I spent part of this last week reading and listening in to some of the post-conference comments about WebRTC. For those of you that haven’t caught the bug yet, WebRTC is about building a unified media capability into web browsers, the goal being to eliminate the existing dozens of incompatible specialized client software packages (like Skype).
After wading through all the technical bits, the bigger picture came into focus – this is real trouble for hosted VoIP application and traditional TDM service providers. Like with Skype, WebRTC will allow users to initiate end-to-end collaboration sessions using IP to interconnect the two end points. I can envision further weakening of the centralized control and application model that service providers have been depending on for revenue. Like Skype, a user only needs is IP connectivity and a registrar/directory service to find the other party. This furthers the prediction that the value to the consumer/business for service providers is in the last mile (wireline or wireless) IP connectivity, making their offering merely a “dumb pipe”.
Stay tuned – this could get interesting.