Verizon said it will offer its network APIs through 'a variety of API aggregators, hyperscalers and through Verizon's own API portal.' Meanwhile, Dish Network's own network APIs are nowhere to be found.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

February 15, 2024

4 Min Read
World map with communication network on server room background
(Source: Aleksey Funtap/Alamy Stock Photo)

Verizon said its network application programming interfaces (APIs) will be made available globally "through a variety of API aggregators, hyperscalers and through Verizon's own API portal."

"Verizon has been on the cutting-edge of developing a number of network APIs to help developers access and mobilize network data and services in a way that improves customer security, eases pain points in customers' interactions or allows for the creation of new experiences. We are now working with global partners to make those available on a wider scale," said Verizon's Srini Kalapala, SVP of technology and product development, in a release.

The company's announcement comes roughly a week after Verizon said it would use Ericsson's Vonage API platform to more broadly expose its network to developers. Thus, it appears that deal is not exclusive, and Verizon will look to other network API vendors – which include Nokia and Microsoft – to improve its stance in the market. Verizon said it will support API standards, including those from Camara, GSMA Open Gateway, TM Forum and others.

Verizon did not disclose its business model for its network APIs. It's likely that the company is hoping to generate revenues through the sale of access to those APIs.

Dish silent on its APIs

While Verizon made some noise about its network APIs, Dish Network has gone relatively silent on the topic.

As Light Reading reported in 2022, Dish Network launched a website aimed at developers keen to write applications for its new 5G network. The company also hosted a "level up your dev" developer competition in conjunction with an AWS trade show in 2022.

But now the company's API website is no longer accessible. Another website listing various API offerings from Dish lists only one for its wireless business, "Dish MNO Revenue Management Bill Invoice API."

Dish officials did not respond to questions from Light Reading about the situation.

Dish's silence on the subject is noteworthy considering the company has made networking APIs a core part of its story. "Dish is implementing an open application programming interface (API) policy where any functionality that can be exposed through an API is available to customers," the company wrote in a 2022 white paper on its website. "Unlike traditional CSPs [communication service providers] that provide a limited and predefined set of APIs, Dish will make its full suite of APIs available to customers to allow network characteristics to be programmable, granular, scalable and customizable."

Nokia late last year announced its Network as Code API platform and said that Dish Network is the first network operator to agree to use the platform.

Dish executives likely have more on their mind than networking APIs. The company recently scrapped another effort to ease Dish's massive debt burden. It's unclear what Dish might do next as it faces upcoming debt payments.

The rise of networking APIs

Wireless network operators for years have discussed the possibility of opening their networks to developers. But that discussion picked up steam roughly a year ago when the GSMA trade association announced its "Open Gateway" effort. Another player in the space, the TM Forum, has also said its APIs and Open Digital Architecture (ODA) effort will work alongside the GSMA's Open Gateway initiative.

According to the GSMA, 41 global mobile network operators – from Verizon to AT&T, Liberty Global, China Unicom, Vodafone and SoftBank – support its Open Gateway initiative. But only three countries – Brazil, Germany and Sri Lanka – have so far publicly launched the technology.

The topic will likely be under discussion during the GSMA's upcoming MWC trade show in Barcelona.

Indeed, it appears Ericsson's Vonage business is working to stamp out its position in the sector. On Thursday, the company announced it would put its API platform into the AWS Marketplace. Vonage also announced it would standardize the approval process for developer access to network APIs on its platform.

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About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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