Deployment of IMS Technology to Create Scope for European Telecommunications Operators to Increase Revenues

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    LONDON, December 22 -Increasing competition between fixed and mobile carriers in the European telecommunications market and the success of Internet telephony services such as Skype have increased the focus on Internet protocol (IP). In keeping with these trends and the need to address the requirements of end users, IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) standards based on the third generation partnership project (3GPP) are gaining emphasis.

    The deployment of IMS is likely to facilitate the offering of differentiated services and this will lead to a significant reduction in application costs and a surge in new opportunities, thereby increasing revenues. "IMS is a very exciting technology in the industry today, providing many different advantages and benefits", says Ms. Jennifer Fruehauf, Research Manager at Frost & Sullivan (http://wireless.frost.com) "At the same time, there are strong implications on carrier strategies, structures and market approaches, which must be taken into account when assessing the implementation of IMS technology."

    Dividing the traditional core network infrastructure and separating the application and transport layers makes the core network access-agnostic and offers interoperability to operators. IMS deployment also ensures the availability of session initiation protocol (SIP) stacks on a number of devices, particularly 3G devices. Additionally, IMS technology enables applications for general packet radio service (GPRS) devices. Hence, issues pertaining to device availability no longer pose an impediment to the introduction of new services in the telecommunications market.

    IMS technology also provides an impressive platform and standard for implementing different IP-based applications such as push-to-talk (PTT), instant messaging and presence. Moreover, the high costs involved in developing new applications are reduced, as IMS deployment offers a single platform with complex interfaces and connections already present.

    More application trials are expected to become viable as lower developmental costs significantly reduce the risk of failure. Furthermore, applications are likely to be developed for more specific end-user segments. Therefore operators will do well to enter into partnerships to better address the specific needs of these segments.

    Despite the ease of developing new applications, which enable faster time-to-market, operator structures must provide flexibility in aspects such as marketing and sales, to exploit the improved time-to-market advantage. Evaluating new access technologies such as worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) in its various forms and digital video broadcasting (DVB-H) or broadcasting for mobile handsets will provide additional opportunities to deliver services.

    "While IMS technology contributes to application development and promises to move away from a 'siloed' approach, in the short term, it will require an additional silo that must be managed and supported", remarks Ms. Fruehauf. "Moreover, the need to work with the existing circuit-switched infrastructure will also lead to additional expenses and hence, the degree of cost efficiency of the IMS technology cannot be accurately ascertained."

    PTT services drive voice usage and can be suitable to vertical markets such as construction, education and healthcare. Clearly, IMS is the only PTT industry standard and European operators are likely to leverage IMS architecture to launch PTT services.

    On the other hand, some operators have launched PTT services on proprietary technologies from the likes of Nokia and Kodiak, in a bid to overcome the present uncertainty that is associated with IMS technology. In the short term, non-IMS PTT implementations will succeed in attracting early adopters as IMS PTT services are still pending. However, since IMS PTT will be a standardised service, many suppliers of the push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) infrastructure have developed migration paths to enable interoperability with IMS infrastructure and devices.

    IMS technology will also enable the application of presence, which essentially shows the availability of contacts in one's address book. Providing combinational services where various simultaneous sessions may be initiated using different media can enhance the value of sessions and create opportunities for higher revenues from subscribers. "However, voice is and will continue to remain the major telecommunications application in the foreseeable future", affirms Ms. Fruehauf.

    Undoubtedly, the deployment of IMS will have fundamental implications at the financial, strategic, technical and marketing levels. Within Europe and beyond, operators are engaged in trials of IMS technology. Despite some issues about the future of this technology, IMS deployment will be widespread, as an in-house solution by medium and large operators or as a managed solution by smaller operators.

    If you are interested in further information about IP Multimedia Subsystem: The Long-Term Implications, please send an e-mail to Janina Hillgrub, Corporate Communications, at Janina.Hillgrub@frost.com, with the following information: your full name, company name, title, telephone number, e-mail address, city, state and country. We will send you the information via e-mail upon receipt of the above information.

    Title: IP Multimedia Subsystem: The Long-Term Implications

    Code: B608-65

    About Frost & Sullivan

    Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community, by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics.

    Media Contacts:

    Europe:

    Janina Hillgrub

    Corporate Communications

    P: +49(0)69-770-33-11

    E: Janina.Hillgrub@frost.com

    Americas:

    Mireya Castilla

    Corporate Communications - North America

    P: +1-210-247-3830

    E: mireya.castilla@frost.com

    Asia Pacific

    Sarah Lourdes

    Corporate Communications - Asia Pacific

    P: +603-6204-5878

    E: sarah.lourdes@frost.com

    India:

    Surbhi Dedhia

    Corporate Communications

    P: +91-22-2832-4705 Ext: 131

    E: sdedhia@frost.com

    Australia:

    Sharmin Jassal

    Corporate Communications

    P: +61-2-8247-8900

    E: sjassal@frost.com

    List of key industry participants: Accenture, Aepona, Alcatel, Bluetooth Special Interest Group, BT, Cegetel, Cisco, Commil, Comverse, DePuy Spine, DT, Ericsson, France Telecom, IBM, Inventel, Mobilkom Austria, Motorola, Nokia, Norwood Systems, O2, ONE, Orange, Proxim, Scarlet, Siemens, Sonofon, Sunrise, Swisscom, Swisscom Mobile, TDC, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telekom Austria, Telenor, Teliasonera, Three, T-Mobile, T-Mobile Austria, UPC, Vodafone, Wind

    List of keywords in this press release: IP multimedia subsystem, IMS technology, fixed carriers, mobile carriers, internet protocol, IP, Skype, 3GPP standard, third generation partnership project, IMS deployment, network access agnostic, 3G devices, SIP stacks, GPRS devices, general packet radio service, IP based applications, push to talk, PTT, instant messaging, access technologies, WiMAX, worldwide interoperability for microwave access, DVB-H, digital video broadcasting, complex interface, circuit switched infrastructure, IMS PTT services, PoC infrastructure, push-to-talk over cellular, Nokia, Kodiak, telecommunications
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