The GSMA announced a new industry-wide initiative called the GSMA Open Gateway, a framework of universal network application-programmable interfaces (APIs) designed to provide developers with universal access to carrier networks.
The move, launched with the support of 21 mobile network operators, aims to transform the way the telecoms industry designs and delivers services in a world of API economy.
Signatories to the GSMA Open Gateway Memorandum of Understanding are America Movil, AT&T, Axiata, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, e& Group, KDDI, KT, Liberty Global, MTN, Orange, Singtel, Swisscom, STC, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra , TIM, Verizon and Vodafone.
Mats Granryd (pictured), Director General of the GSMA, pointed out that the GSMA Open Gateway has the potential to harmonize digital services in a way similar to the way standardization efforts enabled mobile voice roaming in the 1980s .
“By applying the concept of operator connectivity to the API economy, developers can use technology once for services such as identity, cybersecurity or billing, but with the potential to be integrated with any operator worldwide. This is a profound shift in the way we design and deliver services,” commented Granryd.
Eight universal network APIs are available at launch, including SIM Swap, Quality on Demand (QoD), Device Status (connection or roaming status), Number Validation, Edge Site Selection and Routing, Number Validation (SMS 2FA), Carrier Billing – Check origin and device location (check location).
More APIs are expected to be introduced throughout 2023. The APIs are defined, developed and published in CAMARA, the open source project for developers driven by the Linux Foundation in collaboration with the GSMA.
To illustrate a potential application of the QoD API, Henry Calvert, Head of Networks at GSMA, provided the example of a virtual music concert where musicians are based in different locations.
“Both consumers and artists or fans and artists, we offer to be able to improve the quality of their connectivity,” Calvert said in an interview with Mobile World Live. “You need low latency in the communication link.”
Calvert added, “We’re trying to enable those network capabilities consistently from every operator that’s providing connectivity, so there’s a standard going north to the developers, and the content production houses that are producing those events… we’re trying to standardize that going north.” Make sure that consistency is there.”
A number of GSMA Open Gateway demonstrations will take place during MWC23 Barcelona, including an impressive music concert presented by Axiata in the GSMA Pavilion.
Additionally, the 5G Future Forum (5GFF) allows musicians from around the world to jam across Rogers, Verizon and Vodafone 5G networks, while KDDI, Telefónica, Mawari and Sturfee showcase online shopping with the XR Digital Twin Store. Elsewhere, Deutsche Telekom demonstrates applications of APIs, including QoD, alongside Matsuko and Orange.