Verizon Wireless teams with 5 vendors on IMS initiative

Verizon Wireless has teamed with vendors Cisco, Lucent, Motorola, Nortel and Qualcomm to develop enhancements to the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture. The new group, called A-IMS for Advanced IMS, has banded together to speed up standards and address areas standards bodies have not yet defined. IMS has sparked some fierce debate in recent months, with operators pursuing widely differing implementation strategies, and vendors have even been at odds over what constitutes a true IMS implementation. IMS players have complained that the standards are too flexible, allowing vendors to interpret them differently.

Verizon Wireless and its partners say the A-IMS will address some of the holes in the standard, one of which is the ability to treat SIP (Session Initiated Protocol) and non-SIP traffic the same. IMS is a mobile network architecture that fills the gaps between all disparate telecom technologies to enable the convergence of data, voice and mobile networks over an IP-based infrastructure, but SIP is the application service layer that ties everything together, enabling the disparate networks to talk to one another using one common language. The problem is, not many key applications incorporate SIP, and operators are taking a big risk spending the money to develop them when they don't know what the user demand is going to be. A-IMS also aims to address one of the biggest technical hurdles today: the ability to roam onto any network, regardless of what air interface is in use.

To read more about the A-IMS initiative:
- check out this release

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