At the Intersection of RTC and IoT, Massive Value Can Be Created


The creativity happening in the world of Real Time Communications (RTC) was demonstrated in waves of innovation at Ribbon Communications annual Perspectives19 gathering, a summit where thought leaders took the main stage yesterday and shared their vision for a new world of secure, programmable, constant and contextual communications.

A common thread was the maturation of WebRTC, a standard for embedding voice, messaging, collaboration, video and contact center applications based on web and mobile browsers.

The benefit of embedding RTC apps into browser-based experiences is just that – an easier experience! For example, if you’re shopping on an e-commerce site and have a question, you don’t need to dial a toll-free number – you can decide how you ask questions and get answers. You can choose self-service (click her for a more detailed web-page), online chat, or click-to-call to speak to a live expert.

How does all this fit in with the growth of IoT?

Forecasts predict there will be 500 billion connected things by 2030.

According to Thom Jordan, Managing Director of Rocket Wagon Venture Studios’ Network + Telecom IoT studio, “Those things are going to be interacting with humans in any variety of ways; for IoT developers, including RTC in stream is a tremendous way to differentiate their offers as the IoT market becomes more competitive.”

Jordan, along with hundreds of other industry leaders, heard from the top start-ups and largest Communications Service Providers (CSPs) from around the world at Prespectives19.  These companies described how innovation is driving new services and revenue streams in ways that would have been unimaginable before technology and software advancements like WebRTC.

Ribbon, when it was GENBAND, back in 2013 was one of the first movers in WebRTC development, including a WebRTC gateway.  The investment has paid off handsomely. In March, AT&T announced Ribbon’s Kandy Communications-Platform-as-a-Service, including a variety of “wrappers”, as the foundation of their new API Marketplace.  “As we move into the 2020s, IoT and browser communications are driving the transformation to a cyber-physical world,” Jordan continued. A veteran of the transformation of telecom from fixed to mobile networks, and from legacy circuit-based telephony to IP and VoIP applications, Jordan moved into the world of mobile marketing and advertising as CEO of Ping Mobile for many years, then pivoted to the world of IoT when he was recruited to lead the Network + Telecom studio for Rocket Wagon.  Jordan finds it natural to integrate machine and human communications to create value for CSPs and Enterprise.

“The accelerating rate of change and the imperative for telecoms to innovate in order to remain competitive will create threats for some and opportunities for others. IoT and Browser communications will drive growth in telecom, and according to experts here at this outstanding conference, IoT spend will be 15X greater than the mobile + Internet + PC waves combined. I believe WebRTC will be the platform of choice, especially as 5G and Over-the-Top (OTT) continues to flourish.”

The WebRTC market is forecasted to reach $42 billion by 2025, and Jordan says “machine-to-machine communications and data gathering is just the first step of the IoT wave. WebRTC enables two-way communication between users and machines which will define the next great IoT wave. This includes video, audio or a combo, via an encrypted secure path. The work Ribbon is doing with their Ribbon Protect offering is exactly what is needed to address what we all recognize is a major gap: securing connected everything.”

“IoT innovation is mission critical as new ecosystems gain dominance creating new opportunities for monetization in data, insights, billing,” Jordan continues. “And WebRTC and related APIs like those in the Kandy platform now being leveraged by major CSPs is perfect for embedding communications into IoT solutions. This will leverage two-way audio and video peer-to-peer communications, between clients, customers, colleagues, loved ones or any online assets including security cameras, alert and notification systems triggered by sensors, and so much more.”

With robust wrappers and restful APIs, WebRTC enables painless, robust and easy to develop/deploy embedded communications applications from using an IoT sensor to initiate an event, trigger an alert or alarm, a voice communication session or video feed/collaboration. 

In its simplest form, WebRTC is an effective channel to transport encrypted and secure data as opposed to traditional transport methods like web-socket.

“WebRTC offers incredible functionality which can be leveraged to create enhanced IoT solutions, enable providers to differentiate, move up the value chain and remain competitive in the upcoming cyber-physical world,” Jordan said.

Kevin Riley, CTO of Ribbon added, “With base platform functionality powered by Ribbon Protect, a CSP or enterprise can easily provide an adaptable and scalable solution set leveraging the strengths of WebRTC  and IoT, with robust operations, security and monetization toolsets for any mobile, fixed, OTT or other platform.”

WebRTC enhances smart home devices with enhanced voice, video, and audio connections, with fairly easy APIs to integrate: motion sensors, start video feed, doorbell events, environmental and energy application including temperature, water leakage, humidity, fire alarms, and other safety systems.

“The planet is changing to a true cyber-physical world,” Jordan summarized. “Driven predominantly by the explosive growth of IoT and connected devices, CSPs and enterprises can ride the wave of this disruptive transformation or suffer the competitive challenges of ignoring it. The IoT innovation race is on, and IoT services and the ability to monetize them will dominate service provider and enterprise transformation.   There will be winners and losers, and those who can successfully leverage new technologies like IoT and WebRTC will be the biggest winners.”

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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