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Telcos can ride the 5G wave by securely opening their APIs

Telcos can ride the 5G wave by securely opening their APIs

Telecommunications continue to play an essential role in our ever-connected world. But as telco companies work to leverage the 5G revolution to build better customer experiences, they’re also navigating emerging regulations and grappling with competition from over-the-top (OTT) internet and mobile private networks (MPN)​.

In its 2022 outlook, Deloitte predicts the telecom industry will face new opportunities but also challenges as they are forced to reassess cybersecurity and risk management in the 5G era. And at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, telecoms players pondered the impact of the metaverse and how they should plan for it.

These groups see immense opportunity amid continued security concerns. How do telecoms strike the right balance?

Telecoms can accelerate innovation with APIs

APIs, the building blocks of digital experiences, help create data-driven processes, standards across business units, and value-generating service models for your customers and partners. One example is being able to join in the 5G revolution.

5G opens up immense possibilities for innovation in telecommunications, but as telecoms players are well aware, 5G networks also bring a heightened measure of security concerns, creating attractive targets for cybercriminals and nefarious foreign actors. Meanwhile, these companies operate in a highly-regulated industry with many standards and governance requirements (such as the Digital Marker Act (DMA) in the E.U. or the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division).

Telcos need to increasingly deploy features and tools that deliver delightful and secure digital experiences – and they need to be able to do it without the fear of exposing themselves to further compliance or security risks.

Raising the bar for customer experience

Per the GSMA’s Mobile Economy Report 2022, the total number of 5G connections will reach 1 billion this year, and may hit 2 billion by 2025 as 5G adoption continues to grow rapidly in pioneer markets. As 5G also rolls out in large markets with more modest income levels (such as Brazil, Indonesia and India) which will likely spur more growth.

There is immense opportunity here: 5G is putting telecommunications groups at the center of next-gen services. This article shows how IoT devices such as VR headsets are starting to reach their true potential because 5G allows them to offload data to the cloud, making for much lighter devices that are more user-friendly. And that interface between the device and the Cloud is enabled by APIs.

Other exciting opportunities to innovate – and monetize – your services are location and map APIs, messaging APIs, and payment APIs.

One Axway customer built an API platform to enrich the experiences they’d already built for their customers with services from other companies. The broadcaster can now build, test, and deploy API integrations at speed and scale, enabling connectivity with some of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers.

Securely open your APIs

Many telecoms have already waded into the field and have built some APIs, but it’s easy to get stuck on the next step. What next? How do you drive adoption of those APIs? You need a partner to help you close the operational gap, and Axway can help you securely and quickly launch your APIs into the digital marketplace.

Telecoms understandably need to prioritize security as they fend off threats – for example, personal routers are already targeted by cybercriminals and will continue to be a possible entry point for hackers. So it starts with protecting your APIs. A defense-in-depth strategy safeguards all your APIs, regardless of who developed them or where they are deployed.

This means taking a layered approach to make sure that your APIs are secure from end to end, from authentication and authorization to traffic management and threat protection. Security is a combination of technology and processes: the right solution is essential, but so is the human process to enforce and maintain the right policies.

When it comes to technology, Axway’s Amplify API Management Platform provides the protection, assurance, and proven path to fast-track your digital business initiatives. And our expert teams help you make the right organizational shifts to not just secure your APIs, but also put them to work for the greatest return internally and in the emerging industry-wide API marketplace.

Leverage open ecosystems to beat growing competition

Because of growing competition from OTT and MPN operators, open ecosystem partnership relationships have become crucial in helping telecoms thrive.

TMForum research found that no communications service provider (CSP) or cloud provider can deliver everything their customers want or need without help from partners. Once you have a secure foundation, it’s time to build a thriving digital ecosystem that connects partners seamlessly to exchange data and deliver end-to-end solutions.

One of Axway’s clients did just this. Like most telco providers, HGC Global Communications had begun to see revenues fall for traditional telco services and products as the move to digital infrastructures increased competition from new over-the-top providers and cloud-based solutions.

Leveraging their ability to offer 5G services, HGC extended its telco offerings and securely offered APIs that allow external partners to build new applications and to create API products for B2B customers.

With the Amplify platform, HGC built a complete application-to-person (A2P) product in just three months, offering its customers the ability to send mobile messages from a business application to a mobile user for notifications, alerts, authentication, booking confirmation, loyalty programs, and many other yet-to-be-explored possibilities.

It’s time to accelerate your digital initiatives with APIs. Modernize legacy systems and upgrade technology to reduce technical debt, then securely open up to a growing ecosystem thanks to faster, simpler integrations.

With Amplify, you can bring new products to market faster than ever before, and advanced customer self-service capabilities will help boost retention in an increasingly competitive market. Let us help you get there.

Discover 6 ways telecommunications companies can use APIs wisely and securely.