IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS): Who Benefits?
2010.11.19   |   19 pages   |   New Services & Technologies


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This report examines IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Rich Communications Suite (RCS) to understand their history, development process, current status, and implications for mobile network operators and their customers. IMS is a control layer within an operator's network that centralises customer data into a single user profile that applications can use to authenticate customers and deliver services to devices regardless of transmission network. Operators seeking fixed-mobile convergence have deployed IMS components to interconnect modern all-IP infrastructure with legacy networks. Telecoms equipment vendors and the GSM Association have been discussing IMS since 2004, both parties focusing their marketing messages on network efficiency and richer customer communication. Trials with MNOs have revealed difficulties with coordinating parties to ensure interoperability, and confusion over standards and specifications.

As MNOs in mature markets plan for the introduction of LTE (which employs key concepts from the IMS core), this report examines the case for and against IMS and RCS and the reasons why IMS may be more important to MNOs and telco equipment vendors than to developers and customers.

Keywords: IP Multimedia, IMS, LTE, Rich Communications Suite, RCS, IP Multimedia Subsystem,

Table of Contents
1 Overview 1
2 Introduction 2
2.1 Background to the Report 2
2.2 Report Content 2
2.3 Currency and Conversions 2
3 Background & Definitions - IMS & RCS 4
3.1 Introduction 4
3.2 IMS 4
3.3 RCS 6
4 Vendor Landscape 7
4.1 Introduction 7
4.2 Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) 7
4.3 Ericsson 8
4.4 Huawei 8
4.5 ZTE 8
4.6 Alcatel Lucent (ALU) 9
4.7 Cisco 9
4.8 Comverse/NetCentrex 10
4.9 Motorola 10
4.10 Nortel/GENBAND 10
5 IMS & RCS Pros and Cons 11
5.1 Introduction and Overview 11
5.2 The User Point of View 12
5.3 Stakeholders' Perspectives 12
5.4 RCS Use Cases 13
5.5 Efficacy, Logistics and Trials 14
6 Conclusions 17
7 Recommendations 19

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