is this project about?
In the last years, Instant
Messaging has been a huge success in the PC world, in addition, services
based on location (LBS) and Mobile Presence have shown their business
potential giving Telco’s the unique opportunity to play a strong role in
its value chain and make profit from it.
Projects like LOCAWA (P1208), Mobile Presence (P1204), Instant Messaging
(P1345) and SPEED (P1346) have identified and analyzed the “bottlenecks”
that hinder the expected success such as dealing with third parties and
content providers (Business/Market context), the lack of an adequate and
reliable Service Delivery Platform, international service roaming and
However, the instant messaging market suffer from various division,
amongst operators as well as protocols, and such problems hindered the
success of operator-runned IM services.
The major players – AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo! – are using proprietary
protocols and thus not interoperable. Specific mediator or translator
software is available, but still the division is a big nuisance. Users
have to choose carefully which client software they are using, and often
end up in installing half a dozen different chat clients. In addition,
most every system has its own user names and passwords.
In the mobile world as well, division
resulting from different operator strategic decisions (economics,
politics) are slowing down development of IM services. Technologically,
there are no common transport layer protocols or data formats.
SMS and MMS are closed and operator controlled systems that are carried
with control data in GSM networks, while IM is carried by IP. SMS and
MMS messages can be transported into and out from IP networks via SMS
and MMS centres or other specific gateways, but it always takes an
operator to deliver the message to the mobile phone.
Newer messaging schemes in mobile networks include Wireless Village. WV
is also a closed system in the sense that it relies on servers within
the mobile network, but there exists gateway functionality to outside
systems, which is defined in the specifications. (WV includes presence
data as specified in the IETF standardization)
3GPP release 6 IMS subsystem takes IETF-specified SIP/SIMPLE to its
native messaging and presence protocol, which makes it directly
compatible with any other SIP/SIMPLE systems. Specifications are still
being finalized at 3GPP and IETF.
On another front, mobile devices may use GPRS for generic always-on IP
connectivity, and thereon deploy any IM system now available, like
Jabber. This does, however, inherit all the interoperation problems that
exist in IM world today, but at the same time brings an already
established IM community to the mobile world.
For an operator to launch successful IM services, this is not sufficient
to choose carefully a good platform, but also to have sufficient
interoperability with other systems, as the value of IM systems is
proportional to the number of users available trough them, being
separated from any other important network would hinder users'
willingness to use such services.
are the main objectives of this project?
The focus is on the analysis of different IM
and presence standards, the development of a plan or strategy to ensure
interoperation between operators and their platforms and the creation of a
testbed where IM services interoperability can be developed and tested.
The users' desires and acceptance will also be studied under the angle of
The main objectives
of this proposal are to:
- Identify and analyze the IM standards
that are relevant for each operator.
- Study of interoperability issues
- Development of a testbed
- Development and testing of Mobile IM
- Analysis of VAS on top of the Mobile
IM Platform. (Enhancements towards a Presence Service )
- Exchange of technological knowledge
and experience (testing different software clients, servers,
- Analysis of current usage of IM
systems and needed features for a successful (Mobile) IM service.
- Analysis of possible pricing models
for the service and between Operators if an inter-operator (Mobile) IM
service is launched.
- Analyze the issue of connecting the
operators’ user database in order to create an inter-operator
community, including Number and Name portability between SMS, Instant
Messenger and email.
- Identify and analyze possible
political, economical or strategic issues when connecting to one of
the big actors like ICQ, MSN or Yahoo.
- Identify and analyze any technical
issues that arise when connecting to big actors such as MSN, ICQ and