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AT&T prepares to battle OTT players with call management API

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LAS VEGAS--Over-the-top voice services beware. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is currently in alpha testing of a new Call Management API service that will let customers take their existing AT&T mobile phone number with them regardless of what device they are using.

David Christopher

David Christopher

Speaking at the AT&T Developer Summit here held in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show, AT&T Mobility Chief Marketing Officer David Christopher said that although there are several over-the-top voice providers that let customers make calls using their mobile device and a data connection, consumers have to sign up for a new phone number to use the OTT players' services. And while that number can be programmed so it rings through to the customer's existing cell phone number, it adds complexity that most consumers do not want. Instead, AT&T's 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.

AT&T's Call Management API is powered by Voxeo Labs' Tropo Platform and uses Ericsson's IMS platform. Christopher also said that WebRTC technology, which is a key part of 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. 

In other developer news, Christopher also announced that more than 1,000 developers have downloaded AT&T's Application Resource Optimizer, or ARO, which was introduced at the 2012 AT&T Developer Summit. ARO helps developers test how efficiently their app interacts with the wireless network.

Perhaps even more impressive is that by using ARO, developers have been able to streamline their apps and "save" 500 TB of data use on the network. Christopher noted that ARO is still in the early stages, and he expects more developers to start using ARO.

Interestingly, AT&T also announced that it is changing its pricing structure for the API Platform to allow developers to get one million API calls per month on the AT&T API Platform for $99. 

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