What is WebRTC:

WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is a standard that defines a collection of communications protocols and application programming interfaces that enable real-time communication over peer-to-peer connections. This allows web browsers to not only request resources from backend servers, but also real-time information from browsers of other users.

This enables applications like video conferencing, file transfer, chat, or desktop sharing without the need of either internal or external plugins.[1]

Uses of WebRTC:

WebRTC is a set of standards from WC3 that will enable real-time communication (RTC) on the web between browsers. Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers natively support it. Using WebRTC, you can make peer-to-peer calls, video chats, share screens, and exchange files.

WebRTC enables users to build apps with HTML5 and Javascript. Software kits are available to build very compelling desktop and mobile apps. Any connected device can be WebRTC enabled, which means every connected device—computers, tablets, televisions—can become a communications device. These tools are radically disrupting the market by empowering every user to make their own apps and include WebRTC features.

Industry Focus:

Companies need to look at how their current services intersect with WebRTC and OTT (over-the-top) applications. Both erode the space traditionally held by telephony providers, the more so as OTT applications adopt WebRTC.

But in the intersections between the three, you see three sets of opportunities.

First, companies that open up their network to be a gateway for WebRTC apps will see new revenue opportunities. They can incorporate “platform as a service” as a profitable element of their business.

Companies can use existing SIP gateways and session border controllers to set up their platform and offer it as a service.

Second, companies can develop their own OTT audio/video apps to compete in this marketplace. This requires significant resources; and partnering with app developers to build them; but diversification can be the key to success.

Third, companies can develop toolkits and APIs to enable developers to build OTT apps using WebRTC.

Ultimately, companies need to move from being device-centric to being access-centric. Rather than let customers access your service only from a device that you provide, you should diversify and give users more opportunities—on smartphones, on tablets, on laptops, on apps—to access your service.

Conclusion:

WebRTC is as revolutionary a market disruption for telecom as HTML was for the internet. It will flatten the ecosystem and empower anyone to become a WebRTC developer.

Companies that try to hold onto the old way of doing things will see their value erode. But for companies willing to embrace this new technology, business opportunities abound.