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Helio convergence chief on IMS: is essential but should be transparent

I go to a lot of VoIP conferences, and at every one I attend, you hear the gospel of IP Multimedia Systems, or IMS for short.The CTIA show is no exception.
Written by Russell Shaw, Contributor

I go to a lot of VoIP conferences, and at every one I attend, you hear the gospel of IP Multimedia Systems, or IMS for short.

The CTIA show is no exception. In fact, there is a panel going on right at this very minute entitled "IMS: The Technology Roadmap to VoIP Mobility."

First, a brief refresher course on IMS, from an excellent Lucent White Paper called IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Service Architecture

The IMS services architecture is a unified architecture that supports a wide range of services enabled by the flexibility of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). The IMS architecture can support multiple application servers providing traditional telephony services and non-telephony services such as instant messaging, push-totalk,video streaming, multimedia messaging, etc.

The services architecture is a collection of logical functions, which can be
divided into three layers:
• Transport and Endpoint Layer
• Session Control Layer
• Application Server Layer

The consensus of panelists seems to be that IMS has great potential, but it better be transparent, by golly.

"In some ways we see some similar problems as the enterprise users do- poor in-building or in-home coverage for voice or data applications. But we are taking it a step further and we see that especially among the high-end tech savvy consumers of today, they want rich multimedia and rich communications services are not where they should be" said Greg Hayes, head of convergence for Helio, a partnership between Earthlink and SK Telecom. "The experience where rich content has a discontintuity between broadband and phone applications is a problem we are seeking to solve.

Then Hayes addressed the matter of transparency between cellular and Wi-Fi. "For the consumer, it should be invisible and behind the scenes," he said. "We can't expect them to understand or make decisions to enable that connectivity to happen."

Hayes also implied that the greater the potential for IMS to boost the quality of the service offerings, the more attractive these applications will be for consumers.

"Were looking for end to end solutions with a little bit of intelligence on the client," Hayes noted. "As we prove out and find out where the money is going to be made, we are going to see some of those opportunities emerge."

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