Capturing Value From an Open Ecosystem: the Telco Case
November 17, 20212 min read

Capturing Value From an Open Ecosystem: the Telco Case

In addition to connectivity, CSPs possess access to vast amounts of data due to their extensive customer base – data that is valuable to others and can become attainable through API exposure.

The Open API Opportunity for Telcos

Marketplaces are Taking the Lead in the Digital Space

CSPs have been witnessing two parallel-running phenomena for years, both of which challenge their modus operandi:

  1. CSPs’ core service revenues, the way they engage with customers and the product portfolio mix they offer are being affected by an increasingly saturated mobile market and the proliferation and establishment of OTT service providers. As a result, CSPs are being pushed to move beyond connectivity, look for new sustainable growth revenue streams, and endeavour to reposition themselves as the backbone of digital ecosystems by capitalising on connectivity infrastructure ownership.
  • Big companies worldwide, from multiple verticals, are embracing a new way of doing business – building digital marketplaces – resonating with the API economy. These new market approaches are based on several premises: 1) partnering with other companies in an open ecosystem, exposing once exclusive features, accepting being a cog in a larger value chain; 2) embracing shared income as a valid revenue source. In summary, APIs are enabling businesses to expand beyond their boundaries, driving revenue through new business models.

CSPs can set their own digital marketplaces up by developing a more flexible digital business model, firming cross-industry alliances or partnerships, and engaging them in an open environment. This allows CSPs to leverage capabilities and services, promoting asset sharing (such as customer data as permitted by local legislation) and co-creation with business partners.

Getting a Slice of the Pie

The digital marketplace secret recipe requires a key ingredient – connectivity. All the well-known success stories rely on that to exist. Within this premise, there’s an opportunity for CSPs to explore this revenue chain’s potential further because they play a critical role in the digital marketplace value chain.

In addition to connectivity, CSPs possess access to vast amounts of data due to their extensive customer base – data that is valuable to others and can become attainable through API exposure. This isn’t new for CSPs: a multitude of previous use-cases have highlighted the need to integrate with external partners (particularly through Value Added Services).

However, these integration points were primarily achieved using non-standard APIs, resulting in a myriad of unique interfaces. The creation of API Gateways, leveraged on TM Forum’s Open API standards, brings order to chaos and paves the way for the emergence of API Monetisation.

Nevertheless, API Monetisation is still uncharted territory for CSPs despite its standing as the means to capitalise on the valuable role that Telcos play in digital marketplaces. It furthers mere API exposure and standardisation, elevating them to products fitted in their marketing mix.

Learn more about Celfocus API Monetisation here.