IMS and network functions virtualization (NFV) may be the hottest buzzwords in the telecom industry today, but a new IHS report revealed that only 8 percent of service providers it surveyed currently run these technologies in their networks.
Diane Myers, research director for VoIP, UC and IMS at IHS, said that while service providers may be in the early days in terms of using IMS in a virtualized environment, "more are on the path by starting to utilize software running on commercial off-the-shelf hardware as a stepping stone to full NFV."
The research firm said that 80 percent of service provider respondents indicated that parts of their IMS elements will run in an NFV environment by 2017. Between 60 percent to 65 percent of respondents are running residential voice over broadband, SIP trunking or hosted business VoIP over IMS, a figure Infonetics forecasts will grow to 88 percent by 2017.
One of the key elements that service providers see as the top step in an IMS network is the telephony application servers (TAS), with 72 percent of respondents saying they have installed this equipment in their networks.
From a vendor perspective, service providers ranked Huawei, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) as the top three IMS infrastructure vendors.
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