IMS and Rich Calls vs. WebRTC

The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) framework represents an integrated platform consisting of Data, Voice, and Video on the same networking infrastructure whereby the performance of all the three services are optimized.  Many protocols are used as part of IMS including Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).


IMS Model

At its core, IMS is relied upon for certain core services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

However, IMS is about a lot more than just furthering VoIP as it stands today.  IMS was also conceived to enable “Rich Calls”.  A Rich Call is a 3GPP circuit switched call with an additional media such as combining video or data to an already established circuit switched call between mobile users.

The ability to continue to use the circuit switched network for voice or multimedia services in IMS networks provided several advantages to the wireless operators.  Operators could continue to provide high quality voice services with their existing infrastructure while they upgraded their networks to provide new and innovative services with IMS and roll-out new capabilities via 4G / LTE network by leveraging VoLTE.

The intentions was for operators to be able to provide services with their circuit switched network along with IMS based services include faster time to market with IMS services, reduced complexity in providing new IMS services, and the ability to continue to provide high quality voice.

Rich Communications Suite (RCS) represents the first LTE-enabled value-added service (VAS) application for carriers.  There are some pre-Voice over LTE (VoLTE) options, and a migration path for RCS that is pre-IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), but RCS adds the most value with ubiquitous VoLTE coverage and IMS integration.  RCS marks the transition of messaging and voice capabilities from Circuit Switched technology to an all-IP world.  RCS and VoLTE share the same IMS investment and leverage the same IMS capabilities.

RCS has struggled, however, and its closest competitive technology is Web Real-time Communications (WebRTC), which is showing more promise in the marketplace.

WebRTC provides a framework, protocols, and API that facilitates real-time interactive voice, video and data in via a Web browser.  Compared to RCS, there is a much low threshold of use as one need only have a WebRTC-enabled browser.  Supporting browsers and platforms include Android, Chrome, Firefox, iOS, and Opera.


An emerging WebRTC ecosystem is anticipated to bring about substantial disruption in the marketplace as solutions in this area facilitate new and innovative methods for consuming apps and digital content while enabling a seamless communications and commerce experience.


Global WebRTC Revenue 2015 – 2020

Global WebRTC revenue is projected to reach $3.9B by 2020 with 44.9% CAGR.


WebRTC Device Usage

North America is anticipated to be a market leader including device usage.

More Information

For more information about WebRTC and real-time communications, visit Mind Commerce website and also see our report.

Web Real-time Communications: WebRTC Software, Applications, Services, Solutions, and Devices Market with Global and Regional Forecast 2015 – 2020 evaluates WebRTC technology, evolving ecosystem, solutions, and applications. It also addresses the role of value chain partners, WebRTC APIs, enterprise applications, telecom operators, and other CSPs within the evolving ecosystem. The report assesses WebRTC features/functionality, use cases, and adoption expectations for enterprise and consumers. The report covers the WebRTC solution landscape with vendor analysis focused on business models for each company/solution.

The report also forecasts global and regional WebRTC market size. Forecasting provides revenue by categories including solution, service (Implementation, Integration, Consulting, and Maintenance), industry verticals, deployment models, and application. In addition, the report contains forecasts for WebRTC devices and users in globally and regionally from 2015 to 2020.

About Mind Commerce

Analysis of telecom and ICT infrastructure, technologies, and applications.
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2 Responses to IMS and Rich Calls vs. WebRTC

  1. Andy Shirey says:

    I’d be very interested to understand why you characterize RCS as a competitor to WebRTC rather than a complimentary engagement channel. I see RCS (or SMS today) as a great starting point for potentially deeper engagement that could come via a mobile app or WebRTC or Progressive Web App.

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