Video and voice communication tools embedded directly in browsers is one of the newest and most exciting tech breakthroughs. Known as Web Real-Time Communications, or WebRTC, it allows users to make direct voice calls, engage in video chats, and share data without any specialized applications, add-ons, or browser plug-ins. While it’s logical for this technology to find a home in videoconferencing applications for organizations, it’s also changing the online experience for virtually everyone, including home users, gamers, students, and e-commerce companies.
Grasp the Relevance of WebRTC
Today’s technology makes communication easier, more affordable, and more accessible than ever. But with the wealth of communication technologies and platforms available, you may wonder why WebRTC is relevant, and why the market is growing so fast it’s projected to reach $4.45 billion by 2020. The reasons include quality, affordability, and accessibility.
Since WebRTC requires coding expertise to implement, the market is focused on solutions for end users, with heavy hitters in the telecommunications industry making waves and IT companies introducing their own solutions as well. Giants such as AT&T, Cisco, Avaya, and Oracle give users choices in robust WebRTC solutions from trusted names. Google and Mozilla have also integrated their own WebRTC codecs into their browsers, Chrome and Firefox, respectively. Each of these solutions has been integrated with state-of-the-art voice and video processing engines to ensure the best quality, which is critical in a business environment and desirable for any internet users, whether engaged in distance learning, gaming, or other activities. In short, WebRTC is making it easier to share large amounts of information through the Internet in real-time.
The Growth of WebRTC
Adoption rates for WebRTC are climbing. Nearly 200 companies began using WebRTC in some way since February of 2016, bringing the total number of businesses using it to over 720. Adoption rates aren’t expected to stay in the triple digits for long—they’re anticipated to climb tremendously in the coming years. The amount of WebRTC-capable devices is expected to reach about 6.5 billion by 2019, up from the current 3 billion. Developer interest has also increased sevenfold in the past two years.
WebRTC Drives Business
As developer interest grows and telecommunications companies start dedicating more resources to the discovery of new WebRTC solutions, adoption rates will climb and new network bridges will be created. For example, websites that allow customers to compare prices and features between competitors may soon allow the customer to contact those establishments directly through their web browsers.
While this type of communication was typically managed by telecommunications companies, those telecoms will remain relevant, for instance, by developing and sharing their own WebRTC protocols and by bridging networks, which allows calls to be transferred to a phone line if the business is unavailable via the website at the time.
More and more companies are beginning to see the benefits of WebRTC solutions, which include:
- Creating new business opportunities
- Enhancing the existing flow of business within an organization
- Improving customer interactions and experiences
- Cutting technology costs
- Speeding up market release timelines
- Superior video and voice quality for communications solutions
WebRTC and Its Role in UC and AV
A codec enables voice and video communications between far-side and near-side participants in a videoconference by encoding the data for transmission and decoding it at the other end, so that communications appear to be in real time.
Traditionally, IT and AV departments had to worry about their choice of videoconferencing codec, and whether or not it was compatible with users on the other end. High-end videoconferencing and telepresence systems often use proprietary codecs to obtain the best voice and video quality. But WebRTC is changing that.
While codec compatibility will still remain a consideration when using WebRTC for videoconferencing, users can switch between codecs as easily as they can between Web browsers with no expensive equipment commitment, making it easier to engage in videoconferencing with any other individual or organization, as well as across devices.
WebRTC protocols promise to streamline communications processes and make the transition from mobile device to boardroom communications systems simple and intuitive for executives and employees, enhancing productivity and helping to encourage a better work-life balance.
Telecommunications companies have started to change their approach to providing communications as a service in light of the advent of WebRTC. In fact, WebRTC has already grown into a mainstay of unified communications. The trend points to further technological evolution and exciting new changes to the field for businesses and consumers alike.
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