Monday, February 06, 2006
(NB: We will be launching another online survey later this week, in partnership with Informa, who run 3GSM and the IMS World Forum; and an in-depth market study in early March, based on interviews with leading practitioners. Email me for more information: email@example.com).
Preview of Survey results
We had over 330 respondents with a geographical spread that broadly reflects the maturity of IMS development today: 55% from EMEA, 35% Americas, 10% APAC. Of these roughly 25% represented Operators (mobile, fixed and FMC), 25% NEPs, 25% IT Vendors, and 25% 'others' (consultants, analysts, etc). About 60% of the sample described themselves as from 'technical' functions, and 40% from 'commercial'. Again, this reflects the current levels of interest today in the industry.
Main Drivers of IMS
Early on in the survey we asked people to describe what are the main drivers of IMS development today. The chart below shows that, maybe surprisingly, the vast majority of people cited revenue and services-oriented reasons. This augurs well for our follow up market study which looks in detail at how to plan future services.
"We live in an ever-changing converging Telecoms and IT environment, with pressures to get new products and services to market quickly, with minimal OPEX and CAPEX. It is critical to invest in a next generation service architecture platform." (FMC operator respondent)
"IMS enables a new world of service design and delivery in which new services can be defined and introduced without making changes to the underlying network. Operators will need to ensure that the technical people work to empower the marketing function and encourage it to introduce new services." (Mobile Operator respondent)
Leading IMS Players
We asked respondents to name the companies that were leading the field in IMS, and say why. These were there unprompted responses:
- Leading Fixed Operators: BT 48% (of unprompted responses); FT, Telefonica, KPN and SBC 5-10% each.
- Leading Mobile Operators: Vodafone 41%, Orange 11%, Cingular 8%
- Leading FMC Operators: FT 42%, BT 20% (even though BT doesn't have a mobile operation!)
- Leading NEP vendors: Ericsson 48% (!!), Lucent 20%, Siemens 10%, Nokia and Alcatel 5-10% each. Very little mention of Nortel or Motorola.
- Leading IT vendors: IBM 20%, HP 16%, Ericsson , Cisco, BEA 5-10% each. No clear leader here and weak rationale for choices.
Comments on these players included:France Telecom: "Best roadmap and vision", "Setting the direction for European Tier 1 converged operators", although a more thorough respondent said: "I think they do have a vision of Convergence but they are only just starting to demonstrate any movement in this area. To date the only things they have done are a few pricing deals for broadband and fixed and mobile telephony. However, the recent creation of a Convergent Services department in FT bodes well for the future."
BT: "Not the fastest mover, but is setting industry direction."
Vodafone: "Vodafone ARE deploying IMS but I do not see this being driven from the marketing function. IMS, and IMS-enabled services, are not really on the Marketing roadmap – IMS deployment is all about cost reduction for Vodafone. This seems to miss the point of IMS to my mind…"
Ericsson: "Most IMS trials in place", "Has the right story on importance of services compared with vendors that are pushing technology."
Lucent: "Has the best story for integration with the business and applications outside of traditional network space."
IBM: "Well positioned as both technology and integration supplier."
HP: "Have several 'IMS application components' "
The Editor, IMS Insider