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IMS is here - and if you haven't got it, you will have soon

And so to Barcelona for this year's IMS World Forum, organised once again by Informa. After several years of scepticism and even sneering in some quarters, it's safe to say that the key message from this event is that IMS is definitely happening, and it's happening now. While not quite an unstoppable juggernaut, there is a broad consensus and understanding that the IMS model for call and session control is the only effective and scalable means available to communications service providers. Essentially, if you have a large subscriber base, this is really the only game in town.

Written by
Guy Redmill
Published on
18 May 2010

So, the first question is now not if, but when a CSP will deploy IMS? As we know from the Moriana research we conducted last year, many CSPs have already deployed their IMS, but everyone else we interviewed had declared their intention to do so. We would expect other CSPs that haven't made up their mind to follow suit within the next few years. Deployments will obviously be driven by LTE adoption on the mobile side, but any operator with a creaking infrastructure or ambitions to consolidate its network will also be considering the jump. Momentum is definitely apparent.

The second question though is perhaps more interesting. That is, assuming you have launched an IMS, what services other than those targeted towards the enterprise can you or should you offer? This remains unclear. The idea that IMS will unlock a host of new, interactive and rich multi-media services doesn't appear to have borne fruit yet and as we found, no-one has a very clear idea of how to resolve this issue. To our way of thinking, it's clear that CSPs should not be focused on this issue, but rather on finding ways to enable other parties to deliver these services. They should be thinking about the segments that do offer more immediate returns and about incremental improvements to their services, allowing capabilities to be delivered across terminals and platforms. Spending time worrying about new consumer services which can already be obtained in the cloud doesn't make a great deal of sense.

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