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August 16, 2023
Qatar-based telco group Ooredoo is betting on APIs to unleash an exciting new generation of customer experiences. To that end, it has tapped up Google Cloud to use Apigee, its API management platform.
Apigee is a suite of tools designed to make it easy for companies like Ooredoo to create APIs and make them available to developers for the purposes of creating applications or services that can leverage that company’s data. It also comes with various monitoring tools enabling it to keep tabs on how their APIs are being used, and how they’re performing and so-on.
As part of its ongoing digital transformation, Ooredoo said opcos in six of its markets – it didn’t say which six – will use Apigee to overhaul their IT systems, improving performance in the back office, and unlocking new customer-facing services that it claims will result in a “significant upgrade” of the user experience.
To help with implementation, Ooredoo has also partnered with Indian IT services provider and consultancy, Tech Mahindra.
APIs are nothing new, but have been heralded by the telecoms industry this year as something of a panacea that will give operators the means to make their services more intelligent and compelling, rather than just a subscription to a network with some optional value-added services on top.
The charge is being led by the GSMA, which launched the Open Gateway Initiative at this year’s Mobile World Congress. This particular effort hopes to make it easy for operators to share their network APIs with developers. The aim is to foster an app and service ecosystem that can make use of carrier billing, device location and edge site selection, and so-on.
APIs can also be a bit of a money-spinner, with the creator charging developers a small fee every time their app uses their APIs, or offering a subscription that provides unmetered API access.
“A seismic shift has taken place in the telecom industry, moving it from the hardware to the software arena, mostly driven by API,” said Tech Mahindra’s head of Middle East and Africa, Ram Ramachandran, in a statement.
“Bringing together Tech Mahindra, Ooredoo, and Google’s Cloud Apigee marks a significant milestone in revolutionising the telecoms industry and delivering unparalleled digital services with APIs at its core,” he continued. “The partnership exemplifies our collective efforts to create a more connected, agile, and customer-centric ecosystem, while unlocking new opportunities for growth and innovation.”
The industry needs to do something. As has been well documented by now, 5G in its non-standalone form has failed up to live up to its billing, offering an improvement in speed – making for a compelling alternative to fixed broadband – but not a lot else. With 5G standalone rollouts taking longer than originally hoped, there is pressure on telcos to prove there is more to 5G than just faster broadband. APIs might just help them do that.
“Through these collaborations, we aim to elevate our offerings and unleash the full potential of our APIs, enabling us to provide unparalleled digital services to our customers,” said Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani, deputy group CEO of Ooredoo. “We are thrilled to join forces with Google Cloud and Tech Mahindra for this transformative project, as it will accelerate our digital transformation, elevate the customer experience, and strengthen our digital ecosystem across our operating companies.”
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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