Twilio and Voxeo has Gone WebRTC. And the Telcos?

November 5, 2012

Telecommunication API platforms are adopting WebRTC. Where are the carriers in this story?

When I think about communication APIs there are two companies that immediately come to mind: Twilio and Voxeo. These companies offer automation of the call signaling processes we have: dialing calls, receiving calls, etc. By doing that, they have allowed a large number of companies to customize the phone experience to fit their needs.

Both companies have targeted the carriers in recent times and are making strides in the carrier’s strategy of targeting developers. If we add video calling into the mix, then we can add TokBox which was just acquired by Telefonica. All 3 companies now offer WebRTC support:

  • TokBox. Janko Roettgers quotes Iam Small, TokBox CEO from a phone conversation they both had: “Our leadership in the WebRTC space is one of the things that has attracted Telefónica to us.”
  • Voxeo. Voxeo is very active in the WebRTC domain. They were one of the first vendors to offer a demo, they attend all meetings related to WebRTC, and they have made a point of adding WebRTC into their new Ameche offering (best writing about Ameche can be found on Dave Michels’ blog).
  • Twilio. What better way is there than publishing a press release? Twilio announced their support of WebRTC (beta for now) just last month.

An important part of what carriers offer today is still communications. The last several years have shown that to thrive, companies need to shift to become platforms in order to stir innovation. Twilio, Voxeo and TokBox offer that opportunity of bringing innovation back into communications. Coupled with WebRTC – the disruptor of communication – this becomes an interesting opportunity.

And carriers aren’t waiting any more – they are integrating call related APIs by acquisitions and partnerships:

This brings telephony APIs to a large set of carriers worldwide. I wonder who is going to be next in line and which approach will they choose: partnership or acquisition.


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  1. Tsahi, don’t forget us 😉

    We allow video conferencing interop between WebRTC browsers and non-WebRTC browsers and native mobile apps giving developers full coverage.

    1. Kavan,

      I didn’t forget AddLive. I just mentioned the companies who already have dealings with the carriers. Voxeo and Twilio haven’t started that way as far as I know, but they are focusing in that market at the moment – and have deals in place.

      TokBox was acquired by a carrier.

      I know that AddLive is all about APIs, but I don’t know who your target market is and what is your business plan. I’d LOVE to do an interview with you guys to learn more about you and to share it with my readers here 🙂

  2. Howdy!

    Thanks for the interesting piece on WebRTC. We’re also quite interested in this space, but it’s still quite young. As of right now, Twilio’s SIP client is Audio-only, and while Voxeo might be on the standards committee, the implementation as it looks now might not be the final implementation (the WebRTC standard is still not finalized and it’s quite early into the release cycle of any software claiming interoperability).

    That being said, the promise of WebRTC is so interesting that one would be foolish to ignore it. At 2600hz we’ve built infrastructure that allows heterogeneous endpoints to communicate using WebRTC, but we think more testing needs to be done before releasing it into the wild. The concepts here are lowering barriers to entry, increased ubiquity, and omnipresent communications.

    We live in interesting times, to say the least.

    Cheers,
    Joshua

    Community Manager for http://www.2600hz.com

  3. AT&T and Twilio are NOT partnered. It was PR smoke & mirrors from one side. If you look, then you’ll notice that AT&T actually took down the original webpage on the ‘partnership’.

  4. AT&T and Twilio are NOT partnered. It was PR smoke & mirrors from one side. If you look, then you’ll notice that AT&T actually took down the original webpage on the ‘partnership’.

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