Deutsche Telekom pitches APIs to wholesale customers

German incumbent Deutsche Telekom wants its international wholesale unit to play a prominent role in the emerging API ecosystem.

Nick Wood

May 15, 2024

3 Min Read

Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier has launched a new suite of services – called Global Carrier Digital Services – a portal through which wholesale customers can access various APIs, and use them to spice up their own offerings.

These include three mobile identity APIs, such as number verify and SIM swap. The former does away with the need for manual two-factor authentication via SMS, while the latter can check if a phone number has recently been moved to a new SIM card, thereby mitigating the risk of SIM swap attacks. There is also a know-your-customer (KYC) API that links validated account information to a customer's full international phone number (also known as the MSISDN, for fans of technical terms).

The API fun doesn't stop there. DT is also pitching device location and device status – both developed within the Linux and GSMA-backed CAMARA alliance. Device location is self-explanatory, while device status is about checking on whether a customer has roamed onto another network, which can be helpful for things like targeted roaming offers or tackling fraud.

In addition, wholesale customers can also avail themselves of API-based workflow automation, and DT's communications platform as-a-service (CPaaS), which enables customers to integrate voice, video and messaging into their comms and enterprise apps, using APIs.

DT has been trialling CPaaS with select customers since the end of last year. One of them is contact centre solutions provider virtualQ. It is using CPaaS to enhance its call volume management solution. In the real world, what that means is customers who phone a contact centre during a busy time of day will be given the option of either being called back, or having their query handled via SMS or a messaging app instead.

"We are keenly aware of the resource challenges our wholesale customer face on a daily basis, which was a main driver for setting up the new Global Carrier Digital Services portfolio," said Bertold Frech, VP of international strategy, marketing and steering at Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier. "It offers current as well as many new digital services tailored to our customers' specific needs, and also enables them to launch with almost zero integration requirements into their respective IT landscapes."

As well as pitching the best that APIs have to offer, DT is also keen to highlight that its new portfolio adheres to EU data protection and privacy standards, making it suitable for highly-regulated industries like healthcare, the public sector and telecoms, of course.

The API opportunity for telcos is huge if you believe the GSMA and McKinsey, which value it at $300 billion between now and 2030. APIs are nothing new, and development of open network APIs is already well underway thanks to CAMARA.

With the technology falling into place – plus the opportunity it offers for progression up the value chain – the industry is now trying to figure out the best way to take APIs to market.

For its part, DT last September teamed up with Ericsson's Vonage unit to launch the MagentaBusiness API portal, which provides software developers with access to various network APIs.

Now, with the launch of these new wholesale solutions, the telco is demonstrating that when it comes to monetising APIs, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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