The Evolution of Telecom APIs and the Evolving Telecom Application Store

First Generation Telco API Programs

Those programs were great technology plays and demonstrated that telephony can be accessible to mainstream developers. Twilio  and Tropo are among the success stories in First Generation Telco APIs. At great marketing costs, a good size of the developer population was educated that anyone who can program a web site or a mobile app, can also program real time communications, without being a telco expert.   However, the first generation programs fell short in two areas:

  1. Trying to be one stop shop for applications and infrastructure. Operating a real time communications network is a lot harder than operating a web site hosting data center. A good working relationship is required with regional operators to align interests and ensure high quality services at competitive costs. Channeling traffic via levels of aggregators inevitably leads to poor quality to a number of destinations and/or prices that are not competitive to certain destinations.
  1. Misalignment of interests with developers. Unlike hosting a web site or publishing a smart phone app, where the cost of distribution is close to nothing, running a telephony app powered by First Generation Telco APIs has a substantial cost of goods sold (COGS). Per minute and per message charges are extremely high as compared to the cost of user interaction with a Web site or Smart Phone app. In the Web site case, there is no such thing as charging per web page visit or charging to submit an HTML form. In the smart phone app case , there is no charge to move from one app menu to the next. However there are substantial (comparatively) per minute and per message charges for user interaction with an app powered by a First Generation Telco API. This business model makes it a much riskier undertaking for an entrepreneur to take on a new telephony app project. Substantial initial investment is required to sustain a period of initial growth to sustainability.

As a result of the above shortcomings, after 6-7 years of aggressive marketing and market education from First Gen Telco API Programs from newcomers like Twilio, Plivo and Tropo to incumbents like AT&T Developer Program and Deutsche Telecom Developer Garden, there is still no great breakthrough in the industry.

Apple App Store and Google Play host millions of apps for each platform. AWS Marketplace, Salesforce, Quickbooks, Zendesk, Google Chrome Apps are other examples of successful app marketplaces for their respective industry categories – CRM, Accounting, Help Desk, etc.

TeleStax Restcomm App Store Program (RAS)

TeleStax is an unique position to address the shortcomings of the First Generation Telco API Programs.  – The core TeleStax team has worked with telcos around the world for years. Service providers have strong marketing and sales machines. They are not however know for innovation and building great developer communities.   TeleStax has been a “match-maker” in the telco industry for years. They have paired open source developer resources with service providers on a number of RFPs over the years.  With the Restcomm App Store Program, TeleStax addresses the shortfalls of the First Generation Telco APIs programs and as a result we are seeing strong traction.

With the TeleStax RAS, developers who built a telephony app once, can distribute it instantly to the network of all our telco partners, at no extra cost. Gone is the endless RFP paperwork and the crushing NEP equipment integration work, which eats 80% of a project’s budget and takes away all the fun in building a new app.

Respectively telco partners gain the collective brain power of developers worldwide. They can put their sales and marketing machines to work on selecting and promoting apps from RAS, without an exhaustive cost-benefit analysis normally required when the telecom has to invest in building a new app.


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.

Report coverage includes:

  • The Business Case for Telecom Network APIs: An assessment of the business case for Telco Network APIs
  • API Aggregation: The role of API Aggregators, the total cost usage for APIs with aggregation and a review of aggregator API usage by category.
  • Competitive Issues: Competitive issues within the Telecom API market such as reduction in TCO, open APIs and ease of configuration.
  • The Value Chain of Network Operator APIs Usage: An analysis of the value chain of network operator API usage for services including an assessment of revenue across participants in the value chain from end users, developers, aggregators to the API owners, and how this economic model will change over time.
  • Operator, Application Provider and Vendor Strategies: An analysis of how operators, application providers and vendors will position themselves to capitalize on network APIs
  • Analysis of Telecom and Non-Telecom Network APIs: Includes major telecom network and non-telecom network APIs and mashups throughout the globe, and an assessment of which APIs will lead the market in the future.
  • Market Analysis and Forecasts: A global and regional assessment of the market size and forecasts for the telecom network API market from 2015 to 2020
  • Analysis of Future Technology and API Market Drivers: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Virtualization, Software Defined Networks (SDN), and Internet of Things (IoT) are evaluated as drivers for API marketplace growth

Report Benefits:

  • Telecom API marketplace forecasts 2015 – 2020
  • Insights from Telecom API use cases and business cases
  • Understand the Telecom and Enterprise API marketplace
  • Understand key API technologies and interdependencies
  • Identify advantages of internal Telecom API usage to carriers
  • Identify the long-term growth drivers for the API marketplace
  • Understand how the API marketplace relates to the Cloud and DaaS
  • Understand the untapped potential for carrier Telecom API enabled VAS

Report Findings:

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) API category will witness the fastest growth rate followed by SDM
  • IoT API revenues will grow at an impressive rate of CAGR of 75 % 2015 and 2020, reaching nearly 59 Billion USD
  • Telecom API market will grow at CAGR of 26 % 2015 to 2020, accounting for $ 167.5 B in global revenue by the end of 2020
  • The average volume of API transactions for a Tier 1 wireless carrier will significantly increment over the next five years eventually reaching 188 Billion transactions a month on average
  • Significant growth rates for Telecom API marketplace will be achieved through changes in certain business practices and also through deployment of SOA, virtualization, SDN, and advancement of IoT in certain key industry segments

About Mind Commerce

Analysis of telecom and ICT infrastructure, technologies, and applications.
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