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Regarding your comment: "Will they buy alot fo SBCs if they are afraid that somehow (logically or not) that the functionality will be subsumed into some IMS future?"
Yes, investments in SBC will take place if service providers are deploying VoIP or session oriented communications ahead of IMS/TISPAN (which they are). The growing number of VoIP subscribers and minutes shows that service providers are not waiting for IMS.
Also, keep in mind that IMS defines functions, not products. Today SBCs deliver functions predominately as a dedicated element. As stated before, those functions are necessary whether it's a IMS network or not. Vendors and service providers can choose to assemble those IMS functions in any number of product configurations.
Given that SBCs play a key role in securing VoIP/IMS networks, the chances are that operators will want a dedicated best of breed element to protect their investments.