Real-time communications as we know it is being rapidly transformed. WebRTC is changing the game, delivering a new conversation experience that has been suggested for years but now is able to be fully experienced.
WebRTC is a real-time communications protocol that allows any HTML5 web browser to become a real-time communications client. This changes the game because it means that soon most devices will be able to perform video and voice calling with each other remarkably easy. This will disrupt service provider business models and connect everyone in an unprecedented manner.
By the first quarter of 2014, according to Disruptive Analysis, there will be more than 1 billion devices capable of WebRTC. Everything from smartphones to TVs will have HTML5 and the ability to act as a WebRTC client.
“WebRTC also makes it easier to integrate communications into websites and web apps,” it added. “As a result of these developments, service providers will have far more competition from a much larger pool of innovators who are already moving quickly to win in the enterprise and consumer segments.”
Service providers need to think big or go home when it comes to WebRTC. Either way, the technology is going to change their business.
One way to leverage WebRTC is to differentiate from other service providers by unifying mobile devices, browsers and applications through the technology. For instance, a provider can enable a customer to have a unique identity across both Web and telecom, and it can reuse its investment in voice-over-LTE (News - Alert) to drive high WebRTC quality and availability.
A second way to leverage it is by expanding with open innovation. With WebRTC, service providers can transcend geographic and demographic barriers and extend their offerings to the web. When WebRTC is coupled with an IMS API strategy, innovation can be quicker and more affordable.
Third, WebRTC can be a boon for a service provider’s enterprise strategy.
“WebRTC enables enterprises to shift to IT-centric communications, freed from the restrictions of proprietary unified communication silos,” noted the Alcatel-Lucent paper. “WebRTC helps streamline IT and communications into a cohesive whole, plus it simplifies device management by reducing the number of enterprise desktop phones and native mobile app downloads.”
WebRTC is coming and coming fast. Are you ready?
Edited by Peter Bernstein