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August 28, 2013

At ITEXPO: Ingate CEO Talks Internet+, WebRTC and What's Next in UC

Karl Stahl, CEO of Ingate Systems AB, has been talking about his vision for Internet+ for some time now, and the more we hear about it, the more it seems to make sense.

Stahl touched on some of the themes of Internet+ earlier today during his 10 a.m. presentation, and he’ll be speaking again today at 3 p.m. (PDT) as part of the keynote panel session “Service Providers: Smart Ecosystem Facilitators or Dumb Pipes?”  There, Stahl will be sharing his insights on how real-time traffic, both SIP- and WebRTC-based, will require dump pipes to be a bit smarter, providing quality – prioritized traffic – over the Internet and OTT. “That is the Internet+ model,” said Stahl, “which will allow users to finally get global multimedia communication with telepresence quality and allow service providers to earn on providing something more valuable than raw data bandwidth, when traffic over the separate telephone networks will vanish.” 

Stahl this morning offered some commentary about WebRTC, which he said (despite being seen by some as a new technology) has been going on for a few years. He explained that WebRTC sets up multimedia sessions between Web browsers, and has prescribed standards (ICE, STUN and TURN) for how to traverse NAT firewalls to get the job done. Nonetheless, he said, WebRTC is a bit confusing, will take time to impact real-time communications, and in the process will add more islands to the communications landscape.

But, he added, there is power behind WebRTC and it will happen. He pointed to the fact that Google acquired GIPS to implement WebRTC in Chrome, and that it’s investing more to further WebRTC.

“Google recently released nearly $70 million worth of open source code to the world,” he said, adding, “I’m pretty sure the free code will be the mandatory choice.”

At the same time, he said, there has been intense work on standardization related to WebRTC.

But for all its promise, Stahl said, WebRTC won’t be able to change the communications alone. WebRTC and UC will require better QoS than voice.

That brings us to the Internet+ discussion.

As Stahl said in the June 2012 cover story in Internet Telephony, Internet+ will enable real-time unified communications; introduces QoS and the ability for carriers to offer and bill for different levels of service; and allow for management and security, but in a way that separates those functions from the IP transport of a service. And with Internet+, service providers like the telcos will be able to move away from their flat-rate and all-you-can eat business models and introduce more premium-level connectivity so they can both deliver high levels of service to customers and continue to invest in their own networks.

“It’s the only way forward if we’re not going to be stuck in old-time telephony for the next 10 years,” said Stahl.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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