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February 01, 2010

Testing IP Services Report: NGN IMS Forum Announces Plugfest 9

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor

Sending out a call for all application developers, network engineers, security technology providers and others who want to immerse themselves in three days of mingling, industry tech talk and all things next-generation-network-related, the NGN IMS Forum (News - Alert) has unveiled the agenda and dates for Plugfest 9.
Dubbed the “premiere IMS Plugfest and NGN Plugfest interoperability test event” -- to be held June 1-4, 2010, at the InterOperability Lab in Durham, N.H. -- the event will focus on NGN networking and IMS-based rich applications deployment. This includes location-based services, interoperability testing and real-time IP service integrity. Registration for the Interoperability and Testing (Plugfest) Working Group is now open for any service providers, integrators and vendors who would like to participate.  
As standards are constantly changing in the marketplace and new ones emerging along with hundreds of vendor-specific implementations that need to be backward compatible for real-world IP service interoperability, the NGN Forum provides a much-needed outlet.
“Our industry is converging from TDM and into the digital world,” Chairman of NGN IMS Forum Michael Khalilian told TMC (News - Alert). “We’re giving confidence to service providers and operators deploying NGN. “
Participating companies, like IP services testing solutions provider Mu Dynamics (News - Alert), will use the Forum to address a number of challenges, too.
“The integration and interoperability of disparate products from multiple vendors continues to be a difficult obstacle for network operators who are trying to quickly deploy high quality NGN IMS networks,” Dave Kresse (News - Alert), CEO at Mu Dynamics, an active participant in the NGN IMS Forum Security, BSS/OSS Working Group, told TMCnet. “Real-time applications involve countless moving pieces of software in the core and edge of the network. The only way to quickly and accurately test all the pieces is to leverage the actual service as the basis for testing.”
Kresse said Mu participates in the furthering of NGN IMS technology by helping customers -- which include many of the NGN IMS forum participants -- to more quickly deploy high quality services with its IP testing solution.
“Our customers see a better than 90 percent reduction in testing time when they use our solution compared to what they were previously doing,” Kresse said.
The NGN IMS Forum will define network topologies based on the participants' requirements for these tests. A sample listing of services to be tested at NGN IMS Plugfest 9 includes:
* IMS core, CSCF, AS, HSS, Policy;
* SDP / Rich Communications Services (RCS) / Voice Features and IMS
* VoIP / SIP / QoS;
* Security and Reliability;
* Metrics for standard sets of SIP call flows in IMS and NGN.
“Our Plugfests enable our members to test their services in real world, multi-vendor and multi-service provider networks,” said Khalilian. “Our Plugfests empower them to demonstrate for their customers and prospects that their new services and offerings will work in these environments, helping them to rapidly generate new revenues.”

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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