Japan's NTT Communications is among the first operators to test out WebRTC in the form of a chat room that uses the peer-to-peer protocol to connect anyone with an Internet connection and supported browser.
The ICT division of NTT Group (NYSE: NTT) announced a free trial of the app, WebRTC Chat on Skyway, on Monday. WebRTC, or real-time communications, is a free, open-source project that turns supported web browsers into telephony engines so that devices can connect via IM, video, or voice chat.
NTT Communications Corp. (NYSE: NTT)'s version of the browser tech is an HTML5-based web page in which anyone can join, select an adorable avatar, and video chat with other participants. It might be a rather frivolous implementation, but NTT claims the technology is highly private in that it bypasses web servers and reduces operational costs for apps and service developers by minimizing server resources. The operator is also testing a feature of the tech that will compile and manage any communications logs from the sites in hopes of alleviating concern that P2P communications can be used for illegal data transfers.
Why this matters
There's a lot of hype behind WebRTC, which has the support of Google and Mozilla, but it's another technology that operators are approaching tepidly. The power to turn any website into a telephony engine means new, richer ways to reach customers and a valuable role to play for partners that want to enable the call receiving functionality that only they can provide. NTT is among the first operators to trial the technology and could set the pace for others -- telco or webco -- to test the waters as well. (See WebRTC & the Rise of the WebCo.)
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading