New and Exciting Times are Ahead in Browser-based Communications as IP Exchange and WebRTC Mature

Joel Stradling
Joel Stradling

Summary Bullets:

• The Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) standards body is dedicated to establishing a common set of protocols for WebRTC applications on browsers, mobile platforms, and IoT devices.

• OTTs look to wholesale carrier IPX to add crucial Quality of Service (QoS) metrics to WebRTC tools, opening new possibilities for highly reliable and enterprise-grade solutions.

The Internet has introduced some pretty exciting life-changing things since its creation. Its relentless evolution continues to impact everything we do. WebRTC holds considerable promise to impact our lives further as browser-based voice, video and chat, becomes possible on any connected device. WebRTC already allows browser-to-browser video, with developer Bistri for example reporting strong traction and rapid growth in browser-instigated video calls. For wholesale carriers that have invested considerably in IPX, the attention to WebRTC applications from OTTs is causing everyone to sit up. This is because as WebRTC applications proliferate, the inherent QoS in IPX combined with imaginative new applications dreamed up by OTTs should drive both traffic and revenues onto IPX-enabled networks. The addition of mobility, including LTE, to the mix just makes the prospects that much more enticing, with video calls possible and the possibility for browsers to ‘talk to each other’ in the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobility ecosystem.

Why might this be of interest to the enterprise? Well, it is now pretty easy to set up an event like a technical support session with the customer using a single click on the desktop or mobile phone within a browser to initiate a conference, participate in a video call, and share screens (the latter with some current limitations). But quality can be variable. IPX should bring stable and higher quality experience, making it more attractive to use and more suited to the needs of businesses. Also, companies like Voxbone have created WebRTC-to-SIP call functionalities, which should reduce costs and add new dimensions to the call center experience. The range of WebRTC applications running over IPX networks is at the very early stage, but the present beta trials and tentative initial product launches are just the tip of the iceberg and these will be the early predecessors to something far more pervasive.

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