Examining the Breadth of Capabilities Operators can expose through the ANI (Application Network Interface)

The Application Network Interface (ANI) is an interface through which operators can expose capabilities from their networks to third parties such as single sign-on, location and presence.  At SDP Asia I gave a presentation on “Examining the importance of the SDP to an Operator’s Web / Voice / Telco 2.0 strategy” where I covered a list of about 25 broad categories of capabilities.  I gave a summary of the conference on my blog, https://www.alanquayle.com/blog/2007/11/findings-from-sdp-asia-2007.html.

Operators are interested in the ANI because it allows third parties to innovate on their networks, enabling them to compete with the service innovation from companies such as Google, and create new revenue streams.  The capabilities are much broader than the usually commented upon items such as location, single sign-on, presence, call control and billing.

Just a few examples:

  • An operator could expose an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows their content portal (mobile and/or IPTV) to be accessed by third party applications.  A third party application developer could then create a Facebook application that allows people to send or receive gifts of ring-tones, movies or wallpaper; much more useful than paying a $1 for a picture of a duck to appear on someone’s profile.
  • A local system integrator (SI) provides enterprise mobilization services, e.g. field force automation.  An operator could expose a device management capability so that the local SI can manage the handsets for its customers.
  • Many incumbent national operators have an impressive national fulfilment capability, in that an order received from the phone, internet or partner can result in a complex series of synchronized actions such as: configure networks, partner networks and services; synchronize the arrival of the product and a technician to install that equipment.  In fact, in today’s triple play environment I’ve been impressed at the installers’ ability to set-up and configure HDTV, DVDs and surround sound systems when installing triple play.  I’m sure this would be of interest to many internet retailers.

Estimates on the ANI’s incremental revenue range from 10-55% of an operator’s existing revenue.  The ANI could have a significant impact not only upon the operators’ revenue in the years to come, but also on some of its future business models.