& cplSiteName &

First ORCA Sighting Expected in Q4

Sarah Thomas
7/8/2014
50%
50%

The first real sign of progress from the operator initiative to open up core services to application developers looking to embed real-time communications, dubbed Project ORCA, is expected to be revealed in the fourth quarter.

Project ORCA, or Open Real-Time Communications APIs, was started by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) this time last year with the goal of providing generic client-side software, orca.js, to developers to incorporate with their own APIs to run a WebRTC service across any network. (See Killer Apps Meet Killer Whale: ORCA Opens Up and US Carriers Team on App Interface Initiative.)

WebRTC makes it easy for anyone to get up and running with video, voice, or presence in an HTML5 browser, but it leaves the signaling work to the developer. ORCA was formed to simplify this complex process by eliminating the need for carrier-specific coding. Participating operators provide their transport libraries and gateways to developers, which can tap into them by incorporating the orca.js code in their APIs. (See What WebRTC Means for Telcos.)

The end result is the "write once, run everywhere" promise operators have been working towards enabling for app developers for years. When the initiative was announced last year, ATIS said it would move faster than traditional operator-led projects as it didn't require significant changes on the network side. The group was aiming for initial deployments in 2014, but Jim McEachern, ATIS senior technology consultant, says now they are shooting for just a demo of the cross-network technology in the fourth quarter of the year.

McEachern told Light Reading at the end of May that ATIS is in the process of developing open-source APIs and is preparing a "potential demo" for the fourth quarter in which a web app running on the ORCA API would run across different service provider networks. He says some ideas of what they will show off include a WebRTC app to access a travel agency or an enterprise app that requires a multimedia session, but that's supported by all operator networks.

"Today when most app developers take advantage of service provider APIs, if they want to run it on different service provider networks, they have to tweak it to take advantage of different APIs," he explains. "We would show where an app can be written once and run on multiple networks."

It's taking a long time to get to that point, but McEachern says ORCA will be valuable to those app developers serving the enterprise market that require high reliability and complex features, but perhaps don't have a development team that wants to learn SIP. For them, ORCA provides a simple mechanism that allows them to leverage proven capabilities of service provider network for signaling, he says. They get the reliability of a service provider network, and, in turn, the value of the network increases, perhaps giving the operator the opportunity to monetize the apps it runs.

"Even if you have your own SIP stack, if you're trying to use it in a WebRTC context, it isn't just cutting and pasting; it requires expertise," McEachern says. "We believe app developers don't want to get into that. They want APIs they can use and are simple for them to build into apps."

ATIS has open-source APIs in development, but the next, and trickier step, is tying service provider infrastructure together for a commercial offer. McEachern says a lot of the interest he's seen is around apps that tie into IMS to deliver voice directly over the Internet. He is seeing a lot of hybrid use cases in which developers take advantage of certain IMS capabilities but it's not all or nothing.

"You can take advantage of certain capabilities and strengths of one network and build a set overall solution by mixing and matching," he says, adding that this is enabled through ORCA and the focus on APIs.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Marcella Wolfe
100%
0%
Marcella Wolfe,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/9/2014 | 11:30:29 AM
ATIS ORCA API On Target for Delivery
4Q2014 has always been the target date for availability of the Open Real-Time Communications APIs (ORCA) API. ATIS is committed to providing a consistent signaling API project to allow developers to access the robust services of IMS networks, in coordination with member deployment schedules.  ATIS' goal is to ensure the deliverable has been thoroughly tested to meet developer needs for a "code once, run anywhere" approach to help them easily embed call signaling for real-time communications into their applications.
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Clears $2B in Business Revenue

12|8|16   |     |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Breaux discusses how the third-largest US MSO will reach the $2 billion revenue mark this year and plans to hit $3 billion by 2021
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
Upcoming Live Events
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 12/2/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
A Mobile Safari Click Here
Literally.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.