GSMA opens API exchange

The GSMA has launched a new technical platform, the OneAPI Exchange, aimed at offering a simple way for developers to integrate network-based features with their applications.
The OneAPI global initiative, announced yesterday at the Mobile World Congress, has been undertaken with major mobile operators including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone.
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 platform will be operated by Apigee and is currently available as a proof-of-concept, the GSMA said.
“The OneAPI Exchange promises to elevate the mobile app experience for consumers,” said Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer at GSMA. “By supporting closer operator-developer relationships and greater cross-carrier interoperability, the platform will lead to seamless access to exciting mobile apps with enhanced features. End users will benefit from operator services they already know and trust, such as billing, messaging and operator identity, embedded within the apps they choose.”
The new platform gives mobile operators the choice of providing developers with either their own customized application programming interfaces (APIs) or standardized APIs.
Using the OneAPI Exchange platform, developers will be able to add network-based features to apps that run on Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone as well as browser-based apps that run within mobile handset web browsers and the native HTML5 platforms from FirefoxOS, Tizen and Ubuntu, according to the GSMA.
Developers can subscribe to an operator network API and choose the additional operators they would like their app to work with. All billing, metrics and usage data is then streamlined through a single operator, eliminating the need for direct and complex multi-carrier onboarding, the industry organization said.
As part of the OneAPI program, OneAPI Gateway was commercially launched in 2012 with leading 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% of Canadian consumers, will be integrated into the global OneAPI Exchange system, the GSMA said.
Standardized location, messaging and payment APIs are already commercially available in Canada through the OneAPI Gateway. A standardized 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 the second quarter.
A payment API will also go live on the OneAPI Exchange this year, according to the GSMA.