Nokia taps Infobip to broaden the reach of its network APIs

Developers hold the key to making operators' network API dreams come true, but that can only happen if these nifty bits of software are easily accessible.

Nick Wood

May 2, 2024

2 Min Read

To that end, Nokia has established a partnership with cloud-based communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) provider Infobip.

Infobip specialises in providing developers with APIs that enable real-time omnichannel comms features – such as voice, SMS, video and chat – into their apps. Nokia for its part does something similar for network APIs with what it calls its Network as Code platform with developer portal.

Under the partnership, Nokia's and Infobip's respective API portfolios will be cross-marketed to developers, simplifying access to a broader range of APIs that span both CPaaS and network API use cases.

Thanks to Infobip's developer community, the deal promises to broaden the reach of Nokia's Network as Code platform, and generally aid the developer community in its effort to create new and compelling applications. Similarly, it should open up new channels to market for Infobip's CPaaS APIs.

The partnership has echoes of what Ericsson is doing with Vonage. The $6.2 billion acquisition gave Ericsson an active developer community and access to Vonage's comms APIs, as well as contact centre and unified communications (UC) services. It's a ready-made platform upon which to build a network API business.

Since then, Vonage has struck API deals with Deutsche Telekom, Verizon, and AWS.

Meanwhile, Nokia has signed agreements with 11 operators and ecosystem partners to use the Network as Code platform since its launch last September, and no doubt hopes to sign a few more now it is working with Infobip.

"This partnering agreement reflects our ongoing commitment to work closely with the developer community. It is about expanding choice and scale and giving developers a one-stop shop for extracting value from Infobip's and Nokia's platforms. We look forward to working with Infobip and maximising our respective technologies," Shkumbin Hamiti, head of network monetisation platform at Nokia's cloud and network services unit.

"This agreement with Nokia further demonstrates how Infobip is helping telcos deliver new services and gain new revenue," added Matija Ražem, VP of business development at Infobip.

Indeed, it's fair to say that beyond offering speedier connectivity, 5G has been underwhelming when it comes to new use cases. The industry is banking on open network APIs to change all that, unlocking new sources of revenue. The GSMA's Open Gateway initiative – backed by 60 telcos and ecosystem partners – claims it represents $300 billion opportunity for telcos between now and 2030.

However, it's worth remembering that APIs and the portals through which they are made available are only useful if the networks are up and running.

Consultancy Kearney warned in March that the network API opportunity could go begging if operators don't hurry up with their 5G standalone (SA) deployments.

Kearney found that 60% of developers would start using 5G network APIs within a year if the technology was ready, but noted at the time that only 46 telcos were operating 5G SA networks.

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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