AT&T fights OTT voice with API

10 Jan 2013

For cellcos looking for ways to compete with OTT voice services, here’s what US operator AT&T Mobility is doing: introducing a Call Management API that allows customers to use their existing AT&T mobile phone number on any device.

Speaking at the AT&T Developer Summit in Las Vegas (alongside the Consumer Electronics Show) this week, AT&T Mobility CMO David Christopher said AT&T’s new Call Management API “will let customers add Web telephony to other devices, such as tablets, gaming devices or even the connected car, and use their existing AT&T phone number”, according to Fierce Developer.

The Call Management API essentially addresses the fact that OTT voice services require customers to sign up for a new phone number for that service. Granted, it’s possible to set up your account so that calls to your OTT number can be forwarded to your circuit-switched mobile-phone number. But, said Christopher, that introduces unnecessary complexity when a more elegant solution is to simply use an API that gives all of your devices VoIP capability using the mobile number you already have.

The API is powered by Voxeo Labs' Tropo Platform and uses Ericsson's IMS platform, Fierce Developer reports:

Christopher also said that WebRTC technology – a key spec in HTML5 – is also instrumental in the Call Management API because it means that customers will be able to access their communications in real-time while in the browser.

The Call Management API is only in alpha status for now, which means it hasn’t been added to the AT&T Developer Program website yet. But developers can get it from the AT&T Foundry.

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