Communications market research firm Infonetics Research released results from its IMS Plans: Global Service Provider Survey, published last week as part of its Service Provider VoIP and IMS Continuous Research Service.

The survey provides a strategic overview of service provider IMS network plans, service offerings, core product features and capabilities, drivers and barriers to deploying IMS, and ratings of 10 IMS vendors: Acme Packet, Alcatel-Lucent, BroadSoft, Cisco, Ericsson, HP, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, Sonus, and ZTE.

The research shows that the IMS market is advancing from early-stage services to the next phase. According to Diane Mayers, Infonetics’ Directing Analyst for Service Provider VoIP and IMS, the two most important indicators are:
• the higher number of service providers planning to offer services beyond fixed-line voice—such as video and mobile services—by 2011;
• the shift in IMS deployment drivers, which include the opportunity to offer converged services, deploy new applications and services, and consolidate networks.

80% of Infonetics’ service provider respondents run fixed voice over IMS today or will by 2011, making fixed-line VoIP service the current mainstay of IMS deployments.

More than half of the service provider respondents plan to deploy video telephony and converged mobile/fixed-line services over the next 12–18 months.

The report also unveils that the top three IMS applications operators expect to offer over the next two years are mobile-related: FMC, mobile presence, and mobile messaging.

"On the vendor front, Ericsson continues to be the leading IMS vendor, but Huawei has made the most progress in terms of deployments and vendor perceptions. Huawei poses a credible and serious threat to Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia Siemens based on the number of providers with Huawei IMS products under evaluation, and overall perception of Huawei across a broad set of criteria," said Myers.

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