apps2_commons_Sean MacEnteeMobile app developers could find it easier to develop offerings that will work on multiple carrier networks as the result of a new API Exchange announced today from Apigee. In the U.S. AT&T plans to participate in the exchange and other U.S. carriers are expected to follow, said Apigee representatives in an interview with Telecompetitor.

API Exchange builds on an announcement last month of the GSMA OneAPI Exchange, a similar application programming interface exchange that has the participation of AT&T as well as several global carriers including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone. The new API Exchange will enable applications to be developed for multiple industries, including some that are not telecom-related.

The types of API functionality that developers will be able to tap through API Exchange from network operators include functions that require an interface to mobile networks such as payment, identity and messaging.

David Andrzejek, API Exchange initiative leader for Apigee, believes application developers will negotiate business deals with one network operator and then, through the exchange, will be able to create applications that will work with all other network operators participating in the exchange.

The total time required to develop an app for all of the networks will be equivalent to what would be required to build an app to work on just a single operator’s network, said Bala Kasiviswanathan, Apigee head of product management.

API Exchange does not impact how apps are sold. App developers will still make their own arrangements for distributing or selling an app through an online storefront or other means.

From the service provider point of view, the ability to support more mobile apps should help enhance customer loyalty, said Kasiviswanathan. In addition he said there may be an opportunity for service providers to get a cut of mobile app revenues from developers who make arrangements to collect payment through the customer’s mobile phone bill.

Image courtesy of flickr user Sean MacEntee.