2024 has finally seen Network Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) gain commercial traction for both mobile and fixed networks in multiple markets across the globe. Mobile network operators across Europe, Asia, and the Americas have latched on to the GSMA Open Gateway's antifraud APIs, with strong interest from businesses already being reported. However, these are early days, and regulatory challenges and market dynamics mean that network APIs may not be the success that service providers are hoping for, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData's upcoming webinar, 'Network APIs & Service Ecosystems: Economic Enlightenment or False Dawn?', will reveal the potential promise of network APIs, examine who their key players are, including input from leading market players, and explore reasons why further progress may be difficult to achieve.

Gary Barton, Research Director at GlobalData, comments: "The success of the GSMA's APIs comes after 2023 filled with much excitement and limited progress. Now there is a model that is finding favor with developers and enterprises. It is also delivering a modest but real financial benefit to network operators who are carrying the burden of rolling out next-gen technologies such as 5G with, so far, little reward."

Antifraud network APIs have struck a chord with developers and enterprises because of the growing threat of cybercrime. Industry standardization and cooperation have also given the APIs scale that makes them relevant to large percentages of the population in multiple markets.

Barton continues: "Antifraud was not a use case that was particularly highlighted by providers when discussions of network APIs first began. Finding a real-world need for businesses and agreeing on common standards has been the core to this early success. Meanwhile, standardization makes it easier and more rewarding for developers to embed these functions into their applications."

However, replicating the success of these anti-fraud APIs is not a given. The APIs tap into relatively simple network functions. By tackling fraud, they are also likely to find favor with regulators. More sophisticated use cases will require deeper cooperation between telcos and more complex regulatory frameworks - and telcos risk being left behind.

Bartons concludes: "Connectivity-on-demand services, such as allowing gamers to buy temporary boosts to their bandwidth, have failed to take off because the commercial model is not easy to build. Regulations such as net neutrality alongside potential security challenges will also need to be navigated. This complexity means vendors, hyperscalers, and systems integrators may be the network API beneficiaries ahead of telcos."


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Notes to Editors

Quotes provided by Gary Barton, Research Director at GlobalData

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