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Sonus and NMS to Deliver IMS Apps to Mobile Handsets

By Johanne Torres

Sonus Networks, Inc. (news - alert), Sonus Networks announced that it joined forces with NMS Communications (news - alert), a provider of technologies for mobile applications and infrastructure to streamline the delivery of IMS-based applications and services to mobile handsets.

The move will enable wireless and wireline operators to deploy a full suite of IMS-based multimedia services including NMS' Active Phone Book and apps, such as instant messaging (IM), push-to-talk and video sharing on a variety of mobile handsets.
"Today's generation of mobile phone users want more than just voice; they want to leverage a full suite of data and presence-driven tools that bring the communication experience to the next level," said Mike Hluchyj, founder and chief technology officer, Sonus Networks. "By integrating NMS' client-side technology with a most robust IMS-ready network architecture, we're empowering network operators to unleash the potential of IMS and offer consumers a new breed of innovative services and powerful applications." App Server Vendors Prep for Imminent Combination of IT, Telecom

By Robert Liu

Application server vendors are accelerating their rollout plans to prepare for the imminent blending of information technology with the telecom world, brought on by the influx of IMS-based architecture.

Oracle (quote - news- alert), has outlined its roadmap to deliver a standards-based Service Delivery Platform (SDP) for the telecommunications industry to transition from current silo-based network investments into a service-oriented architecture (SOA) to help reduce time and costs to deploy next-generation communication IP voice and data services. Oracle SDP plans to extend its Oracle Fusion Middleware platform with technologies obtained through its recent acquisition of HotSip, adding elements like SIP, Presence Server, Proxy Registrar, and Location components.

Oracle's announcement underscores its desire to buy its way into the lucrative telecom market, which is witnessing an economic upswing as standards like IMS and Linux enable the convergence of delivery platforms.

Complicating matters for Oracle is the fact that its SDP won't immediately incorporate key elements of the IMS standard like call control. In addition, the platform has yet to be performance tested in an Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (AdvancedTCA or ATCA) environment - which is becoming the predominant form factor for modular platforms in the telecom space. The company said that a broader suite of functionality is scheduled to be made available later this year.

Sonus' IMS-ready SMARRT Wireless system allows users to migrate to full 3G-network compliance. By enabling interoperability with NMS' IMS Mobile Client network operators, users can rapidly deploy a growing number of multimedia IP communication services on mobile devices spanning 2.5G, EDGE, 3G IMS, WiFi, and Bluetooth wireless networks.

NMS' IMS Mobile Client can be deployed across a range of mobile phone manufacturers' existing handsets and can be customized and re-branded for use within a service provider's network. The NMS IMS Mobile Client is currently available for network equipment and service vendors bringing to market pre-IMS and IMS mobile systems to wireless and fixed/mobile operators worldwide. and

ICE Selects Lucent’s MPLS and IMS-Ready Solutions

Lucent Technologies ( quote - news - alert ),announced that Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), the sole telecommunications provider in Costa Rica, has awarded Lucent a contract to deploy elements of Lucent's IMS service architecture and a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) solution to offer next-generation voice and data services.

ICE initially will use the Lucent solutions to provide VoIP calling, pre-paid services and virtual private networks targeting the international segment for both business and residential customers.

In addition to VoIP services, ICE is preparing to offer its customers a comprehensive set of IP-based services, including high-speed Ethernet connectivity, and the Lucent platform will allow it to rapidly develop and launch these new value added services.

Lucent's IMS-ready VoIP solution for ICE includes the Lucent Compact Switch, which provides the media gateway and gateway control functions, the Lucent Feature Server, which is an IMS-compliant server that offers call session control and Class 5 telephony applications and the Lucent Communication Manager, a next generation applications web portal solution, and Lucent Ethernet Routers (formerly of Riverstone Networks).

Lucent's solution for ICE also includes technology from Lucent partners, including Juniper Networks' M320 routers, Acme Packet's Net-Net Session Border Controllers, Dorado Software's RedCell MPLS Manager and VPN Service Center, and BayPackets' Agility Platform. Network security features are based on the Lucent
VPN Firewall Brick as well as the Lucent Security Management IntelliNet Technologies Particpates in Diameter Interoperability Event

IntelliNet Technologies, ( news - alert ) a provider of convergence technology for wireless, wireline, and IP networks, announced its successful participation in the interoperability testing of the Diameter Protocol with 3GPP-IMS application support. The multi-vendor event was driven by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) AAA-Working Group. IntelliNet tested its recently announced Accelero DIAMETER product interworking with a number of IMS products from the worlds top communications vendors.

The Diameter protocol provides the critical functions of Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA), the framework for applications requiring subscriber access, charging and policy control in 3G IP Multi-Media Subsystem (IMS) networks.

IntelliNets Accelero DIAMETER combines the Diameter base protocol with a rapid application software development platform designed for creating core IMS network elements or seamlessly porting legacy applications over to the IMS architecture. This enhanced version incorporates carrier-grade reliability, fault-tolerant redundancy and interface extensions critical for subscriber access, service roaming and billing functions.

Interoperability testing for Diameter is a significant milestone. Unlike SIP, which has been exposed to various plug-fests and bake-offs, Diameter is only now gaining prominence after the adoption of IMS by 3GPP. The goal of the interoperability testing was to enable vendors supplying solutions based on Diameter to test their products in a standardized environment and to rigorously test the protocol and its applications in a controlled setting.

Server (LSMS).

Ericsson Powering IMS Development

By Erik Linask

IMS is the next-generation architecture that will enable fixed/mobile convergence and other services in an all-IP environment. It has been defined by 3GPP/3GPP2 as a new core and service 'domain' that enables the convergence of data, speech, and network technology - including high levels of personalization - over an IP-based infrastructure.

EIMS-based Applications Probably Won’t Cause Consumer Spending Windfall

By Mae Kowalke

IMS-based applications have lots of potential uses, but chances are, none of them will result in a windfall in consumer spending, according to a new report from high-tech market research firm In-Stat.

In-Stat (news - alert), said that, instead of major increases in consumer spending, "The main revenue benefits that IMS provides lie in the integration of wireless and wireline services, and the creation of integrated multimedia service bundles for premium content and entertainment services."

In-Stat analyst Keith Nissen cautioned that, "Depending on new consumer spending for revenue growth is a risky proposition. The objective of carrier IMS revenue strategies should be to capture the maximum percentage of household monthly spending on communication and related services."

In the process of performing its research, In-Stat developed the following recommendations for carriers:

• Retain PSTN revenue streams for as long as possible;

• Do not lower pricing and gross margins solely in order to retain non-broadband single-service customers;

• Plan for broadband market share to dictate future subscriber ARPU and revenue potential; and

• Expect that new consumer spending for IMS-enabled applications will be limited by rising content costs and service rate increases.
ricsson (news - alert), a forerunner in promoting IMS, has launched the IMS ecosystem as part of Ericsson Mobility World's developers program, an initiative is aimed to accelerate the creation of innovative new applications and services, drive user demand for IMS-enabled networks, and create further revenue opportunities for operators.

Through this IMS ecosystem program, Ericsson is expanding its support for the developer community and its drive to develop IMS-based applications. Developers will be able to take advantage of Ericsson's IMS-based solutions, as well as the Ericsson Service Development Studio (SDS), a development and end-to-end testing tool. Naturally, in order for IMS to flourish, end-to-end support in the way of IMS clients and endpoints are critical. Ericsson is set to ensure that support is available to developers.

"The ecosystem for IMS applications will give operators access to a portfolio of IMS-based applications," says Kurt Sillén, VP, Ericsson Mobility World.

Siemens and BridgePort Networks Sign IMS Reseller Agreement

BridgePort Networks (news - alert), has announced a global reseller agreement with Siemens Communications (news - alert), in which its NomadicONE IMS Convergence Server (ICS) will be integrated with Siemens' IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). BridgePort product capabilities will now be part of the Siemens IMS/FMC solution for mobile, fixed, and cable network operators through the terms of a global software license agreement.

The Siemens solution integrates packet and circuit-switched telephony networks in addition to a range of wireless and fixed technologies. The integration of BridgePort's ICS enables Siemens to offer operators the ability to support single number phone services based on IMS@dvantage. Services can hand over an active voice call between circuit switched cellular and VoIP over WiFi networks by offering in-session switching of calls between networks.

The integrated solution meets technical requirements completed by the 3GPP and 3GPP2 for IMS to circuit-switched seamless voice handover, otherwise known as Voice call Continuity (VCC). The ICS application server sits in the IMS architecture and supports GSM, CDMA, UMTS and WiFi networks and implements the IMS Controlled Model (ICM) method of seamless handover per 3GPP technical requirements.

"As IMS continues to evolve, interoperability efforts in areas such as end-user device links to core infrastructure will represent an important dimension in successful trials and early deployments of fixed/mobile convergence based upon IMS," said Tom Valovic, program director for VOIP Infrastructure at IDC.. and

BT Extends FMC Service to Enterprises in Europe

Communications solutions provider BT (news - alert), said it plans to start offering converged fixed/mobile services to its large enterprise customers both in and outside the U.K. to enable business users to have one phone for both their mobile and office calls.

The service will also be the first "real" application of the U.K.-based incumbent operator's 21st Century Network (21CN), BT's next-generation network that is being rolled out in the U.K. and now also looks set to be taken to the operator's global markets.

The Enterprise FMC service will be enabled by IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology and will make use of the 21CN presence system as well as its converged voicemail system and intelligent call routing. The use of IMS will ensure the seamless handover of calls when users move from the WiFi to the GSM network.

The main selling points of the service for the business user will one handset, one bill, and cheaper overall call charges. BT expects the service to be attractive to customers who are concerned about rising mobile costs but who want to provide their employees with more flexibility.
Phone Systems and Network Taps Alcatel for VoIP

By Johanne Torres

Phone Systems and Network an alternative French operator, completed the transformation of its local and long distance network from TDM to VoIP-based on elements of Alcatel's (news - alert), IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) system.

With the all VoIP-based infrastructure in place, Phone Systems and Network can now deliver a set of enterprise and residential IP services including IP Centrex and local and long distance VoIP services.

The new system is comprised of the Alcatel 5020 Softswitch and the Alcatel 7515 Media Gateways, providing the link between voice and IP data; the Alcatel 8688 Media Resource Function (MRF), providing advanced audio interactions in IP networks; and the Alcatel 1515 Compact Cross Connect, bridging the traditional public telephone network with the IP-based next generation network.

"Phone Systems and Network represents a new generation of competitive operators turning to VoIP technology to reduce their cost of infrastructure and achieve integrated and converged services," said Monika Maurer, president of Alcatel's fixed solutions activities in a statement. "This contract represents a new reference in France for elements of our IMS solution, and reaffirms our leadership in handling complex end-to-end network transformation projects."

Cedar Point Communications’ SAFARI C3 Earns Highest Rating Given by Cable Technology Experts

Cedar Point Communications (news - alert), provider of integrated VoIP switching technologies for the cable and telecommunications industries, today announced that its SAFARI C3 Multimedia Switching System earned the highest rating ever given in the Broadband Gear Report Diamond Technology Reviews.

SAFARI C3, the only totally integrated carrier class VoIP switch designed for the cable industry, earned Four and One-Half Diamonds from Broadband Gear Report's panel of industry experts. The rating represents a half-diamond increase over last year's score for SAFARI C3, which was entered in the VoIP Solutions category.

A totally integrated carrier-class VoIP switch that incorporates all of the components that make up the voice switching infrastructure, SAFARI C3 provides seamless evolution to SIP-based features and an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture. SAFARI C3 provides superior performance and reliability, significantly reducing capital expenditures, system integration and operations costs for cable operators offering telephony services while increasing network integrity, security and privacy.

SAFARI C3 is PacketCable-qualified and future-architected to fit within an IMS core network infrastructure, allowing network operators to leverage their initial equipment investment in voice as they introduce such services as video telephony and fixed-mobile applications. New applications can be integrated into SAFARI C3, or can be accessed via third-party application servers.
Empirix Hammer DEX 2.0 Testing Platform Supports IMS Functions

By Laura Stotler

Empirix (news - alert), has added a number of features to the latest version
of its Hammer Device Emulation of X (DEX) 2.0 platform. The new version features support for SIP registration testing and gateway testing with H.248 and SIGTRAN-IUA, as well as broad emulation and testing support for a range of IMS functions.

Support for IMS functions includes: CSCFs, MRFC, MGCF, BGCF, MGF, IBCF and I-BGF. The DEX also supports next-generation networking devices including MGC emulation for residential gateways. Empirix also plans to add support for DIAMETER this summer, which will enable the DEX to emulate and test application servers, SCIM functions, convergence functions, HSS, SLF, and charging functions.

The Hammer DEX enables network equipment manufacturers and service providers to emulated next-generation networking infrastructure devices as well as IMS functions. This enables a more comprehensive array of testing for interoperability testing as well as for verifying devices and networks. The DEX also allows users to emulate products from other vendors.

The Hammer DEX offers cost and time effectiveness for emulating IMS devices, since one Hammer DEX can emulate up to four IMS functions simultaneously. The DEX also offers out-of-box ability to span both positive and negative test scenarios for SIP and other major IMS control protocols. The product creates a growing awareness through trial and error of the importance of interoperability testing and furthers the global movement toward IMS by wireless, wireline, and cable-service providers.
LongBoard and Stratus Announce OEM Partnership

LongBoard (news - alert), a provider of carrier-grade software designed to enable revenue-generating, converged voice and multimedia services, and Stratus Technologies (news - alert), a provider of open, carrier-grade software, hardware platforms and telecommunications solutions, have entered into an OEM partnership agreement. As part of its Converged Personalized Services initiative, Stratus will now offer LongBoard's SIP standard-based software for seamless handoff of voice calls between cellular networks and 802.11 (WiFi) networks.

LongBoard's IMS-compatible client/server software enables a dual-mode handset to support ubiquitous voice services across WiFi and cellular networks using one telephone number. Stratus further enhances the product's capabilities by providing SS7 and IN connectivity, as well as complete systems integration services. The complete solution is fully 3GPP IMS compliant and is being currently trialed with several operators.

LongBoard's call handover software was the industry's first network-based FMC solution using the SIP standard, which has been embraced by service providers worldwide and is at the heart of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS).

"This partnership will provide carriers with a powerful, unique converged services solution that boosts ARPU and enhances customer relationships," said Hari Haran, LongBoard president and CEO.

Lucent Technologies Completes Acquisition of Riverstone Networks

Lucent Technologies (news - alert), announced that it has completed its acquisition of certain net assets related to the business operations of Riverstone Networks, a maker of carrier Ethernet routers for the telecommunications industry.

"We are excited to integrate the Riverstone team into Lucent," said Ken Wirth, president and general manager, Multimedia Networking Solutions, Lucent Technologies. "With this purchase we have created an industry leader in the delivery of end-to-end carrier Ethernet and converged Optical/Ethernet solutions, and we look forward to aggressively pursuing the expanding market for Ethernet-based business services and residential triple-play offerings such as IPTV."

The integration of the Riverstone assets into Lucent's portfolio is expected to result in substantial benefits in other areas of Lucent's business. For instance, Riverstone's carrier Ethernet platforms augment Lucent's IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) solution, enabling operators to leverage end-to-end, Ethernet-based architectures that support the delivery of business and residential broadband services at lower cost with superior quality of service, performance and reliability. www.lucent.comSonus and Verint to Enable Carriers to Comply with CALEA

By Johanne Torres

Sonus Networks (news - alert) joined forces with Verint Systems (news - alert) to enable service providers to comply with the communications assistance for law enforcement act (CALEA), as well as interception requirements for emerging VoIP and broadband packet-data services.

Verint, a member of Sonus' Open Services Partner Alliance (OSPA), and Sonus have created a lawful Interception and delivery capability for Sonus' IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem)-ready architecture with Verint's STAR-GATE Communications Interception Solution.

The bundle is designed to allow service providers to comply with standards established for CALEA in the U.S., and by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) in Europe, as well as for other country-specific variants around the world.

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