NGN Forum Releases IMS Report Card

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NGN Forum Releases IMS Report Card Based on Results from Plugfest 3, 4, and 5 Interoperability Test Events

The reality is that while those mashups do allow a faster new service introduction, they are still

The NGN IMS Forum, the only industry association dedicated to interoperability and certification of IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Next Generation Networks (NGN) applications and services, announced today the availability of its second IMS Report Card. The IMS Report Card directly addresses the confusion and misinformation regarding IMS and NGN Services to present a testimony to the readiness of the technology. The IMS Report Card provides factual information based on results from the five IMS Forum Plugfests conducted to date at the UNH-IOL and clarifies the state of IMS as a technology and framework. The IMS Report Card will also be discussed during the IMS/NGN Plugfest 6 event starting on January 12, 2009.

"We can speak with confidence that IMS is moving forward rapidly," said Michael Khalilian, Chairman & President NGN and IMS Forum. "Early, conflicting information from vendors and service providers (SPs), both in favor of and challenging the technology, have blurred and complicated the understanding of IMS. We have the facts about IMS and NGN, and with each new Plugfest the list of standards-compliant and interoperable IMS services that are ready for deployment grows. Objections to the IMS architecture on the grounds of its lack of interoperability, its immaturity, or its complexity are no longer tenable. We have seen multiple vendors quickly integrate and deploy services in a multi-vendor, mutli-service service provider IMS network. Many SPs also recognized the value of IMS and are working toward deploying IMS in a modular fashion."

The Report Card, built as a matrix, states a myth or misconception about IMS and provides data from the results of the IMS Forum five Plugfests to refute the myth. The myths fall into the following categories: Business Case, Complexity, IMS Core, Standards, Interoperability, Key Features SIP Integration, Applications, Deployment and Legacy Network.

On the Report Card regarding the topic of IMS and mashups, Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Ronald Gruia, said, "The reality is that while those mashups do allow a faster new service introduction, they are still "siloed" implementations, and as carriers deploying services this way will realize, the more of those they introduce, the higher the cost of switching away from them will be. However, "mashups" can be "future proofed" by being "IMS ready". Telefonica Spain for example is brining the best of both worlds (IMS and Web 2.0 mashups) with its WIMS initiative."

The Report Card also identifies areas that still need work, for example, IMS-based service uptime is critical to network operator revenue. Reliability, security, billing and roaming (visited networks) are key areas that will need to be addressed further as we move forward. The IMS and NGN Forum Plugfest program is on an aggressive ramp to intensify the testing and interoperability of these critical areas as the IMS "ecosystem" matures.

The good news, the IMS Report Card concludes is that it is a demonstrably real technology with real vendors delivering real products and services today. Work is ongoing to port additional standards and protocols, such as IPTV. Operators are making steady progress toward simplifying their network architectures to all-IP routers and softswitches. Meanwhile, the true benefits and the business case for IMS are becoming increasingly clear.

The NGN Forum and IMS Forum Plugfests, held a couple of times a year, bring together industry-leading NGN and IMS vendors from around the world, all of which build and test IMS networks. Plugfests serve as implementation proving grounds for removing barriers to the adoption of IMS and NGN. Participation in the Plugfests will add industry-recognized certification for IMS applications and service interoperability.

Participation in the NGN IMS Forum's Plugfest 6 is open to all companies. For online registration and info contact the forum at: [email protected] or visit http://www.NGNforum.org.

About the NGN and IMS ForumsTM

The NGN Forum is the only global telecommunications association devoted to Next Generation Network (NGN) service delivery and interoperable IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) services architectures and solutions.

The Forum's mission is to accelerate the interoperability of IMS and NGN services and to enable enterprise and residential consumers to benefit fully from the delivery of M-playTM: rich multimedia, mobility and fixed services over wireline, cable, GSM, UMTS, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, LTE and fiber broadband networks. The Forum is the creator and organizer of the IMS PlugfestsTM and NGN PlugfestsTM, the industry's only events focused on verification and certification of IMS and NGN service interoperability through the IMS CertifiedTM and NGN CertifiedTM programs.

Through organized Plugfests, technical working groups and other activities, Forum members develop cost-effective technical frameworks for revenue generating converged IP NGN solutions. The combined organizations include over 2000 executives and technical, business development and marketing professionals from global and emerging equipment vendors, solution providers, integrators, service providers, and governmental agencies.

For additional information or to join the NGN Forum, the IMS Plugfest, and/or the NGN Plugfest, please visit http://www.IMSforum.org or http://www.NGNforum.org.

For Further Information contact:
NGN Forum Media Retaliations
Cathy Clarke - CNC Associates                
1 (508) 833-8533        

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