WebRTC Expert Feature

March 06, 2013

My WebRTC Will Talk to Your WebRTC

There's a troubling theme going on around WebRTC, by which people try to force the current telephony paradigm over it, expecting it to be the way we end up using it. Notions like interoperability, interconnect – the hint of an ecosystem where a service is built out and maintained by multiple players – are all regulated.

As nice as this world might be, the mere fact of placing the media processing capability within the browser has changed communication forever.

In the old world we all live in today, if I want to reach you, there are two things that need to happen. First, we need to be on the same network. Then, I need to know your identity on that network. On a carrier telephony system, the network is globally maintained and regulated, and the identity is the phone number.

On a VoIP vendor, playing the OTT game, the network is his own (usually closed from the outside world, save for PSTN interconnect to make money out of the service), and the identity is a designated user ID.

In the new world of browsers and WebRTC, however, if I want to reach you, there are two things that need to happen: I need to have a Web browser, and I need to know your URL, or your Internet address.

One of the main differences between these approaches is who provides me, as a caller, the service. Previously that would be my service provider – either my phone company or the OTT vendor, which is shared between the both of us. Nowadays, it's the sole responsibility of you, the called party.

The notion of "I am calling from AT&T's network to Verizon's" has virtually faded; if I try to reach someone, I do it in his/her home turf and under his/her rules – not mine.

You can set up your own WebRTC-based service on your website, blog or wherever it is you want an individual to reach you and simply direct them there. At this stage of the modern Web, it's easy for us to figure it out. 

WebRTC brings the notion of islands back in full force, but in a way that makes it easier to use.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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