WebRTC Expert Feature

March 17, 2015

Sonus Enables WebRTC and SIP/PSTN/IMS Integration

Last week, Sonus announced a new strategy: the Sonus WebRTC Service Solution to enable WebRTC sessions is to be integrated into existing SIP and IMS based environments and the PSTN.

The solution adds a new product to the Sonus portfolio, the Sonus WebRTC Gateway. Sonus WebRTC Gateway operates as a WebRTC signaling control point to enable WebRTC traffic to be integrated into the Sonus SBC. The gateway interoperates with the browser software and the WebRTC web server to terminate WebRTC sessions. It also provides signaling gateway functions to SIP/IMS and enables advanced SIP interworking capabilities.  The SIP interworking services of the Sonus WRTC Gateway include maintaining WebRTC user registration and routing, performing user authentication as well as policy and session management for Web to Web and Web to SIP sessions.  One key aspect of the WebRTC gateway is that it can be deployed independently or in conjunctions with an SBC. The WebRTC Gateway follows the trend of delivering technology as software, enabling deployment either in a dedicated server (appliance) or into a virtualized data center. The WRTC Gateway can be deployed as a single virtual instance or as a multi-node cluster application that can support true scaling with high availability to avoid impacts from server failures, and addresses multi-tenancy deployments with granular service differentiation.

While the Sonus WebRTC gateway can be used as a WebRTC peer to WebRTC peer point, the primary value is managing the WebRTC to SIP media paths through Sonus SBCs. The complete Sonus WebRTC Services solution includes Sonus SBCs, sitting on the edge of a service provider or enterprise network to deliver complete network protection from theft of service and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, in addition to unmatched levels of scalability, lab-tested interoperability and comprehensive media handling to bridge WebRTC and SIP interactions. As the media path is through the SBC, the gateways can be centralized in a data center and support a range of remote SBCs. This also enables the gateways to operate in active-active redundancy, with high availability.

A key part of the Sonus solution is an SDK that enables the web team to develop their WebRTC app, so that it can terminate the WebRTC sessions to the Sonus SBC that integrates those sessions into the existing SIP/IMS environment. The SDK has a set of APIs and JavaScript libraries that enable the web team to use all the capabilities of WebRTC, and integrate into the SIP systems. The APIs allows easy operations from the bowser or other WebRTC endpoint to the gateway for voice, video, data (including text), desktop share, etc. The SDK provides plug-ins for those browsers that do not currently support WebRTC (including Apple Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer) and APIs to support WebRTC communications across mobile applications (including both iOS and Android).

A unique capability is that the WebRTC enabled JavaScript can either be done from a customer web server or from the WebRTC Gateway platform. This enables two distinct integrations, a deep integration into a web platform, with the Sonus WebRTC Gateway managing the signaling for the session, or a simple object handoff where the gateway manages all aspects of the communications session. Depending on the applications, the environment, and the complexity of the implementation, this enables a range of deployment options.

The Sonus WebRTC Service Solution is arriving at the point where WebRTC use is exploding. Recent announcements have shown that enterprises and service providers are adopting WebRTC in large numbers. Most of the Mobile Applications that were real-time communications enabled in 2014 were done using the WebRTC stack. Most of the service providers are actively looking at how to make both enable the use of WebRTC to enable their users to have value added communications on devices that are not on native access networks, or to enable their users to be contacted from the web using WebRTC. While the most obvious uses of the new Sonus capabilities are for customers with existing SIP/IMS environments, another potential is for WebRTC platforms to enable PSTN integration.  For web application developers, the Sonus solution may be a good way for volume WebRTC to PSTN integration. The inclusion of web plug-ins and mobile enable integration to a rich service set.

I see the announcements from Sonus in two ways. First, the introduction of a WebRTC capability by Sonus is yet another indicator that WebRTC is starting to accelerate. Second, it is clear that Sonus believes that a large set of their customers can use their WebRTC to SIP capabilities. Based on the number of use cases, and discussions with the team that there is significant interest in the capability, I foresee an uptick in the number of WebRTC applications integrating to SIP.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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