BellSouth Corp. has decided to jump on the same technology bandwagon as SBC Communications Inc. and Cingular Wireless, announcing it will tap Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) gear and design services from Lucent Technologies for its voice-over IP services.
IMS is a technology that allows IP traffic to more easily flow across multiple IP wired and wireless networks to any device, and most experts see it as the crucial element to provide "any time, anywhere" services.
Under the multiyear agreement, Lucent will help build out the system in BellSouth's nine-state service territory, supplying the softswitches, media gateways and network controllers. In its role as network systems integrator, Lucent's Worldwide Services unit will provide multivendor network support including network and security design, installation engineering and program management and multivendor technical support.
"BellSouth can now evolve to an IMS architecture by simply adding session management and unified subscriber database functions to help enable personalized services that customers can access anytime, anywhere, with any device," said Mike Baumgartner, vice president of sales for Lucent Technologies. "We're dedicated to helping customers such as BellSouth roll out applications faster to a more targeted audience with increased efficiency."
The fact that BellSouth opted for Lucent as a primary IMS gear and systems provider aligns with Lucent contracts recently cut with SBC and Cingular, the latter of which is jointly owned by SBC and BellSouth. As a result, the three could more quickly offer co-marketed, converged services to their respective customer bases.