These gaps in the architecture must be addressed by vendors and carriers that have invested in IMS as a unifying communications technology, according to a recently published Yankee Group report.
The study noted that the growing interest of carriers in adopting IMS or next-generation architectures is met by increasing challenges.
However, it acknowledges that all major carriers and vendors now have IMS in their road maps because it is being recognised as the unifying architecture.
Some of the reasons for carrier adoption include achieving fixed-mobile convergence, creating new services and quicker service delivery, providing a consistent user experience and utilising legacy infrastructure to create composite services.
However, Yankee Group observed that the carrier community is taking a very cautious approach toward next-generation architectures.
Some key issues facing carrier adoption of IMS and next-generation architectures include:
- Standard compliance for vendors: vendors' solutions are still not fully standard-compliant
- Vendor solution interoperability: there are immature standards and a lack of vendor solution interoperability
- Support for Service Initiation Protocol and non-SIP-based services: adoption of SIP is a new requirement
- Service orchestration: orchestration functionality is critical, but lacks a proper standards definition
"The promises of IMS architecture for carriers and service providers can be truly mind-boggling," said Yankee Group senior analyst Arindam Banerjee.
"Beneath all the academics and hype, the road to IMS and next-generation architecture is rocky and treacherous.
"An aggressive approach to IMS has a greater chance of failing. A slower and more cautious path will help reduce uncertainty and provide greater architectural stability, which will result in increased average revenue per user and improved customer stickiness."