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WebRTC Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Vishal Brown, Dan Ristic

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WebRTC: Blog Post

WebRTC and CloudRTC Platforms: Communications as a Feature

Cloud RTC Platforms enable developers to easily integrate voice, messaging and video calling into mobile and web apps

Disruption in the communications ecosystem is creating a market opportunity for Cloud Real-Time Communications (RTC) platforms. We expect this market to represent a $4.5 billion opportunity by 2018. Cloud RTC Platforms are cloud services that enable mobile and web developers to integrate communications into their applications with just a few lines of code. Via REST APIs and SDKs Cloud RTC Platforms enable developers to easily integrate voice, messaging and video calling into mobile and web applications supporting more contextual conversations. These tools have the potential to change in how we interact with each other in the future.

In the past experienced telecommunications developer were the only ones with the skills to build applications that included communications features. With technology such as WebRTC and Cloud RTC platforms, communications infrastructure is being exposed and communication interfaces much more flexible. Innovators will combine traditional forms of communications to create new more collaborative and interactive experiences.

The increasing ease in implementing in-app communications is disrupting the traditional value chain in delivering communications services. Application developers are gaining more control of the communications market. Many are building communications stacks on top of operator networks, bypassing their service offerings eating at revenues and limiting their ability to add value. Operators are desperately looking for new strategies to play a bigger role in the application ecosystem; embracing WebRTC and engaging with Cloud RTC Platforms is an increasingly viable option. By providing standardized cross platform APIs and developer relations, Cloud RTC Platforms are providing an opportunity for operators to participate in the ongoing market innovation.

Competition in this market will be fierce and we expect technology and software vendors throughout the web and telecom ecosystem to bring solutions to market. Competitive differentiators will revolve around vendors' ability to provide premium quality of service or superior developer and customer service. Our user survey found that the weighted average premium developers were willing to pay for better quality of service and reliability was 14% for voice, 18% for messaging, and 20% for integrated video and voice. Vendors with background in telecommunications will be better positioned to provide superior quality of service while companies with roots in the web will be better able to interface with developers. Hence, we expect a fair amount of coopetition between gateway vendors, bringing to market WebRTC gateways exposing IMS features, and web focused RTC platforms players, that bring developer relations and flexible business models.

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