What is WebRTC for Telco's?

Today the blog of the Upperside WebRTC Conference Expo published a post from me titled "What is WebRTC for Telcos?"

I am going to present on the conference in Paris later this year.

In short I summarized the post as follows on Twitter:

(WebRTC for Telcos as I perceived it is mainly a) natural evolution from the past, also due to pushes from traditional Telecom's vendors (we're told WebRTC comes with the IMS)

This should not mean to blame vendors (not all of them anyways), but simply provide a better insight where this often-found insistence on connecting WebRTC with IMS comes from.

Radical changes are not likely, but fast evolution of thinking needed. Not only in labs, but main operators units covering voice today

Existing business (telephony) will unlikely be sacrificed, so radical proactive push is inlikely. I think however if we offer evolved service access in parallel it has huge potential for operators. That includes access to telephony from any device/location/network for those who want, i.e., the main units - not just labs - need to come on board.

Key question: Telco services haven't changed tremendously when the iPhone/apps came along. Why should it happen now – just because of WebRTC?

Does not need a lot of explanation. We don't have another generation making decisions just yet, and it's also still the same people (if at all)convincing them for less conservatism that tried the same when apps came along.

Chances: Enhance the existing & explore the new. Do that independently and with no prior architectural constrains.

Choose architecture that fits best. IMS in some use cases, just because it is there. More often than not something different

As I said before, IMS has its justifications, but not for everything. And even if it exists, for many services there are better alternatives - with and for WebRTC this is even "more true" than before.


Let me conclude here like on the blog: I believe the story is not black or white. For any shade of gray you want to draw, however, you need to understand and have both colors to do so and achieve the expected outcome.

I hope I could add a bit of understanding to one of the colors!*

*: And no, you will not see me assign either color to the Telco or its future :)

Sebastian Schumann

Sebastian Schumann

VP Engineering @immmr. Dedicated to the evolution of communication services (VoIP/WebRTC...) beyond legacy & GSMA. Focus on the convergence of Telco + Web.

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What is WebRTC for Telco's?
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