Application programming interface (API), also called as middleware is a set of standard software functions designed for process efficiency. API is the interface between the resource of the device and application on which it is used. API is used to develop services and applications which are free from the device boundaries on which the program will run. Telecom APIs permits application developers to accumulate services such as payment, SMS and webRTC into their mobile applications, which results in producing increased proceedings per user, offers improved experience to customers and augmented adoption of their applications. Huge investment are made by the telecom carriers to set up their own API platform in corporation with aggregators and service providers, with an intention to maximize profits. Telecom carriers can face the challenges from over-the-top (OTT) service providers.
API benefits application developers to market their applications to the customers and to improve their experience. The growing number of smartphone users who are switching to 4G/LTE network and rise in the usage of mobile application due to increase consumption of mobile internet are the key drivers for an increase in the global API market. The propagation of cloud technology and mobile internet are significant for the growth of the global API market. However, OTT service providers are flooding away the margin and revenue of telecom operators, thus restraining the development of global API market. The global API market is expected to grow with the rise in adoption of machine-to-machine devices (M2M).
The global API market is segmented on the basis of service type into identity management, maps & location, payment, voice/speech, webRTC, SMS, MMS & RCS and others (do not disturb and device information). The global API market also segmented by user type that includes internal telecom developer, long tail developer, enterprise developer and partner developer. The global API market is further segmented on the basis of regions into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America and Middle East & Africa.
The North America hold the major market share of global API market mostly due to early adoption of 4G/LTE and tremendously high rate of smartphone users. Also, North America has extensively large community of API developers. Asia Pacific is expected to experience high growth in market for global API in the forecast period. The rapid progression rate for adoption of 4G is one of the key reason for the global API market growth. Moreover, the growing use of M2M devices and increasing number of mobile users are the other factors responsible for the rise in the growth for global API market.
Some of the chief players in the telecom API market are Fortumo OU, Huawei Technologies, LocationSmart, Alcatel-Lucent, LM Ericsson, Tropo, Comverse, Hewlett-Packard Development, Apigee Corp, Axway Software S.A., Aepona Ltd., ZTE Soft Technology Co., Ltd., Twilio, Inc., Oracle Corp., Nexmo, Inc., AT&T Inc. and Orange S.A.among others.
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