StarHub launches API platform for voice and SMS

SmartFoundry, an application programming interface platform, will allow software developers to leverage the telco's voice calling and SMS capabilities to make it easier to create apps and services. Other network functions to come next.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor on

Software developers in Singapore will now find it easier to make apps featuring telecom and network related functions, with a new application programming interface (API) platform by telco StarHub.


Called SmartFoundry, the beta stage release will feature voice and SMS APIs for free. Additional APIs that allow access to other network capabilities will be deployed in the near future, with the full suite of APIs available by the second half of 2014, according to StarHub.

APIs are software interfaces which provide easy access to network capabilities, allowing software developers to easily incorporate communications features into their apps and services.

The platform will make it less painful and faster for developers to add telephony functions to their products, using popular programming languages like JavaScript and PHP, without the need for more technical knowledge and costly hardware. This might include such as specific network protocols like smpp, SIP, master configuration and develop scripts on SMS and SIP server applications.

"We are excited to make available our voice call and SMS capabilities as APIs to the developer community, to promote innovation, growth and productivity in app development, as well as to support tech start-ups and savvy individuals to fast track their ideas to enterprises and consumers in Singapore," said Mr Stephen Lee, StarHub's Head of i3 (Innovation, Investment, Incubation).

Examples of possible services leveraging the APIs include a CRM for restaurants in which personalized interactive voice app can help to greet customers. Other potential features includes call recording, conferencing and text to speech.
During the beta stage, StarHub will gather feedback from developers before finalizing the platform's business model and charging mechanisms, which could include pay-per-use, per API call, revenue sharing and bulk purchases.

The API is adopted from Tropo, which is used by other telcos such as Deutsche Telekom. To educate developers about SmartFoundry, StarHub will organize a hackathon next weekend.

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