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Apigee to support Telefonica mobile APIs

US software developer Apigee, which specialises in the development and management of network APIs, has been tapped by Telefónica to lay the technical foundations for the carrier’s upcoming mobile initiatives.

An API platform developed by Apigee will allow third-party applications to be built that hook into the Telefónica network. The two companies have worked together in the past on Telefónica’s BlueVia application development platform.

Apigee claims its Enterprise API management platform reduces the complexity of delivering APIs, drives developer adoption, provides comprehensive analysis and control of API usage, and helps businesses scale as API channels grow.

APIs are specifications that allow software applications to communicate with each other, so third party developed software can use resources provided by carrier networks in this case.

Earlier this month, Matthew Key, head of Telefónica Digital, said the main focus of the company going forward will broadly cover three sectors: mhealth; cloud services; and M2M, but individual initiatives stretch much further afield.

The carrier unveiled a wide ranging agreement with UAE-based Etisalat whereby the two companies will jointly develop business opportunities in M2M, financial services, cloud computing, eHealth, mobile advertising and OTT communications, including the acquisition of video content, while Etisalat will also participate in Telefónica’s global device procurement process.

Another program saw Telefónica secure a global framework agreements with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Research In Motion to offer carrier bill payments as a means of driving the monetisation of mobile content, particularly in Latin America where credit card penetration is low and 60 per cent of the population do not have bank accounts.

Direct to Bill in Europe is already proving popular with customers. In Germany, 400,000 customers per month on average are now making payments for a variety of products and services across different platforms. Telefónica plans to have the capability live in 14 markets globally by year end.

A lot of the initiatives focus on Latin America and in Brazil the firm is making a multi million Euros investment to kick start the mobile advertising market, using its UK O2 Media model as a blueprint. The investment will see a local team put in place to accelerate the deployment of platforms and capabilities in a rapidly expanding overall ad market, currently worth €15bn, where mobile advertising is growing faster than Western Europe.

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