IMS State of the Market: Q&A
||Is the time ripe for IMS deployment, in terms of standards, technology and products? If not, what still needs to be done to get it ready for mainstream deployment?|
||We think that the 80/20 rule applies here. We believe IMS has gone 80 percent of the way toward becoming a mainstream implementation, but it is still evolving.|
We feel that there are still some tweaks, changes, and additions that will be made to standards before it can be considered final. RADVISION is active in ironing out many of these issues by participating in the standards boards, and as an active advocate of across the board interoperability testing that is vital to mainstream adoption and deployment.
||Are there ready-to-deploy IMS products and solutions available today?|
||RADVISION has the most comprehensive IMS developer suite in the market – the IMS Express™ - which delivers all the protocols needed for IMS – SIP, DIAMETER, RTP/RTCP, and MEGACO. It also includes all the additions and flavors in order to be IMS-compliant with even the latest standard versions (3GPP 24.229up to version 7.9), OMA SIMPLE (Standard Presence and Instant Messaging) capabilities, and STUN and ICE NAT Traversal Solution. The IMS Express™ also includes a specific IMS SIP server platform designed for developing IMS SIP Servers. The IMS Client Suite delivers a tailored solution for IMS Client Side development. And to top it all off, we offer a complete IMS testing solution using the ProLab™ family – an essential element in the complex IMS development cycle. RADVISION’s Complete IMS Developer Suite is based on many years of protocol solution development and deployment experience with all major vendors. As such, we are quite certain that our solutions do not suffer from scalability or technology gaps, and provide the best migration path to IMS.|
||What is RADVISION’s take on the importance of IMS and the role it will play in the telecommunications sector?|
||RADVISION perceives IMS services as an optimal mix of third party services and operator services. We believe that IMS is the right service architecture to enable efficient time to market of services and to optimize OPEX and CAPEX.|
RADVISION’s technology is in itself a core enabler for supporting these operator and third-party value-added services, both on the infrastructure side and the client side. We provide end-to-end solutions and Fixed-to-Mobile Convergence solutions that blend IMS services with TDM and legacy services, such as circuit switched, in order to deliver these key combinational services.
||Where will we see the first real applications of IMS in terms of network and specific service implementations?|
||RADVISION has many customers developing and marketing the whole range of IMS network elements, including SBCs, Media Gateway Controllers, X-CSCFs, mobile and fixed terminals (cellular and wireless access), and inter-working functions. Service enablers are an important factor in IMS adoption. These include Voice and Video solutions, Video Share, Mobile Messaging, Presence-enabled services, Fixed-to-Mobile Convergence/VCC and Converged IP Messaging solutions – all of which RADVISION offers.|
Remember: IMS is not only for the cellular market, but for the fixed market and for converged cellular and fixed networks. The main services deployed right now are video-share, VCC (FMC), Instant Messaging, and Presence-aware services. We also see a lot of V2oIMS services being introduced.
All of the carriers are committed to IMS; some have already announced actual IMS services, others deploy IMS services today. And others are in the planning stages. We see two segments emerging in this market. Service providers who require IMS vendors to comply with their IMS specifications; and service providers that choose a main vendor and make sure that all the other vendors are interoperable with that vendor.
We believe that Fixed Mobile Convergence is key to IMS – for true multimedia FMC and not just voice services. FMC is a natural fit to IMS, and is integrated into the architecture.
||What is the state of the union when it comes to standards and architecture specifications?|
||We have witnessed many changes and additions to the standards, many of which are substantial. For example: VCC and CSICS, of which video share is an application, were included into the standard. As well as STUN and ICE NAT Traversal and many others. The additions are to the infrastructure level as well as in the interfaces and services. Also, as the standard is evolving and deployed, previous standard solutions are being modified – and this is not always done in a backward compatible way. And example of this is signaling compression. Also, we know that that TISPAN and PacketCable are adopting the 3GPP’s specifications and adding their own requirements for IMS compliancy, in addition to 3GPP/3GPP2. The objective: consolidation of all the IMS specifications into one “Common IMS” standard, managed by the 3GPP. TISPAN and PacketCable both have their own additions to the standard. TISPAN is leading the integration of IPTV with IMS. PacketCable is integrating TLS with IPsec – a unique requirement.|
There are other networks adopting IMS as service architecture, including WiMAX, HSPA, EPS, Docsis, and more.There are still come gaps to be closed. These are mainly related to the bits and bytes of some of the interfaces. Both in release 7 and 8 there is a lot of attention and work is done to finalize the related specifications: e.g., the interface between the AS and MRF. RADVISION is one of the main contributors to 3GPP TR 24.880 which deals with this interface. From a development standpoint, we provide the superset of protocols so if an interface will be changed or modified; the customer will still have the ability to complement the missing functionality.
The core IMS elements, such as x-CSCFs, and media gateways and controllers are reasonably solid, even though they do support different releases. Other areas of the IMS network, such as application servers, are in a more evolutionary stage. Still, IMS standards are evolving, so that when announcing “IMS ready/compatible/certified,” it is important that the product should be interoperable and future-proof.
||Why is interoperability so important?|
||The key to deploying IMS solutions while IMS standardization is still evolving is|
interoperability: in public forums such as the IMS Forum Plugfest, IMTC, ETSI and in real-time interoperability testing on service providers’ premises. RADVISION believes that interoperability is vital for successful IMS deployment, and invests extensively in this area. RADVISION participates in all SIPit events, SIMPLEt events, IMS Forum Plugfests, and more. Also, in order to be future-proof, RADVISION is involved in all the key IMS standardization bodies, contributing to the evolving standard, and making sure that interoperability issues are addressed as the standard evolves.
||What role does SIP play in the IMS arena and what is in store for this veteran signaling protocol?|
||There are many extensions that are taking so-called ‘”naked SIP” to full IMS compliancy, in addition to the extensions already mentioned. This includes many new and updated P-Headers, announced with each new version (e.g. P-assertedservice-ID, P-early-media as well as new values for existing P-headers), GRUU, SIP outbound, STUN, ICE, TEL URI with number portability, pre-conditions, security agreement, MSRP, SIP exploders, I-WLAN support (IPSec transport over tunnel mode), service route, emergency services, and more.|
||Will IMS have a more far-reaching impact on IP communications, such as Web Services? Or is it limited to “big” carriers and mobile operators?|
||We see that IMS is a major trend in all networks and there is planning being done to integrate IMS in enterprise networks for mobile workers and hosted services. Web services are also used in IMS specifications (using Parley-X), and is a layer on top of the application server that interfaces between IMS services and Web services/Service Delivery Platforms (SDP). This is similar to the SOA trend in the enterprise.|
Need More Information
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Indian Ocean Territory
Central African Republic
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
French Southern Territories
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Holy See (Vatican City State)
Iran, Islamic Republic of
Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
Korea, Republic of
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of
Micronesia, Federated States of
Moldova, Republic of
Northern Mariana Islands
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
Serbia and Montenegro
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Syrian Arab Republic
Tanzania, United Republic of
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United Arab Emirates
United States Minor Outlying Islands
Virgin Islands, British
Virgin Islands, U.S.
Wallis and Futuna