IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) - Definition
The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is an architectural framework for delivering internet protocol (IP) multimedia to mobile users. It was originally designed by the wireless standards body, 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and is part of the vision for evolving mobile networks beyond GSM. Its original formulation (3GPP R5) represented an approach to delivering "Internet services" over GPRS. This vision was later updated by 3GPP, 3GPP2 and TISPAN by requiring support of networks other than GPRS, such as Wireless LAN, CDMA2000 and fixed line.
To ease the integration with the Internet, IMS, as much as possible uses IETF (i.e. Internet) protocols such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). According to the 3GPP, IMS is not intended to standardize applications itself but to aid the access of multimedia and voice applications across wireless and wireline terminals, i.e. aid a form of fixed mobile convergence (FMC). This is done by having a horizontal control layer that isolates the access network from the service layer.
Services need not have their own control functions, as the control layer is a common horizontal layer. Alternative and overlapping technologies for access and provision of services across wired and wireless networks depend on the actual requirements, and include combinations of Generic Access Network, Softswitches and "naked" SIP. IMS has practically standardized NGN implementations around SIP and H.248 (MEGACO) as the chosen control protocols for any service provider, and soon also enterprise implementation.
IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) - Synonyms
IMS; IP Multimedia Subsystem