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June 17, 2014

SBCs Are an Important Component for Large-scale WebRTC Deployments

By Laura Stotler, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Session border controllers (SBCs) are an evolving breed of networking components and are rapidly becoming an important part of the unified communications landscape. As technologies like VoIP, SIP trunking and WebRTC gain prominence and adoption by enterprises and service providers alike, the SBC becomes an integral piece of the puzzle, taking over where the traditional media gateways of old left off.

WebRTC in particular is a huge market driver for SBCs with a host of companies offering WebRTC session controllers or software modules that run with their SBCs. Very simply, the WebRTC interface enables browser-to-browser communications like voice, video and collaboration. Service providers and enterprises can extend this functionality with an SBC for use in the contact center, on a much broader scale.

According to research from Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert), the E-SBC market is being driven by an ongoing migration to VoIP and SIP trunking as well as ongoing development of WebRTC-based solutions. As WebRTC and mobility play an increasingly important role in the enterprise UC landscape, E-SBCs become important network edge devices and can offer much of the same functionality as the traditional media gateway.

TechNavio forecasts the global SBC market will grow at a comfortable 13.6 percent CAGR from 2012 through 2016. WebRTC adoption is certainly playing a role in that growth rate, and in fact many SBC companies are banking on it and developing WebRTC specific products.

According to Steven Johnson (News - Alert), president of Ingate, WebRTC makes it easier to do ad hoc collaboration sessions, simplifying the entire UC process. The company, which sells E-SBCs, is working on WebRTC PBX companion products that enable users to add WebRTC to existing SIP PBX setups.

Following its acquisition of Acme Packet (News - Alert), Oracle rolled out a WebRTC session controller last year, targeted at the contact center. The offering lets service providers support multiparty calls while maintaining session state, and may be used by both service providers and the enterprise. 

“With Lync, WebRTC and video, all that is hitting the network, and the only technology that can keep up with all this technology is SBCs, because we’re in the middle of the network,” said Nenad Corbic, vice president of engineering at Sangoma, which specializes in software-based SBCs. “The SBC is the glue.”        

Sangoma, Ingate and Oracle (News - Alert), along with other major SBC players investing in WebRTC trends, are participating in the WebRTC Conference & Expo happening this week in Atlanta.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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