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Richard Hail and Farewell...

By Richard "Zippy" Grigonis            October 2006, Volume 1/Number 5


No, Greg Galitzine has not undergone plastic surgery and a name change. Nor has he entered the witness protection program. And he hasn’t even been kidnapped while on a press junket in Brazil.

Instead, Greg has been promoted to Group Editorial Director for the IP Communications Group here at TMC. He’ll still be overseeing the overall editorial workings of Internet Telephony, IMS and SIP magazines, but he’ll also now be taking a much more active role in the editorial content of TMCnet, TMC’s astoundingly successful communications and technology news website.

As for myself, you may be experiencing some déjà vu. I was the founding editor of VON Magazine; other readers out there may remember my long association with Harry Newton and Computer Telephony magazine, later known as Communications Convergence (News - Alert).

When I’m not asking Greg questions incessantly on a daily basis, I’ll be attempting to walk in his moccasins, assuming his former Executive Editor role in charge of our three illustrious magazines.

I’m fortunate to come on board just as IMS is revving up. When the technology is fully tested and deployed, anybody will be able to wander around from wireline to wireless environments and maintain access to all of his or her services. It doesn’t matter what device is being used. I could be in my home and step outside with my phone, causing me to jump from my home network/wireless network, possibly under Wi-Fi, onto cellular mobile roaming, and while I’m doing that I could be transferring content from my digital recorder onto my mobile device. I may have the ability to manage my wireline-based applications from my wireless device.

As IMS fully integrates such things as fixed-line, mobile and Wi-Fi broadband technologies, it will break down the barrier that used to restrict certain applications to the wireline world, now making them wireless too and thus bringing about true Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC), sometimes called “fixed-to-mobile” convergence. FMC can be a bit disconcerting, since it allows for wireline service providers to break free of landline networks, and vice versa. In the future, you will be aware that you are served by a Communications Service Provider (CSP) (News - Alert) , but you won’t know exactly what kind of provider it is, simply because it will be able to reach anywhere, adapting itself to whatever terminal or type of access that’s available near you at any moment.

IMS also allows for (hopefully) exciting new services to be quickly devised and deployed. This means that you’ll see many unusual services appearing over the next few years. Some of these will be successful but many won’t be — a situation reminiscent of the many different kinds of “dot bombs” that came and went in the 1990s. Let’s cross our fingers that there won’t be too many of those, since IMS delivering multiple services will also provide more opportunities for operators to generate additional revenue via cross discounts, up-selling and more detailed demographic analysis.

Fortunately, in a recent Siemens (News - Alert) survey entitled, “Global and U.S. Demand for Wireless Solutions,” 1,000 U.S. mobile phone subscribers report that they’re ready for advanced cellular applications, including mobile email, music and television. Indeed, 52% of U.S. mobile users say they are likely to purchase such services in the future compared to 62% of non-U.S. consumers.
So there you have it — the IMS adventure begins, and YOU are there!

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