Wednesday, October 12, 2005

MSF Plans First Global Test of IMS R2+ Architecture

The MultiService Forum (MSF) will conduct a global interoperability test of its IMS compatible R2+ architecture in October 2006. The Global MSF Interoperability 2006 (GMI 2006) event, conducted at carrier labs in Asia, Europe and North America, will demonstrate multi-vendor interoperability of QoS-enabled voice and multimedia services originating & terminating on both MSF R2+ and IMS networks, using MSF Implementation Agreements (IAs).

The MSF is working closely with international carriers to develop specific GMI test scenarios. Service providers expressing early interest and support for the test include BT, Korea Telecom, NTT, Verizon & Vodafone.

"GMI 2006 will be the industry's first-ever test of the delivery of services over a converged wireline/wireless network," said Roger Ward, MSF President. "Service providers see the promise of IMS, but more work needs to be done on the detail required to deliver true multi-vendor open architecture solutions. The GMI event will be a prime opportunity for both carriers and vendors to test the ability of vendor-specific IMS solutions to interoperate with MSF R2+ networks."

The GMI 2006 network for the event will serve fixed subscribers, nomadic subscribers and roaming SIP end points. The network will consist of both wireline and wireless IMS compatible nodes with associated management systems, allowing interoperability testing to prove the compatibility of the R2+ MSF architecture & associated Implementation Agreements, both locally and between the two types of nodes over the GMI 2006 global test network.

The MSF R2 Architecture provides the essential framework and common semantic for the definition of a multi-service network. Definition of a set of physical architecture implementations within the framework enables MSF members to focus on a common set of commercially viable scenarios. Issues addressed by the architecture include:

  • IP core network QoS

  • Advanced services

  • Interworking with legacy PSTN

  • Multiple carrier QoS enabled solutions

  • Global advanced services interoperability

  • IPv4/IPv6 inter-working where applicable
  • The GMI 2004 interoperability event, which ran concurrently at four carrier labs (NTT, KT, BT and Qwest) from October 4th to 16th, 2004, tested state-of-the-art network elements against the specific protocols defined in MSF Implementation Agreements (IAs) for supporting a fully integrated VoIP solution. These network elements included softswitches, application servers, media servers, service brokers, call agents, bandwidth managers and other control and management systems.

    GMI 2004 employed more than 50 test plans to exercise the 25 new MSF IAs created since 2002. The four global carriers and 28 equipment vendors demonstrated interoperability under real world conditions.

  • Several of the MultiService Forum (MSF) Implementation Agreements (IAs) are incorporated into BT's 21st Century Network (21CN) program. MSF IAs build upon protocols issued by standards bodies such as the ITU and IETF, providing practical methods for applying standards to real world networks.

See also