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How 5G and APIs Are Driving Revenue Growth in Asia

The introduction of 5G technology has revolutionized both interpersonal and enterprise communications, presenting opportunities and ideas that enhance how stakeholders live and interact. This next-generation connectivity offers faster internet speeds and numerous new opportunities for business expansion, driving significant revenue growth.

The availability of 5G networks has brought transformative change, enabling developers to create applications that are more intelligent, reliable, and secure. This transformation promises a future where digital experiences are redefined by superior communication capabilities and seamless integration, driving remarkable technological improvements.

In a digitally advancing society, it’s crucial that various software applications work together seamlessly. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) make it possible for software and applications to be interoperable.

Understanding APIs

Amazon Web Services (AWS) defines APIs as systems that enable two software components to communicate through preprogrammed rules and protocols. For example, the software system used by the weather bureau to store vast amounts of daily weather data communicates with weather apps on smartphones via an API, retrieving and displaying the required information. This seamless interface is what makes APIs vital in modern application building.

Both the client and the server are essential components of API architecture. The client, often an application requesting information, sends a request to the server, which then provides the necessary data or functionality in response.

Modern API Transformation

The International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that revenues for telecom and network APIs will reach USD 6.7 billion by 2028, up from USD 700 million in 2023. This growth, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57.1% during 2023-2028, signifies a significant shift in how communication service providers (CSPs) will function and perform in the future.

Historically, CSPs have excelled in providing mobile connectivity on a large scale, driven by increasing demand for connectivity, resulting in steady revenue growth. However, the entry of third-party entities, such as providers of Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS), cloud services, and other digital platforms, changed the landscape. These entities capitalized on digital opportunities, building extensive developer ecosystems and relegating many traditional telecom companies to the role of infrastructure providers, making it challenging to monetize the growing number of devices using their networks.

The introduction of 5G networks and strategic API exposure offers a transformative opportunity for the industry. Telcos now have the chance to establish themselves as significant players in the digital world by integrating 5G capabilities with APIs, enabling the development of programmable and adaptable connectivity solutions tailored to the evolving needs of consumers and enterprises.

APIs in Action

The advent of 5G and APIs is driving significant revenue growth in Asia by enabling new business models and monetization strategies.

In India, a robust API platform supporting the 5G network has allowed companies like Reliance Jio to create various apps, ranging from gaming and entertainment to healthcare and education. For example, a telemedicine application leveraging high-speed connectivity and APIs facilitates remote consultations with medical professionals, benefiting rural communities with limited healthcare access.

In Thailand, AIS has enhanced its entertainment offerings by utilizing 5G and APIs. The company introduced an API-based streaming service integrating various content sources, providing high-definition streaming with minimal buffering for an unmatched viewing experience. Through APIs, AIS also built interactive elements like live polls and quizzes, engaging viewers and expanding monetization.

Singtel in Singapore launched SingVerify, an API-driven solution for on-demand and secure telco capabilities. By enabling real-time digital identity authentication, SingVerify enhances security and opens new monetization avenues. CEO Ng Tian Chong highlighted that SingVerify’s deployment could mitigate fraud, safeguard customer data, and prevent financial losses, increasing its value proposition and driving revenue growth.

In Japan, NTT DOCOMO, Miyashita Lab, and H2L launched the world’s first taste-sharing technology for the metaverse. Leveraging 5G and APIs, this innovative solution enables new types of digital experiences, attracting more users and developers to the platform and generating new revenue opportunities through subscriptions and service fees.

Nokia’s platform provides operators like BT with tools such as Software Development Kits (SDKs) and open APIs, enabling them to monetize their 5G network assets. By offering these development tools, operators can attract a broader range of application developers, creating value-added services and increasing revenue potential through their 5G networks.

Blue Planet’s new componentization strategy allows service providers using ONAP to integrate microservices-based components via standard APIs. This flexibility enables service providers to combine open-source and commercial solutions, accelerating automation initiatives and reducing operational costs. Offering enhanced services more efficiently helps these providers monetize their 5G investments more effectively.

Huawei Indonesia’s partnership with Accenture, Cloudera, Anabatic, IDPRO, Infosys, and Telkomsigma to launch Huawei FusionSphere 6.0 demonstrates another revenue growth pathway. FusionSphere 6.0, an enterprise-class cloud operating system, supports virtual servers, private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds, cloud desktops, and virtualized network infrastructure. Utilizing open-source software and supporting OpenStack APIs, Huawei offers customers more choices, attracting a wider user base and generating additional revenue through versatile cloud solutions.

Final Thoughts

With the emergence of 5G and APIs, the future of telecommunications in Asia looks promising. These technologies’ ongoing development may lead to even more cutting-edge applications and services. The growing adoption of 5G and APIs by telecom operators and the establishment of a thriving ecosystem through collaborative efforts with developers, businesses, and government agencies will be essential to their success.

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