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Canadian Operators Start Trials of Single API for 3rd-Party Developers

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Canada's three main networks, Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus are testing a single application interface (API) the GSMA backed OneAPI initiative that enables 3rd party developers to access their networks without having to write multiple software applications.

"A common set of APIs will benefit the entire mobile industry by making it much more attractive for developers to create innovative applications and services by utilising the capabilities and information provided by operators about their networks," said Michael O'Hara, Chief Marketing Officer at the GSMA. "Our OneAPI initiative will help eliminate fragmentation and aid the growth of the mobile applications ecosystem, resulting in a larger addressable market, encouraging innovation, enhancing the customer experience and creating new revenue opportunities for mobile operators and developers alike."

The GSMA's OneAPI initiative initially focuses on exposing mobile network capabilities such as payment, messaging and location. These capabilities are largely underexploited by web-centric developers because each operator uses different APIs to expose their network assets, making it difficult for developers to create applications that work seamlessly across different networks.

Monetisation is also a major focus of OneAPI, and the payment API allows developers and enterprises to leverage existing commercial relationships between operators and their customers, increasing the market potential for applications without needing to establish new, commercial relationships with each individual customer. By collecting payments for applications and services via operator billing systems, developers will be able to increase the size of their customer base as well as capitalise on the resources and expertise in customer billing offered by operators.

For the pilot, the GSMA is collaborating with Aepona, who is providing its Universal Service Platform (USP) together with managed services to connect to the three operators in a hosted environment. The GSMA will offer a single contract and common pricing for the use of OneAPI across all three Canadian operators as part of the pilot, and will also provide the billing and payment services between the developers and the operators.

The Canadian pilot will also use the GSMA's number translation service, PathFinder, to determine which operator to send the OneAPI call to while allowing for number portability. PathFinder represents a simple, convenient and repeatable way of supporting number portability in any OneAPI deployment, and because it is a global number registry, PathFinder will enable the rapid rollout of OneAPI to different markets around the world.

The specifications for OneAPI are in the process of being adopted by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA).

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Tags: gsma  oneapi  rogers wireless  telus  bell mobility  managed services  connect  Canada