IMS gaining momentum?

Let’s have no misgivings about it. Despite tremendous advancements in communication technology, there is no denying the fact that networks that facilitate internet, cellular, Wi-Fi and basic landline connectivity normally do not go along well with each other. The reason is not difficult to be traced. Different telecom networks use different telecom standards and that make them not exactly compatible to each other. So what’s the solution?

Internet Protocol for Multimedia Subsystems, or IMS appears to be becoming a hot favorite for leading to a situation where all technologies will be become melded, compatible to each other and will eventually result in better quality services to end users. For instance, this technology developed by Lucent Technologies is tipped to pave the way for simultaneous walkie-talkie and video exchanges between a cell phone and a landline.

A momentum surely is being built up for the greater practical utility for this technology which is believed to create a common interface between all technologies. In early November, IMS network systems was bought by BellSouth Corp. Recently AT &T and Cingular Wireless have also signed a deal with Lucent to buy this IMS technology. But all said and done, the momentum could hardly be called as rapid. Most of its buyers are betting on medium to long-term prospects of this technology rather than making aggressive attempts to deploy it in the near future. For instance, another US telecom major Sprint Nextel has begun deploying IMS (its walkie-talkie service ReadyLink is a case in the point) but this is hardly known to its customers. Even the promoter of this technology, Lucent, does not seem to be too convinced that it will bring them big bucks in the near future as it recently acknowledged in its latest earnings report that IMS wouldn’t be generating any meaningful revenue soon.

But more developments are expected in the near future pertaining to the greater acceptability of IMS networks. For instance, the much awaited wireless data technology called EV-DO Release A from Sprint which will be launched sometime between 2006-2007 is believed to make use of IMS systems.

The new capabilities will facilitate making use of a cell phone to view live TV broadcasts, check program listings, program a digital video recorder, or even watch programs stored on that DVR. Similarly, AT&T and Cingular are likely to announce some new moves based on IMS technology soon, but Sprint still holds the lead as they have begun preparing several years ago.

The long and short of it is that IMS technology has begun arriving on the communication stage but this is likely to take a few years for wider acceptability. Going by a Forrester Research prediction the landmark year for IMS would be 2009 when it will be widely used by most of the topnotch telecom networks.


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