GSMA’s Open Gateway aims to give developers universal operator network access

James has a passion for how technologies influence business and has several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

The GSMA has announced the launch of GSMA Open Gateway, a framework of universal network APIs to provide universal access to operator networks for developers – with names including Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS) on board.

The industry body has traditionally pursued the interests of telcos and mobile operators, and continues to do so here, with 21 mobile network operators on board for the initial push. Yet the GSMA is keen to stress that the ‘whole mobile ecosystem benefits’, particularly developers of all stripes, from app developers, to content and gaming, to software developers. In other words – and the GSMA does not leave this unsaid – the mobile industry’s direct and indirect customers.

There are eight initial GSMA Open Gateway network APIs; device location, device status, edge site selection, number verification, OTP validation, carrier billing, SIM swap, and quality on demand (QoD). The latter offers a tangible example for developers. Operators Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone, in collaboration with aggregators Ericsson and Vonage, are collaborating to help provide better interactive video for devs on mobile gaming and productivity apps through the QoD API.

Any developers concerned about motivation and credentials with this news, announced at MWC Barcelona, GSMA’s annual European jamboree, can look to two areas. The first is that the APIs are defined, developed and published in CAMARA, the Linux Foundation-driven open source project for developers to access enhanced network capabilities.

The second is that Microsoft and AWS have signalled their approval. Developers using AWS services, for example, will not be able to leverage APIs from telco operators. GSMA quoted AWS’ chief technologist for the telco industry Ishwar Parulkar – yes, such a role does exist – that the gateway is a ‘significant step in enriching the cloud developer experience.’ Microsoft is presenting a solution at MWC ‘for developers to build network-aware applications through a unified interface across operator networks.’

“By applying the concept of interconnection for operators to the API economy, developers can utilise technology once, for services such as identity, cybersecurity or billing, but with the potential to be integrated with every operator worldwide,” said Mats Granryd, director general of GSMA. “This is a profound change in the way we design and deliver services.”

Photo by Abed albaset alhasan

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