Converging NGN Wireline and Mobile 3G Networks with IMS: by Rebecca Copeland

By Rebecca Copeland

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Unlike the Internet, IMS media flows are inspected and managed by predetermined network policies, for both security and quality reasons. Media flows are therefore not transferred peer-to-peer, but they pass through media bearing nodes that filter packets according to operator policies. 4 IT and ICT IMS is recognized as a unifying framework not only by wireline and wireless, but also by IT, or better phrased — ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). This is due to the fact that IMS is not concerned primarily with network connectivity and access mode, but with diverse service delivery.

Because IMS manages a wide range of services and connection types, more complex charging rules must be applied. For this reason, network-wide policies are defined for charging methods and procedures in the Charging Rules Function (CRF). Following the convergence trends, similar functions are now merged in the PCRF. The PCRF allows the operator to apply such rules dynamically for each session, depending on a list of criteria applicable to a particular connection request. Chapter 8 provides additional details about IMS charging.

The IP Multimedia service delivery environment requires: n A flexible, clearly defined architecture that can support any end-user device and network server, and encourages trying out innovative services n An environment that allows fast deployment of IP multimedia applications across several types of networks, including the Internet, and can implement frequent changes cost effectively n A set of network functions that have proven standard interfaces between them and toward the service layer, so that products from different vendors can interoperate easily n Centrally managed data repository that can be shared across applications on separate servers (possibly from different vendors) and is available to the operator’s internal systems, such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and other BSS (Business Support Systems) IMS inherent principles provide for an ideal service environment that separates entirely session control from services, thus allowing greater service flexibility.

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