IMS Applications

In my previous IMS post I’ve taken a look at the difference between SIP telephony networks and the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). With that list it is quite obvious that the IMS is a centralized session management system that gives lots of control to the network operator and makes it quite difficult for third parties to integrate their services on a global scale. So while in theory the IMS is capable to be a platform for many web 2.0 services I think that in practice it will manly be used in the future for voice and instant messaging based services. Here’s a list of services which I think we will see in the IMS in the mid-term. If you have other examples, please leave a comment!

  • Voice telephony as the main application. This includes handing over voice calls between networks as the user roams out of coverage of a network. Furthermore, advanced IMS solutions will enable handovers of voice calls to a 2G network if no high speed B3G network is available anymore.
    The IMS enables video calls with the advantage over current 3G circuit switched mobile video calls that the video stream can be added or dropped at any time during the session.
    Presence and instant messaging.
  • Voice and video session conferencing with three or more parties
    Push message & video services such as sending subscribers messages when their favorite football team has scored a goal, when something exciting has happened during a Formula-1 race, and so on.
  • Calendar synchronization among all IMS devices.
  • Notification of important events (birthdays, etc.).
  • Wakeup service with auto answer and the users preferred music or news.
  • Live audio and videocasts of events. The difference to current solutions is the integrated adaptation to the capabilities of the device.
  • Peer to peer document push.
  • Unified voice and video mail because all devices used by a person are subscribed to the same IMS account.
  • One identity / telephone number for all devices of a user. A session is delivered to all or some devices based on their capability. A video call would only be delivered to registered devices of the user capable of receiving video. Sessions can also be automatically modified if devices do not support video.
  • A session can be moved from one device to another while it is ongoing. A video call for example might be accepted on a mobile device but transferred to the home entertainment system when the user arrives at home. Transferring the session also implies a modification of the session parameters. While a low resolution video stream is used for a mobile device the resolution can be increased for the big screen of the home entertainment system if this is supported by the device at the other end.
  • Use of several user identities per device. This allows only using a single device or a single set of devices to be reached friends and business partners alike. With user profiles in the network incoming session requests can be managed on a per user identity basis. This way, business calls could be automatically redirected to the voice mail system at certain times, to an announcement or to a colleague while the user is on vacation while private session requests are still connected.