GSMA launches directory for IoT APIs

James Pearce
Published on:

The “IoT Big Data API Directory" aims to drive innovation around the Internet of Things

The GSMA has launched a directory of APIs aimed at enabling developers to innovate new Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

The “IoT Big Data API Directory” gives developers and third parties access to information that is typically retained in vertical silos to help drive the development of new services in the burgeoning IoT market.

The GSMA claims it is the first directory of its kind, offering details of IoT and context data sets on projects ranging from machines and devices, to automotive, roads, the environment, smart homes and agriculture.

The aim is to lower costs for developers, data brokers and data providers, which in turn will create new opportunities and encourage a common approach to data sharing for new projects.

“The IoT generates a huge amount of data that is currently retained in vertical silos. However, in order for the IoT to reach its full potential this data needs to be released and made available to developers and third parties,” said Alex Sinclair, CTO, GSMA. 

“A common, collaborative and interoperable approach to big data will remove the commercial and technical barriers to capitalising on the IoT opportunity and usher in a new era of IoT solutions that will help the market to scale. We encourage mobile operators to collaborate with the wider industry to benefit from the big data opportunity.” 

Revenue from IoT topped €11 billion for operators in 2016, according to Berg, with number of mobile operators are already running projects in the sector. This figure is expected to grow significantly, with the number of IoT connections in operation predicted to top 50 billion by 2025 in some quarters.

Telefonica last month announced an agreement to provide IoT services to car rental firm Hertz in Mexico, while the same car provider also struck a deal with Orange Business Services across several European countries.

China Mobile, China Unicom, KT Corporation are among a number of other operators who have launched IoT projects, generating harmonised data that can be shared through the platform, the GSMA said.

“A huge amount of IoT related data is being generated by operators and their partners with the fast growth of IoT services. In order to fully exploit the potential value of that data, it is necessary to build up an IoT big data ecosystem based on the collaboration among various IoT data providers, big data infrastructure providers, data analytic service providers and data product consumers,” said Chihang Chen, GM of technology department, China Unicom. 

“The GSMA’s IoT Big Data initiative provides an open, harmonized and interoperable approach for operators to build such an ecosystem. China Unicom will take this opportunity to collaborate with various players and develop the IoT big data service based on our rich operation experiences on both the big data service and the IoT service.”

Thierry Nagellen, program manager big data, Orange Labs, added: “Creating heterogeneous data formats in the IoT world to share anonymised data is both achievable and necessary, and our work with FIWARE supports a more efficient management of municipal services and brings open standards to transform cities into engines of growth. 

“This GSMA initiative offers a unique opportunity to propose a common model that can be regularly improved. The interoperability provided by this coordinated approach democratises IoT data consumption through any type of networks and will encourage the creation of new services.”