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New Cisco Products Support Both IMS and Non-IMS Applications
[December 05, 2005]

New Cisco Products Support Both IMS and Non-IMS Applications

TMCnet Associate Editor
Cisco Systems today announced the release of several new and enhanced products geared to global service providers migrating toward IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem).
The new products, including Cisco’s XR 12000 Series Router; MGX 8880 Media Gateway; Call Session Control Platform (CSCP), Release 3.0; Service Control Engine (SCE), Release 3.0; PGW2200, Release 9.7; and BTS 10200, Release 4.5, allow for interoperability between IMS and non-IMS applications.

The products enhance Cisco’s Service Exchange Framework (SEF), the service convergence layer of its next generation network, and enable “cable, wireline and mobile operators to offer services based on fixed-mobile convergence (FMC),” a company news release states.

“The flexibility of this approach helps ensure service providers have the capabilities needed to address both IMS and non-IMS service applications with an integrated solution,” said Lee Doyle, IDC Group vice president, network infrastructure.
The move means Cisco is now embracing IMS more than it has in the past. Because the company serves the cable, wireless and wireline markets, it has decided to include a core set of IMS functions in its products serving all three of those markets.
IMS is a standards-based architecture which enables telecom operators to provide a range of SIP-based services across packet or switched networks to both fixed and wireless customers. It is largely regarded as the most practical way to achieve fixed/mobile convergence, and is touted as a way for carriers to launch new services more quickly and efficiently.
Included in the line-up of new and enhanced products is Cisco’s MGX 8880, which the company claims is the first MPLS-enabled media gateway for wireless, wireline and cable networks. Cisco says the product is PacketCable qualified and optimized for IMS and non-IMS applications.
The PGW2200, which Cisco claims is already deployed in VoIP networks, enables IP interoperation between fixed and mobile legacy telephony networks. The enhanced version is engineered to perform as the Media Gateway Control Function (MGCF) element in IMS architecture.
Cisco’s enhanced BTS 10200 softswitch now interoperates with Call Session Control Functionality (CSCF) – and can also perform as a standalone MGCF element, the company claims.
Cisco’s Call Session Control Platform (CSCP) release 3.0 now contains enhancements in scaleability, provisioning, security and QoS policy enforcement. The CSCP has been deployed at Sprint Nextel Corp. for more than two years, the company claims.
Finally, Cisco’s XR 12000 router comes with session border control (SBC) functionality.
The new and enhanced products enable SIP-based applications such as dual-mode telephony, push-to-talk services, presence-based services and other FMC applications.
Cisco has extended SEF support for non-IMS applications to enable real-time monitoring of VoIP call quality and integration with third-party anti-virus, security and intrusion detection appliances. The Cisco SEF enables support for virtually any IP service ranging from business Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to consumer-oriented applications like Video-on-Demand (VoD), interactive gaming and IPTV.

Mike Volpi, senior vice president, routing and service provider technology at Cisco, said the SEF “is designed to help service providers address the sheer complexity and diversity of IMS and non-IMS applications across any access network while raising their average revenue per subscriber and lowering cost.”

For more information about Cisco Systems, visit
Patrick Barnard is Associate Editor for TMCnet and a columnist covering the telecom industry. To see more of his articles, please visit Patrick Barnard’s columnist page.

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