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GSMA Announces OneAPI Exchange for Mobile App Developers

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The GSMA recently announced a new, flexible technical platform, the OneAPI Exchange, which will deliver network capabilities to mobile apps.

This latest phase of the OneAPI global initiative, which facilitates closer collaboration between operators and developers, has been undertaken with mobile operators including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone.

The OneAPI Exchange will be operated by leading technology provider Apigee.

The new initiative incorporates the work undertaken by the Wholesale Application Community (WAC), which was integrated into the GSMA in July 2012. The OneAPI Exchange, which is currently in a working proof of concept form, improves that capability by giving operators the choice of providing developers with either their own customised application programming interfaces (APIs) or standardised APIs. This leads to better flexibility for operators to participate in the OneAPI Exchange programme, according to their own business objectives, while also providing benefits of scale and reach to their developers through API interoperability.

When a developer selects and registers with an operator developer programme, they are able to build applications that utilise that operator's APIs. The OneAPI Exchange also allows a developer to specify which other operators' networks they would like their app to work with, so services are not limited to the customers of a single operator. The platform seamlessly maps the APIs used by the app onto those used by the consumer's operator.

This federated approach enables operators to either customise the services available on their own platforms, while still reaching a mass market, or expose their network capabilities to developers through standardised APIs.

Globalising the OneAPI Solution

As part of the wider OneAPI programme, the OneAPI Gateway was commercially launched in 2012 with Canadian operators Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus and operated by Transaction Network Services (TNS) and Aepona. This platform, which has delivered access to apps that use network APIs to 93 per cent of Canadian consumers, will be integrated into the global OneAPI Exchange solution.

Standardised location, messaging and payment APIs are already commercially available in Canada through the OneAPI Gateway. A standardised identity API, which allows consumers to register with applications without the need to share a user identity and password with third parties, will be available across the global OneAPI Exchange in Q2 2013. A payment API will also go live on the OneAPI Exchange this year. There will also be the opportunity for other technology providers to collaborate in technical infrastructure developments going forward.

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