Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A List of IMS Deployments

While I was doing research for this post, I stumbled upon a March announcement which provides an ideal introduction to it.

Infonetics Research issued a 2008 4th quarter report claiming that:
- Worldwide sales of IMS equipment nearly doubled in 2008 over 2007, up 94%
- Unlike many other markets during the worldwide economic crisis, the IMS equipment market is expected to grow in 2009 and 2010
- Infonetics’ IMS Deployment Tracker shows Ericsson, Alcatel Lucent, Nokia Siemens (NSN), NEC, and Huawei leading the way with core IMS equipment

In this post, I am trying to list done or ongoing deployments of IMS core networks all over the world. This list is based on publicly available contracts announcements and, in case I was not able to find such material, public evidence or strong hints that such deployments were at least under way. When available, I mention the date of the contract, the supplier of the core network, and the intended focus of the deployment, at least in its initial phase. Otherwise, question marks replace the information.

My intention is to maintain this list over time, based on new annoucements as well as the additions or corrections you might be able to give to me by email (cgourraud at or by posting a comment. For instance, in many cases, a press release relates to a contract signed at a group level or for a specific country for service providers operating over several ones, and any precision on the actual country(ies) targeted for deployment would be useful.

I hope this list can be of interest to you. The idea came to me from recurent requests to provide information of IMS deployments in Europe, North America and Asia.


ArmenTel: 8/2008, Ericsson, Fixed Network -> FMC

Mobilkom: 1/2009, Nortel, Mobile network

Delta Telecom: 9/2008, Alcatel Lucent, WiMax network

Belgacom: 4/2008, Alcatel Lucent, Fixed network

Vivatel: 11/2008, NSN, Mobile network

CYTA: 12/2006, Ericsson, FMC

Czech Republic
Eurotel: 12/2005, NSN, Mobile network
Vodafone: 9/2007, Ericsson, Enterprise FMC

TDC: 6/2005, Ericsson, Enterprise

Elion: 9/2006, Ericsson, Fixed network

Bouygues Telecom: ?, ?, RCS
France Telecom/Orange: ?, ?, RCS
Hub Telecom: 11/2008, Alcatel Lucent, Enterprise FMC
SFR: ?, ?, RCS

Arcor: ?, ?, ?
Deutsche Telekom: ?, in-house solution?, ?
T-Mobile: ?, ?, RCS
Vodafone: 7/2007, Ericsson, Consumer & Enterprise

Hella Online: 1/2008, Ericsson, Fixed network

Tele Greenland: 1/2008, Ericsson, FMC

Magyar Telekom: 7/2006, Huawei, FMC
T-Mobile & T-Com: 7/2006, Huawei, Mobile network / FMC

O2 Ireland: 8/2006, Ericsson, Mobile network
Vodafone: 7/2008, Ericsson, Mobile network

Telecom Italia: 2/2005, Ericsson, Fixed network
Telecom Italia Mobile: 2005, Ericsson?, RCS
Wind Telecomunicazioni: ?, ?, RCS

KPN: 9/2006, Alcatel Lucent, Fixed PSTN replacement

Exatel: 10/2007, Alcatel Lucent, Fixed network
Netia: 9/2005, Alcatel Lucent, Fixed network / Enterprise services
Telekomunikacja Polska: 3/2007, Ericsson, FMC

Optimus: 3/2006, Ericsson, Mobile network
Portugal Telecom: ?, 2007?, FMC / PSTN replacement
Sonaecom: 7/2008, Ericsson, Fixed network/IPTV
TMN: 6/2005, NSN, RCS
Vodafone: 7/2007, Ericsson, FMC

Comstar: planned in 2009, to be selected, fixed network / PSTN replacement
Sibirtelecom: 6/2006, Nortel, ?

Telefonica: 4/2005, Ericsson, Fixed network
Telefonica/O2: ?, ?, RCS

Com Hem: 6/2007, NSN, Fixed network
Telenor: 7/2007, Ericsson, Enterprise FMC
TeliaSonera: 5/2007, NSN, FMC?

Swisscom: 2/2007, Ericsson, FMC

Turkcell: ?, ?, Mobile network / FMC

BT: 4/2005, Ericsson?, Fixed PSTN replacement

North America

Bell Canada: ?, ?, FMC
Rogers Cantel: ?, ?, ?

AT&T: 10/2005, Alcatel Lucent, Mobile network
Bellsouth - now AT&T (USA): 11/2005, Alcatel Lucent, Fixed network
Cox Communications: 2007?, ?, Cable network
Sprint Nextel: ?, ?, FMC
SureWest Communications: 4/2008, Alcatel Lucent, Fixed network
TerreStar Networks: 7/2007, Alcatel Lucent, Satellite and Cellular convergence
Time Warner Cable: 4/2009, NSN, Cable network
Verizon Communications: 3/2007 - 2/2008, Alcatel Lucent & NSN , Mobile network/PSTN network replacement/FMC

South America

Brasil Telecom: 5/2008, Ericsson, Mobile network

Asia & Oceania

Commander Communications: 9/2005, Ericsson, Fixed network
Telstra: ?, Alcatel Lucent?, ?

Beijing Netcom: 4/2007, Ericsson, Fixed network
China Mobile: ?, ?, RCS
China Netcom: ?, Alcatel Lucent?, ?
China Unicom: 7/2007, Alcatel Lucent, Mobile network
Fujian Telecom: 12/2006, NSN, FMC

Hong Kong
NWT: 7/2006, Alcatel Lucent, Fixed network
SmarTone-Vodafone: 4/2008, Ericsson, Mobile network

Telkomsel: 8/2006, NSN, Mobile network

KDDI: 1/2006, NEC, RCS
NTT: ?, ?, ?
Softbank Mobile: 12/2006, Ericsson, Mobile network
Softbank Mobile: 9/2008, NEC, Femtocells network

Celcom: 7/2006, NSN, Mobile network

Globe Telecom: 9/2006, NSN, FMC

South Korea
KTF: ?, ?, RCS
SK Telecom: 2005 or 2006, ?, FMC/RCS

Chungwa Telecom: 12/2007, NSN, Fixed network
FarEasTone: 9/2006, Ericsson, Mobile network

Saigon Postel Telecommunication: 11/2006, Ericsson, Fixed network

Middle East & Africa

Mena Telecom: 8/2007, Motorola, WiMax network

Wateen Telecom: 5/2006, Motorola, Fixed network

South Africa
Telkom: 2008?, ?, ?

Warid Group: 10/2007, Huawei, Mobile/WiMax network


Anonymous said...

just exactly what is a FMC network ? Only a IMS network with ability to REGISTER the numbers on fixed devices/IAD/CPE and as well as a on Mobile devices (SIP client on Cellphone)?

Christophe Gourraud said...

This is an excellent question, to which there is no single answer.

The basic FMC ability of IMS is the one you describe: fixed and mobile devices using fixed and mobile identities corresponding to separate fixed and mobile service subscriptions can register to and use a unique IMS core network. This is a technical convergence whose benefits are first cost related from an operator perspective. Basically, a single core network is less costly than two to operate.

However, operators also aim at providing convergent services. This is, providing access to the same services through fixed and mobile devices. In this context, having fixed and mobile devices sharing the same interfaces to the network and having a single core network make easier the delivery of convergent services. These services need to explicitly support convergence, i.e. federate separate fixed and mobile identities and associated service profiles.

IMS can also support the next level of convergence: fixed and mobile devices can share the same converged identities, or if they are kept separate, they can at least be part of the same IMS subscription and be known by IMS as belonging to the same user. Here, we are addressing user convergence. A single FMC subscription can be offered to the user and if converged identities are shared between fixed and mobile devices, all services accessible via these identities are de facto convergent.

It certainly makes sense to address these different levels of convergence, as well as device convergence associated to UMA/GAN or IMS VCC in a future post.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detailed answer

You said
"having fixed and mobile devices sharing the same interfaces to the network and having a single core network"

IMS is a access network independent technology (you can reach the core via Wifi,WiMAX,3G,Cable whatever) so there is already just a single interface for accessing the IMS network.

So can we just say that FMC is in fact nothing more then a service which comes by default with IMS core, the intelligence of a number/identity being fixed or mobile is based on the end user device rather then some feature which is being offered by IMS or FMC

Christophe Gourraud said...

There is actually more than that.

First, a side comment. The fact that IMS is access independent does not necessarily mean that a mobile and a fixed device will access the same IMS core network. There are operators which seem to plan deploying separate fixed and mobile core IMS networks while others intend to deploy a single one for both types.

To come back on IMS-based FMC, a potential feature is the ability to create a single IMS subscription in the HSS, which includes both fixed and mobile identities (and associated authentication methods and data) for the same subscriber, with identical or differentiated service profiles for each. There is therefore in the network the notion of a single subscriber, which can be used to deliver a more coherent and convergent set of services across fixed and mobile aspects.

Another aspect, which actually comes from SIP and is reused in IMS, is multi-device support.

It permits to have the same identity registered concurrently from multiple devices, which may use different sets of access technologies.

For instance, take a future converged IPTV service that would permit to use the same user identity in a set top box accessing IMS through fixed broadband access and a mobile accessing the network through LTE or WiMax. This identity would be associated to a service profile that routes IPTV requests either to the same application servers or to different ones, based on an analysis of the access technology being used by the client (information transported in SIP signaling). This would permit the same service to be accessed from various fixed and mobile devices, with or without implementation differences between access technologies.

As the user can register the same identity from multiple devices, a specific question is how to route an incoming service request, like an incoming call, to the best device.

There might be different strategies like sending the request to several devices in parallel or sequence (in case of a call, the first to answer wins) or, using so-called callee capabilities, the service request might be routed to the best device (e.g. the one preferred for voice).

In a multi-device approach, another interesting feature is the ability to support session mobility. For instance you start a voice call on a PC and transfer it to your mobile as you must leave your house or office. The IETF and 3GPP are working on this support.


Anonymous said...

That clears a lot ... The concept of mobility is something to look forward to, it will be interesting to see how 3GPP comes to to deal with handovers in IP world

Anonymous said...

A lot of this is misleading. Many of the stated IMS deployments here are simply trials/very simple deployments (i.e. low capacity and/or reduced functionality ) and/or are simply SIP "network" deployments. It also seems that the author of the blog can't differeniate between between membership of an organisation and actual deployment (e.g. RCS) and therefore is making unwarranted assumptions. PR should be taken with a big pinch of salt.

Christophe Gourraud said...

Press releases clearly have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Though I have tried to rely on PRs that relate to actual deployments, some might still relate to trials. As for RCS, it is true that I assumed that membership to a group whose aim is to rapidly permit the deployment of RCS seems to indicate some IMS deployment is going on, which might not always be true, but it some cases is (though not official). In any case, I have question marks that indicate this is a guess.

Now, the idea is that readers help me to correct mistakes and add information. As you seem to know so much maybe you could contact me.


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For your informacion, in France, Bouygues Telecom and SFR IMS Network deployment have been done by Alcatel-Lucent. Also in Poland for TP and in Italy for Wind. I worked in all of this great big project.

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