Unlocking Network Potential – Leveraging Open APIs as Path to Service Provider Profits Service providers (SPs) are under intense pressure today to change their approach to business and their business models to maintain a competitive edge and drive new revenue streams. This demands the creation of rich new applications through effective engagements with developers. The good news is that the Alcatel-Lucent Open API Platform makes it easier for developers to combine capabilities and network assets, along with contributions from other members of evolving collaborative ecosystems, to meet market demands and create differentiated and sustainable value for everyone.
A recent Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) white paper, “Unlocking Network Potential: A creative new approach to increasing value in a Web 2.0 world,” explores the potential service providers can realize when they leverage the power of their networks. The explosion in smartphones and tablets that is fueling SP adoption of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE (News - Alert)) is creating the foundation for universally available Web 2.0 experiences that can drive profits.
Alcatel-Lucent’s vision for how to leverage the next generation networks’ ability to serve as a critical element in application enablement, puts SPs squarely in the middle of evolving ecosystems and value chains. It is all about literally making the network “open for business.”
With the Open API Platform, SPs can work hand-in-hand with application developers to extract unlimited value from network resources that were previously untapped. Current assets can be integrated with innovative applications to strengthen the value of the application and enhance the experience for the end user. In the process, new and highly profitable services can be easily introduced to the market.
The flexibility of an Alcatel-Lucent High Leverage Network™ employing an open API approach also helps to address the possibility, even likelihood, of disruptive changes within the mobile Internet as Web 2.0 capabilities accelerate customer reliance on handheld devices as their primary means of communications. It allows SPs and their media and content partners, along with developers to be more collaborative and more proactive — first to market and fast in the market, enriching brands by creating differentiated and sustainable value.
By implementing the Alcatel-Lucent end-to-end LTE solution, service providers are afforded the core functionally for a high-capacity, scalable, cohesive, cost-effective, secure and intelligent end-to-end IP network. This network is easily leveraged by SPs providing ecosystem partners transport and traffic delivery more efficiently, reliably, flexibly and at a lower cost. The addition of open APIs enables the easy integration of core services by app developers and a myriad of third parties.
All of this is critical to SPs for three reasons:
- The data storm that is just starting is only going to accelerate, especially with the coming addition of 4G capable phones and tablets from Apple (News - Alert) and the Android community. SPs need to be able to monetize in a profitable way that traffic.
- Customers demand and expect their connections to networks to be acessbile, reliable and fast, and that their apps perform up to or exceed expectations. They are likely to blame the SP first when things go wrong which can lead to churn.
- If SPs do not collaborate and allow ecosystem members to leverage what they have to offer, those potential partners will find alternatives.
Studies have shown that end users want more than simply access and they are willing to pay for certain types of entertainment. Other rich multimedia content must be available for free, or bundled with their subscription plan. Service providers finding the right mix of solutions as a result of their use of the Open API Platform can create these services, build value in the minds of the consumer and strengthen the brand by working with third parties and developing new relationships and business models.
Is this a break from the past? Yes! However, if SPs are to capitalize on the opportunities created by Web 2.0 as enabled by LTE, the need to be open to Open APIs as their path to success.
Edited by Peter Bernstein