Mobile Enterprise Q&A #2: WebRTC, VoLTE and RCS
Enterprise mobility has been a buzzword for several years now, but a new shift is taking place, fueled by the convergence of a common IP between enterprise and mobile communications systems. This new model of communications, which seamlessly integrates the mobile and enterprise communications environments, is called the mobile enterprise. It’s not an easy concept for everyone to grasp the first time around, so we sat down Terry McCabe, the Chief Technology Officer of our Mitel Mobile Division, to help explain how it works.
Terry McCabe: When you then factor in the emergence of WebRTC (Web real-time communications) from the Internet standards community, operators have the opportunity to innovate further. With WebRTC, they can treat any Web-connected endpoint as a communications endpoint, offering services not just to smartphone devices connected to their own access network.
This means any IP phone or device becomes an endpoint. This removes a lot of the boundaries that we have been used to.
As a technology, WebRTC can be seen as another access mechanism that can be extremely complementary to VoLTE, voice over Wi-Fi and rich communications. With WebRTC, if the person at the other end of that call doesn’t have a VoLTE device – say, they’re on a tablet or on a set-top box connected to a cable operator – a user can still make it work. VoLTE is that first step enabling operators – and users – to branch out to a whole new world of possibilities.
Q: How does rich communications services (RCS)/messaging come into play in the network of the future?
Terry McCabe: Beyond VoLTE, the underpinnings have been introduced for the deployment of rich communications services (RCS) and messaging services and combined with VoLTE, enables content sharing and contextual communications to be added to the basic VoLTE scenarios. Users can send images and videos from within calls as well as location and contact detail information. A customer can turn what starts as a messaging conversation into a voice call and then into a video call as a conversation progresses. The boundaries have been removed. These types of new services and enhanced experiences are enabled by rich communications that prior to VoLTE were difficult to create a business case to support.