Bandwidth just announced that it is the first telecommunications provider in the US to offer a direct-to-carrier cloud API platform for voice and messaging. The Bandwidth App Platform is a cloud communications API platform that allows software companies to create voice calling and messaging services, there are many providers of such services. The interesting aspect is the platform allows easy API integration with carrier services such as automated phone number porting APIs, and better text messaging interoperability with short codes and E911 services. So telecom application developers can create communication services that are no longer supplemental to traditional carrier services, they REPLACE traditional phone lines and wireless connections in North America.
As the market in telecom application development matures it must address how to replace the more expensive and less feature rich incumbent communication services. Many of these services will be built directly on API platforms that need access to all the features traditional services have, such as:
- Fast and easy phone number porting so users can keep their numbers;
- Virtual phone numbers that can receive text messaging with any short-code;
- Business-grade features like updating Caller Id databases for a business number; and
- Ability to call 9-1-1 and services to register numbers for emergency calls.
We’ll have some of the Bandwidth team at TADSummit, I wasn’t able to persuade them to sponsor TADSummit. But you’ll be able to explore face-to-face more depth where they are taking the North America market in telecom application development, and then understand what it means in your market around traditional communication services.
Bandwidth’s capabilities supplement features already delivered directly through the App Platform API:
- Searching and activating phone numbers throughout North America;
- US, Canadian and Toll-Free numbers;
- Managing call routing, bridging, record and transcribing calls;
- Sending and receiving text messages;
- Texting to speech and building IVRs;
- Playing media files on phone calls;
- Sending and receiving DTMF and keypad input; and
- Conference calling.
Bandwidth is an interesting company to watch as they deliver much more than Telecom APIs, its a full range of communications services, including a consumer MVNO (Republic Wireless with some disruptive bundles from $5-$40 per month per line), voice origination, termination and toll free; 9-1-1 services; SMS solutions; SIP Trunking; hosted VoIP for SMBs; and a consumer wireless business. Founded in 1999, and a certified CLEC in 49 states. Its a model telcos should evaluate as they explore how to remain relevant to their customers as communication service providers.