Sunday, August 28, 2005

VON Magazine on IMS and ENUM 

The August 2005 issue of VON Magazine is also featuring an article from Bob Emmerson on IMS: Long on promise and short on delivery? The title is already the message:

Let’s not get carried away. The optimistic view of IMS (IP-based Multimedia Sub-system, the future common service architecture for both wireless and wireline communications) predicts service delivery in Q1 2006 and SIP-compliant devices will be needed. The other view is for an appearance in 2007/08 along with a prediction of problems with the new cell phones (see the sidebar entitled, “Shades of Gray”). Only time will tell who is right and both views are obviously driven by agendas, but the vibes were very positive in Stockholm.

I have stated my view on IMS here many times and I understand that the VON Magazine cannot fully argue against the main customers and sponsors of the VON Conferences, so they are citing them instead, which is sufficient for a give-away, e.g.:

Brough Turner, CTO at NMS Communications: “IMS is the intelligent network (IN) of our decade. Yes, IMS’s separation of signaling and transport is more efficient, and the potential access to new application development environments may help… IN was important (think mobile roaming and prepaid) and IMS will be important, but let’s not get carried away by the hype… IMS comes in several revisions, some not fully baked; additional revisions will emerge over the next decade.”

So IMS = IN, now it is official. I expect a comment from David S. Isenberg on this statement in the next issue of VON Magazine ;-)

Bertrand Chauvet, international business development director, Netcentrex, comes at it from an NGN perspective: “What is really good with IMS as a specification, what really makes the difference with the legacy IN, is the simple recognition that with VoIP there’s no tromboning [traffic making forwards and backwards trips to the same location]. This architectural change is extremely important and it will have a big impact on the NGN.”

Aha, so there IS a difference between IMS and IN. This statement is really a nice one -

IMS is here to prevent tromboning!

There is no technical reason for tromboning in GSM since 1990, yet there is still tromboning. And as far as I know, the IMS version to be implemented in 3GPP now will tunnel from the visited network to the home network. In my naivity I call this tromboning also.

Bob Emmerson himself seems to be not so happy what he is citing and saying on page 28, because already on page 36 in his second feature on Euro Innovation - Triple play, guaranteed seamless handovers & pseudo-wires he is stating prominently:

The way ahead:

Telephony is becoming a free application like email and IM; i.e., it will be part of a broadband service bundle. There are around 40 million broadband lines in the EU, up 70% from last year, and carriers have excess DSL capacity.

The whole article is not mentioning IMS at all.

BTW, also Professor Henning Schulzrinne, in the excellent interview in the VON Magazine July issue is not mentioning IMS with one single word.

Last but not least, the July issue of VON Magazine has also an interesting article on ENUM - Great idea but ... from Richard Grigonis. Richard first gives a well researched overview and introduction on ENUM, then from an interview with Tom McGarry, Neustar, an overview on the current (May 2005) status on User, Private and Carrier ENUM. In the last section titled: Today Austria, Next Year the US? he is citing from my presentation and what I said at VON Europe 2005.

As we all know, things have moved forward in the meantime in Paris, but his last sentence is still correct:

So, ENUM isn't quite ready for world conquest as yet. Let's see what next year brings.

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