The deployment of Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) will help telecommunications operators increase their revenues and bring new services to end-users, says Frost & Sullivan.
According to the research firm, increasing competition between Europe's fixed and mobile carriers and the success of Internet telephony services such as Skype, have heightened the focus on Internet Protocol (IP) including IMS standards based on the Third-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
Set up in 1998, the 3GPP is a collaboration agreement established between a handful of telecommunications standards bodies such as the China Communications Standards Association, Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. The 3GPP's primary objective is to produce internationally applicable technical specifications and reports for 3G mobile systems and technologies.
The IMS platform is said to allow operators to focus on offering applications, rather than access technologies, and deliver fixed-mobile converged services.
The emerging technology is likely to facilitate the offering of differentiated services, leading to a significant reduction in application costs and a surge in new revenue opportunities, Frost & Sullivan predicts.
IMS helps ensure the availability of session initiation protocol (SIP) on a number of systems including 3G devices, and enable applications to run on general packet radio service (GPRS) systems.
As a result, Frost & Sullivan said, issues that pertain to device availability will no longer be a barrier to the introduction of new telecommunication services.
IMS technology also provides a platform for implementing different IP-based applications, such as push-to-talk and instant messaging.
"IMS is a very exciting technology in the industry today, providing many different advantages and benefits," Jennifer Fruehauf, the company's research manager, said in a media statement. "At the same time, there are strong implications on carrier strategies, structures and market approaches which must be taken into account when assessing the implementation of IMS technology."
"While IMS technology contributes to application development and promises to move away from a 'silo-ed' [environment], in the short term, it will require an additional silo that must be managed and supported," Fruehauf said.
Furthermore, she added, operators will need to ensure IMS systems can work with their existing circuit-switch infrastructure and this could lead to additional expenses. "Hence, the degree of cost efficiency of the IMS technology cannot be accurately ascertained," she said.