More global operators will run IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) in a network function virtualization (NFV) environment, a report from research firm IHS said.
According to the report, 17% of operator respondents are currently running IMS network elements in a NFV environment.
However, respondent use of IMS in NFV environments will grow significantly to 78% by 2018, driven by the ability to scale services up and down quickly and also operational efficiencies, IHS said.
IHS recently conducted in-depth interviews with global service providers that have deployed IMS core equipment in their networks or will do so by the end of 2018, capturing their plans, purchase considerations and opinions of IMS vendors.
Operators worldwide continue to deploy and expand IMS networks for a variety of services, but mobile has become king and VoLTE is driving the majority of new activity.
VoLTE is the number-one driver for deploying IMS today, and 91% of carriers surveyed plan to run voice over LTE (VoLTE) services over IMS in the next two years, the research firm said.
Additionally, fixed-line voice over IP (VoIP) service continues to be the mainstay of IMS deployments. The transition from fixed-line VoIP to mobile services over IMS is happening, but in a measured fashion. The business case for the services is challenging to establish, HIS noted.
Today, 57% to 65% of operators surveyed run residential voice over broadband, SIP trunking or hosted business VoIP over IMS, growing to 87% to 91% by 2018. The operator world is quickly converging with fixed and mobile services.