Application Programming Interface (API) is a programming language used by an application to communicate with the control programs such as database management systems or communication protocols. Telecom APIs allow carriers to pass valuable data to third parties, which they monetize on an asymmetric basis as typically mobile network operators do not provide services to end-users. The global telecom API market is segmented on the basis of types of API, user type, and region.
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On the basis of API, the market is broadly segmented into Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), & Rich Communication Services (RCS) API; Interactive Voice Response (IVR)/ voice store & voice control API; payment API; Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) API; ID/ Single Sign-On (SSO) & subscriber API; location API; and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) & Internet of Things (IoT) API.
MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global telecom API market to grow from USD 93.69 Billion in 2016 to USD 231.86 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.87%. Improving telecom API user experience and monetization of telecom operator services are some of major driving factors of the market.
The key players in the telecom API market include Vodafone Group PLC (London, U.K.), Twilio, Inc. (California, U.S.), Alcatel-Lucent (Boulogne-Billancourt, France), AT&T, Inc. (Texas, U.S.) Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), Apigee Corporation (California, U.S.), Orange S.A. (Paris, France), Verizon Communications, Inc. (New York, U.S.), Xura, Inc. (Massachusetts, U.S.), Nexmo, Inc. (California, U.S.), Fortumo (Tartu, Estonia), LocationSmart (California, U.S.), Tropo, Inc. (California, U.S.), and Aspect Software (Massachusetts, U.S.). These players have adopted various strategies such as partnerships, agreements, mergers & acquisitions, and new product developments to achieve growth in the global market.
Twilio, Inc. is one of the global leading providers of cloud communication platforms, which develops, integrates, and operates real-time communications APIs within software applications. The company offers APIs such as voice, messaging, and authentication APIs and API platforms. In terms of organic strategy, Twilio has been investing more than 24% of its revenue in Research and Development (R&D) for the past 3 years. In 2015, it invested 25.5% of its annual revenue in R&D, whereas in 2016, it invested 28.1%. This clearly describes that the company is focused on improving its current offerings to firmly hold its position in the highly competitive market.
AT&T is one of the leading providers of telecommunication services in the world. It offers a wide range of products and services that include wireless communications, local exchange services, long-distance services, broadband & internet services, and video services. The company has adopted intensive organic growth strategies through constantly launching new products and services. To strengthen the strategy adopted, the company has constantly involved in R&D activities as it has spent USD 1,693 million on R&D in 2015. Further, AT&T acquired DIRECTV in 2015 to fulfill its customer’s entertainment needs through expanding its high-speed internet services. The acquisition showcases the company’s policy for inorganic growth strategy.
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