WebRTC at the IMS World Forum, Barcelona, 23-25 April 2013

This year’s IMS World Forum is shaping up to be an excellent event, with a solid focus on WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications). At last year’s event I asked the opening panel about the impact of WebRTC on their plans to a muted response.  And this year there is a pre-conference WebRTC Workshop on the 22nd April, detailed at the end of this article, as well as a half a day of the main conference dedicated to WebRTC.  After last year’s conference I was prompted to write an article about the impact of WebRTC on Telecoms, to help set out why WebRTC is important to the industry.

The aim of the WebRTC workshop is to provide a balance across technology, business, and strategy.  It will not just be a day spent listing to people talk, this is going to be practical and interactive.  At the end of the workshop we’ll have 9 demonstrations, 7 from WebRTC start-ups with the CEOs and/or the CTOs presenting, 2 demos from the big guys (Oracle and Huawei), and break-out discussions with the individual companies.  The demoists are going to be in the workshop throughout the day so we’ll be able to bring lots of practical insights and real-world experiences into the discussion.  So whether you’re web-focused or telco-focused the workshop will deliver value.

I would like to thank Bistri, Drum by NetDev, Huawei, Oracle, Oritor, Solaiemes, Ten Hands, Voxeo Labs and Zingaya for giving their time to support this event.  Also Informa have set up a developer rate, a 75% discount off the conference fee, to register go here.  Everyone involved is making an effort to bring the industry together for a rich and practical focused discussion on the opportunities and impact of WebRTC to the industry in general and IMS in particular.

At the main conference some of the presentations I’m looking forward to are:

  • The Evolution of Rogers’ One Number (RON) IMS service and VoLTE considerations.  Larry Baziw, Senior Director, Voice & Video Product Development.  Larry gave the best presentation at last year’s conference, it was focused on a real deployment and a real service.  Rogers has been in the past a bit bipolar on IMS, either loving it or hating it.  Today its clear they’re making money with it.  This will be an interesting update on the RON service and their experiences.
  • Feedback on VoLTE rollout.  Patrice Crutel, Core Network & Services Architect, Bouygues Telecom, France.  Patrice is an excellent presenter, who knows this topic like no other, and cuts through all marketing BS with his intellect.
  • SK Telecoms VoLTE & RCS experiences.  Wooyong Choi, R&D Senior Manager, SK Telecom.  As an early adopter of RCS Wooyong can help us avoid making the same mistakes he’s made.
  • Making IMS networks less complex, more robust and self-adapting with SDN and Cloud Computing in mind.  Pieter Veenstra, Architect/Consultant, KPN.  Pieter, who I’ve jokingly referred to as the grandfather of IMS given his industrious (and long) career in this domain, continues to point out how to make IMS less complex.  This is a great example of how the standard’s process is broken in that his practical recommendations based on deployment experience are not immediately included in the standards.
  • Truly delivering the enablement promise with IMS.  Christophe Coutelle, Marketing Operations Director, Huawei.  Chris continues to give the best vendor presentation through being refreshingly frank and too the point.

Its easy to hype up what’s going to happen at the conference as the telco and web worlds colliding.  But its much more complex than that.  WebRTC is more of a threat to WhatsApp than to most Telcos.  IMS is too complex and too expensive, simplification is required, and bringing together the best thinkers and practitioners in communications regardless of technology bias is the best way to move the conversation forward.

WebRTC Workshop, the HTML5 Real-Time Web 22nd April 2013

The main goal of WebRTC is not interoperability with legacy communication systems. Rather it’s to open communications to new usage scenarios and to web developers through the web browser.  Initially browsers on PCs and tablets, then increasingly across browsers on smartphones.  Imposing the complexity of SIP on web developers would have made it very hard to get traction. With the WebRTC spec, a great 1:1 video chat experience can be built with under 100 lines of JavaScript code.  HTML5 developers are only just becoming aware of WebRTC, and they’re excited, HTML5
meet-ups on WebRTC are sparking innovations across all industry segments.  The Telecom industry has been notably late to the WebRTC party, letting the Bay Area community drive its creation.  At last year’s IMS World Forum I asked a question on WebRTC to which none of the
panelists had an answer.  Today no Telco or communication service related supplier can afford not to understand WebRTC and its impact on their business.


  • Bring together deep technical and deep business thought leadership on WebRTC with Jose de Castro and Alan Quayle, providing attendees with a unique independent workshop.
  • Provide a deep-dive quantified analysis of the WebRTC status, enabling attendees to understand what is likely to emerge over the next 18 months to 2 years, in this complex rapidly emerging ecosystem and what it will mean to their business.
  • Provide attendees with a series of WebRTC demonstrations, to share their experiences on implementing WebRTC, and provide ample networking opportunities at the end of the workshop to discuss and consolidate what has been learned through the day.

Alan Quayle has 22 years of experience in the telecommunication industry, focused on developing profitable new businesses in service providers, suppliers and start-ups.  Customers include: Operators such as AT&T, BT, Charter, Etisalat, M1, O2, Rogers, Swisscom, T-Mobile, Telstra, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Vodafone; Suppliers such as Adobe, Alcatel-Lucent; Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, and Oracle; and innovative start-ups such as Apigee, AppTrigger (sold to Metaswitch), Camiant (sold to Tekelec), OpenCloud, and Voxeo. He works with the developer community and on the board of developers such as GotoCamera, hSenid Mobile, as well as suppliers such as Sigma Systems.  Check out his weblog www.alanquayle.com/blog .
Jose de Castro is the CTO @ Voxeo Labs where he drives the vision their next-gen communications technologies backing Tropo.com and the PhonoSDK.  Jose leads Voxeo Lab’s
involvement in WebRTC standardization. Prior to joining Voxeo Labs, Jose was Chief Architect at VoiceReady, a graphical design and management tool for building telephony applications, which was acquired by Voxeo in 2006.

Workshop Outline (0930-1700)

Introduction to WebRTC:

  • What is it and what it is not,
  • Cutting through the mis-information and hype
  • Non-technical introduction

Initial Market Review:

  • Web browser implementation status
  • Taxonomy of suppliers / service providers
  • Codecs and devices – is certification necessary?
  • What is Google’s aim?

Standardization deep dive:

  • Standardization process
  • Current status
  • Battles and likely outcomes
  • IETF and RTCWEB documents

Technology deep dive:

  • Peer connect API
  • Setting up local media and media flow
  • Protocols
  • WebRTC triangle / trapezoid
  • SIP, Jingle and the PSTN.

What WebRTC means to Service Providers and IMS:

  • Extending enhanced communications services to web browsers
  • Impact on OTT (Over The Top) and existing voice, messaging, video and VAS
  • Impact of device compliance
  • Customer experiences and behaviors
  • Revenue, churn and relevance impacts

What WebRTC means to enterprises:

  • Impact on Unified Communication and the Contact Center
  • Impact on company’s website
  • Security and operational issues
  • Potential cost savings and innovations

Summary and Recommendations

Demo time (15:30-17:00)
Demo Time will be divided into 2 sessions, its aim is to be informal and provide ample networking opportunities for attendees to consolidate their learning from the workshop:

  • Demo presentation to the group: each demo will be 5 minutes long, and 5 minutes for questions. We’ll plan on perhaps 50 minutes of demo presentations; and
  • Demo one-on-one: attendees can chat one on one with the demo presenters, notionally 40 minutes but can run on into discussions at the bar through the evening.

Zingaya (‘Call’ button for websites) enables voice calls through any computer from a webpage. No download or phone is required. Zingaya offers this seamless voice calling capability to any website.  Whether it’s a large e-commerce enterprise or a start-up. Simply embed a ‘Call’ button into the website. Visitors can click that button and the call is forwarded to the website operator’s preferred land-line or mobile phone. All that is required is a website; all the visitors need is a browser and microphone.
Voxeo Labs (Open source enabler for WebRTC services) Phono is a jQuery plug-in that turns any Web browser into a multichannel communications platform, capable of placing and receiving VoIP telephone calls from the browser, as well as handling real-time chat communications. Phono is a client-side solution and requires zero server-side logic on the part of a developer; all communication is handled by the Voxeo Cloud.  Ameche provide a communication Platform as a Service that enables innovative new communication servies across of IMS, WebRTC and the legacy network.
Tenhands (Enterprise HD Video Collaboration) Desktop HD video collaboration service, it’s free and built for business needs.
Solaiemes WebRTC to Rich Communication Suite demo
Oritor (Enterprise Unified Communications).  Oritor converged communication services framework enables operators and enterprises to offer seamless rich media solutions while reducing cost and complexity. Oritor’s standards-based services enable converged (voice, video, data) applications, instant messaging, conferencing, mobile, social media integration, and other communication solutions.
Oracle leading software solution provider with a WebRTC demo
Huawei leading NEP with a WebRTC insurance app demo
Drum (conference calls and online meetings) allows providers of fixed, mobile and next generation VoIP services to deliver audio conferencing as a direct, branded service.  Hosted within your IP network on your servers, Drum audio conferencing is a standalone software solution with an integrated media server.
Bistri (Social Video) Video chat with fun video effects, take screenshots of calls, share them with friends or social networks.   Bistri runs in the browser, so there’s no need to install additional software or plugins.