Telefonica and Telenor go for open mobile APIs


Partnership has scope to reach 460 million customers worldwide, focusing initially on mobile payments

Telefonica and Telenor, two of the world's largest telecommunications groups, have joined forces in the field of mobile application programme interfaces (APIs), with Telenor making its APIs available through Telefonica's API platform, BlueVia.

The partnership is a significant milestone for BlueVia, which uses APIs to allow developers to build apps and mobile web services that will run on its infrastructure and share the resultant revenue. BlueVia intends to become a shared platform with wide reach, offering partners and developers the opportunity to build and market apps to hundreds of millions of customers globally. The BlueVia platform will focus initially on the area of mobile payments, enabling ecosystems to charge apps and content to mobile customers directly through their bill when they make a purchase. Telefonica and Telenor state that the ease and convenience of direct to bill payments can help increase downloads of paid for mobile content, such as apps. This is especially the case in developing markets where the penetration of bank accounts and credit cards is low.

Earlier this year, Telefonica announced that it had signed global framework agreements with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Research in Motion (RIM) to offer direct to bill payments. In Germany, where Telefonica has already rolled out direct to bill payments, more than 400,000 customers on average per month are being charged via this capability. The two companies will work to roll out the direct to bill payments platform across their mobile customer base, while also extending an invitation to other global telcos to join. In the near future, we can expect new APIs aimed at different areas of the market.

Jose Valles, head of BlueVia, said: 'From the beginning, BlueVia's aim has been to gather scale and experiment fast on API business, not sticking to Telefonica's footprint but opening our vision to a pure global ecosystem. Telenor is leading the industry embracing this vision. We are glad to work with them, initially in mobile payments, but also exploring other innovative APIs.' 'Telenor joins the BlueVia platform as an equal partner, and we extend an invitation to other global telcos to join us in this new way of working together,' added Rolv-Erik Spilling, SVP and deputy head of Telenor Digital Services.

'BlueVia has been widely praised for its innovative approach and for providing developers with a platform to build applications and mobile web services that will run on BlueVia's own infrastructure. We want our fellow telcos to understand the benefits of joining BlueVia in helping to monetize assets while simultaneously making it easier for customers to purchase content and application,' Spilling added.

BlueVia is Telefonica's global developer platform, established in 2011 to enable developers to take apps, webs services and ideas to market. Its network APIs include payments, communications and more, utilising technologies including RESTful APIs and OAuth.


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