Edge Computing, Robotics, WebRTC, etc.)
Forecasts by Service Type include: Messaging (SMS, MMS, RCS) API, WebRTC API, Payment API, IVR/Voice Store and Voice Control API , LBS and Map API, Subscriber Identity and SSO, Management API, Content Delivery API, M2M IoT API, IoT Platform Specific API, IoT Authentication API, Blockchain Specific API, AI Platform Specific API, Robotics Specific API, Analytics API, Call screening API, Device Information API, QoS (Quality of Service) API, Do not Disturb API, Edge/Fog Device Specific API. Forecasts by Developer Type include: Enterprise Developer, Internal Telecom Developer, Partner Developer, and Long Tail Developer. Forecasts by Deployment include: Enterprise Hosted, Public Cloud, and Private Cloud. Platform as a Service forecasts include: CPaaS and UCaaS.