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July 28, 2008

Researchers: Ericsson Leads IMS Market, Followed by Alcatel, Nokia

A hi-tech market research firm based on Long Island, New York today announced that a perennial leader in IP multimedia subsystems infrastructure vending is holding its industry-leading position.
According to ABI Research, Ericsson (News - Alert) led the overall rankings because it had the most IMS commercial contracts, at 50, compared to 30 or fewer for its competitors.

“Many of its customers are Tier 1 operators, the company provides a comprehensive suite of products, and it invested over $4.8 billion in research and development in 2007,” said ABI Senior Analyst Nadine Manjaro.
The firm says Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens (News - Alert) Networks claimed the second and third spots in the new evaluation, respectively, with Alacatel rising from number six the previous year.
Generally speaking, experts say, IMS is an IP multimedia and telephony core network that’s defined by industry-wide standard Internet protocols. IMS is “access-independent,” since it supports IP-to-IP session over wireline IP, 802.11, 802.15, CDMA and packet data applications, they say.
The technology is designed for maximum interoperability through a strategic use of layers, whereby the multimedia applications are kept independent from the access technologies.
Some analysts debate whether IMS will be able to help operators deliver new services.
ABI officials describe their “Vendor Matrix” as an analytical tool that can provide an understanding of vendors’ positions in specific markets. Vendors are assessed, the firm says, on the parameters of “innovation” and “implementation” across several criteria unique to each vendor matrix.
“For this particular matrix, under ‘innovation,’ ABI Research (News - Alert) examined the system vendors’ R&D budgets and the number of their IMS industry partnerships, their support of wireline and wireless networks and the number of innovative services,” officials say.
Under “implementation,” ABI says it scrutinized the following criteria: how well each vendor is equipped to supply a complete system (either alone or with partners); its announced orders or trials; its abilities as a system integrator; the number of Tier 1 operators that are customers; the number of elements provided; and the number of applications provided or supported.
Michael Dinan is a TMCNet Editor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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