Published on November 8, 2023, 10:46 pm

Almost 73% of communication service providers (CSPs) have prioritized network API exposure, according to a recent study conducted by Analysys Mason. These CSPs are increasingly relying on open APIs (application programming interfaces) and SDKs (software development kits) to enable software developers to create innovative programs that offer new 5G services to customers.

The research also found that approximately 60% of software developers are eager to develop software programs that enhance their applications with new services, such as on-demand improved quality. The study, commissioned by Nokia, surveyed 44 CSPs and 67 software developer firms worldwide. It assessed their attitudes towards the concept of network-platform-as-a-service (NPaaS), also known as Network-as-Code or programmable network.

Nokia estimates that the market for these telecom-enabled services will grow from $12 billion in 2022 to $34 billion by 2026.

Enlisting software developers at scale is becoming increasingly crucial for creating and delivering 5G services. According to Caroline Chappell, partner at Analysys Mason, “CSPs have the opportunity to generate incremental revenue through collaboration with developers and other CSPs to create a larger ecosystem.” To prevent fragmentation that could hinder this opportunity’s viability, CSPs should strongly consider contributing their APIs to a third-party network-platform-as-a-service (NPaaS) and engage with developers while building an ecosystem that includes other CSPs.

Telecom service APIs play a significant role in monetizing 5G as they expose the deep functionality and data within telecom networks. This allows developers to develop new use cases for both enterprise and consumer customers.

However, the research also highlights some challenges faced by both CSPs and software developers. Around half of the developers cited network issues as a major challenge when using cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) services due to the need for more insight and control over how network quality affects application performance. Moreover, 76% of developers expressed the importance of easy-to-use network APIs and stated that complexity and a lack of API documentation from CSPs currently deter them from utilizing these APIs.

Shkumbin Hamiti, head of network monetization platform, cloud and network services at Nokia, emphasized the work required to facilitate a deeper understanding between CSPs and developers. In the 5G world, a new digital ecosystem is emerging where multiple service chains of hyperscalers, infrastructure, networks, and applications are being created on a case-by-case basis to deliver value to end-users.

The article “Telcos keen to open networks to monetize 5G” originally appeared on FutureCIO.

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