Nokia and NEC Corporation have successfully completed the first phase interoperability testing between the two companies' IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS). The testing program verified the functionality of major IMS features over an IP network connecting Europe and Japan. During the tests, Nokia and NEC established sessions for voice over IP as well as transferred instant messages between test terminals.
IMS enables both mobile and fixed devices to establish IP sessions between each other. These connections form the basis for a wide range of multimedia communication services, such as sharing presence information, interactive applications, sharing content and sharing real time video. Also Push to talk over Cellular, the voice service for one-on-one and one-to-group communications, will work over IMS. IP multimedia services can be accessed over any IP connection, such as GPRS and WCDMA networks, broadband home connections or WLAN hotspots.
Standardized in 3GPP Release 5, IMS is designed to allow service access and interoperability between operators and vendors. The success of these trials has shown that the industry's long IMS standardization efforts are starting to bear fruit as IMS standards are now mature enough for compatible implementation by different vendors. This points the way to the commercial introduction of advanced real-time and near real-time multimedia services.
"IMS is a vital component of our long-term business strategy and these trials mark an important milestone in bringing this new technology to operators," says Petri Poyhonen, Vice President, Core Networks, Networks, Nokia. "In the future, we see IP based multimedia becoming mainstream, providing people with a richer means of communications. Earlier this year Nokia announced the availability of end-to-end SIP and IMS. Now these first successful IMS-to-IMS interoperability tests clearly demonstrate the commitment of Nokia and NEC to open standards."
The trials are also being used to look at issues related to roaming at the service level. The ultimate objective is to have roaming for IMS-based services, allowing users to access the services of their home country even when they are abroad.
"The tests serve as proof of NEC's commitment to bringing next generation data services to worldwide mobile operators," says K. Jay Miyahara, General Manager of NEC's Mobilefone Solutions Division. "IMS increases the value of an operator's network and subscriber base. It will also allow mobile network operators to deliver new kinds of services to their users. NEC was very happy to take part in these tests with Nokia, which to our knowledge are some of the first in the world to show that the technology is ready now."