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Mobile World Congress Feature Articles

February 27, 2012

Metaswitch Accession to Support Rich Multimedia Sessions


The new Metaswitch Networks “Accession” application suite, unveiled at Mobile World Congress (News - Alert), intends to support rich multimedia sessions that might roam across devices and networks, while the in-process sessions remain active.


You might say “much” of that functionality is supposed to be why IP Multimedia Subsystem (News - Alert) (IMS) and Rich Communications Suite exist. That’s largely correct, with one important exception. One might argue that neither framework elegantly handles session maintenance when users want to shift from one device to another, while maintaining an in-progress session.

The seamless hand-off enabled by Accession is intended to add new value to applications that continue to work across networks and devices as users move from mobile to desktop and back again. The new product family, based on “immerse multimedia telephony,” builds on standards such as Rich Communications Services and IP Multimedia Subsystem.

In one sense, Accession aims to allow service providers to better position carrier offerings against over the top messaging and communications apps. Better content sharing is one example. Accession allows users to pull in relevant content, such as video or web content while users are in session for example, says Steve Gleave, Metaswitch Networks VP.

Accession also allows discrete devices to maintain separate profiles, matching any user’s roles at the office, at home, with family members or in any other situation where call rules and priorities are helpful. Accession also creates and supports a network address book, so all devices have access to all contacts.

“On-demand” and disposable phone numbers also can be created, which might be used when a user is selling something, and the item already has been sold, re-directing an inbound call to a message that the item already has been sold instead of ringing a device live.

Accession offers both consumer and business versions, a managed version as well as software a service provider can run on off the shelf hardware.

In a larger sense, the Accession architecture is built for the 21st century, relying heavily on the ability to work at a higher level, across networks and devices, above the level of any single set of network assets. The “IMX” managed version of Accession provides a clear example.

But the entire Accession architecture relies, as standards-based architectures always do, on interworking across network boundaries.

In some ways, that also is somewhat the case for over the top apps as well. And that, one might say, is the point.

 




Edited by Rich Steeves










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