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WebRTC forecasts upgraded: mobile support accelerating

June 26, 2013 | Telepresence Options

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Story and Images by WebRTC Stats

Disruptive Analysis�is well-known for its criticism and skepticism of many new technologies, such as RCS messaging and NFC mobile payments. Thus is may come as a surprise that it now suggests a technology is being�under-hyped, and has upgraded its WebRTC adoption forecasts that were only a few months old.

It now predicts:

  • 875m devices with WebRTC support at end-2013 (upgraded from original forecasts of 810m)
  • 1 billion device threshold crossed in Q1'2014 rather than Q2'2014
  • 3.9bn devices supporting WebRTC by end-2016, upgraded from 3.4bn
  • Active user base (individuals) for WebRTC to exceed 1.5bn people by end-2016

The new forecasts come from the Q2 Update for the�Disruptive Analysis WebRTC report, the first edition of which came out in February. That report was�the first comprehensive study of the market for WebRTC, spanning telco, enterprise and consumer domains. Having covered WebRTC since June 2011, Disruptive Analysis is the leading analyst & consulting house in this sector. The Q2 upgrades reflect the speed of emergence of WebRTC in Firefox and also Chrome-for-Android, plus continued growth of mobile API/SDK providers enabling WebRTC to be integrated into smartphone and tablet apps directly.� (Note that Disruptive Analysis' forecasts differ from some others in that estimation of primary browsers is a core step. Many users have multiple browsers installed on PCs or devices, but only use one regularly - a gating factor on realistic addressable WebRTC users for developers).

Despite the already loud clamour about adding realtime voice, video and data to the browser, Disruptive Analysis actually thinks that WebRTC's impact is still being�underestimated by many. It is still flying under the radar of many telco, enterprise and web-developers, but is likely to follow the trajectory of past web innovations of emerging into public consciousness via a few viral applications. Who outside a small group of specalists and observers had heard about Javascript or even Flash Video, until awareness was spiked by the overnight emergence of services like Facebook or YouTube?

webrtc stats

Active user numbers for WebRTC are more difficult to predict, as they will come from a broad spread of corporate, consumer web and telecom use cases. Many users may well have two more more devices that connect using WebRTC, often for applications that are much more subtle than a standalone "phone call" or "conference". The way to think about the technology is in a similar fashion to in-browser video streaming or embedded messaging - it will blend�into context�of websites and apps.

webrtc stats

Current real-world use-cases are already emerging for early adopters (eg contact centre agents). The proliferation of a startups in broad class of cloud/API-enablement players points to a coming rush of consumer-web applications for video-chat or integrated comms in H2'2013. Datachannels support in new browsers suggest innovation in domains like content-sharing and collaboration (including coding for developers). In addition, expect WebRTC-enabled adverts to be a major part of the future landscape. These could accelerate adoption of WebRTC usage without the end-user even consciously being aware of it. Telco use of WebRTC is bubbling under the surface - there's clearly a lot of interest, but will likely emerge relatively slowly because of the need for new "furniture" like BSS/OSS and testing solutions.

Please feel free to use the data given, with appropriate attribution to Disruptive Analysis & WebRTCStats. If you are interested in purchasing the WebRTC report and update subscription, details are�here�or email information AT disruptive-analysis DOT com

The report's author & founder of Disruptive Analysis, Dean Bubley will be speaking at the 2nd�WebRTC World Expo & conference�in Atlanta from 25-27 June, as well as various other events through 2013.

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