Ericsson, Broadsoft Snack on Danish
TDC will initially use Ericsson's IMS systems to provide services such as VOIP and IP Centrex to its fixed-line business users. The hosted Centrex capabilities are provided by BroadSoft Inc., which has had its software integrated into the Swedish vendor's platform (see Ericsson Integrates BroadSoft).
Ericsson says it now has 27 carriers using its IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) architecture, a standards-based approach for delivering services over any type of access infrastructure and a central plank of carrier service and network convergence strategies (see Ericsson Demos IMS). Those carriers include Telecom Italia Mobile SpA (Milan: TIM), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON), Telefónica SA, and TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN), in addition to TDC (see Ericsson Provides IMS to Telefónica , Ericsson Grabs Sprint IMS Win, and Telecom Italia Picks Ericsson for IMS).
"Ericsson and Siemens Communications Group have emerged as the two leading major telecom vendors in the IMS systems market, with Lucent close behind," says Graham Finnie, Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading.
"It's got off to a really good start, winning deals with both wireless and wireline carriers, which is really good for Ericsson as it's often regarded simply as a vendor solely for mobile operators," adds Finnie, who is currently researching a major IMS report.
But there are issues with Ericsson's approach, says the analyst. "It has a proprietary underlying platform -- it's not ATCA hardware, and there's a lot of momentum behind ATCA. Also, Ericsson hasn't opened up all the interfaces in its IMS platform."
Ericsson believes that being able to offer a complete, end-to-end IMS solution is key, especially in the early days as service providers come to grips with what's required in terms of the service creation, session control, and transport elements of an IMS approach (see IMS Guide). That's why the vendor has integrated Broadsoft's software. "It's important to have a full solution," said Ericsson strategic marketing manager Oscar Gestblom during a briefing on the company's wireline strategy. He says that in the case of TDC, "we're delivering an Ericsson solution, even though we have Broadsoft's technology incorporated. We're doing the integration, verification testing, and providing the support."
The vendor believes it's well placed to pick up another major European fixed-line IMS account in the future. Ericsson is the sole provider of the "intelligent node" systems for BT Group plc's (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) 21st Century Network, which includes key IMS elements such as its softswitch (see Ericsson to Bring Partners to 21CN Party).
Peter Linder, technical director at Ericsson's wireline business unit, says BT's initial 21CN plans are not based on an IMS architecture, and that the carrier has yet to decide on its IMS strategy. "But being chosen for the i-node category for 21CN doesn't decrease our chances of being chosen as BT's IMS partner," says Linder cautiously.
Ericsson also announced a customer for its new IP-based multiservice access node, the EDA IP MSAN, which provides ADSL2+ and traditional voice telephony over IP on each blade in the chassis (see Ericsson Delivers First IP MSAN).
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading