I spent yesterday afternoon at the MultiService Forum press day at BT Central. Subjected to a mind-boggling array of acronyms, I'm afraid I bordered on nodding off at several points, but it did get me thinking about IMS in general.
IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) is a reference architecture based on 3GPP standards that various bodies are trying to push forward (usually independently of one another), and will hopefully get next generation networks, desktops, handsets and so on all merrily chatting to each other in real-time sessions. It's the future, don't you know.
However, the big problem is that operators don't particularly see the need to go beyond the systems that are already there, particularly when the real usefulness of IMS doesn't really lie in good old voice and SMS - still the main reason that people use a phone - but rather in the sort of rich real-time-centric multimedia applications that, well, people aren't clamouring for yet (sorry, 2.0-heads). I spoke to one vendor this morning who was very keen to say the technology was ready, but admitted that it would take "some unique application" to come around for the operators to cease resisting.
Still keen on reading about IMS, business bods? Well, let us know if you really want to, but judging from the pervading mood it'll be a good while before it hits the consumer market, let alone enterprise.