Service Providers Optimistic about Moving IMS Networks to NFV, Rate Vendors

Campbell, CALIFORNIA (July 9, 2015)—IHS (NYSE: IHS) conducted in-depth interviews with global service providers that have IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) core equipment in their networks or will by the end of 2017 and discovered that only 8 percent are running IMS network elements in a network functions virtualization (NFV) environment today.

“Though only a small number of service providers who took part in our IMS strategies survey are currently running 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,” said Diane Myers, research director for VoIP, UC and IMS at IHS.


“One of the biggest drivers for NFV is the ability to scale services up and down quickly and introduce new network services more efficiently and in a timely manner, which makes IMS a good early fit for NFV,” Myers said.


  • 80 percent of service provider respondents indicated that parts of their IMS elements will be running in an NFV environment by 2017, which IHS believes is somewhat optimistic
  • Today, 60 percent to 65 percent of respondents are running residential voice over broadband, SIP trunking or hosted business VoIP over IMS, growing to 88 percent by 2017
  • Telephony application servers (TAS) are an important element to commercializing an IMS network: 72 percent of respondents have already installed voice application servers
  • In an open-ended question asking respondents who they consider to be the top three IMS infrastructure vendors, operators most often named Huawei, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent


The 36-page annual IHS Infonetics IMS Service Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey is based on interviews with purchase-decision makers at 25 incumbent, competitive, mobile and cable operators from EMEA, Asia Pacific, Latin America and North America. Service providers were asked about IMS migration drivers and barriers; plans for IMS services and equipment; IMS network elements and form factors; drivers of IMS in an NFV environment; single vs. multiple IMS cores; and CSCF, HSS and TAS installations, features, and manufacturers. The report includes operator ratings of IMS infrastructure vendors ( Alcatel-Lucent, BroadSoft, Ericsson, Genband, Huawei, Mavenir, Nokia Networks, Oracle, ZTE ) on 9 criteria. To purchase the report, please visit

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