TECH TALK: 3GSM World Congress 2006: Mobile IM, VoIP and IMS

One of the big announcements at 3GSM was that of mobile IM. BBC News has more:

Fifteen operators, including Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and China Mobile have agreed to work together to make it easy to IM across networks.

The motivation to get IM working on mobiles is driven by its huge success on the net. By getting people using IM on a mobile instead of a PC, the operators believe they can start to generate decent amounts of money for data services.

The mobile phone industry is looking to repeat the success of text messaging.
Under the initiative, the 15 operators covering 700 million mobile phone users have agreed to use a single standard for IM, which would work across networks.

The operators are looking to launch instant messaging mobile services later this year. adds: The operators have agreed to charge mobile IM users for outgoing messages but incoming messages will be free. According to Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone, this will cut down on unwanted nasties being sent to users’ mobiles.

An entry on mopocket discusses the impact of Nokias Mobile VoIP phones that will be coming soon: I think that individuals, as well as and especially business’, will jump at the chance, if given, to use a VoIP service on their mobile phones to either conserve minutes and or make communication 10X more cost effective. Think about what would happen, for example, to Cingular’s International Roaming and International Long Distance Plan’s if people knew that they could just use their mobile phone’s WiFi connection (or even Cingular’s very own data network) to call Aunt Beatrice in Germany for 5 cents a minute instead of 36 cents. While in Barcelona, Cingular will be charging me 99 cents a minute to make as well a s receive phone calls; so you better believe I will be using my VoIP services as much as possible, and would, if I could, use it on my mobile.

IMS was another dominant theme at 3GSM. Light Reading wrote:

IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) has, not surprisingly, been one of the dominant acronyms at this year’s 3GSM event, with all the major, and many of the minor, vendors talking up their network and service convergence capabilities.

“IMS is going to play a strategic role in our future service delivery,” noted the operator’s head of Global Supply Chain Management, Detlef Schultz, in a prepared statement. “We intend to pilot the next generation of services using this technology and will start interoperability testing with other operators as soon as possible,” he added.

So, what exactly is an “IMS-ready deployment”? Alcatels COO of mobile activities, Marc Rouanne says that’s where technology conforming to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) ‘s IMS standard protocols, such as SIP, is already installed and ready to be part of a broader convergence archiecture. He cites applications servers, softswitches, gateways, and HSSs (home subscriber servers, the master customer database) as typical examples of such elements, and notes deployments with the likes of China Mobile Communications Corp. and T-Mobile USA as commercially deployed references.

Tomorrow: Hot Issues

TECH TALK 3GSM World Congress 2006+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.