Ericsson’s Vonage unit has scored another API win, striking a deal with Australian incumbent Telstra.

They have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under which Telstra plans to add its network APIs to Vonage’s platform, exposing advanced network capabilities to enterprises and developers.

The agreement also covers collaborative efforts to enhance existing APIs, including one called Silent Authentication – a secure verification method that doesn’t require users to identify themselves with traditional log-in credentials.

Telstra and Vonage also plan to work together to identify and develop new open APIs in areas like slicing, edge compute, network analytics, and fraud and spam protection.

Telstra’s developer portal already provides access to eight individual APIs, including messaging, tracking and monitoring, edge discovery, international product pricing, network telemetry and so-on. There are step-by-step guides for each one that explain to developers how to access them and put them to use in their applications, as well as that all-important pricing information.

As a fully paid up member of the GSMA’s Open Gateway initiative, Telstra is also keen to monetise its network APIs. Open Gateway started with eight of them, but since then the catalogue has expanded to 17, ranging from various identity APIs, to location, network quality, and carrier billing, among others.

It’s interesting that rather than start by integrating Open Gateway APIs with its existing developer portal, Telstra has tapped up Vonage and Ericsson instead.

“We see this partnership with Vonage as one of a variety of ways we can evolve and build a thriving ecosystem around our network product,” said Kim Krogh Anderson, Telstra’s group executive for product and technology. “Opening up new avenues for connectivity to be consumed will lead to new monetisation opportunities – in the same way hyperscalers monetise compute on their cloud as a platform.”

Indeed, and Telstra also points out in its announcement that the agreement with Vonage is non-exclusive, so there’s nothing to stop it from using its own portal, or potentially partnering with other API platforms as well.

“By combining Vonage’s API platform, Ericsson’s 5G network capabilities and Telstra’s network APIs, we are providing developers and enterprises the tools they need to create new, secure, reliable and engaging solutions,” said Niklas Heuveldop, CEO of Vonage and head of business area global communications platform at Ericsson. “Together with frontrunner service providers like Telstra, we are driving an open ecosystem for exponential innovation that will enable the development of new applications that transform how enterprises operate and engage with customers, while monetising the network.”

The Telstra deal is another feather in Vonage/Ericsson’s cap, having established similar API partnerships with Verizon and Deutsche Telekom recently.

As for Telstra, the partnership fits neatly into its T25 strategy, under which it is investing in new growth drivers, including advanced network and technology solutions, such as APIs.

With IDC predicting recently that spending on network APIs will reach $6.7 billion by 2028, telcos need to ensure their ducks are in a row in order to avoid missing out. Partnerships like this MoU could give Telstra a significant helping hand.

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