The Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) market is big and growing fast. Already worth more than $8 billion, analysts predict that the market will nearly triple in size to $22 billion by 2025. CPaaS is a cloud platform that exposes communications functions such as SMS, voice, video, and IP chat via programmable application programming interfaces (APIs) so that developers can more easily code these functions into applications, workflows, and systems.\n\nRecently, Ericsson\u2019s CTO Erik Ekudden interviewed Vinod Lala, Chief Strategy Officer at Vonage, on the opportunities on offer at the nexus of CPaaS and 5G. According to Lala, one of the key drivers behind the growth of CPaaS is business-to-customer engagement through mobile apps.\n\n\u201cAs customers increasingly\u2026\u2018live\u2019 in their mobile phones, so businesses have reacted by communicating with them that way, via SMS, chat, or now even video and voice,\u201d he said.\n\nCPaaS simplifies the deployment of multi-modal communications integration and is therefore an ideal solution for both digital native brands and non-native brands looking to reach customers through apps.\n\nThe second key driver behind the evolution of the CPaaS market is the arrival of 5G APIs. As Ekudden explained, being able to connect to 5G is \u201cvery handy\u201d for developers and enterprises as it provides access to a range of pre-built tools and capabilities including Quality of Service (QoS), network slicing, advanced security features, device status information, and precise positioning.\n\nAs Ekudden noted: \u201cThere\u2019s a real opportunity to look at what 5G already brings and how that can fuel and enhance capabilities in existing applications and enterprises.\u201d\n\n5G APIs are therefore profoundly important to the development of CPaaS, unlocking network controls and thereby offering a whole new dimension to developers for enhanced use cases.\n\nAccording to Lala, applications that rely on low latency, such as in gaming or telemedicine, will benefit the most from these capabilities. Indeed, many of the network features synonymous with 5G were built specifically to support such advanced applications.\n\n5G APIs will therefore provide what Ekudden describes as a \u201cmissing gearbox\u201d for developers to create new CPaaS use cases on a global scale.\n\n5G APIs are helping to create win-win collaborations where developers on one side have the freedom to innovate, and communications service providers - on the other side - can create revenue streams through the network value they reveal to developers.\n\nUltimately this evolution is about exposing and enabling new capabilities that are guided by the needs of enterprises and third-party developer communities, closing the gap between the needs coming from applications, enterprises, and consumers and the network capabilities. CPaaS promises to unlock new layers of innovation both within enterprises and the developer ecosystem that supports them, which in turn will deliver better customer experiences and enhanced value for all.\n\nTo learn more about how 5G is empowering and extending the expanding CPaaS market, you can watch the fireside chat in full here.