Mobile operators representing 65 per cent of connections across the world have signed-up to the GSMA’s Open Gateway API programme in the year since its launch at the 2023 edition of MWC Barcelona.   

At the opening of MWC24 the industry association revealed 47 mobile operator groups, representing 239 mobile networks were now signed up to the initiative, which aims to unlock the “full potential of 5G networks” through commercialised APIs. 

It explained the growing number of operators and technology partners signing up to the scheme are initially focusing on tackling online crime to ease what it stated is one of the biggest issues facing online commerce today. 

The GSMA pointed to recent, separate efforts by operators in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Spain, Indonesia, Germany and South Africa to employ the API gateway programme to combat fraud and improve security through improved authentication mechanisms and collaborations with retailers, commerce partners and app developers. 

GSMA director general Mats Granryd welcomed the progress made over the first 12 months, noting the industry had “begun to build a unified ecosystem and unlock the full potential of 5G networks”. 

The association explained since the launch of the programme, operators and partners including AWS, Infobip, Microsoft, Nokia and Ericsson cloud business Vonage had commercialised 94 APIs for developers in 21 markets worldwide. 

It pointed to research by McKinsey indicating the initiative holds the potential to “unlock significant value for the telecommunications industry and businesses using 5G networks over the next six years”. 

McKinsey forecast there is a potential $300 billion market opportunity waiting to be unlocked by 2030 “if operators can expose more of their network APIs and innovations to enterprise developer and cloud provider communities”. 

Granryd said the focus for 2024 would be to “nurture and grow this” API opportunity and “provide ubiquitous access to enterprise developers and cloud providers so they can do what they do best, which is launch game-changing new services that can maximise the benefits of 5G networks”.