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3GSM Only one in 10 operators rolling out IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology expect to make their money back within two years. Operators yet to introduce the technology expect a much faster payback on their investment, according to a new study.

IMS merges together internet and mobile technology to create a platform to deliver mobile and fixed multimedia services. The technology uses open standard IP protocols, defined by the IETF. Both packet-switched and circuit-switched systems can be supported.

The research, commissioned by core network infrastructure specialist Apertio, found that the need to offer attractive service bundles that drive up data usage is pushing the move towards IMS. By standardising a single infrastructure for message delivery, operators hope to trim both the cost of buying equipment and operational costs.

However, the survey (which involved a poll of 57 global operators) suggests IMS implementation currently lacks best practice, with 79 per cent of carriers using a disparate combination of tactics to deliver IMS. The study also points to false expectations of quick returns among operators yet to get to grips with the technology. This suggests that IMS roll outs can be fraught with both technical and operational difficulties.

"There is a confused picture around the business case and deployment strategy for IMS," Apertio marketing vice president Andrew Wyatt said. "Operators run the risk of failure in delivering against an IMS strategy if plans for implementation lack the appropriate breadth and clarity. Chasing short term revenues with pseudo IMS 'point solutions' significantly impacts the broader transition towards a true IMS architecture with its benefits of reduced cost and improved time to market for new services." ®

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