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Nascent customer demand for multimedia services delivered anytime and anywhere is driving the acceptance and take-up of all-IP networks. Supporting this requirement demands high performance architectures and protocols, of which 3GPP's IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is the most appropriate. This paper is an overview of the key technologies and architecture of IMS and is suitable for IT professionals and managers interested in the new IMS-based platforms and the consequences of their introduction. Increasingly the telecommunications industry is looking to provide customers with the benefits of ubiquitous roaming. Particularly so if customers are allowed to engage in realtime activities such as VoIP, online gaming, video conferencing and instant messaging, in addition to non-realtime data transfers such as email and web traffic.
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