Some definition about IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystems).

By Daniel Anselmo Bustos

Introduction: The scope of this document is clarify some concepts used in IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystems), as we see in [1], IMS is the key element in the next generation architecture that makes it possible to provide multi access to Internet services. IMS can seamlessly combine ongoing communication sessions with multimedia elements, for example sharing live video while talking or by chatting during a multiplayer game. Its architecture is based on the characteristics from both telecom and IT and unlocks the closed communication environments of today. The openness provides opportunities for the fixed and mobile community, like inter connect, where consumer services can be shared, despite different subscriptions and telecom operator. From a network perspective, IMS is a standardized, intelligent architecture, based on industry standard interfaces and IT-protocols (e.g. SIP). The main functionality is to control and deliver multimedia services. It is separated into three layers - an application layer, a control layer and connectivity layer, for both fixed and mobile operators.(See figure 1). Each layer can evolve independently as market and technology develop. IMS is a cornerstone for providing converged multimedia services across multiple accesses. The benefits of IMS From a consumer perspective, it’s all about enhancing the multimedia experience. It’s the

Figure 1: 3 Layer components convenience of bringing person to person communication values together and providing ease of use by making everything available in one device. Combinations of various content and communication types, sharing with others and inviting multiple contacts - all this can be consumed in one session on any terminal, using the best available access. The standardized services, based on IMS, also allow a global reach to friends all over the world, despite different subscriptions and telecom operators. For operators, IMS provides a window of opportunities. They can challenge the ever

growing competition and search for new revenue streams by expanding their business into new markets and differentiate themselves with new offerings. By using the possibilities that IMS offers by combining the standardized communications like voice, messaging etc, with their own innovations and third party services and applications, the operator can offer new appealing service packages. These new service offerings will provide immediate top line revenues. IMS will also enable mass market creation beyond voice and SMS. On a long term basis, there are cost benefits of having one IMS solution over which multiple applications can be launched. Reusability of components and common interfaces to be integrated into the existing network system are lowering overall costs. IMS is a natural evolution path for an All-IP environment. Beginning with the definition. The IMS Eco System. The new paradigm brings industries and capabilities together. IMS is a cross-industry phenomenon, which means that no single player alone can satisfy the consumer anymore. The cooperation between industry players in open and standardized solutions is the market making engine, called the ecosystem. The IMS Ecosystem is intended to create a win-win situation for the involved parties, where together they will be able to offer new attractive offerings and new business opportunities. In the ecosystem you find innovators, system integrators, device and terminal vendors, system vendors, application developers, network and service providers, broadband and cable providers, internet service providers and standardization bodies cooperating to meet consumer desires.

IMS EcoSystem: The possibilities for many different actors to create added value and build sustainable business within the IMS architecture.

IMS MULTIMEDIA TELEPHONY SERVICES (IMT) The IMS Multimedia Telephony (IMT) solution provides voice and video communication (Assuming the user equipment has video capability), with a wide range of traditional ‘PSTN’ and new Value-Add Services (VAS) for both Residential and Enterprise (company) users. It also provides other services such as Presence, Instant Messaging and SelfManagement via a web portal, plus Group services like Group pick-up, Call Centre, Auto Attendant, short dialing etc. In addition, Regulatory Services directed to service providers (Network Services) are provided, such as Malicious Call Tracing, Lawful Intercept, Emergency Call, Call Barring and Number Portability.

Type of User:

The Residential or Personal user is usually a private individual who subscribes to the services by entering into a contract with an operator or other service provider.

The Enterprise or Group user is an employee of a company, who uses the services as a part of their job. In this case the company enters into a contract with the operator or other service provider for the whole company to use the services and the Enterprise or Group administrator manages the users and services within the company. This user has all the Personal user services available to them, plus additional Group services. IMT also provides support for other services such as Voicemail, Conference Services, personalized greetings etc.

Describing below some services provides by IMT : Personal Services: Personal services are assigned to specific users, and are used, managed, and configured by the end-user. The services range from standard services, such as simple audio & video calling, to conferencing and other high-end services. The personal services are used by both residential and enterprise/group end-users. IMS Multimedia Telephony provides all of the traditional PSTN call functions. The call functions apply both to voice and video calls with the exception of multiparty calls. Examples of personal services are the following: • • • • • • • • Audio, fax, and video calls Instant messaging Presence management Voice and Video mailboxes Voice Portal Selective call acceptance/rejection Advanced call handling services such as: call forwarding and last number redial Distinctive ringing.

Group Services: A Group is typically a small/medium business or a part of a large enterprise. Group services apply to groups of users and are administered by a group administrator. The group services are usually used by enterprise end-users.

Examples of group services are the following: • Receptionist: is a console that builds on the traditional telephony offering used by “front-of-house” receptionists and/or telephone attendants who screen inbound calls for groups and enterprises. The Receptionist Application offers a powerful and user friendly interface to manage incoming calls. Auto attendant services which serves as an automated receptionist that answers the phone and provides a personalized message to callers with options for connecting to the operator, dialling by name or extension . Call Centres with incoming calls received by a single phone number distributed among a group of users, or agents Conferencing: The conferencing service allows users to schedule, initiate and manage conference calls with both internal and external parties. Subscribers can schedule and manage conferences by using a simple and user-friendly web based portal interface, accessible from any PC with a standard web browser. Basic Hunt Groups routing incoming calls that are not directed to a specific user number to the next available user in the hunt group, according the group policy settings for the hunt group. Call park and call park retrieve enables an end-user to hold a call and to retrieve it from another station within the group Calling plan for incoming, outgoing, and forwarded/transferred calls

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Groups of users can be organised in different ways. In the simplest example, a group is just an arbitrary selection of users. But, users may also be organised into hierarchical departments within the structure of an enterprise. In this context, a group may consist of one or several departments. For the best understanding of Group enterprise services, we will describe below the Large group enterprise function offered by Ericsson solution. Large Group Enterprise Function: An Enterprise is a large organisation which can consist of several groups.See figure 2. Calls between groups can be made using a prefix (Location code) and the extension number. The large Enterprise service is optional in IMT and a Large Enterprise user will look like any other user from the system point of view.

Figure 2: Group and Department Hierarchies Each group under the enterprise may be given a location code. Departments may be created directly under the Enterprise or under a group. Sub departments may also be defined. Departments created directly under the enterprise may have sub departments in a group. Users may be defined under groups or departments on any level. All IMT users must be registered in order to make basic calls or use call related services and this applies to all Enterprise users. An Enterprise can be administered by an Enterprise administrator using by example the CommPilot Web portal or by the operator’s Customer Administration Service (CAS). Departments and groups can be controlled independently by different administrators. Business Trunking. Business Trunking (Figure 3 ) is a way to deliver services to enterprises which retain existing PBXs. With Business Trunking, it is possible to connect users that are served by existing PBXs into the IMT system, by integrating external SIP-PBXs and H.323-PBXs.

Figure 3: Business Trunking The H.323-PBX or SIP-PBX is connected to the N-SBG of the IMT network. Since the SIPPBX and the H.323-PBX never register to the solution, the routing to and from the PBX is based on preconfigured data and number analysis in the S-CSCF, N-SBG, DNS, MGC and HSS. Business Trunking adds licenses into the Centrex Server to deliver some group and personal services to PBX users. This enables enterprises to define an enterprise-wide group where some users are connected to a PBX and some are connected with SIP Phones/Clients. Users must be registered in the IMT network using a gateway between the PBX and IMT system (N-SBG). This means PBX users must be defined in the N-SBG which will then be able to register the users into the IMT Network, using a pre-defined ‘Trunk Group’ value. MMTEL MMTel is a service set that uses IMS architecture. As we said first, IMS is a standardized architecture for controlling and delivering multimedia services that employ IP for transport and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for service signaling. It is important to note that in this context “standardized” refers only to the architecture (nodes, protocols, interfaces) and not to the services delivered on top of it. In both WCDMA and GSM technology, the standards encompassed the architecture as well as the service set. This means that the service cannot be taken away from the architecture. IMS, however, is different. It is a standardized architecture but it does not include any standardized services. Consequently, IMS must be combined with something else e.g. MMTel services. For a service to be deployed to the mass market, it must contain several standardized functions, including: a Network-toNetwork Interface (NNI) that supports interconnection between operators; and a User-toNetwork Interface (UNI) that enables users with standardized devices to benefi t from the services. One advantage of the IMS architecture is its versatility and fl exibility. It can be used to deliver all kinds of services. Even so, this does not mean that all services over IMS have been standardized. In fact, only a few service sets have been standardized to date.

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References: [1] IMS tutorial with SDS examples.

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