I recently had a chance to interview Srini Rao, Senior Manager, Strategy, Core Networks, Motorola on the topic of IMS. As you may know, TMC is launching IMS Magazine this month and in fact the magazine is being printed as I post this entry.
Here is the interview:
Please describe IMS in 50 words or less.
IMS is an IP-based system that allows network operators to integrate voice and multimedia communications and deliver them across various access networks in real-time. This is the key to true convergence—bringing multiple media, multiple points of access, and multiple modes of communication together with a converged core network, and often, a single device.
How would you describe its potential?
Consumers are demanding greater control of when and how they communicate. IMS allows service providers to meet these demands quickly by creating a common environment for delivering new content and applications to devices across a wide range of fixed and wireless access technologies.
What are some potential killer apps that IMS might enable?
IMS provides an open standards, IP based service creation environment that enables rich communication experiences. These are based on the integration and interaction of various services and enablers, such as presence/location based call routing and combining packet video with circuit-switched voice, for example, as in Motorola's Push-to-Video application.
Who stands to benefit most from IMS? Carriers? Equipment manufacturers? End Users?
IMS will benefit carriers and end users equally. While IMS empowers operators through the ability to offer new services, control costs and provide proper provisioning, IMS empowers users through enhanced simplicity—the ability to use a single device, phone number, voice mail box and directory of contacts across fixed and wireless networks.
What is the timeline for real commercial deployments of IMS?
IMS deployments are happening now in a segmented approach within networks, which is typical of traditional network evolution processes. Many operators are also currently exploring the value proposition that end-to-end IMS deployments can have in accelerating their ability to offer new suites of applications to subscribers for improved service and revenue opportunities.
Many people have told me that IMS can’t possibly be the future and they point to a variety of reasons why this technology is bad for consumers. On the other hand equipment providers such as Motorola think that IMS will be fantastic for customers. Other vendors have told me that IMS will allow customers to have access to new and exciting services more rapidly end economically than ever before.
Whatever the future holds, it will certainly be a wild ride as the industry strives to grow ever-faster. We will certainly cover the trials and tribulations of IMS in every issue of IMS Magazine and I am looking forward to seeing it printed soon.