This is a Short Note.
9Mobile (nee Etisalat Nigeria) is making its API available for Nigerian developers. This is certainly a novel idea as that will make people building solutions in the telecom industry to adopt 9Mobile. It is a new way of executing customer acquisition and 9Mobile could find success by deepening collaboration with the developer community. The result could be customers of the future.
Startups in Nigeria can now access access 9Mobile’s APIs, this follows a partnership between the telecoms giant and Africa’s Talking, a Pan-African company focused on providing developers with an easy and reliable way to access telecommunication infrastructure.
9Mobile will provide access to telecom apps while Africa Talking will provide a sandbox environment for developers to use while learning how to work with the APIs as well as testing their applications before moving into production.
The Director, Digital Business, 9mobile, Adia Sowho, said, “We at 9mobile are delighted to partner with Africa’s Talking in the bid to support Nigerian software developers and SMEs as they build viable and scalable businesses. This partnership will provide quality and affordable mobile communication tools like two-way SMS and USSD APIs that they can embed into their day to day business activities to improve their marketing capabilities and interact easily with their customers.
What 9Mobile is doing could be industry defining if they push it at scale. The implication is that no one wants to deal directly with telcos because they are high up there and few entrepreneurs can get access to them. So you have this solution that could have been integrated in a telco’s network, but you have no means of working with them. With what 9Mobile is trying to do, making its API available, we can see a new phase of innovation at the base of the telecom sector in Nigeria.
If 9Mobile has this mindset, it can change its fortune faster than many could anticipate. By releasing the APIs to developers, expect some apps and solutions to work better in 9Mobile networks when compared with competitors. I know that in cpanel web hosting, 9Mobile is among the networks that work without issues. In our web hosting business, we recommend 9Mobile to clients. Some other networks have their problems, locking customers from their emails, most times.
Simple things matter and this way of thinking could be the redesign that 9Mobile needs. Also, it will be good for the country, as entrepreneurs can build better products and solutions, that work seamlessly with the telecom infrastructure.