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Telecom APIs - Monetizing Their Most Valuable Assets Is Transforming Mobile Operators

Telecom APIs - Monetizing Their Most Valuable Assets Is Transforming Mobile Operators


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Executive Summary

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.

Key Findings

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.

Synopsis

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.

Reasons To Buy

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.

Exposing MNO APIs - Strategic rationales and key drivers

Strategic rationales for MNO asset monetization - The

revenue challenge

Strategic rationales for MNO asset monetization - The

disintermediation risk

When should telcos consider exposing APIs?

Exposing APIs: Timing matters

Behind the decision to expose APIs

The MNO response - Toward IT-centric models

MNO asset monetization - From outsourcing tower

operations to opening up customer data

Risks of monetizing APIs: Revenue cannibalization, cyber criminality

Going API: A summary review

The 20 API programs we reviewed

API programs - Program structure

API program structure - An overview

MNO API programs: Communities, support and revenue

sharing

API programs - Abandoning the long tail?

MNO API programs are gradually narrowing their focus

API programs - What should MNOs expose?

The MNO API portfolio - Available API assets

Messaging, billing and location are the most widely exposed

assets

The MNO API portfolio - What are operators monetizing?

API programs - Breaking down the revenue model

From wholesale to retail, three main business models

Business models: Wholesale

Business models: Wholesale with aggregators

Business models: Retail

API monetization - Free with revenue sharing

The evolving revenue model - The application is the

product

API best practice summary

The impact of API monetization on operational structure

The move to monetize assets is strategic

A new cultural mindset

Looking for the optimal organizational structure

Adjusting organizational structure to serve the developer

market

The MNO API revenue opportunity

Revenue benefits will be mostly indirect

API programs - Case studies

Telefonica BlueVia: A pioneer in open APIs

Telefonica BlueVia's value proposition for developers

Telefonica BlueVia roadmap - From app design to experience

sharing

The BlueVia API approach: A large portfolio of open APIs

Telefonica's revenue sharing proposition for developers

BlueVia: Outcomes and lessons

Dialog Axiata in Sri Lanka: Ideamart

The Ideamart API portfolio

Ideamart APIs - Revenue and cost model

Ideamart's impact

Orange Partner program - Structure

Overview of Orange Partner program

Orange Partner program - A wide range of APIs

AT&T Developer Program

The AT&T API portfolio

AT&T Developer APIs - Revenue and cost model

Sample advertising API features of AT&T, AdMob, Millennial

and iAD

AT&T Developer Program - Impact

Globe Telecom API program

The Globe API portfolio: From SMS to location

Globe Labs APIs - Revenue and cost model

Globe Labs challenges

Globe Labs - Impact

Smart Communications API program

Smart API scope - SMS, charging and location

Smart DevNet - Impact

Key findings and recommendations

Key findings

Recommendations

Appendix - Acronyms and definitions

Acronyms and definitions

About Pyramid Research

Meet us in person

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 & 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: Telefonica BlueVia key features

Exhibit 22: Telefonica BlueVia roadmap

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: AT&T Developer Program components

Exhibit 31: AT&T API scope - From speech to WebRTC

Exhibit 32: AT&T API access options for developers

Exhibit 33: Advertising API features of AT&T 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 & 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

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 & 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: Telefonica BlueVia key features

Exhibit 22: Telefonica BlueVia roadmap

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: AT&T Developer Program components

Exhibit 31: AT&T API scope - From speech to WebRTC

Exhibit 32: AT&T API access options for developers

Exhibit 33: Advertising API features of AT&T 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 & 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

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AT&T

Deutsche Telekom

Dialog Axiata

Facebook

Globe Telecom

Google

GSMA

InMobi

Jumptap

Millennial Media

Mojiva

Nexmo

Orange

Plivo

Samsung

SingTel

Smart Communications

Telefonica

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online service providers, mobile network operators, MNOs, telecom-centric operating models, IT-centric operating models, monetization, application programming interfaces, APIs, asset monetization, software developers, API monetization, developer outreach programs, messaging apps, app development, API programs, exposing APIs, open APIs, data revenue, API revenue opportunity, mobile services revenue, third-party developers, case studies, AT&T Developer, Smart, Globe Telecom, Telefonica BlueVia, Dialog, Ideamart, Orange Partner


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