The promise and challenge of WebRTC

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. What is WebRTC?
  3. The current landscape
  4. Major challenges remain
  5. Key takeaways
  6. About Colin Gibbs

1. Summary

Web real-time communication (WebRTC) has evolved from an experimental technology to a legitimate communications platform with real mass-market potential. Whether its true potential is ever fully realized is far from clear, however: Standard protocols have yet to be finalized, browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer don’t support WebRTC natively, and intellectual property disputes remain unsettled.

This report examines early deployments of WebRTC-based services and discusses how this technology can be leveraged by mobile carriers and other consumer-facing businesses.

Key highlights from this report include:

  • Early WebRTC deployments have focused on smartphones, PCs, and tablets, but opportunities to leverage the technology will increase rapidly as connectivity comes to a much broader range of devices including ATMs and security cameras.
  • Quality of service (QoS) concerns will continue to be a drag on adoption for the foreseeable future, but those concerns will create opportunities for telecoms and others that can deliver a high-quality WebRTC experience.
  • Several consumer-facing businesses are already experimenting with WebRTC for customer service interactions, but the technology is also well positioned to play an important role in collaborative work within the enterprise.

Thumbnail image courtesy of LDProd/Thinkstock.

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