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Mobile VoIP
While Voice over IP is accepted as the fixed line telephony replacement technology, most people are not yet familiar with Mobile VoIP. In its simplest form, Mobile Voip may be utilized by firing up a softphone on a mobile device. As an example, most Nokia phones includes built in client software that may be used as a regular VoIP phone when the mobile phone is in a wireless LAN environment. VoIP clients also exist for iPhone, Windows Mobile and Android based phones. Today these clients may be used as a supplement to the regular mobile phone service, mainly in order to save money on long distance calls. In the future; however the VoIP client may well become the primary client on the mobile phone while the traditional GSM or CDMA based voice technology is phased out. Existing 3G, and certainly the upcoming 4G, mobile networks will be fully capable of supporting voice as just one of many data applications that are routed via IP. There are many ways to support mobile VoIP from a technical point of view; however if the operators are to break free of the old PSTN as the only common denominator, and the only way to interoperate, a new overall architecture is required. The only well known option for this is IP Multimedia Services aka IMS.

The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is an architectural framework for delivering Internet Protocol Multimedia Services. It was originally designed by the wireless standards body 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), as a part of the vision for evolving mobile networks beyond GSM (and GPRS). Later, the IMS architecture was updated to include CDMA and fixed line, enabling an operator to operate rich data, voice and video services within a single architecture. It will of course take years to implement IMS and it would not be the first time if it turns out that the industry finds a different approach to harvesting the associated benefits; in the meantime there is FMC.

Fixed Mobile Convergence can be seen as a way to get the best of the old world telephony features combined with (or converged) the mobility features such as IM and presence. There are advantages to both the operator and the enterprise by deploying an FMC solution. A number of FMC products exist but there are no clear market leaders.

What will you do as an operator or an enterprise? Bank on IMS or implement some FMC solution to bridge the implementation gap without being left behind in efficiency and competitiveness? Comtico can assist you in making a qualified decision.

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