The GSMA’s Open Gateway programme is backed by 21 operator groups, thereby allowing software developers to build apps with the potential to reach almost half of the world’s mobile connections

At Mobile World Congress this week, the GSMA has announced the creation of a new industry-wide initiative called Open Gateway, aimed at providing software developers a universal framework for network Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs).

APIs, essentially the software that allows two computer programmes to communicate, are currently very diverse in the telecoms space, with each operator typically using different APIs to handle tasks such as billing and roaming. This typically leaves software operators relatively handcuffed when it comes to developing new services, needing to create new code for each individual operator.

This is something that the GSMA is now seeking to change. The organisation’s Open Gateway programme aims to harmonise the industry’s open API ecosystem, allowing developers to create new services that can be easily integrated into numerous operator networks.

“GSMA Open Gateway will enable single points of access to ultra-broadband networks and provide a catalyst for immersive technologies and Web3 – giving them the ability to fulfil their potential and reach critical mass,” explained José María Álvarez-Pallete López, GSMA Board Chairman and Chairman & CEO of Telefónica. “Telcos have come a long way in developing a global platform to connect everyone and everything. And now, by federating open network APIs and applying the roaming concept of interoperability, mobile operators and cloud services will be truly integrated to enable a new world of opportunity. Collaboration amongst telecom operators and cloud providers is crucial in this new digital ecosystem.”

At the time of announcement, eight APIs for have been so far included in this project, which is backed by Camara, a Linux Foundation project that handles the standardisation of telco APIs.

These are: SIM Swap, QoD, Device Status (Connected or Roaming Status), Number Verify, Edge Site Selection and Routing, Number Verification (SMS 2FA), Carrier Billing – Check Out and Device Location (Verify Location).

More APIs are expected to follow later in the year.

In total, 21 major operators are already part of the project, as well as a number of major players in the cloud and IT space, including AWS and Microsoft.

According to Henry Calvert, the head of networks for the GSMA, this means the networks currently included in the Open Gateway project encompass roughly 45% of the world’s mobile connections, which will only increase as more operators are brought into the programme later this year.

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