I could blog about the importance of WebRTC and high definition (HD) voice until my fingers fall off, but it wouldn’t matter unless I can explain why they’re so important. Taken together, these technologies will make a large impact on your business and the future of the telecom industry as a whole. Here’s why you should care.
Thanks to HD voice – which is now commercially available in 71 countries, from 100 mobile operators, predominantly on 3G networks through the AMR-WB codec – voice traffic as we know it is changing, and everyone will have to adapt. It is almost a definite that HD voice codecs will come to all of the networks at some point in the near future, so the carriers and service providers that will survive are the ones that can stay with the times and address changing systems. But what does that mean?
For carriers and service providers, staying successful will mean embracing the voice codec changes that come from WebRTC and voice over LTE (VoLTE). WebRTC is still an emerging technology, but Disruptive Analysis predicted that there will be 4.2 billion WebRTC-capable endpoints by the end of 2016, all of which will carry HD voice using the Opus codec. That’s a number too large for carriers and service providers to ignore.
WebRTC’s biggest impact on voice, however, will be its ability to connect voice over IP (VoIP) to browsers. A VoIP call can be initiated by simply clicking on a URL, which could render the traditional voice network obsolete over time. Using this model, all you would need is a WebRTC-capable browser – which today is limited to Chrome and Firefox, but will likely someday include others – to make voice calls part of your mobile phone, tablet or computer.
The times are changing, and it’s time to change with them. Ignoring developments like WebRTC and HD voice is a mistake you don’t want to make.