Why WebRTC is Causing Disruption in the Communications Market?

As we discussed in a previous article that introduced WebRTC, it is a Google championed real time communications standard. What’s more, it is easily embedded into websites and mobile apps to allow computer to computer voice and video calls for free. This of course is not something new, Skype has enabled this through different techniques (P2P) for a decade at least.

However, what makes WebRTC so special is that it can be embedded into any website, application or service without any customer registration, download, or even an account, it is available to use by anyone visiting the site or using the application. Furthermore, it is easy to integrate with just the addition of a few lines of JavaScript into the web page or the application.

The concern here is of course that having WebRTC running on PC’s and tablets will enable free voice and video calls running simply as data over their standard internet connection, but that is the basis of VoIP, that telecommunication companies have come to live with. Where it does get worrying is for mobile phone operators as they will be losing voice call revenue, albeit they will get additional data revenue. However, that is only a consolation as it is unlikely to compensate for the lost voice calls. Because, if WebRTC really does take off as expected then we will all be using web real time communication for all our calls to friends and family in the near future.

In business, WebRTC allows companies that run customer support centers to place a simple “Call Me” icon on their websites. The icon when clicked initiates a WebRTC voice or video call to a call center agent. An existing example of this technology in action is the Amazon video chat function on the Kindle Reader, which allows free direct video chat with a customer service representative.

The technology, is already proven and well adopted, with only Apple dragging its heels as webRTC is a direct competitor to its own Facetime technology.

Alasdair Gilchrist

Alasdair is a technical writer with interest in business practice, operational strategy, start up philosophy and affordable technology. He lives in Nonthaburi, Thailand with his wife and daughter, and writes terrible novels as a hobby.

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