Service providers and vendors that support IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) are making some progress on interoperability but have plenty of work to do in 2009, leaders of the IMS Forum said in their latest self-issued “IMS Report Card” today.
“Although an all-IP platform at first may appear more complicated, IP networks make it easier to create, add, manage, bill for, and modify multiple services across various platforms and access technologies. As was the case with the Internet and VoIP, IMS is evolving and maturing beyond its early hype and is now in the process of being deployed in various forms in carrier networks around the world,” forum officials wrote. There are 50 such tests occurring worldwide, they said.
“Despite the lack of consensus, most service providers have begun either exploring or deploying IMS architectures of various stripes in staging as well as working networks… Objections to the IMS architecture on the grounds of its lack of interoperability, its immaturity, or its complexity are no longer tenable,” officials assert. IMS technologies that need work in 2009 include IMS client software, IPTV, FMC and service level traffic variations, they said. A sixth plugfest is scheduled for January.
It’s possible that IMS-like architectures may naturally evolve but be called something else. “You can change the name, but you need the basic framework… you talk to Verizon and you talk to Comcast, you’re going to get a different definition,” forum Chairman Michael Khalilian said.