Can Carriers Survive and Thrive in a WebRTC World?

August 9, 2012

Time to talk about the carriers when it comes to a technology like WebRTC. For carriers, WebRTC is both a huge threat but also an interesting opportunity.

Over-the-top has been a threat to carriers for a long time now. I’ve written about it earlier this week: what operators are doing with OTT. That post ended with the end state: what carriers can do. Here it is, in a more visual way.

As you can see, some of them are even trying multiple techniques at the same time.

But now that we have WebRTC, this changes the game yet again. As if VoIP and OTT that comes because of it isn’t a threat enough, WebRTC now brings down additional barriers of entry to the communication market.

I think that this time, carriers can use this reduction of barrier of entry to their own good by adopting WebRTC whole heartedly and start offering infrastructure services for it: Quality of Service, TURN and STUN servers, maybe even full contact center capabilities. There are a lot of different options for carriers here to close the holes that WebRTC leaves wide open – if not them, then someone else.

Why is it such a good opportunity? Because there’s a long tail of communication users out there that cannot use the current slew of OTT players for their needs: small websites owners, for example, who use Google’s AdWords to lure people to their site and service can now use a communication service to close the loop with their sales lead and convert them into customers. I am sure there are other examples as well.

If carriers start offer services for those people who can invest the money in communication services, they can make up for some of the money they are bound to lose to OTT players.

But don’t take my word for it. just check out AT&T’s presentation from a recent OMA workshop. Someone was kind enough to place it on Slideshare:

[slideshare id=13689991&doc=omamessagingworkshopwebrtc-120718234325-phpapp02]

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