The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is an architectural framework for delivering IP multimedia services. It is based primarily on SIP as a rich, real-time media session protocol for IP networks, and as such, relies on SIP-based endpoints and soft-clients to register and support subscribers on the services (at least those services that are truly multimedia in nature with HD voice and video interactivity, and not ‘skinnied’ down through gateways to a narrowband voice service).
The care and feeding of SIP client applications that enable the IMS service subscribers represents a considerable effort and cost to carriers for their on-net IMS service subscribers. Extending the IMS service reach with soft-clients to off-net endpoints, meaning those that are on other carriers broadband and mobile networks, presents another set of challenges, including various app store navigations and negotiations.
As a so-called client-less client, WebRTC is very appealing as a vehicle to extend the reach of IMS services. Not only is the care and feeding of the client app minimized, the ease of on-boarding new subscribers through a simple webpage interface lowers the barriers to trials and adoption. For the subscriber base, WebRTC can also act to extend the service and contact reach of present on-net subscribers to virtually any endpoint that can run an HTML5 browser. Taking this one step further, it enables the subscriber to access the IMS services from any browser equipped device – PC, tablet, smartphone – even a television, without client-app installations or concern for operating system versions or device manufacturer support. And the experience would be the same (well very similar at least pending the screen size of your device).
So the intersection of IMS applications and WebRTC is where you would expect it – lowering the barriers to new subscribers through simplifying and standardizing the requisite soft-client. Will it work?
What do you think?
Note: On February, 20th, Dialogic in conjunction with TMC webinars, ran a WebRTC webinar. In terms of number of both registrants and attendees, it was one of the most successful webinars we ever did. The webinar ran 15 minutes over and we were not able to get to some of the key questions that came in at the end. We could have gone literally another hour. This blog is part of a 5 part blog series to get to the top 5 unanswered questions from that webinar.