Techno-Economic Feasibility of Web Real-Time Communications

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Sähkötekniikan korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Date
2014-02-10
Department
Major/Subject
Network Economics
Mcode
ETA3003
Degree programme
TLT - Master’s Programme in Communications Ecosystem
Language
en
Pages
71+8
Series
Abstract
WebRTC is an ongoing effort to build an open framework for real-time audio and video communication capabilities that turn Web browsers, and other clients supporting it, into a platform for person-to-person communication. Previously, real-time communication (RTC) has been achievable in the Web browser only by installing third party software. WebRTC brings native support for RTC to the Web browsers and exposes it freely to web developers via standardized JavaScript API. This brings RTC as a feature to the Web, which can foster further innovation. This thesis studies the techno-economic feasibility of WebRTC with the help of a framework for feasibility analysis of Internet protocols, developed by Levaä and Suomi (2013). To provide input for the framework, we conduct an interview study, as well as research of available Web resources. Further, we explore what market opportunities may arise, provided that WebRTC is successfully adopted. To do that, we use Value Network Configurations as a tool for studying and visualizing the possible relationships between market players and the roles they assume in the ecosystem. We find that WebRTC is a feasible technology in its basic, but highly relevant use case of one-to-one browser-to-browser communication. While we discover a number of unresolved challenges, we do not see any insurmountable obstacles that would prevent WebRTC adoption. WebRTC opens up opportunities for companies that would use it directly to deliver an RTC service, but also creates space for WebRTC PaaS providers in the market. Additionally, WebRTC interconnecting with legacy systems, such as PSTN or PLMN, opens up opportunity for telecom operators to explore creating new ways of communication for their customers.
Description
Supervisor
Hämmäinen, Heikki
Thesis advisor
Levä, Tapio
Keywords
WebRTC, RTCWEB, Web, real-time communications, Internet evolution, Value Network Configurations, VoIP, techno-economic feasibility
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Citation