Video Pushes IMS Decisions, Report

The ability to roll out new video services plays heavily in carriers’ decisions to move their networks toward the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture, according to the latest Light Reading Insider report. (See Carriers on IMS: Fear, Uncertainty & No Doubt.)

The report, titled “IMS: What Carriers Really Think,” lays out the views of service provider professionals on IMS and the future of the architecture in their networks.

The survey confirms the idea that, while most everybody thinks IMS will be important, no one IMS-enabled “killer app” has emerged. (See IMS: Simplify First, Add Apps Later.)

But, when Insider analysts asked the survey-takers which general application types are now driving movement toward IMS, the top four answers returned involved video. (See Tier 1 SPs Trial IMS.)

More than three quarters of the respondents said they would use IMS to roll out video sharing and gaming applications. Seventy-two percent said they thought blended services, like text messaging to a TV, would be winners. Sixty-nine percent say they’ll roll out instant messaging services (which may include video) based on IMS. (See Moto Demos IMS.)

The more dominant theme of the report is that carriers want the ability to assemble and roll out new services quickly and inexpensively. Sixty percent of the survey respondents believe IMS will have a "generally positive impact" on their ability to create and deliver new services, the report shows.

"It’s not really so much about a killer application as it is about a 'killer development environment,' ” says the author of the report, Light Reading Insider analyst James Crawshaw. "You know how Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is releasing new applications all the time, and some of them fly and some of them don’t? The telcos want to have a go at that," Crawshaw says. In order to create new applications that blend video with other services like voice and data, carriers need to integrate video assets from one type of network with complementary assets from other networks. The IMS architecture erases the boundry lines between those networks. (See Poll: Businesses First to Buy IMS Apps.)

IMS in the network will also give carriers the ability to deliver video assets to a number of differert types of end points. These could include anything from cell phones to televisions to a Play Station.

Many in the carrier world are now asking challenging questions about the real ROI of their IMS strategies, but the majority remain convinced that the architecture will indeed have its payoffs. (See Delivering Open IMS Solutions for Mobile Multimedia Services on AdvancedTCA* - by Intel.)

Survey respondents said they believe IMS will give them the ability to converge fixed and mobile services, the ability to build new blended voice, video, and data applications, and the ability to assemble and launch those new services quickly and cheaply. (See IMS & SDPs Must Work Together.)

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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