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Mini-Briefing: WebRTC v SIP


There’s a lot of talk about SIP v WebRTC – maybe too much talk. It’s questionable to what extent I can add to the debate. But for those of you who haven’t read thoroughly around the subject I thought it might be useful to dance some quick fandangos over the various arguments. Then I can leave you to come to your own conclusions.

Here’s the deal. SIP is all about signalling and session control and emerged from the world of Telco and the so-called SS7 stack. That’s a terrible definition but it’ll do.

WebRTC has emerged from the webby world and has been less concerned about signalling and more about making audio and video work for real-time communications via standard web browsers.

The reason why the debate has become so intense is that several people are jumping on the WebRTC bandwagon. And the technology is evolving from an OTT direction – rather than from a telco direction. The big switch and telco vendors want a slice of the action. But, by the same token, the WebRTC new kids on the block want to be seen to control their own destinies.

You could do a lot worse than visit Tsahi Levent-Levi’s ‘BlogGeek’ site to hear the arguments from the WebRTC perspective. His view is that WebRTC will ultimately paddle its own canoe and that signalling protocols will be made on the fly to create the new wave of native solutions built around WebRTC.

The reason, according to Lawrence Byrd, is that ‘lightness’ is the keyword in webRTC signalling and the telco world doesn’t yet fully appreciate this.

But the debate will, no doubt, continue to rage.

2 Responses to “Mini-Briefing: WebRTC v SIP”

  1. Tsahi Levent-Levi

    Thanks for the reference :-)

    Not sure that this is what I am saying exactly, but that’s just my English, phrasing and thought processes all put together on a blog.

    SIP is going to be out there to fuel whatever it is fueling today. Those who need to connect with existing VoIP and PSTN realms will use SIP with WebRTC – mostly at the edge, where they will run SIP on the web browsers, while some will do it in the network, at a gateway point.

    I think that the creativity and innovation of communication won’t come from that world and angle, and where it will come from – it will do so without SIP. Simply because those doing it won’t be VoIP people and won’t see the value in using SIP to solve their problems.

    • Jeff Peel

      Tsahi, I appreciate the clarification and apologies if my paraphrasing was inaccurate. You are to be congratulated for really stimulating the debate around WebRTC. Hopefully as our WebRTC Insights programme unfolds in the New Year we can get you over to London to take part in some discussions around these issues. It would be good to get a good public debate going.

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