Competitive carrier Bandwidth is embracing over-the-top services, offering to make it easier for them to integrate voice and messaging into their apps through a new cloud-based platform that delivers applications programming interfaces (APIs).
Other network operators are exploring using Rich Communications Services (RCS) for such capabilities but Bandwidth.com is going its own way, having developed its own Bandwidth App Program, which the company says is a cloud-based platform that can scale as needed to support applications globally.
Bandwidth was seeing a strong trend of movement of over-the-top business apps that need both voice calling and messaging onto wireless phones, says Jason Sommerset, director of product development, Bandwidth. Companies want their common programs -- salesforce.com and others -- to work more seamlessly with their communications.
"We saw the opportunity for a carrier-powered API platform in our region, so companies working with these other platforms would have an option of working directly with a carrier," Sommerset says.
The advantage of a carrier-based platform is the ability to offer things Bandwidth delivers today as a CLEC, exposed through an API -- that includes phone numbers and number porting -- as well as 911 calling, business features such as Caller ID database updates and the capability for virtual numbers to receive text messages.
Bandwidth is also offering support -- "as one company that runs the platform and the network" -- so OTT app developers can outsource the communications services and focus on their own app development.
The cloud-based app platform has actually been in commercial deployment for about a year, Sommerset says, but Bandwidth is just now announcing it as widely available. Its targeted customers are software-centric companies, already established in customer relationship management (CRM) or other fields but looking to enhance their products with voice and messaging channels or other Internet companies looking to add voice and messaging.
"These are not small projects and the sales cycle can be long," Sommerset said. "We are asking companies to add us as one of their primary platforms and that takes time."
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading