In the recent IMS/VoLTE Competitive Assessment, ABI Research rates Ericsson as the overall leader with respect to innovation and implementation. Ericsson’s large cache of IMS and VoLTE patents, industry leadership in interoperability testing, and market share firmly places them in the top position. Closely at their heels are Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks, both of whom have strong portfolios, and in some aspects are superior. Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks hold dominant positions at the most demanding, leading wave LTE IMS deployments, and Nokia Siemens Networks is ahead with virtualization technology. Additionally, the Huawei and ZTE unique propositions are noteworthy.
The Innovation assessment reflects a weighted measure of patents, HW/SW implementation, E2E VoLTE, and small network support. The rankings are Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia Siemens Networks. The patent portfolios of Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent are an indicator of their innovative activity. Nokia Siemens Networks shows early leadership in virtualization technology with their Liquid Net and Liquid Core portfolio.
Implementation assessment examines market share, global and regional deployment, VoLTE trial activity, and LTE/EPC footprint. Again the rankings are Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia Siemens Networks. This part of the assessment shows more diversity among the vendors, and different customers may value things differently. Market share and geographical diversity are large discriminators.
“Ericsson has been the IMS leader from the starting gate, and this assessment affirms that position,” says Joe Hoffman, principal analyst for mobile networks, “but their competitors are charging hard as the field makes the turn into the IMS / VoLTE backstretch. Every vendor in this race has a proposition that operators will value according to their needs, and there is still much ground to cover before the finish line.” This independent Competitive Assessment is helpful for network operators to understand their options for IMS and the Evolved Voice Core, raise vendor and investor awareness, and help IMS Add-On companies consider their roadmaps.
These findings are part of ABI Research’s new Competitive Assessment, “IMS and Evolved Voice Core”. This is published as a part of the IMS, RCS & VoIP Research Service which includes reports, market data, Insights, and competitive assessments.