The GSM Association (GSMA), in an initiative led by TeliaSonera, has begun interoperability trials on three continents to ensure that mobile users will be able to share video across networks. Successful completion of the trials, taking place in Europe, Asia and the U.S., will ensure that Video Share services work smoothly across networks and national boundaries right from launch.
The GSMA has brought together the world’s leading telecom equipment makers, including Ericsson, LG, Lucent, Motorola, Nokia, NEC, Samsung, Siemens and Sony-Ericsson, for the trials to ensure that this service will work across as many mobile devices as possible. Other leading technology companies, such as Intel Corporation, are also participating in the trials.
“The GSMA’s Video Share trials, which are due to be completed in the first half of 2006, will pave the way for the widespread launch of Video Share services across networks,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technical Officer of the GSMA.
Video Share allows one of the participants in a voice call to send live video of what they are looking at to the other participant. Operators expect Video Share to be a highly popular service used by people to exchange everything from live video postcards on holiday to footage of a school sports day to video of a house for sale.
“We saw how interoperability contributed to the text messaging boom in the United States and expect it will do the same for video services,” said Kris Rinne, Chief Technology Officer for Cingular Wireless.
The tests make use of a technology called IP* Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) to allow users to share video clips across both fixed and mobile networks in a fast and efficient way. IMS, which uses the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to initiate and manage connections, is a network architecture that many operators plan to use to deliver new services to mobile users. SIP enables customers of fixed-line operators and Internet Service Providers to easily connect with mobile users, significantly extending the footprint of all services being trialled.
“The GSMA trials of IMS/SIP based services are building the foundations for future high-performance service interoperability, which is key to the success of the next generation of communication services,” said Alan Harper, Group Strategy Director at Vodafone.
The Video Share trials follow on from GSMA-led trials in 2005 that focused on ensuring the compatibility of operators’ IMS networks. As part of this initiative, the GSMA has brought together 50 key players from the mobile network operator, GRX carriers** and vendor communities (see notes to editors for details). Originally begun in Europe, the trial expanded to Asia and subsequently to North America, with the inclusion of Cingular Wireless. These trials build on the successful approach already used to achieve greater MMS inter-operability.
As part of its trials in the fourth quarter of 2005, the GSMA also demonstrated the feasibility of using TEL URI*** as an addressing format for handsets. This format is key to ensuring the smooth delivery of these new multimedia services across networks because it allows the use of phone numbers to establish connections, such as a Video Share session. The trial included participants from Europe and Asia, demonstrating TEL URI can be used successfully across continents.
The GSMA Trials will continue throughout 2006, testing other multimedia services and IMS interoperability in diverse networks.
“Orange is delighted to have actively participated in this trial. It has provided a tremendous amount of valuable information to prepare the commercial launches of IMS-based services. Many aspects have been covered from addressing, interoperability, IP interconnections
principles leading to facilitate the deployment of these services from day one.”
Philippe Lucas, Director of Standardisation, Orange
“The development enabled by the IMS/SIP Trials is forming the essential base for the take-up of new innovative services. As an innovation leader, we see that taking a leading role in the trials is important to expedite the development of this environment.”
Hеkan Dahlstrцm, Group Vice President, TeliaSonera AB
“The GSMA-led video sharing trials facilitate interoperability tests to be conducted across different operators, carriers, platform providers and handset terminals. As the first operator to launch a video sharing service in Asia, we are pleased to share our experience and are confident that this GSMA trial on video sharing can quickly promote the interconnections between operators across the world.”
Richard Midgett, Director of International & Wholesale, Hong Kong CSL Limited.