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Bringing network APIs out of the lab and into reality

Colored switches

There is a lot of excitement and activity around the topic of Network and Telecom APIs and their potential to stimulate new ways to monetize the capabilities of 5G-era networks. Activities such as the GSMA Open Gateway Initiative and the Linux Foundation CAMARA program are bringing new energy to the topic and there is a coming-together attitude among the participants of the traditional network and telecom communities to make this work.

What exactly is this all about?

At the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona Spain last February the consortium of global telecom operators joined together to announce the formulation of the Open Gateway Initiative (OGI). With a jointly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), 21 of the leading global telecom operators expressed their alignment on this topic and they indicated that the OGI would leverage and utilize relevant standardization initiatives from the CAMARA program to bring consistency to how networks would expose capabilities through agreed-upon Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). That list has now expanded to over 40 signatories.

A lot has happened in 12 short months

At the upcoming Mobile World Congress event in February, 2024 the GSMA will be running a real-time hackathon session on this topic.  Real coders will be building real applications that employ the principals of the GSMA Open Gateway Initiative. The hackathon will be run by Mobile World Capital – a local Barcelona group who focus on facilitating tech-industry engagement within the local Barcelona and broader Spanish region.

Highlights of the program:

  • A select group of software engineers will take their seats in a specially outfitted hackathon pit with the assignment to develop a real-world application that utilizes unique network capabilities

  • A real commercial implementation of the GSMA OGI will be provided by Nokia’s Network as Code solution

  • Engineers will gain education and enablement through the Network as Code developer portal to learn the capabilities exposed by the network, stimulating suggested use-cases and other aids

  • The engineers will code their applications, they will onboard SDK resources from the Nokia Network as Code developer portal and they will incorporate powerful network capabilities directly into their application designs

Everyone loves a winner!

Once the engineering teams have pitched their application examples, The Mobile World Capital team will select their winners for recognition and prizes.

And speaking of winners, the Nokia Network as Code platform that will be used for this hackathon is the same platform that recently received a TM Forum Catalyst award for Outstanding Contribution to TM Forum Assets. In that project, the Network as Code platform performed the same role of the aggregator platform as defined by the GSMA Open Gateway Initiative, as it will for this upcoming hackathon.

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This can be a win-win proposition

The ability for these software engineers to make practical progress to incorporate network capabilities into their applications will be working proof that this organized effort by the network and telecom industry is working. Nokia’s Network as Code platform is a commercial implementation of the concept referred to as an “aggregator model” within the GSMA OGI.  That means that many underlying network operators’ networks can connect in to the Network as Code platform and in turn, many software development engineers can utilize the developer portal to access capabilities of those networks.  As more and more network operators join the initiative, the paradigm becomes much more attractive to software application developers. And as more applications are developed, more network operators are attracted to the model.


Mikko Jarva

About Mikko Jarva

Mikko heads portfolio and architecture for new Network Monetization Platform business unit in Nokia. Network Monetization Platform business unit was setup to build offering for global 5G and advanced network programmability and monetization, based on Nokia’s Network as Code vision, which Mikko was driving and incubating in his previous role. As a Head of Portfolio and Architecture, Mikko’s is responsible defining long term portfolio vision and differentiating offering for Network Monetization Platform, and drive the transformation on how mobile networks are used and monetized in enabling entirely new, ecosystem created next generation experiences and enterprise applications.

Previously in Nokia, Mikko led Advanced Technology Group, a team of highly skilled and experienced technologists in advanced technology evaluations, rapid prototyping and first-time implementation and incubation of advanced solution prototypes and concepts. Advanced Technology Group successful incubations included Nokia SaaS delivery and operations vision leading to the foundation of Nokia SaaS, and Network as Code vision leading to the foundation of Network Monetization Platform

Mikko has over 24 years of experience in telecommunications software and has worked even longer than that with data, analytics and AI software solutions. During his professional journey he has gained experience through variety of roles, including in scientific research, product training, product marketing, technical sales and business development, and more recently as CTO of Intelligent Data in Comptel and Head of Product Strategy for Digital Intelligence in Nokia.

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