IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) has emerged as a formidable catalyst for network change, promising as indelible an impact on this decade—and beyond—as the Internet did for the 1990s. Next-generation networks, based on IMS and Internet Protocol, will empower a rush of new applications and services needed to enrich the overall user experience. As IMS momentum increases, telecommunications equipment manufacturers (TEMs) have growing incentive to retool their businesses and accelerate time to market with open, standards-based network architectures that fuel fast, cost-effective and flexible delivery of an evolving lineup of new IMS-enabled services.

While this change will not be completed easily or overnight, IMS already is making inroads into carrier networks around the world. More than 200 service providers, including notables such as BT, Cingular, Sprint and Verizon, are in the throes of IMS trials or early deployments. TEMs choosing to adopt an integrated approach—comprising a broad base of signaling protocols along with carrierclass infrastructure in a flexible, open architecture platform—are best positioned to assist service providers in delivering a rapid infusion of new applications.