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Mobile network operators (MNOs) are gradually moving from telecom-centric to IT-centric operating models and are adopting the same approach that has driven the success of online service providers. Monetization of application programming interfaces (APIs) is one of the most prominent facets of this evolution. MNO API monetization has traditionally been structured around extensive developer outreach programs supported by a Web based
technology platform. Messaging, location and billing are the primary APIs opened by MNOs. Beyond this group of APIs operators, in particular those in emerging markets, have remained relatively conservative about exposing APIs. The financial impact of telecom operator API programs remains uncertain, but indications are that the direct revenue boost is moderate at best.
- MNOs are gradually moving from telecom-centric to IT-centric operating models: The change is dramatic.
- Operators are increasingly narrowing the scope of their API programs, shifting toward more partnerships targeting specific vertical ecosystems and focusing on B2B.
- Beyond the primary APIs opened by MNOs - messaging, location and billing - operators, in particular those in emerging markets, have remained relatively conservative about opening APIs.
- The revenue impact of operator API programs is moderate at best.
- Operators recognize that the application, not the API, is the end product.
- Ultimately the efforts to monetize APIs are about more than building up alternative revenue streams as traditional ones dry up. They are central to broader efforts to accelerate the pace of innovation within the organization.
The Report 'Telecom APIs - Monetizing Their Most Valuable Assets Is Transforming Mobile Operators' by Pyramid Research examines one of the more striking manifestations of the ongoing transformation of telecom operators - their growing willingness to monetize tightly held assets such as networks, billing systems and user relationships, and to expose APIs to third-party developers. Building on our examination of a dozen operators around the world, the report analyzes the strategic drivers and structures of MNO asset monetization programs, along with their impact on the operations and bottom lines of operators. The report also provides a number of case studies of API programs from around the world.
What else does this report offer?
- A clear analysis of the strategic rationale and key drivers behind the trend of exposing APIs.
- Key operator business models and tactical approaches to monetizing their API assets.
- Detailed investigations into six operator API programs, laid out in detailed case studies.
- Crucial market insights based on the analysis of the API programs of 20 key mobile operators globally.
- Forty exhibits helping to make sense of the different approaches to asset monetization.
- Actionable recommendations for mobile network operators.
- Learn best practices from the experience of operators that have launched API programs - successfully or not.
- Put some tangible numbers on the revenue potential of opening APIs for your organization.
- Assess the various revenue models available when exposing APIs.
- Understand the deeper strategic and day-to-day implications of exposing APIs on your organization.
- Get the external and internal parameters you need to decide whether your organization should expose APIs.
- Get a clear view of the broad KPIs you need in order to assess whether your API program is successful. Exhibit 1: Mobile revenue CAGRs in select markets, 2011-2015
Exhibit 2: Framework for MNO API exposure decision
Exhibit 3: Telecom-centric vs. IT-centric business models
Exhibit 4: Evolution of MNO asset monetization
Exhibit 5: Distribution of API programs examined by region
Exhibit 6: API programs reviewed
Exhibit 7: Standard components of API programs
Exhibit 8: Changing targets of operator API programs
Exhibit 9: Overview of the MNO API portfolio
Exhibit 10: Proportion of operators offering various types of APIs
Exhibit 11: Asset monetization - wholesale approach
Exhibit 12: Asset monetization - wholesale approach with aggregators
Exhibit 13: Asset monetization - retail approach
Exhibit 14: Select API pricing models
Exhibit 15: Revenue sharing at five operators
Exhibit 16: API program best practices
Exhibit 17: Drivers and implications of monetizing APIs
Exhibit 18: Organizational structures for monetizing MNO assets
Exhibit 19: Global direct MNO API revenue, 2014-2020 (estimates)
Exhibit 20: Ideamart API program direct impact
Exhibit 21: Telef
Exhibit 22: Telef
Exhibit 23: Characteristics of BlueVia APIs
Exhibit 24: BlueVia API revenue sharing - developer percentages
Exhibit 25: Ideamart API scope - SMS, USSD, charging, LBS and subscriptions
Exhibit 26: Ideamart revenue sharing model
Exhibit 27: Data contribution to Dialog mobile services revenue, Q2 2013, 2014, 2015
Exhibit 28: Structural evolution of Orange service creation
Exhibit 29: Sample APIs of Orange Partner program
Exhibit 30: ATandT Developer Program components
Exhibit 31: ATandT API scope - From speech to WebRTC
Exhibit 32: ATandT API access options for developers
Exhibit 33: Advertising API features of ATandT and online service providers
Exhibit 34: Globe Labs API scope: SMS, charging, location - and voice
Exhibit 35: Globe Labs API pricing
Exhibit 36: Globe Labs outreach events
Exhibit 37: Globe Telecom mobile voice, messaging and data revenue contributions (estimates)
Exhibit 38: Smart DevNet developer guide
Exhibit 39: Smart DevNet's free APIs for developers
Exhibit 40: Smart Communications' financials, 2012-2014