BT Launches APIs for Telephony Mashups

One of the more interesting APIs added here recently comes from BT, British Telecom. It's not so much a single API but a set of early beta APIs code-named Web21C, part of their larger £10 billion 21st century network initiative called 21CN, an IP-based, multi-service network. Functionality provided in this initial release includes SMS, voice call, conference call, presence, Authentication, "information about me" user profile information, and location. You can see our new BT API listing here.

Given that often these APIs interact with phones and therefore the idiosyncrasies that entails, BT provides a set "Virtual Phones" that you can use in testing, each named after one of the Seven Dwarfs including "Bashful" that answers but disconnects after 3 seconds, "Grumpy" that always rings busy, and "Sleepy" the phone that never connects. It's an early, limited beta with free access but tight usage limits, although these will change as the rollout progresses. Forum threads indicate pricing details are being worked-out. As a way to kick-start ideas for mashing-up the phone with the web they've built a few sample "phoney" mashups to show what's possible, three of which are now listed here:

Hungry Service

  • Translation Service via SMS: Send an SMS to translate using BabelFish between English and Spanish and receive a call or SMS with the translation.
  • Hungry Service: Send an SMS to find restaurants offering special deals in your location, then makes reservations. Integrates with data.
  • SMS GeoBlogging Service: Blog based on your location. Users can request posts based on their location or subscribe to RSS feeds.

Be sure to read the next API article: New APIs: Domains, Email and Voice