Samsung Handsets and AT&T's new Video Sharing Service
NMS Communications is an OEM-supplier to a wide variety of telecom players, so I always have interesting knowledge that I can't write about in this blog. That's particularly the case with IMS handsets. Those who are paying attention (like Dean Bubley) realize that rich IMS services are being delayed awaiting IMS handsets. Since NMS supplies IMS handset software to various handset vendors, very few of which are public, I know something about IMS handsets and handset availability — but usually I can't say anything...
However, with yesterday's Video Sharing announcement by AT&T, the last remaining piece in one set of our activities is now public, as AT&T provided information on their new IMS-based service, including the handsets it works with.
The Samsung handsets on the AT&T web page use our IMS client software. Lucent (now Alcatel-Lucent) provides the IMS services infrastructure for AT&T (formerly Cingular) and indeed we had to do extensive interoperability testing with Lucent. All this was well in hand in February 2006 when the NMS-Openera-Samsung press release went out, and yet it will be late this summer before AT&T Video Sharing service will be available in Boston. Furthermore, Video Sharing is only of many IMS services that are possible with the Samsung handsets.
The good news is AT&T worries about their brand, so we can be sure their Video Sharing service will be robust. The bad news is, there are all sorts of latent service capabilities in those handsets that have yet to see the light of day. Meanwhile thousands of Internet-based services have popped up — many have failed, but the net rate of innovation is impressive.
When I look back at more than a decade of the Intelligent Network, it spawned a few widely deployed services, e.g. free phone service, premium rate service, mobile telephony (HLR/VLR), corporate VPNs, etc. The services that were deployed were robust and scaled extremely well, but there were so few.
For now, IMS appears to be on the same track, unfortunately...
Before the end of 2007, I hope to be able to talk about a major shift in the world of handset software. Things might look a bit different in 2008.