WebRTC World Feature Article

November 02, 2012

WebRTC to Play Important Role in Company Strategies

WebRTC, the technology that allows developers to build real-time communication into Web pages, places the ability to use VoIP applications within any browser and is going to be part of the HTML5 standard.

The vision of WebRTC is a world where your phone, TV and computer can all communicate on a common platform. WebRTC client applications need to get streaming audio, video or data and communicate streaming audio, video or data, exchange control messages to initiate or close sessions and report errors and exchange information about media such as resolution and format.

The introduction of WebRTC apps “is already happening as we speak,” said Tsahi Levent-Levi, director of business solutions, Amdocs. “Just look at NetDev’s This is Drum service, TenHands, Twilio and Voxeo. Heck – TokBox was just acquired while in the process of shifting from Flash to WebRTC.”

According to Levent-Levi, voice and video will be one of the first types of communications WebRTC will provide first, depending on the vendor offering the service. Selection of a mandatory video codec is one thing that would accelerate WebRTC adoption and use.

“The real question is what kind of services will we see – and I believe there will be a lot of new and innovative services that weren’t thought of up until today,” said Levent-Levi.

According to Levent-Levi, WebRTC is a game changer “because it reduces the barrier of entry for entrepreneurs and developers who wish to build VoIP services – this also ‘degrades’ voice and video calling from a service/solution into a feature/capability.”

VoIP OTT players are the ones who have the most to lose out of this. Levent-Levi has written about how OTTs need to rethink their strategy because of the introduction of WebRTC. When WebRTC is thrown into the mix, social networks can take OTTs’ user bases and offer the same services the OTT does with better advertising, with interconnect and with premium services.

The major barriers to WebRTC adoption are the availability of browsers that support WebRTC, which is a temporary problem, and the quarrelling in the standardization bodies over the mandatory video codec.

“Amdocs is looking at WebRTC from a lot of different angles,” said Levent-Levi. “As we are providers of BSS/OSS systems to carriers, our role here is to understand how the market and business models changes because of WebRTC and make sure our products and services fit these new business models.”

Carriers have been slow to respond to OTT threats. WebRTC now offers them an opportunity to gain back some of the power they had just a few years ago.

“WebRTC is a lot less about VoIP and a lot more about the Web. This means it will be an important part of company strategies moving forward,” explained Levent-Levi.

HTML5, for most people, simply means having responsive and interactive websites. WebRTC takes this interactivity an additional step to connect browsers and people in real-time, but in the larger scope of HTML5 it is just another capability – a lot less important than other aspects of HTML5 itself.

The WebRTC Conference and Expo will offer the opportunity for companies, Web application providers, investors and developers to understand what WebRTC offers and how it will challenge and change much of today’s communications landscape.

WebRTC changes the way you develop multimedia solutions over IP. Instead of having to recruit a large number of media engineers – a small set of highly experienced engineers – you can now rely on Web developers, who are a lot more common.

The PSTN or SIP will interact with WebRTC/HTML5 through either gateways that translate SIP over WebSockets that use WebRTC on the browser into SIP or PSTN on the “legacy” side, or by gateways that translate a proprietary signaling protocol used for WebRTC on the browser into SIP or PSTN on the “legacy” side.

While a lot are focused about this part of the solution, this is going to be required in 20 percent or less in the actual use cases that WebRTC will participate in them.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo


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