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BLOG POST: Telecom APIs for Monetization of Communications-enabled Applications
The global application development community is becoming increasingly aware of Telecom Application Programming Interface (API) as a means of accessing data for a variety of communications-enabled applications. Telecom Network APIs capitalize on existing network infrastructure and platforms to facilitate many new business opportunities.
Telecom APIs can be monetized in a few key areas including:
- Direct API Revenue: Per-call Revenue (only)
- Data Monetization: Revenue primarily from VAS Apps that rely upon Telecom APIs
- Cost Savings: Savings to carriers that is directly attributable to use of Telecom APIs
- Higher Usage: Increased data usage that is directly attributable to Telecom APIs and VAS Apps based on Telecom APIs
- Churn Reduction: Reduction in customer losses directly attributable to Telecom APIs
Direct API Revenue
Standalone Revenue from API services offered in a Data as a Service (DaaS) business model and sold on a B2B basis, which includes Business (B2B2B) and B2B to Consumer (B2B2C) services. In the B2B2B business model, companies provide services to business so that they can provide services to other businesses. Whereas today many carriers are offering B2B Telecom API services primarily for B2B2C, in the future we see an increasing number of B2B2B scenarios.
To break through the chicken-and-egg scenario (of which came first, the app or the data for the app) there is a need to develop some value-added service (VAS) applications as proof points for the use of data from various sources including telecom, enterprise, and social media. However, it is not enough to simply do this as it will be much more impactful if the data-based services are actively promoted as being based on a DaaS business model, which shall further encourage development of additional apps and services.
It is difficult to attribute a “cost savings” with existing programs with the exception of improvements in service realization based on standard processes and procedures for delivery of VAS Apps. It is easier to attribute cost savings for “to-be” programs improved data accessibility to enterprise and improved development environments wherein Telecom APIs make data and data related processes more efficient from a carrier administrative perspective.
Telecom API services offered in both DaaS business model B2B as well as for VAS Apps will cause additional data usage. While difficult to attribute the exact raise in terms of usage directly resultant from API data, Mind Commerce believes that it will be a key factor especially in data reliant completely on a cellular connection (i.e. 4G/B4G rather than public WiFi) for certain services such as LTE Direct.
Churn reduction directly attributable to Telecom APIs is minimal for consumer. This is almost entirely an enterprise play for carriers. Churn reduction for enterprise will be due to a combination of three factors: (1) Effective development environment for enterprise IT to use telecom data in DaaS model, (2) Environment that include cooperation from various enterprises including cross-enterprise usage of their data, and (3) Carrier VAS App offerings specifically targeted towards solving enterprise problems.
The research report Telecom Network API Marketplace: Strategy, Ecosystem, Players and Forecasts 2015 – 2020 provides an in-depth assessment of the global Telecom Network API market, including business models, business case, best practices, value chain analysis, operator and vendor strategies, vision for the future of telecom data, and a quantitative assessment of the industry from 2015 to 2020.