CSPs reach further and monetize smarter with network API digital marketplace syndication

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The Telecommunications industry is undergoing a major transformation, driven by the rise of digitization and the need for more agile and efficient ways to deliver services. One of the key trends in this transformation is the emergence of network APIs to incubate innovation and drive new revenues through ecosystems.

Building APIs is one thing. Getting them to the developers and customers is another challenge entirely. 

Given that application developers use different platforms and marketplaces, at Google Cloud we propose a marketplace syndication approach to reach and target the developers where they are. In this approach, network APIs for communication service providers (CSPs) are onboarded to an aggregator platform, provided by a third-party, and then syndicated to different marketplaces to provide the furthest reach and adoption of the APIs. 

Google Cloud is working with leading API aggregator platform vendors including Ericsson, Glide,  and Nokia in this syndication effort. We expect that over time we will see the emergence of aggregators who specialize in specific use cases, with global or regional coverage, innovative business models, and more. An approach that allows for multiple aggregators to connect to the developer marketplace will be ideal to provide the reach the developers need for their specific applications and customer business objectives.

Now is an important moment for CSPs to take a closer look at API creation and distribution, thanks to last year’s launch of the GSMA Open Gateway initiative and the associated CAMARA project.

Open Gateway is a framework of APIs designed to provide universal access to operator networks, with support from leading mobile network operators (MNOs), representing around 60% of mobile connections worldwide. This has led to the CAMARA project, a collaboration between the Linux Foundation and the GSMA Operator Platform Group to define a common Open Gateway API standard. The standard aims to accelerate developer communities with a  consistent API design and consumption approach across the operator landscape globally.

The GSMA and other key industry initiatives are helping expose network APIs and create a more open and interoperable communications ecosystem, which is essential for the continued growth and innovation in the industry. With this growing interoperability comes growing opportunities — but only if your audience can find your APIs.

A digital API marketplace

A digital API marketplace can enable operators to package the CAMARA and other value-add APIs and API bundles, such as for subscriber identification and authorization, network slices, as sellable products, provide lifecycle management, and full digital, self-service order-to-cash functionalities. In particular, an API marketplace can provide the following benefits:

  • Catalog: A catalog of network APIs that can be serviced or served by a collection of operators. 

  • Discovery: The ability to promote APIs on the Marketplace and applications that use the APIs to developers and end consumers respectively

  • Billing: A single billing of the API usage that should be included in the developer’s bill, along with any other services the developer may be using from the broader marketplace

Here is a look at how Google and our partners at Ericsson, Glide and Nokia are approaching a syndicated API marketplace:

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Marketplace syndication unlocks new potential for the developer community to discover, procure, and consume API products into business applications, which uplifts the brand and revenue opportunity for CSPs. Among the opportunities are:

  • Wider reach, and amplified sales: Expanded footprint across multiple platforms, instantly multiplying audience and potential buyers.

  • Simplified management: The ability to maintain a single product catalog and pricing structure, eliminating the challenges of managing multiple marketplaces individually.

  • Streamlined data: Access to consolidated sales and customer insights, providing valuable data for informed marketing and product decisions.

  • Enhanced brand consistency: Delivery of a seamless brand experience across all platforms, boosting trust and customer loyalty.

  • Reduced operational costs: Eliminating the need for multiple platform fees and staff, freeing up resources for strategic initiatives.

  • Greater flexibility: The ability to adapt offerings to specific platforms and audiences, tailoring approach for maximum impact.

Our partners are enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by API syndication.

Eran Haggiag, CEO, Glide: “OpenGateway provides a unique opportunity in delivering AI-era identity, payment, and communication solutions. To unlock this potential, global alignment, startup agility, and reliable infrastructure are essential. We co-develop a Google-branded OpenGateway experience with major CSPs, available for the developer ecosystem. Glide leverages Google Cloud Marketplace with AI-enhanced automation to provide a seamless experience for developers across the ecosystem, rapidly growing global coverage. Google Cloud enables us to create an aligned, win-win ecosystem of developers and CSPs.”

Mikko Jarva, head of portfolio and architecture, Network Monetization Platform, Nokia: “Applications we use are critically dependent on networks; with rising digitization, the dependency for network awareness and specialization, delivered through network APIs, just keeps growing. Hence, we strongly support initiatives and collaborations to enable and expand the network API ecosystem, connecting networks through aggregator platforms like Nokia Network as Code and through marketplaces like Google Cloud with application developers.”

Joakim Sorelius, head of Global Network Platform, Product, and Engineering, Ericsson. “Ericsson and Vonage are leading the development of a global network platform by opening the network for Google Cloud developers and other third-party developers to make capabilities universally available for further innovation. With developers thriving on a well-built and supported API platform, enterprises can grow from new, unique, and customizable API innovations; at the same time, communication service providers benefit from network monetization and growth opportunities. We are committed to making CAMARA successful and aim to be a driver of the future evolution of CAMARA.”

Conclusion

The Open Gateway and other key industry API initiatives are poised to unlock key telecom industry transformations, with a digital API marketplace being a key enabler of this journey. At Google Cloud, we propose a marketplace API aggregation and syndication approach to expand the reach of the network APIs. However, marketplace syndication is not just about selling more - it's about selling smarter, building stronger relationships with your customers, application developers, and capturing your market.

For more details on our work with these partners, please visit

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