GSMA adds OneAPI Exchange to cellco armory
Makes it easier for developers to integrate network-based functions like carrier billing into their applications in standard way
Published: 4 March, 2013
Operators' latest attempt to put themselves in the driving seat in mobile applications came with the unveiling of OneAPI Exchange at last week's Mobile World Congress.
The OneAPI initiative, under the auspices of the GSM Association, is an ongoing program to open up the functions of a cellco network which can add value for developers, such as authentication and carrier billing. The aim is to lure software suppliers with the huge combined user base of the major operators, by opening up the APIs in a harmonized way, and to detract attention from web providers and Google/Apple, by pushing the advantages that network control offers compared to over-the-top services.
The new Exchange aims to make it easier for developers to integrate network-based features with their applications. Announced by Marcus Dormanns, senior director at the GSMA, the platform allows programmers to add these features to apps that run on Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone as well as browser-based offerings. Developers can subscribe to an operator network API and then choose additional cellcos they would like their app to support. All billing, metrics and usage data are then processed through a single point, eliminating the need to sign a deal individually with each carrier.
Functionality will be added in phases, said Dormanns, starting with a standardized identity API, which allows users to register with applications without the need to share their identity and passwords with third parties. This will become available via the Exchange during the second quarter while a payment API will also go live this year, covering perhaps the operators' greatest weapon against OTT, their bill. AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone have all helped develop the platform.