Gershon Goren describes the pitfalls and eventual payoffs that WebDialogs has experienced by partnering with Skype and becoming an active member of Skype’s Developer Program, in our latest ETel article: Skype Developer Program: A Tale of Pioneering and Persevering. Gershon has sound advice for developers considering these kind of partnerships.
Over on Hackzine.com, Jason Striegel points us to VoIPong, a VoIP network sniffer that allows you to capture and record any VoIP call that crosses your network.
From the VoIPong home page:
VoIPong is a utility which detects all Voice Over IP calls on a pipeline, and for those which are G711 encoded, dumps actual conversation to seperate wave files. It supports SIP, H323, Cisco’s Skinny Client Protocol, RTP and RTCP.
There’s a server daemon that sets your network adapter to promiscuous mode and watches for VoIP calls. Calls are automatically logged and the G.711 encoded conversations will be named by date and dumped in wav format to an output directory (sox is required to make this work). There’s also a handy monitoring tool that will allow you to see what conversations are currently being monitored.
I tried it out this evening and it really works, recording both ends of the conversation to a WAV file. This could be a really handy tool for recording podcasts from a VoIP client that doesn’t have a recording feature (Netmeeting, for example). You’ll probably need to tweak mic levels on both ends, or one end of the conversation will sound louder than the other.
Jason also provides some OS X-specific installation instructions over on his Hackzine post.
Giles Turnbull has just written an intriguing post over on MacDev Center that may be of interest to ETel readers as well.
Posterino is one of the more interesting new apps I have had cause to write about in recent months. It’s like Pages for your photos, offering pre-packaged templates for turning photos into attractive posters, leaflets, cards and more.
One of the newer features is a built-in postcard sending service, where you design your card in Posterino, then with a simple payment it gets printed and posted for you automatically. No trip to the post office required.
What’s coolest of all is how you pay for this service. You can simply type your cell phone number into a box, to pay via your phone account. A confirmation SMS message will be sent to the phone number you enter (to prevent you entering the numbers of your enemies, obviously) and once replied to, your postcard is on its way. That’s assuming you have a cellphone contract with the right company, in the right country.
Click on through to Giles post for a more detailed discussion of this cell phone payment system.
So I’ve been browsing the mobile web from when I was working on it in 1999. Early on, I’d primarily use it for casual browsing such as playing a WAP game or perusing through the news. In the last few yrs, I’ve been using it for local searches, email, weather etc. One of the issues with mobile browsing has always been trying to navigate to websites that are not optimized for the phone. The pages would either not render or crash the browser in many instances.
To solve this a number of companies emerged and are still emerging offering clever solutions that would essentially “mobilize” your site known as transcoding. New browsers also emerged which could render a whole website on a phone as popularly demo’ed by Steve Jobs with the iPhone. These intelligent browsers and transcoders proved very useful when you want to browse to a random website that would take you off the main WAP portal.
Over time, as more mobile browsing behavior data was collected, it became evident that when browsing on the go, you are either browsing for a specific piece of information such as a football score or you are casually browsing such as reading the news. This is versus the web where you have another level in casual browsing, what I’ll call “discovery” browsing where you discover new websites through search results or ads. Services like StumbleUpon thrive on linking users to interesting websites based on their interests. Would StumbleUpon be interesting in mobile browsing?
The mobile search engines recognized these browsing behaviors and have over the past few years improved their search alogorithms to provide more “relevant” results. As an example, a search for “Orlando” through Yahoo’s WAP site yields results describing Orlando’s restraunts, bars, maps, weather and local news verus providing a list of links like an equivalent web search would render; Yahoo calls this OneSearch.
Richmond, BC based EQO (pronounced “echo”) launched a new version of their mobile VOIP, IM and Messaging platform today. It is available for just about any J2ME phone available today, which is an amazing feat for a startup (most usually launch on one platform and slowly expand). My initial impression is that this app is very good competition for the likes of Truphone who is in the same space.
Getting started was fairly easy, I just signed up and it sent me a text message with a link to download the app to my Nokia N95. After downloading, I logged in and it sucked in my contact list. The app sends a VOIP call over the IP network of the phone at substantially reduced rates. EQO is targeting international calls and text messaging. For instance, a call from the US to a UK land line is billed over the EQO network at 2.3 cents per minute while AT&T charges $1.49 at standard rates and 6 cents on their “World Connect” plan. Text messages are somewhat discounted as well (15 cents on EQO vs. 20 cents on AT&T). A nice touch is that EQO gives you $2.50 on your account to start.
The application’s greatest feature, in my opinion, is the inclusion of a multi-network IM client for free. For far too long mobile providers and software vendors have attempted to bilk mobile users out of extra money for a service that is essentially free. They charge you money to use IM services or they try to charge $30 for some junky software that barely works. This IM client is really good and works very well over both the wifi and EDGE connections off of my phone. Thanks EQO for giving me a great IM client, even if I never use your phone service.
Personally, I usually use Jajah or my regular VOIP line when I need to dial internationally. Jajah has a great user experience, equally good rates and I can use it on any phone I have without installing any software. I also question the quality of VOIP calls over mobile networks. I’ve had mostly poor experiences, and I don’t expect this one will be much different. I’ll let you all know what I think in a follow up post.
I had the opportunity to sit down for a chat with Aaron Kaplan, one of the principals of FunkFeuer, yesterday morning. FunkFeuer, which means “wireless fire” in Austrian, is a particularly interesting case of community networking. It’s always tough for open source community networking groups to split attention between serving customers and developing code, and FunkFeuer is similar in this regard. However, they have a twist: FunkFeuer owns a fiber optic link to one of Vienna’s carrier hotels.
By tying directly into a carrier hotel, FunkFeuer can purchase backhaul bandwidth at next to nothing. In addition, they are able to run an Asterisk server for wireless VoIP calls. This addition is another interesting twist to in the Wi-Fi game as most VoIP systems kill the throughput of Wi-Fi access points. To combat this problem, FunkFeuer has implemented a “Ready to Send” signal that reduces the empty signalling traffic that normally plagues VoIP networks, and Aaron reports that they have little to no throughput degradation on their network.
For more information on FunkFeuer check out: www.funkfeuer.at.
Tom Keating has a juicy post today about the apparently up and down deal between Fonality and former Nortel subsidiary, Blade Network Technolgies: Nortel Strong Arms Open Source Vendor. I was pretty surprised when I read Tom’s earlier post on this deal, where he quoted a Fonality press release that included statements from a Blade executive praising their new Fonality system and the money they were able to save over a Nortel system by going that route. (Not surprised at all that they could see some serious savings by going with Fonality, but surprised that a company recently affiliated with Nortel was going on record about that). Now it’s getting even more interesting, as it sure sounds like Nortel has leaned on Blade to retract their statements and send back the Fonality system. I won’t try and summarize the whole incident here, but if you’re interested you should definitely go read Tom’s post for a very detailed accounting of what has transpired over the past few days, including transcripts of his conversations with Fonality CEO, Chris Lyman and Blade CEO, Vikram Mehta. As Chris points out, this kind of publicity is only good news for Fonality.
It leaves me wondering what exactly the relationship between Blade and Nortel is right now (besides obviously a little strained). Blade is repeatedly referred to as a “former Nortel subsidiary,” but Tom’s latest post points our that Eric Schoch, the Vice President of Business Development for Nortel, currently serves on Blade’s board of directors, and that InternetNews.com reports that Nortel still has a minority interest in Blade. So if that’s the case, wouldn’t you think Blade should have been able to get a pretty good deal on a Nortel system in the first place?
I was deaf and now I can hear! I can now actually make mobile calls without sounding like I’m inside an electrical storm!
During my previous six years at France Telecom I was issued with company-provided Orange handsets and tariffs. Unfortunately, free telephony is no substitute for crummy reception - despite Orange’s coverage maps showing that I lived in a ‘high coverage 3G zone’, I had appalling quality of service.
In shopping for a repalcement plan over the last few weeks, all UK networks showed my location to be in an area with ‘great reception’. The websites of operators tend to show coverage as a series of crude heatmaps, however UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom, operates a slightly more useful service, called Sitefinder - a database of cell base stations across the country. Using Sitefinder, I was able to figure out that the network with the shortest line of sight to my home was operated by O2; boom! my new O2-powered N95 gives me great reception.
Sitefinder is clunky (it was designed in response to cell tower health concerns), but useful…however it only provides locations, with no indicators of quality. Perhaps it’s time for a network-agnostic, user-created coverage map. Now, if Ofcom were smarter, they could act as a interesting broker between cellcos and users. Think about this…
- Ofcom launches an open map service that can be annotated for coverage quality by end users.
- User’s annotate maps with their experience of reception for particular networks in various locations
- Cellcos use the data to improve and monitor service quality, compensating users with freebies for their service plan
- Handset manufacturers offer cellphones that report their location’s signal quality periodically to the coverage map service.
With people increasingly displacing their landlines with cellphones in the home, it becomes increasingly important, as a consumer, to understand the quality of indoor and outdoor coverage and indeed the quality of coverage in all the places you live your life.
So I hereby assert the Open Coverage Map as my first Lazyweb request. If Ofcom were smart enough to build this, they might’ve used Google Maps rather than whatever antiquated futz is in place…so its left to YOU to make this happen :)
I forget where I found this, but FirstPartner - a marketing and research agency has published a bunch of freely downloadable market maps.
The six maps include overviews of…
- Europeans MVNOs
- UK Mobile Marketing
- The Skype Ecosystem
You’ll need to provide an email address and some company details before you can download.
Spotted this in The Onion this week and got a good laugh. Flappy the Dolphin reviews the latest smartphones.
O’Reilly editor David Battino recently pointed me to this interesting tip on how he improved the audio of a recorded Skype interview for one of his podcasts. From Digital Media Insider Podcast 11: Synth Mania, Part 1:
Because Paolo and I live on separate coasts, we decided to do the interview by Skype and record it with Ecamm Call Recorder. To maximize the audio quality, I used a Rode Podcaster USB mic instead of my usual Logitech headset. (The Rode is what I use for the show’s main voiceover.) I recorded into Call Recorder using the highest quality AAC compression setting.
But we also tried a radio trick called a “two-ender” to boost the quality further, and it worked great. Paolo set up two mics–one feeding his Skype computer and another feeding Sound Forge on another computer. After the interview, he sent me the local recording, and I substituted it for his side of the Skype recording. (One of the great things about Call Recorder is that it saves each side of the conversation on a separate track.) Not only did the direct recording sound fuller, it avoided the clipping distortion in the Skype signal, something I encountered on my previous Skype podcast as well.
I just dropped by the project showcase for MIT’s MAS.964 (graduate course for One Laptop Per Child). I was very impressed with the applications the students, professors, and lecturers are developing for the OLPC. In particular, I was struck by the work that’s been done on Mesh Networking as part of the MIT Media Lab’s work with the OLPC project, especially Michail Bletsas and the venerable Walter Bender.
Polychronis Ypodimatopoulos, Pol for short, has developed a “probabilistic presence mechanism” that interacts with the mesh firmware for the OLPC. The presence mechanism uses a very small amount of information from special presence frames exchanged between direct neighbors that contain condensed presence information from their respective neighbors (the ad-hoc meshing firmware in the OLPC relays packets without touching the kernel - a novel development in its own right that reduces the CPU load on the processor to only the packets destined for that machine). The impressive feature of this approach to presence is that the time to detection is a linear function of the distance - a major change from most mesh networks where the routing table is either pre-determined or the time to discovery is a quadratic function (square) of the distance.
Pol’s writeup on his work is here: http://web.media.mit.edu/~ypod/mesh/.
*please note this posting has been corrected based on feedback from Pol Y.
Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article about Hillary Clinton’s decision to use text messaging as part of her campaign. (It’s part of the fawning media coverage of Clinton — even though Obama and Edwards already made the decision to use text messaging, the Clinton move “signals” how “widespread” text messaging has become.) Forgive me, but my first reaction is “what comes next — the use of quill pens?”
Once again, the US has made some small steps to catching up with the rest of the world, which far outstrips the US in telephony innovation. The Philippines, for example, used text messaging not just in a political campaign but to run their entire revolution. By way of contrast, the Edwards campaign has been fiddling around with text messaging for months but has just 6,000 subscribers.
The US is a major innovator in many areas of technology and telecommunications, but cellular services still run far behind.
MIT spin-out Meraki Networks has made a huge impact on the wireless community networking space through their bargain-basement open source-based wireless mesh network products. An out-growth of MIT’s Roofnet project, which provided wireless access to over 1.5 square miles of Cambridge in 2004 and 2005, Meraki’s network covering 1.5 square miles in San Francisco’s Mission District is now San Francisco’s best chance at getting a city-wide network in the face of recent political challenges.
The network will cost only about $15,000 and relies on the grassroots volunteerism that have made both MIT Roofnet and Meraki such successes. Over 300 people have already volunteered to host nodes as part of the “Free the Net” campaign, many of whom are also volunteering their DSL connections or allowing Meraki to install DSL connections. Some CLECs, such as Speakeasy and Sonic.net, have SLAs that allow subscribers to provide free or resold Internet access, which enables Meraki to use advertising to support the network’s operating costs.
Check out their progress at sf.meraki.net. A recent one-month pilot using three Meraki nodes in Cambridge’s Harvard Square netted over 700 unique users, and the San Francisco network already has over 2,000 unique users despite being only about half completed. The Free the Net project questions the current paradigm of big telco buildouts using enterprise-grade equipment promoted by industry giants such as Earthlink and AT&T. Given Earthlink’s recently announced first quarter financial losses, questioning the current models for city-wide wireless Internet seems like a good idea, although the jury’s still out on whether this new model will succeed.
At the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW), somebody just asked what role telcos could and should play with respect to internet identity. Good question. I hope to discuss this and other questions in the coming two days with the telcos present at this event.
This time, IIW seems to have lost its status as “secret” — there are many people here from companies who have never been at an IIW, and are seriously considering deploying the technologies many of us have been working on for a long while. Great!
One of the key insights I picked up from the inaugural ETel conference was the increasing importance of signaling in modern communication…and not simply the technical protocols, but the subtle, ambiguous social signalling that takes place in all human communication.
Yesterday’s Register alluded to this topic in an article entitled From information overload to communication overload (Who needs nine ways to be put on hold?).
On any given day I typically receive 20-30 emails, 100s of tweets, 500 or so RSS items, 5-6 phone calls; a subset of these inbound communications are more important to me than others, some are transformed and republished into other media…blog posts, bookmarks, emails, calls and the like.
Companies such as GrandCentral and Equals are looking to address some of this complexity - but is seems to me they’re still approaching this through telephony metaphors.
When media, communications and entertainment are intertwined, do we need to develop new, richer signalling metaphors that can reduce a noisy stream of autistic notifications to an elegant, humming flow? I think so…I don’t know what these metaphors may be, but perhaps a good starting point is a single mechanism to quantify the volume and nature of what’s thrown at us?
More broadly - should Emerging Telephony really be more about Emerging Communication?
I’ll be speaking at SpeechTek in the session “The Future of Speech.” I’ll present a few of my ideas on the future of speech interfaces.
But I need some help, folks. I would like to present a list of the current non-speech interfaces to cell phones, and the list seems rather short. Cell phones have keys, keypads, buttons, and joysticks. Some have Bluetooth-based virtual keypads, although I can’t say I’ve seen one in use; and Apple’s iPhone will have a touch screen. (Some cell phones have speech recognition interfaces, but I’ve rarely seen one in use.)
I’d like to include other up-and-coming interfaces for the cell phone, either commercially available or close to deployment. If you’ve a suggestion about a technology to mention, please let me know by leaving a comment here.
Here’s a post by “VeriSign Digital Infrastructure Staff” pondering about using OpenID as the authentication mechanism for SIP.
While this is still in the stage of “pondering”, I’m linking so you can ponder a bit, too ;-) Personally, I think if it can be made to work, this would be great both for OpenID and the broader adoption of SIP.
This week’s big identity news was that Sun Microsystems is adopting OpenID both as feature in certain Sun software, and by giving each Sun employee an OpenID. This is hugely significant for the rise of user-centric, decentralized, URL-based digital identity, as so far, Sun has been known primarily as tireless advocate of the protocols developed by the Liberty Alliance (an organization that Sun had a key hand in putting together). There is even talk that it might come as a standard feature with Java in the future.
This follows other mainstream endorsements of OpenID this year, including from Microsoft, Symantec and AOL. VeriSign did it last year already, and there is also broad support in the startup community. After all, why would you put up N screens in front of your users to sign them up, if one is enough with OpenID?
I’m writing this from the 1st European Identity Conference in München (Munich), Germany, where the mood in the hallways is clearly that OpenID is here to stay, and will continue its explosive adoption this year and next.
Here are some of the relevant links. First the Sun view:
* Press release
* Largely similar article by Linux Magazine
* Commentary by Tim Bray, of Sun (see also some interesting comments there)
* Commentary by Eve Maler, also of Sun
* Commentary by Pat Patterson, also of Sun
Here some comments from OpenID “insiders”:
* Comments by Dick Hardt of Sxip
* Comments by Scott Kveton, previously of Jan Rain
* Comments by David Recordon of VeriSign
* Comments by Johannes Ernst of NetMesh (that would be your’s truly in his private blog …)
I’ve been using the Nokia N95 phone for the past week and I have to say I’m really impressed. Several folks from the Nokia Blogger Relations Program have been testing it as well and the opinions have been quite varied. Stuart Henschall is in love (with minor caveats), Dameon Welch-Abernathy feels similarly and Ken Camp almost sent it back on day one. The one universal complaint, which I have not experienced issues with, is battery life.
This phone tries very hard to be everything to everyone. For the most part, it excels at everything. The camera is amazing (searching Flickr for “N95″ yields around 6929 results for you to look at). The video camera app is the best I’ve seen (here’s an example). The multimedia features are upgrades of apps that previously existed. There are ample blogging and podcasting features and the web browser is based on WebKit, which powers Apple’s Safari desktop browser. There’s a GPS on board with a nice mapping application, but this seems somewhat of an afterthought and might need some further firmware upgrades to be completely useful. Of course the phone and wifi capabilities are top-notch, sporting the regular Nokia quality that we’ve come to enjoy. The N95 is the ultimate evolution to what the team at Nokia have been trying to do with the Nseries devices on the current technology stack.
The evolution of these devices will continue, that much is certain. 3G and 4G networks are being rolled out (or already exist) in many countries and this phone is but the first of a new generation that will be more capable and easier to use. Nokia has the lead in what is now known as the “Smartphone” market with their Series 60 operating system, which is based on a Symbian core OS. Mobile devices are a huge marketplace and feature-rich phones like the N95 and iPhone are built to drive revenue back to the carriers and the small developer communities that surround them. I think that all of the mobile devices out there (100 million Series 60 have been sold, over 60% category market share) will eventually move into the “smart” category with the evolution of wireless technologies.
I’ll have a more thorough review of this device and it’s companion N800 tablet soon.
Nokia’s Jan Chipchase continues to generate interesting and valuable research on the usage of mobile handsets with her work on how people carry their phones.
A Cross Cultural Study on Phone Carrying and Personalisation (downloads, slides & background here) explores the intersection between where people carry their handsets and how they respond to incoming calls and messages.
The study, conducted in eleven cities with around fifteen hundred participants, reveals some interesting behaviors…
- 60% of men sampled carried their phone in their front-right trouser pockets.
- 61% of women carried their phone in a bag…and are more likely to miss calls and messages as they locate their phone!
- Men migrate from pockets to belt pouches as they age (and presumably gain weight!)
- Hygiene, convenience, physical protection and crime prevention are the major factors in carrying a phone.
- In some cultures, phone straps are a form of social signaling.
I would love to hear how Nokia uses such studies to direct the design of their handsets and perhaps more significantly whether this has any traction with with carriers whom largely dictate the feature set of handsets.
At both editions of the ETel conference, my favourite segments by far were those presented by students of the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at the Tisch School of the Arts; part of New York University.
Tommorow, ITP will be opening its doors to the public, for two days, as it holds its annual Spring Show, where students present their theses to the outside world. Like MIT’s Media Lab and the now defunct Ivrea, ITP is one of the most innovative digital technology schools in the world and I urge you to visit the show, if you’re close by, or to follow the thesis presentations online.
I’ll be exploring the site myself this week to highlight interesting projects for the ETel community; Kate Hartman’s This Device Is For You and Summer Bedard’s Trigr already have my attention…incidentally Summer was behind The Human Race, demonstrated at this year’s ETel conference :)
UPDATE: After spending the day munching through all 147 projects, I’ve listed my favourites over at my personal blog (they’re not all telephony related)…
I spotted the cute VoiceQuilt over at Springwise earlier today…it’s kinda like a Moo for voice.
Users email their loved ones to dial a number, leave a personal message and then have those recordings added to various keepsakes; a ‘musicbox’ or personalised CD recording. A lovely, sentimental, if twee, notion.
However, I’d find it just as useful to simply archive voicemails and text messages from our cells to other formats. I’m sure there are many of us who have precious, intimate or humorous voice messages we’d like to preserve.
Yet MNO’s don’t make this easy, if at all possible. It’s our data, let us at it - we might even pay a little for it :)
The folks who write the Open Source Soft Switching application Freeswitch have ported their software to the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. For those of you lucky enough to have one of these, grab the code and turn your device into one of the most portable VoIP switches around.
I’ll try to catch up with Brian West (Freeswitch Ring Leader) tomorrow to see what their plans are for this most interesting distribution. I hope to have one of these devices soon and will let you know how well it works then.
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It seems that Google’s mobile initiatives are ramping up quite nicely. According to this article on Telecoms.com, they have begun shipping their software on a new LG device called the KS10. The KS10 is LG’s first handset to run on the S60 platform from Nokia and will feature fully integrated Google Apps preinstalled on the device which is now available in Italy. This is part of the initiative announced in March by Google and LG “to pre-install Google’s services on millions of LG mobile phones”.
This latest announcement corners nicely with the efforts of US MNVO Helio to integrate a GPS-enabled Google Maps into all of their handsets. Additionally, there is still a rumor floating around the blogosphere that Google may introduce a phone of its own in the future, although this has been disputed by many members of Google staff.
I received a N95 from our friends at Nokia yesterday. At first glance, it’s a gorgeous device, very similar in stature to the N80 that proceeded it, but a little thinner and a lot lighter. It comes with just about every bell and whistle imaginable and should work the world around.
I’ll be testing this device and blogging about it and with it for a while to come, but suffice it to say that the 20 minutes I have played with it were fun indeed. Unfortunately, it came with a europlug equipped power supply and I, not being a big world traveler of late and living in the US, don’t have any adapters handy. This did point out to me that the included USB port cannot be used to charge the device…bad Nokia. Once I procure said attachment and give the little powerhouse some juice, we’ll see how well it handles.
Johannes Ernst explains why we need a user-centric models for identification, and how this change will impact the communications industry in our latest ETel article, Communications in the User-Centric Economy.
Time Magazine famously told us last December that we, the users, control the Information Age. It’s a matter of some dispute whether that is indeed true already or only will be, but there is no question that user-centric technologies enabled by the Web—such as blogging, tagging, video sharing, podcasting, syndication, and others—have been causing a dramatic and accelerating shift of power and control from vendors to users.
What does this mean for communications? Nothing short of turning this multi-trillion-dollar industry inside out. Let me try to explain.
Click on through to Johannes’ article for the goods. And if you’re interested in these issues, don’t miss the upcoming Internet Identity Workshop, May 14-16 in Mountain View, CA, at the Computer History Museum.
We’ve talked about the controversies surrounding IMS here on ETel before (see Lee Dryburgh’s The IMS Debate for one interesting perspective). Brough Turner, one of the really smart guys out there in this field, has written up the notes from his recent talk about what he learned in porting his MyCaller ringback tones application from the Intelligent Network (IN) implementation to an “IMS” version. You may be surprised at what he found.
In Lessons Learned Implementing IMS, Brough really breaks down the details of where IMS is today, what it can offer, and some of the problems people will face in moving towards IMS. He presents a short and sweet executive summary of his findings, but the entire article is well worth a read.
For the impatient, here are the takeaways.
- It’s very early days for IMS. Today’s “IMS” networks are combinations of SIP infrastructure with 3GPP Release 4 softswitch-controlled voice service.
- IMS is about connection control, only. Only part of your application has to change. For MyCaller, ~90 percent of the software remains the same.
- IMS enables multimedia ringback, i.e. video! So there is significant new functionality, versus today’s audio-only ringback.
- Parallels with Intelligent Network are striking!
- Most application–specific data remains outside of IMS. In particular, operators do not want to add data fields to their Home Subscriber Server (HSS).
- Application–specific MRFs make sense. Operators tend to avoid sharing resources between diverse applications. And, for rich media, application–specific MRFs can be more cost-effective.
- Operators await 3GPP Release 7. At least anecdotally, several operators have suggested that 3GPP Release 7 is the first complete, stable, and consistent version they will fully deploy.
And for more good analysis of the state of IMS and a deeper look at the R4 vs. R7 issue, check out Dean Bubbley’s response post, When is an IMS not an IMS?.
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