Project Clearwater floats open-source IMS core for the cloud

Metaswitch Networks is hoping a free, cloud-based, open-source IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core will help more telecom service providers embrace IMS and, in turn, adopt products from the company's portfolio.

The company announced last month that it is contributing the initial codebase for Project Clearwater. The effort entails creation of "a cloud-based IMS core for network operators that want to offer VoLTE, a standalone SIP-based calling service, hosted business services, WebRTC and anything else you can do with a traditional IMS network," Metaswitch spokesman Phil Harvey told FierceBroadbandWireless

The code is available on GitHub.com and installs in the Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN) cloud, which enables a per-subscriber cost of about 2 cents per year.

"We're not cannibalizing an existing product," said Harvey. But because Project Clearwater is aimed at helping telecom providers more quickly embrace IMS, "we're thinking it will eventually have a good knock-on effect for us," he added.

That is because once an operator has an IMS core installed, even if it is in the cloud, it will want a media gateway to link with its TDM network and perhaps a session border control for security as well as a telephony application server. Those are all products that Metaswitch markets.

"Our aim is to provide operators and developers with the keys to quickly move to highly-scaled VoIP and VoLTE networks and create tomorrow's most advanced Web-scale communications applications," said Martin Taylor, Metaswitch's CTO.

Metaswitch intends to offer a Red Hat-type subscription service for Project Clearwater, which will include regular releases of hardened code for telecom clients desiring that. But, it is envisioned that most Project Clearwater adopters will opt to use the free version of the service. "We don't have a particular revenue plan for this," said Harvey.

Even operators that have deployed an IMS core from one of the major infrastructure vendors may be interested in exploring the concept of a cloud-based IMS product to enable new services or to serve as part of a network that is going to reside completely in the cloud, he said.

"They won't be ripping out and throwing their Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) stuff away, but this might be something they use in one or two service instances," said Harvey.

For more:
- see this Project Clearwater webpage

Related articles:
SBC, IMS segments are bright spot in otherwise dismal carrier IP market, says Dell'Oro
Report: Ericsson leads on IMS/VoLTE, closely followed by Alcatel-Lucent, NSN
North American VoLTE preparations propel IMS spending

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