Recent trends indicate that voice communications are progressively moving from conventional telephony networks to web-based IP applications. Enterprise users in particular are expressing an increased demand to access their Unified Communications applications via their own mobile devices connected to the internet, while subscribers are shifting towards internet-based services for day to day communication.
To address these market challenges new applications and services based on a protocol called WebRTC are starting to see limited deployments. WebRTC is a newly emerging technology that enables integrating real-time applications like HD voice, video conferencing, and screen sharing directly into the browser. By deploying WebRTC capabilities using simple APIs it is possible to initiate real-time browser to browser sessions without any extra applications or plug-ins.
Although the current promise of enhanced communications experience for subscribers shows hints of new possibilities for CSPs, the technology still has a few issues preventing it from becoming a global phenomenon. While the protocol is designed with simple P2P web communications in mind, in order for it to become an international technology standard, some key challenges have to be successfully solved.
A major challenge is to ensure a generally smooth operation of WebRTC applications, i.e. to maintain WebRTC application control and seamless synchronization throughout page reloads in the browser, as well as to ensure straightforward integration and interworking with existing infrastructures. Furthermore, it is especially important to ensure border and application security, implement true IP address reading prevention, guarantee protection against attacks and set up authentication on user and network level. Last but not least there is the implementation of high capacity media handling, encryption and transcoding as well as interoperability between web and mobile network.
Using this up-and-coming technology service providers may deliver advanced web-based communications services and further extend their existing product line towards web oriented customers. It may also be offered as an extension of enterprise UC, increasing enterprise market share and placing the CSP in a central position to deliver additional WebRTC technology based services.