By Beecher Tuttle
Alcatel-Lucent's industry-leading IMS End-to-End Solution addresses a number of challenges that operators face today. IMS technologies can help providers reduce operating expenses, minimize their impact on the environment and adapt to new end user behavior, among other benefits.
The innovative products and services that are built into the Alcatel-Lucent IMS solution result in considerable environmental benefits and reduced carbon emissions in both new and existing networks. These benefits are gained from techniques such as smart metering, smart buildings, smart transport and teleworking.
Compared to traditional TDM networks, the IMS solution consumes less electricity and necessitates less space, further enhancing environmental and cost benefits.
First launched in 2002, the IMS solution has evolved significantly over the last decade. Before growing into its current form on the Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA) platform, the solution existed as an energy-efficient blade-base architecture based on PICMG 2.16.
The transition to the ATCA platform in 2008 took the IMS solution to the next level. Compared to the previous cPSB-based setup, the ATCA platform provides 75 percent footprint reductions and 65 percent declines in power needs, on average.
Since 2008, Alcatel-Lucent has introduced a number of other products onto the ATCA platform, as well as launched a next generation of processor card, which further increases subscriber density while only consuming slightly more power. All of these changes result in a significantly lower total cost of ownership on behalf of carriers.
Over the last two years, Alcatel-Lucent has increased capacity of many products on the ATCA platform, as well as on the 7510 Media Gateway (MGW).
In 2011, the company leveraged the common platform by introducing the MGC-8 functionality into its 5060 ICS solution, known as IMS in a Box, which enables operators to efficiently roll out an integrated IMS solution for small deployments that cover as many as 3-million subscribers.
IMS in a Box can be used for voice – including VoIP, POTS and ISDN – or as an alternative to a Next Generation Network (NGN). The latest evolution of the IMS in a Box solution improves eco-efficiency and enhances the ease of use for small- and mid-size deployments.
An IMS deployment that utilizes the 5060 ICS solution can reduce electricity consumption by 91 percent and reduce the overall footprint by 96 percent. This results in obvious operating expense savings, plus reductions in civil engineering costs and increases in free space, which can be used to deploy other services, such as IPTV.
Looking forward, Alcatel-Lucent will continue to improve the IMS solution through additional "platform consolidations and capacity increases, dynamic powering to turn off unused areas of a switch and more efficient thermal management designs," according to a company white paper, Alcatel-Lucent IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS): Eco-efficiency Makes Economic Sense.
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