Standards and the network API rush

How much more can the network game change? Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) seem to hold the key.

Author Image

Joe Hogan, Network CTO

Amdocs Technology

17 Jul 2023

Standards and the network API rush

Layout canvas

Focusing on 4 main avenues, the GSMA’s Open Gateway Initiative builds on the CAMARA launch in 2022. Tasked with defining a set of high-level simple telecom APIs via CAMARA, driving universal adoption of network APIs, encouraging adoption of APIs by the application developer community & ensure CSP API interoperability.

The last 2 Mobile World Congress events have each seen significant announcements in the network API domain. In 2022, the LINUX Foundation launched the CAMARA project. In 2023, this was followed by the GSMA launching its Open Gateway initiative.

CAMARA’s objective was to define a set of simple north-bound APIs to expose telecom network capabilities to third-party applications. The application developer is then able to use these telecom CAMARA APIs in their applications to make them network-aware. The applications can then make API calls to influence the network or get network information. These APIs are so simple that the application developers will not need any specialist telecom training to use them.

Then in 2023 came the GSMA Open Gateway initiative. It built upon the CAMARA project but plans to do more. There are four main aspects of its work: define a set of high-level simple telecom APIs through CAMARA; drive universal adoption of network APIs by service providers, encourage adoption of APIs by the application developer community; and finally, to agree on service provider API interoperability. As of June 2023, 29 service providers (60% of all worldwide mobile users), plus Microsoft and Amazon had joined the GSMA Open Gateway initiative. This was up from 21 at its launch.

The GSMA Open Gateway initiative has already identified a few APIs, and these are listed below. To encourage application developer adoption, and to keep API development agile, the GSMA & CAMARA have decided to make each network API available as soon as it is ready. The Quality on Demand API is already available. New APIs can then easily be added when application developers desire them.

API Call and Description

Figure: API Call & Description

Application developers can easily use these APIs to develop innovative network-aware applications. The application developer does not need to be an expert in each domain by providing simple atomic capabilities such as APIs. This is a key feature of what can make a platform, in our case a telecom platform, so successful.

In my previous blog, I gave an outside broadcast example. Another example could be digital concert entertainment. Where network APIs are used to ensure customers are eligible by verifying their identity and where they are located. The ticket checkout can be handled by the service provider billing API. Hyper-local targeted advertising can be enabled by knowing where the customer is using the location API. The Quality on Demand API could be used to ensure that the promised streaming experience is delivered.

This GSMA Open Gateway initiative is showing promise, but there are threats. For example, service providers naturally desire to differentiate, and standards bodies want to promote their interfaces. If we end up with competing or differentiated APIs for the network, then I believe that application developer adoption is likely to be poor. Typical OTT applications are global and, in my view, are unlikely to want to be constrained to single service providers or to integrate with multiple different network APIs.

I believe success will be characterized by a common API implementation by service providers; global API coverage; widespread adoption by application developers; and a steady & consistent build-out and support of the API set.

It is possible that unification may come from outside the telecom community, namely from the Hyperscalers. Microsoft is already offering its Azure Programmable Connectivity (APC) developer platform. It is planning to host service provider network APIs in APC and to use it to connect cloud-hosted applications through to multiple service provider network APIs.

Ultimately, by the end of 2023, it will be clearer which direction the provision of Network APIs will be heading – simple or complex; universal or differentiated. And, more importantly in my view, what appetite for Network APIs the wider industry application developer community has for them.

More about Amdocs Networks


make it

Your future looks
breath-taking from here


Embrace the cloud and together we’ll see your business agility, innovation and scalability soar to new heights.

Simplify the complex,
deliver the brilliant


Discover the streamlined, cost-efficient and intelligent answer to increasingly complex customer, IT and network demands.

Fill your customers’ day
with content they love


Build an irresistible content proposition and experience that keeps your customers coming back for more.

Reinvent the customer
experience. Every day.


Discover the agility to deliver a jaw-dropping digital experience that always exceeds expectations.

Make today’s impossible
tomorrow’s possible


Unlock the full potential of 5G and shape the network to create new capabilities, unique business models and game-changing opportunities.


about Amdocs

Discover how Amdocs can help your business.


Your future looks breath-taking from here.


Simplify the complex, deliver the brilliant.


Fill your customers’ day with content they love.


Reinvent the customer experience. Every day.


Make today’s impossible tomorrow’s possible.



Apologies, our website does not support this browser