Verizon, together with key telecom industry suppliers, today announced a vision for the advancement of next-generation network architecture for wireless mobile telecommunications networks. Dick Lynch, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at Verizon Wireless, said the company has been working for nearly a year with a task force of the industry's "best and brightest" network engineers and strategists from Cisco, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nortel and Qualcomm. Their goal has been to develop enhancements to a well known, emerging architecture, known as IMS (IP Multi-media Subsystem).
The multi-vendor team has generically termed this architecture A-IMS--for Advances to IMS--in order to reflect its evolution from work done earlier in technology standards bodies. The A-IMS architecture developed by the task force provides solutions to implement next-generation services in current networks, as well as creates a foundation for the efficient roll-out of both SIP-and non-SIP-based services in future networks.
IMS is generally accepted as a core component of virtually all next-generation, IP-based communications networks for SIP-based applications, and is designed to assure standardization of multi-media services across all of these interconnected networks.
Lynch said, "We applaud the visionaries who have done a great job developing IMS over the last few years. But as we approached implementation planning, it became apparent that there are some practical, real-world issues that need to be addressed if we are to transparently and completely deploy and maximize the use of this new architecture. To us, it is also important that it be built to support the bridging of the present non-IP reality as we transition to the future. As people look at what our task force has accomplished, I expect that they will see significant benefits, including embedding VoIP hooks into the lower levels of the stack and addressing security issues in a more systemic way. These are exciting advancements that are headed rapidly into our mainstream technology roadmap."
The current outputs of the task force are a concept document and an architecture document that are being provided to industry leaders. From these documents, the task force companies plan to make necessary standards contributions in the immediate future. "The promise of IMS is extraordinary, for wireless service providers, as well as for all network providers. A-IMS enhances the opportunity for success for not only the network providers but also for companies in technology, infrastructure, handset manufacturing and service design and, most importantly, for the consumer," said Charlie Giancarlo, Chief Development Officer, Cisco.
"Having been at the forefront of creating IMS-based next-generation multi-media solutions for mobile networks, we recognize the benefits of this collaboration, particularly in terms of multi-vendor interoperability, as we move into an all-IP mobility world," said Paul Mankiewich, Chief Technology Officer, Lucent Technologies Network Systems Group. "This effort continues to enable the delivery of blended voice, video, data and multi-media applications, what we call Blended Lifestyle services, to mobile end users."
"This joint task force has defined the missing transition step from today to pure IP architecture, and knowledge learned from this effort will help us in development of seamless mobility solutions using this new architecture. We see operators adopting A-IMS to deploy a unified platform for the rapid deployment of new services, including SIP-based interactive applications and non-SIP applications, all of which run on top of IP," said Fred Wright, Senior Vice President, North America Region, Networks & Enterprise, Motorola.
"With our extensive experience deploying VoIP networks and SIP-based applications worldwide, we have a unique understanding of the system requirements and design and configuration enhancements necessary for successfully implementing VoIP in a wireless environment. With the augmentations to the current standards we envision coming from A-IMS, wireless VoIP can efficiently arrive in the mainstream a lot sooner than anticipated," predicted Richard Lowe, President, Mobility and Converged Core Networks, Nortel.
"With A-IMS, Qualcomm will be able to provide a consistent client environment that will drive the faster deployment of new and innovative IP-based applications," said Roberto Padovani, Chief Technology Officer, Qualcomm. "By deploying an access-agnostic A-IMS- based core network, operators will benefit from seamless integration of a rich array of services delivered across access technologies. A-IMS also provides operators flexibility in configuring and controlling services, and allows the device client to implement consistent policies for dealing with air interfaces, security, signaling and multi-media capabilities, while freeing the application developer to focus on providing compelling functionality to the user."