Optical/IP Networks

Cisco Kills Initial IMS Platform

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is killing off its first real products aimed at mobile and wireline operators that wanted to support IP-based services via IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem).

The networking giant issued an "End of Life" notice for its Call Session Control Platform (CSCP) product family on November 30. It will stop taking orders on May 31 and halt shipments on August 29, 2007, and will terminate support on May 30, 2010. Cisco's standalone Network Route Director (NRD) is not included in the cull.

Cisco says that it had built more IMS functionality into the SIP-based CSCP technology in December 2005. (See Cisco Warms Up to IMS.) The platform was intended to allow carriers to migrate to IMS and support services such as convergence between fixed and mobile networks and push-to-talk.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is one of the most prominent mobile operators using the CSCP. The operator has had the system installed for more than two years.

Cisco introduced more SIP- and IMS-friendly features on its 7600 series of routers with the December 2005 release of CSCP 3.0 and generally appeared to be softening its sometimes hostile stance to IMS. A Heavy Reading report earlier that year, however, noted that -- despite its softening attitude to the technology -- Cisco was still ambivalent about IMS. (See Cisco Muddles on IMS.)

This latest move appears to indicate that may still be the case. It is not yet clear what Cisco will replace the CSCP system with. The end-of-life notice says that customers should contact their Cisco reps about migration plans.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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