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Tiscali enters a burgeoning IMS market

Italian telco Tiscali has announced plans to deploy a new, single platform IMS network in conjunction with Chinese vendor ZTE. The first three commercial sites – slated for Cagliari, Rome and Milan – will be launched by the end of May 2011; Tiscali subscribers will be migrated to the new platform by the end of the year.  According to Tiscali general director Luca Scano, this is part of the telco’s “strategic orientation towards fixed-mobile convergence”.

The imminent arrival of full-on LTE networks is widely viewed as a driver of IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) uptake. The technology’s capacity for enabling the speedy deployment and creation of rich new services and applications makes it an ideal partner for LTE and carriers looking to stay relevant in a services-heavy market.

IMS’s GSMA-sanctioned role in solving the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) conundrum is pushing it even further up the carrier agenda for 2011; prior to this, operators depending on voice and SMS for as much as 70 per cent of their revenues were reluctant to jump into IMS, regardless of what it promised on the data front. Now, with pretty much all the major players in both the carrier and OEM space in agreement on the way forward for VoLTE, LTE migration is set to increase, resulting in ever-greater IMS adoption rates – music to the ears of vendors such as Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent, all of whom have invested heavily in the development of the technology.

According to research undertaken by Infonetics, fixed-line network deployments (including those rolled out by mobile operators) drove the IMS equipment market in 2010, while spending on equipment for mobile services was minimal. The arrival of mobile video calling in 2011 from the likes of Vodafone will join with VoLTE deployments such as that planned by Verizon in early 2012 to become key drivers in what ABI research is predicting will be a 100 per cent increase in IMS sales by 2015.

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