I’ve dealt with the VoIP protocols battle several times in the past on my blog at RADVISION.
Time to revisit this topic in this new home of mine.
And as with anything in these past few weeks, I am going to attribute the change that we will be experiencing to WebRTC.
- What is WebRTC?
- How will it affect video conferencing? How will a room system look like?
- What will WebRTC do to VoIP?
Time to ask: what is going to happen with VoIP protocols due to WebRTC?
First, I need to to thank Shimon for his wise comment on my previous post:
how can you ignore skype?
today it is the biggest enterprise video conferencing system in the world!!
To put things in perspective: H.323, SIP and other VoIP protocols for signaling account for a fraction of what VoIP really is. Most of it is probably just Skype, which runs a proprietary protocol. And while I do think WebRTC will affect Skype as well (and there are signs of adoption by Skype for WebRTC), I am going to ignore it again here.
I am interested in SIP and H.323 – both are a burden when it comes to WebRTC. Why? Because they are pretty hard to implement in a native web browser environment.
H.323 has no such implementation. I dare you to develop one.
SIP has something called sip-js. Rather new. It won’t encompass the whole complexity of SIP, and it is a single option. Compare it to the 10s of open source and commercial offerings of SIP SDKs out there, this isn’t enough.
XMPP on the other hand, has a few Java Script implementations, making it suitable for native web browsers. 9 such libraries are listed in XMPP’s home page. Why? Because it was built in a way that makes it easier to embed into browsers.
Now let’s see what is going to happen.
You are a web developer. You need to add video calling feature into your website. So you are going to use WebRTC. Only thing left is to decide how to do the signaling in order to negotiate and open that video call.
Are you going to:
- Use H.323, because this is how video calling is done in enterprises
- Use SIP, because this is… well… SIP is how you do VoIP
- Use XMPP, as this is how instant messaging works on the web
- Use Java Script, you are a web developer after all
Guess what the answer is going to be? Java Script.
So it is either going to be proprietary or you are going to get an XMPP implementation in Java Script. Case closed.
SIP and H.323 are going to be reserved for legacy – for connecting into existing networks or when you have a strict requirement of using them. The rest is just going to move on to the web.
This shift won’t happen this year or the next, but it will happen. And vendors need to be prepared for it.