webrtc app development

How to Determine Pricing for WebRTC App Development

Every developer is geared towards designing and developing a product that outsets the rest in the competitive market. But at times, developing outstanding platforms can be quite tedious and heavy, especially when you decide to start everything from scratch. But whenever the need for building an outstanding application arises, you don’t have to start from scratch. It can be a nightmare as much time is spent incorporating ideas that can be easily done via quicker services.

This piece is geared towards determining costs associated with WebRTC App development. Ever imagined who can take care of maintenance and frequent updating of media backend services? The answer is probably yes. But all these will prompt you to opt for a company or someone else to conduct everything for you.  You will go for the most appropriate vendors for WebRTC services because no one wants shoddy services done for them. By doing so, you will automatically agree with them and leave the ball in their coat. In your desired time, your service will have everything done.

Just a few things will be offered at a cost, and in such a case, little amounts are charged at later stages. And so, it is important to put into consideration all factors associated with cost and especially when opting for WebRTC PaaS services. Realistically, costal charges will always prompt you to maneuver between vendors. But that’s not what we are in for.

What does it cost to have your WebRTC Application Service done and running suitably? Understanding the pricing schemes of each vendor in the market is essential. This is because many vendors will venture into the market with different pricing schemes. It is your role to separate proper schemes from those that can tend to be a load on your neck. Though it sounds simple and easy, it’s not a walk in the park from a different point of view. The difficulty in understanding, comparing, and finally picking the best service comes about because of various reasons. The reasons are highlighted below:

Different Pricing Models from Different Vendors

You need to have a proper understanding of the scenario at hand

The process isn’t straightforward

There are three guiding pillars critical in determining your costs. We shall highlight and explore each of them in a detailed view. These pillars include:

  • Minutes
  • Bandwidth
  • Subscriptions

Minutes

The number of minutes you spent on a given service dictates the amount of money payable. This seems easier, right? Calculations are even much easier. The more you use a service, the more the cost and vice versa. But there are cases where people translate minutes to the long-gone days of telecom. During those days, a huge amount of dollars was spent just to make a simple single phone call for a given minute.

Let’s explore some differences associated with different vendors

Usually, a baseline monthly fee is imposed for each vending service provided.  In some cases, there are allowances offered in terms of minutes, while in some other cases, no allowances are offered. Fees charged for each month entailed usable already-calculated minutes. The pricings are usually done following their cost value as explored below:

Seriousness fee: Here, you will be required to pay before vendor services are provided. At least a fee is charged before vendors can venture into the business of answering your support queries.

Signal to customers: A highly imposed fee should act as an indicator that the major target is businesses with lots of money to spend. These businesses are usually enterprises. Mostly, they will emphasize premium customers. On the other hand, the imposition of lower amounts is an indicator that needs all developers at large are put into consideration. It means that they are geared towards embracing customers of al sought.

Reduce noise: Sometimes, the customers who fail to pay anything can be considered as noise. Mostly, they question a lot but fail to meet the anticipation of service providers and tend to make sales valueless. Anyway, it’s part and parcel of what we should experience. But vendors on their hand opt to feature some must-pay alternative just to separate the joy riding customers who may not be part of the target from the serious ones.

Additionally, several vendors opt for different methods to offer discounts according to usage statistics. Mostly, vendors go for a few different methods. Some just stick to a solid price point. The customer decides to leave or take everything as it is. This is what we term as a flat rate.

There is also a case where a first chosen number of minutes is offered on a free plan. The next set of minutes will then be offered at a given price. Another set of minutes can also be offered at a lower price. This goes on and on until minutes are made cheaper.  All these can be classified as a tier.

Pre-commit: It’s a commit done earlier, and payments made for a unique number of minutes. In a case where you pass the given number, then the cheapest price point committed has applied accordingly.

When considering price-per minute payments, there are several approaches put in place. Let’s explore some of the instances related to this.

Actual media minutes: This approach is where you have to possess a vendor’s SDK. The onset of counting happens when you immediately connect to a session.

Connected devices: This approach isn’t that common, but it entails administering payments regardless of whether you send or receive any data. The approach exists when the price per minute is low and linked together with bandwidth payment.

Minutes also come with disadvantages. Mostly, measures are not put in place to cater for unused minutes, and payments are made regardless of the user associated with the minutes. For instance, in most platforms, pricing is equal for both voice and video minutes. Additionally, a low-quality video is treated equally to a high-quality one.

  • Subscriptions

What Subscriptions majorly focuses on is the standards minutes are measured against. This proves a co-relation between subscriptions and minutes,

The most common activities done here is counting of subscriptions or devices. Usually, most services based on WebRTC PaaS are undependable on the notion of the publish-subscribe method. Sessions can achieve publication of media streams as well as the subscription of media streams through devices. It is the best approach, especially when giving a clear picture of a hard-to-understand case.  With WebRTC PaaS, the cheapest option to go for is one that demands payment per subscribed minutes rather than payment for each device minutes in smaller group sizes.

To some extent, it’s okay for any given vendor to strategize on a given price for each subscription. This is because costs go hand in hand with the number of media subscriptions within the system. With subscriptions, you will find it hard to counting as compared to when counting devices, but the result is a solid value that lies within a close range to whatever is desired.

  • Bandwidth

With minute pricing, an alarm is raised when people have the feeling of being taken back to the old telecom days. What was anticipated is that once other services were advanced or implemented, then pricings would speculate on usage rather than confinement on the minute approach.  With all these, vendors are now speculating on taking a quite different but outstanding approach. This approach is a common one in IaaS, and it’s what we refer to pricing per bandwidth.  Therefore, it would be subscribed bandwidth because cloud services are incurred by the vendor through the bandwidth sent on devices and browsers. The cost is not incurred based on bandwidth received on cloud servers.

From the Pricing Schemes, consider the following:

You need to understand if the price is calculated based on the subscribed bandwidth or is calculated based on both receive and send. You should also be able to consider a case where media is routed headed to the vendor while the session requires relaying through a Turn server. In such a case, you have to determine whether to count on traffic associated with server processing and traffic-related with the TURN server.

It is also essential to keep in mind that bandwidth payments are not made in peer-to-peer sessions. The case is only otherwise when media is relayed through TURN. Relays though, TURN relies on underlying conditions of the network; hence proper estimations cannot be clearly outlined.  The 15-20% of sessions rule is imposed here.

It’s also important to realize that per bandwidth payments are cheaper when compared to the minute pricing.  But there are also several cons associated with this. Let’s explore some of them.

Distinct services will result in distinct bitrates for seemingly similar services.

Calculations are harder compared to the rest. It also entails per minute counting as well as bandwidth calculations hence making everything look tough. It’s likely going to demand tedious thinking.

Conclusion

Costs associated with WebRTC app development require a steady and well-prepared mindset. Before you land on a vendor in the market, you have to explore all the cost plans presented before you wisely. It is an essential step geared towards attaining success in all your needs. All you need is to critically assess every plan, explore several services done before, make comparisons with a range of them, and seek appropriate advice from well-established and experienced experts. Therefore, all you need is to determine whether you want a service that works on subscriptions, minutes, or bandwidth. Check out whatever suits you and enjoy effective pricing.

About The Author

My name is Stuti Dhruv & I am senior consultant at Aalpha, primarily working on pre sales, consulting with clients on latest technology trends.