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October 2007 | Volume 2 / Number 5
Publisher's Outlook

IMS Acceptance Accelerates

By Rich Tehrani
Recently, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd signed a contract with the Warid Group, a mobile service provider in South Asia and Africa, to deploy IMS services.

Huawei will implement the IMS core network and combine it with a WiMAX access network. In doing so, Warid will be able to deliver VoIP and IP-based multimedia services to its customers.

Sophisticated services providers like Warid are seizing opportunities to bring the benefits of FMC to new markets, Ding Yun, Vice President of Huawei, was quoted as saying in a report. Huawei is excited to be part of this effort. Our IMS products are successfully deployed in both large and small networks and are rapidly proving the value of this architecture. Our total commitment to customer partnership means that Warid is assured of having a network for the future.




In addition to the deployment, Huawei will also provide Warid with GSM network components, wireless base stations, a VAS (Value-Added Service) platform, long-distance/international gateway offices as well as the IP bearer network. These solutions will enable Warid to create an all-IP network for the future.

Warid is considered to be one of the first service providers in the world to offer IMS-over-WiMAX. With the addition of wireless access to data and voice services, customers will be offered the kinds of advanced services they have been seeking for quite sometime now. These services, to be extended to both the business and consumer markets, will include voice, IP Centrex, multimedia communications, and prepaid as well as other value-added services. By deploying advanced FMC services, Warid can woo more customers and experience business growth with no further investments.

This news is good for the IMS market, but I wonder why the equipment choices were of the single-vendor variety. One of the great benefits of IMS is the ability to mix-and-match various vendor products to come up with a best-of-breed solution. Still, we are early in the adoption phase of IP multimedia subsystem technology so perhaps we need to walk before we can run. Avid IMS Magazine readers know that the IMS Forum and other associations are sponsoring plugfest after plugfest with the goal being a future with interoperable IMS solutions. Hopefully I will be able to point out more multi-vendor IMS wins in the near future.

AppTrigger's Chris Todd on the New World Faced by Service Providers

Rich Tehrani recently spoke with Chris Todd, President and CEO of AppTrigger (www.apptrigger.com), the company that invented the Application Session Controller and is now a leading developer of Network Layer Service Delivery Platform software for application developers and network operators. Todd has a tremendous amount of sales and marketing experience, gained from his prior executive positions at Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks (News - Alert) and Kodiak Networks.

Who will write the next generation IMS applications?

Rich, that's a great question and hits upon one of the most exciting things going on in telecommunications today. As service providers focus on network convergence, monetizing their networks and creating a vast ecosystem of application developers to drive new and incremental ARPU, they are looking at a variety of technologies to achieve these objectives. As a leader in application connectivity and rich call control, AppTrigger sees more and more service providers complementing their IMS strategies with Web Services. This will enable them to move to an IP infrastructure and at the same time open their network to the largest ecosystem of application developers in an API-agnostic manner.

What will be the most compelling of these apps?

AppTrigger has somewhat of a contrarian view on this particular topic. There's a tremendous amount of hype and energy to define the next killer app It's not necessarily a matter of a specific application but rather the ability to move existing legacy applications into IMS architectures in a cost-effective manner. This is important because it frees up the service provider and the application development community to focus on innovation as opposed to replication. This is why AppTrigger introduced the Application Session Controller with new IMS functionality (IN-SCS (News - Alert)) that enables revenue-producing legacy applications to migrate into IMS in a cost-effective way and ensuring the subscriber experience remains consistent. With a cost-effective solutions service providers can focus on innovation and application mash-ups.

What is the best way to generate revenue from these applications?

From an IMS application perspective it is all about complementing and not competing for the subscriber's user experience. That being said, ensuring the subscriber experience is consistent regardless of network and that IMS and non-IMS applications can work in unison is the goal of every service provider. This is much easier said then done. Based on our experience in the marketplace, the challenge service providers face with IMS build-outs is that they are becoming 'IMS silos' and require the service provider to maintain multiple application platforms for each network. The key to generating revenue with IMS applications will be to ensure they complement existing applications and the current user experience.

What is the fastest way for service providers to provide applications on IMS networks?

Rich, I believe this question is one of the key drivers behind the promise of IMS, fast application delivery. The issue is not what is the fastest IMS deployment model but how does a service provider reconcile their IMS build-out with their other infrastructure investments.

What is the future of IMS?

AppTrigger believes IMS has many positives for the service provider marketplace but the deployment will take longer then people anticipate or have predicated. The reality most service providers are facing is how to take the best aspects of IMS and leverage them with existing assets to create something unique and operationally efficient. Application Session Controllers are a critical network element which enables service providers the ability to cross leverage IMS applications with legacy networks and legacy applications with IMS networks.

Note: In May 2007, Zippy Grigonis interviewed AppTrigger's VP of Marketing, Patrick FitzGerald, who said, The traditional model, currently in vogue, is where the application solutions serviced by the service provider utilize independent protocol stacks that they have to put into the application and so these applications are now optimized for just a single network per application. It will be very difficult to obtain the converged user experience if the providers continue down the path of utilizing the current application deployment model. That's why AppTrigger is focused on solving this particular problem of 'de-siloing' the applications.

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