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Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites attract?!

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Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites attract?!
- Are Telecoms and WebRTC opposites?
- The diversity of interpretation of WebRTC in Telecoms.
- Why is WebRTC so attractive for operators?
- How can operators be attractive for WebRTC developers?

Presented at the WebRTC Summit Europe in Berlin, Germany

Published in: Technology
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Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites attract?!

  1. 1. – strictly confidential, confidential, internal, public – 10/27/2014 1 TELECOMS & WEBRTC: OPPOSITES ATTRACT?! SEBASTIAN SCHUMANN, SLOVAK TELEKOM 27. October 2014. Berlin, Germany
  2. 2. SCOPE Telecoms & WebRTC: ‘Opposites attract’?!  Are Telecoms and WebRTC opposites?  The diversity of interpretation of WebRTC in Telecoms.  Why is WebRTC so attractive for operators?  How can operators be attractive for WebRTC developers? Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 2 @s_schumann Feedback is welcome, get in touch during/after the event!
  3. 3. SLOVAK TELEKOM  Former fixed & mobile incumbent (merger in 2010), Zoznam, Posam, DIGI  Diverse service portfolio (fixed/mobile network and communications services, Internet access + content, data services, CPE, ICT services (data center + cloud), radio/TV broadcasting, call center services, …) The major shareholder is Deutsche Telekom AG. Successful deployments in SEE as well as in DT group:  One of the biggest national-wide deployment of NGN technology in Europe in 2004, whole city migrated to all-IP NGN in 2007  Fixed network IMS migration to be finished in 2014  Leader in IPTV, offering hybrid sat TV (s. 2009) & OTT app (s. 2012)  Extensive FTTx deployments (360k households)  First nation-wide 4G/LTE network (s. 2013) Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 3 Slovak Telekom Group is the telecoms market leader in Slovakia
  4. 4. Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 4
  5. 5. WHAT IS WEBRTC?  WebRTC is about enabling web developers access to audio/video input devices via JavaScript and abstracting the problem of real-time browser-to-browser communication  WebRTC is a technology, not a service. For operators, is also an invitation to “rethink your thinking”  When WebRTC is discussed within operator units, they are almost always discussed with legacy assumptions in mind  For many, “adding WebRTC” means adding voice/video to a service and have this service in the browser  Thinking due to Telecom’s business’ history: “communications” = “telephony”  It comes with less defined constraints than previous services (even VoLTE/RCS), operators sometimes forget that!  WebRTC is NOT (only/mainly) about “calling” from within the browser  Voice is no longer a stand-alone service or product, but becomes more and more an integral part of a service  Disruption not only technology wise, but also business model wise (value shift from pure connection to context)  The discussion about WebRTC & IMS should not be at the beginning, but the end of any consideration Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 5
  6. 6. ARE TELECOMS AND WEBRTC OPPOSITES?  What defines Telecoms in the context of today’s presentation?  Incumbent role in offering interoperable real-time communications to the general public  E2E standardized communications  Operator network interconnection  Communications services are paid for by the user  Value in connecting to others  Network evolution much more progressive than real-time voice/messaging evolution  How does the Web compare to that?  Evolution from content and E-mail to all sorts of synchronous and social communication  Technology advances are latest challengers of incumbent universal communications services  Flexible cross service/service provider interworking through well-defined API’s  Various monetization models, often free offering  Value in solving problems, gathering communities, making things fun, data analysis, etc. Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 6  Any answer can fit, depending on the context. The question needs to be looked at from different angles TELECOMS PARADIGM WEBRTC PARADIGM
  7. 7. NEW RULES ON A COMMON PLAYGROUND  In the past, integrated operator communications services were ‘a given’  Smart phones nowadays used for everything but ‘telephony’, yet the service is still present  Connectivity was costly, which lead to the rise of alternative online service provider  International minutes affected initially, paved the way for working on experience  The “smart phone revolution” disrupted the operator business model even more  All of a sudden SMS faced with replacement option that had similar service characteristics  Service extensions and experience improvements continued  Basic apps minor increase in how we communicate remotely  WebRTC was released, the web revolution for RTC just started, and many things are entirely new  The efforts decreased, free technology and means that were expensive before  Technology introduced to operators by their long-time vendors, hard to ignore  And here we are in October 2014, trying to find out how this all new “thing” fits Telecoms Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 7 T -11y T -7y T -3y T
  8. 8. TELECOMS BECAME QUICKLY “ATTRACTED” TO WEBRTC  All-IP enabled straight-forward backend access to services  Usually only delivered via non-IP front-end so far (i.e. legacy interface that has not evolved much)  “Traditional units” learn from it through legacy services upgrade  Mainly stimulated by vendors (i.e. “outside stimulation”), often not internal need that could not be satisfied before  “Nomadic access” introduced “natively” (e.g. VoLTE usually starts with VoWiFi) started to open mind, too  “Innovation units” embrace it themselves  Need for new revenue streams/business models arises  Use cases or prototypes can be developed so much faster than before  Much easier to show what WebRTC is at first hand Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 8
  9. 9. Create new services & partner CHANCES FOR OPERATORS Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 9 Service Strategy Improve legacy services Evolution Innovation
  10. 10. EVOLUTION IMPROVE LEGACY SERVICES  It is an important area, since it still pays the bills for now  Modernization of current service portfolio has to be done  Legacy communications dealt with RTC, has just recently received a new polished infrastructure  “Adding” multiple new ways of accessing it is natural  Web gateway (utilizing WebRTC) as “IMS alternative access” is of course one use case  Should not be “WebRTC strategy”, but overhauling services – so far it is all about the technology  Service updates can include “modernized interfaces”, but need to go beyond  Adding “Web” to existing products means they are defined, and mostly limited  Integration where it makes sense is more important than a “pure web dialer”  Sample: “Real” triple play  The "front-end design/functions defines services now, the back-end is completely irrelevant Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 10 WebRTC
  11. 11. INNOVATION CREATE NEW SERVICES  Operators need to adapt a lot of their thinking  We do not build a “WebRTC service”/“cloud service”; we need to build services that solve problems  Once the service is defined, the technologies can be chosen based on many criterions  It has to be elaborated per service how it should be exposed, delivered, and made accessible  Telephony: IMS/MMTel/VoLTE vs. lightweight open-source alternatives – almost exclusively SIP  Non-telephony: Own backend, libraries, protocol alternatives (XMPP, REST/JSON)  Final architecture is a case-by-case decision, not just use because it is there (efficiency, suitability)  For everything that is not telephony, alternatives most likely much more suitable  Less ubiquitous, but more targeted applications will replace general purpose communications  Flexible re-useable capabilities exposed through simple APIs are tremendously important  Standardized core technologies (HTML/CSS/JS, Objective-C, Java), but not services  Standardized interfaces (REST API with doc/SDK is enough) trumps complex E2E scenarios Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 11 WebRTC
  12. 12. WHY IS WEBRTC SO ATTRACTIVE FOR OPERATORS?  It is attractive, because it is an opposite with so much potential  WebRTC can be one of the technologies to accelerate service development and decrease costs, if operators want to build services that are:  Access independent/network independent/location independent  Use a software front-end (app/web)  Completely new experience in how they deliver voice in the application  Opposite technology-wise:  Different architectures, no signaling, no federation*, no interoperability  Not just one box or service to deploy  Enabler and exposure more important than closed service features  Opposite culture-wise & approach-wise:  No committee standardization, no defined UNI/NNI – but is somehow still works   Trial and error seems to do well in-small, no big investments/projects yet Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 12
  13. 13. HOW CAN OPERATORS BE ATTRACTIVE AROUND WEBRTC? …NOT ONLY FOR DEVELOPERS, BUT AS GENERAL PARTNERS  Don’t assume “build it and they will come” – WebRTC is for developers and they do not need operators  At least not for real-time communications, that is one of the purposes of WebRTC  Direct business innovation potential most likely with selected verticals  Potential indirect business around WebRTC  Hosting of real-time communication applications  Local TURN server, demand for local low latency servers  SIP trunk for WebRTC applications that require break-in to legacy domain  Attractive and properly exposed assets may be used for technology partnerships  WebRTC and API exposure go hand in hand  Voice/SMS API, header enrichment, payment, identity, age verification etc. Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 13
  14. 14. PRACTICAL BACKUP WE ARE DOOGFOODING  Slovak Telekom has implemented a PoC not connected to legacy telephony, actively used by employees  A WebRTC gateway RfQ on IMS and show telephony would be easy, but doesn’t have much value yet  We developed a (simple but yet) contextual web application  Sent E-mails contain signature to web portal (address built using E-mail as identifier), contact employees  People can be contacted and also notified out-of-band using various channels, owner/guest not equal  No telephony dial-out: Faster, easy b/c no legacy boundaries such as billing, integration, approval  No complex account setup: Address confirmation using received hash/token for mapping  No one-size-fits-all: Many features consciously omitted (directory, collaboration, conferencing)  One application doing one thing well and which contains only those features required Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 14
  15. 15. SUMMARY  Telecoms & WebRTC: Attractive opposites!  To remain competitive, alternative approaches need to be embraced  Faster innovation, trial and error  Enable new business models with different cost models, new revenues!  “WebRTC” is not one box/platform. It is not just some front-end to the IMS.  Gateway/open-source/partnering/in-house development/vendor acc. your need  For legacy services its more important to improve the service than just “add WebRTC”  Focus on user’s needs & experience - technology driven services and features will not lead to success!  WebRTC can be part of many new solutions, an ingredient. It is not THE solution, or A solution, though! Sebastian Schumann: “Telecoms & WebRTC: Opposites Attract?”, WebRTC Summit Europe October 2014, Berlin, Germany 15
  16. 16. THANK YOU. Sebastian Schumann Application & Platform Innovation | Slovak Telekom, a.s.  Sebastian.Schumann@telekom.sk @s_schumann  +421 903 419 345
  17. 17. ATTRIBUTION Relationship designed by gilbert bages from the Noun Project 17

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