While I’m busy writing posts about it, Amir Zomra went to Monaco and had a very interesting time at Acme Packet’s Interconnect 2011. Apart from the joy in going to Monte Carlo and the great panels that he participated in, Amir was showcasing a great demo we prepared together with Acme Packet around video calling services.
Acme Packet’s Net-Net SMX IMS is a core session control/session border control (SBC), which enables service providers to reduce the complexity and cost of SIP multimedia services significantly. Their ecosystem comprises of various added services including video calling, for which RADVISION provides the necessary infrastructure and endpoints (video clients).
So what you get at the end of the day is a video calling service (think FaceTime) made easy: The servers (RADVISION’s SCOPIA Elite MCU and other components such as Bridgewater Systems HSS) are placed behind the Acme Packet SBC in the data center, while as the video clients – based on RADVISION’s BEEHD client framework – are running on various devices, such as laptops, mobile phones and tablets.
Of course, there’s a lot of things you can add to the experience, such as presence, instant messaging (IM), complicated call scenarios (for advanced types of services), etc., The BEEHD client frameworks support that and much more, and are fully standard and interoperable – that’s why it took no effort to integrate them into the Acme Packet ecosystem, and that’s why a customer would be totally free in choosing other components to add to the architecture, as long as they are standard-based.
Video calling is dominated today by OTT providers. This is mainly due to the fact that service providers were late to the game. However once they will join the stage, they will have the advantage of owning the network and being able to provide better control (quality of service) over the experience. This, of course, raises important questions of net neutrality and privacy, but still it would be hard for OTT to compete with the guys in charge of the pipes.
Another issue is the one I tackled here a few times, and Amir raised in his post – interoperability between services or “federation”, For video calling to become mainstream users will need a way to call using video without any regards to the service they are using. Just like with voice calls. The only ones capable of doing that are the service providers. And by federating video calling they would gain a huge advantage over the “walled gardens” of OTTs out there, which IMHO would practically kill the competition.
Bottom line – if you’re building a video calling service, being a service provider or a service developer, you should focus on the things that really matter for the long run:
- Fully standard and interoperable infrastructure and clients, supporting both SIP and H.323
- Ability to introduce new and advanced services without replacing the infrastructure/clients.
- A scalable platform for launching new IMS based services
And don’t miss the video.