Telcos shouldn’t worry; IoT and WebRTC success is theirs for the taking

© Flickr/CC-licence/Romina Campos

© Flickr/CC-licence/Romina Campos

Move quickly and act smartly, is the message from vendor Italtel to the audience at this week’s TM Forum Live event in Nice. And if they manage these two tasks, then they can leverage the Internet of Things to create new opportunities for real-time communications. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

“In order to achieve success in this area, telcos must consider two factors,” said Federico Descalzo, chief marketing and technology officer at Italtel. “The first is what is the most valuable, and therefore most lucrative, service they can offer and the second is are their networks and processes equipped to deal with the dramatic change IoT and WebRTC will no doubt bring.”

Descalzo says the transformation of communications from a telecoms service to an application within a service provides more than enough opportunity for operators to claim a decent and profitable share of this market. He argues that providing a gateway between OTT apps and the legacy network is the most immediate and worthwhile service that operators can offer.

Moving from “exploitation to exploration” requires a dramatic cultural change, he says, with the ability to develop communication ecosystems and the identification of the reusable assets appealing accelerators in the transformation towards the digitalised world.

The “webification” of communications is here to stay, and telcos had better get used to the idea. For those struggling to understand what all this means, we recommend a visit to Dean Bubley’s website. Dean says the pendulum of WebRTC is now swinging towards enterprise "disunified comms", a broad recognition of the equal importance of mobile WebRTC-embedded apps versus browser experiences, and the continued steady growth in profile of telcos and other service providers.

He adds that conference evangelism, whilst necessary, is not enough. The WebRTC PaaS market also needs acolytes – systems integrators, channel-partners, consultants and others who will make the market a success.

“While some telcos are developing their own PaaS offers, others are acting more as solution integrators, combining an existing platform with other elements,” said Bubley. “Tata Communications is using SightCall's PaaS, as well as various other vendors' products in its Click2RTC offer.”

WebRTC is proving to be a slow burning, but if the industry can create the necessary ecosystems and partnerships, then the market might just ignite. But it’s going to take more than just asking telcos to “move quickly and act smartly”.

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