Why IMS? Last week’s question why IP Multimedia Subsystem is referred to as IMS resulted in a pair of semi-lucid answers, including one from a female industry member who begged anonymity after suggesting: “females in the industry really do not want to spend the next three years saying ‘IPMS’ repeatedly…!” and a more serious, although less facetious suggestion that the “next generation of networkers do not want the general population to figure out that it all depends on current technologies, IP.” Nothing like a bit of cynicism to brighten even the darkest winter days. The IMS Drumbeat Continues From the news desk comes this IMS-related flash: NexTone Communications has launched “NexTone University” to certify engineers on IMS and real-time service delivery. Why Wait? While organizations like MobileIGNITE are chugging away seeking IMS interoperability, some carriers can’t wait to get into the fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) space. Case in point, Unefon, Mexico’s leading CDMA operator, is using Convergin’s technology to enable 2.7 million subscribers to make and receive calls with a single number on any phone—wireless, wireline or VoIP. The new service is marketed under the catchy WOW-Unefon brand. Away from IMS to Comcast Comcast’s announcement that it would form an Open Transport Initiative (OTI) to improve interoperability between optical and IP network layers, and that Cisco Networks and Nortel Networks would be the first OTI players, drew an interesting response from industry analyst Joe McGarvey of Current Analysis, who said, “the cable guys have always been a bit more altruistic than their brethren in the telecommunications space.” Altruistic and cable? Probably the first time the two have ever been in the same sentence. Fortunately, McGarvey clarified by explaining that cable operators “work together a little bit better” than telephone companies. The Silly Season Motorola and Burton Snowboards have teamed together to announce the availability of a Bluetooth-enabled Audex Jacket Series that lets winter sports enthusiasts experience “seamless connectivity” from one environment to the next. Apparently, slipping down the slopes on a board (like driving a Hummer at 80 miles an hour on a dark back road) is not enough to keep today’s phone-centric consumer occupied. The jacket is there to keep those snowboarders in touch as “the control center for hands-free communication and entertainment on the slopes.” VoIP Pushing Modem Growth In a report you can buy for $3,295—and who comes up with those numbers?—In-Stat has concluded that a major increase in worldwide broadband subscribers and the hot popularity of wireless and VoIP-enabled equipment is resulting in CPE growth of nearly 20 percent in 2005 for devices that primarily include modem and home networking functionality. The report further states that broadband is driving this—along with consumers looking for ways to save money on phone service. Speak Up! Sonus Networks has made available an interactive voice response system that, once deployed, lets customers personalize voice service independent of location through a straightforward, voice-operated menu. All the better for those snowboarders and their jackets. SPIT-up Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the slopes, the Information Security Forum issued a warning that VoIP will present new and more sophisticated threats such as caller ID spoofing, voice modifiers, the stomach-churning SPIT (aka Spam over Internet telephony) and packet injections, not to be confused with botox injections, which supposedly smooth things over. Didn’t we read about those security issues somewhere already? Oh yeah, the December issue of Communications Technology has a brilliantly researched and written piece on VoIP security that the author has, for only $50 a pop, agreed to autograph for his eager fans. Certified BigBand Networks’ Cuda CMTS received qualification status from CableLabs for the PacketCable Multimedia specification (PCMM). Acronym Winner Mitel, through no fault of its own, wins this week’s award for the most confusing use of acronyms by saying it has released a standards-ready implementation of the Telecommunications Industry Association’s Link Layer Discovery Protocol for Media Endpoint Discovery (LLDP-MED) as part of its Mitel 3300 IP Communications Platform’s latest release. In a news release, Mitel added: “Based on IEEE 802.1AB ‘Link Layer Discovery Protocol,’ LLDP-MED extends the standard to specifically focus on the needs of VoIP to allow simplified provisioning, ease of administration and several valuable new discovery capabilities.” It’s a shame while promoting simplified operations there’s no parallel effort to promote simplified language.