Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Multiservice Forum's GMI 2006 Event Tests IMS-Compliant NGNs

The Multiservice Forum wrapped up its Global MSF Interoperability event -- GMI 2006 -- a two-week, multinational, distributed, interactive test bed designed to verify key interoperability aspects of NGN/IMS implementations.

GMI 2006 amounts to a massive "real network" trial of the MSF IMS (IP Multimedia System)-compatible Release 3 architecture. BT/ Vodafone, Verizon, Korea Telecom/ETRI and NTT Japan together with the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Labs (UNH-IOL) are hosting the event and over 500 test engineers and support staff are engaged around the clock in the massive test bed at facilities in 4 countries.

GMI 2006 has 26 participating vendors who have submitted 197 network devices to a total of 98 test cases spread over 8 distinct scenarios, ranging from a nomadic subscriber in a single domain to a full scale test including value added services and roaming over multiple domains, including both MSF R3 and "pure IMS" networks.

The event is sponsored by Nortel and covers such topics as roaming across multiple network types (including cellular and WiFi), QoS issues (including session border control and bandwidth management), and interoperability with 3GPP release 4 in real-world deployment scenarios that explicitly include first-generation VoIP SoftSwitches, PSTN interworking and evolution to a true IMS network.

Specifically, the event is validating MSF Release 3 Implementation Agreements covering:

  • Roaming services across multiple network types;

  • QoS (Session Border Gateway and Bandwidth Manager);

  • IP Carrier Interconnect/Interworking; security interoperability;

  • 3rd party applications and service brokering;

  • Open Media Gateway Control interface relevant to 3GPP BICN architecture; and

  • IPv4/6 Interworking

"Finding out what works well, and equally importantly what doesn't work so well, allows the industry to focus its efforts and accelerate the development of IMS compliant NGNs. You can't beat the value of learning from a live globally networked testing environment such as this" said Roger Ward, President of the MSF and Office of the CTO, British Telecom.

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