European carrier Telefónica’s innovation division, Telefónica Digital, has extended its API portfolio with the acquisition of US-based video communications platform TokBox.
Telefónica, which is working on an array of network APIs through its BlueVia platform, said it will incorporate TokBox’s video capabilities to create a unified video, voice and text API service with global reach.
TokBox started life as a video conferencing company, but changed its direction to create a free API, OpenTok, enabling developers to add group video chat features to apps and websites both on and off mobile.
Telefónica will leverage TokBox’s platform for business and consumer customers, adding cross-platform video through both tailored solutions and the provision of APIs and applications for modification by third parties.
“Despite all our progress to date we are still in the early stages of the industry and this is a very exciting opportunity to accelerate the development of the OpenTok platform and rapidly expand its global reach and presence,” said Ian Small, CEO of TokBox. “Integrating our video capabilities with Telefónica existing voice and text offering creates an advanced real time communications suite for Telefónica’s hundreds of millions of customers around the world.”
Earlier this year, US software developer Apigee, which specialises in the development and management of network APIs, was tapped by Telefónica to lay the technical foundations for the carrier’s mobile initiatives. Telefónica is trying to create a shared network API platform, offering operator partners and developers an opportunity to build and market apps to their collective customer bases. Earlier this month Norwegian operator Telenor jumped on board.