Wireline operators have been the largest market for IMS services to date, but due to an increase in the number of mobile IMS deployments, ABI Research forecasts IMS revenues to reach $3.4 billion in the next five years.

The Big Five mobile infrastructure vendors, led by Ericsson, will capture most of this new market growth as the mobile share of IMS rises to 50 percent.  There is also room in this market for innovative new entrants and IMS Add-On vendors.



GSMA VoLTE will be the driver, and IMS is the means to deliver the evolved voice core. “Since LTE is a packet data network,” says Joe Hoffman, principal analyst for mobile networks, “operators are keen to maximize the benefits from their voice and data services.  Eliminating the complexities of supporting separate voice and data only networks will also prove valuable as the mobile devices and networks evolve.”

Operators have the option of using IMS with existing technologies, but since voice services are elegantly handled in 3G, there has been little desire to invest in IMS for mobile voice till now.  By embracing GSMA VoLTE, mobile operators will maximize the efficiency of their assets, including spectrum when refarmed for 4G.

Joe adds, “Much of the industry is waiting for SR-VCC technology, and VoLTE deployment will accelerate as chipsets and mobiles penetrate the mass market.  Each of the Big Five vendors has different ways to deliver IMS / VoLTE, and no doubt operators will find one that best suits their needs.  Operators should also consider the pros and cons of the various means of the vendors to deliver CSFB until VoLTE becomes ubiquitous.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s new report, “Does VoLTE Provide the Necessary Impetus for IMS Growth in Mobile?” This is published as a part of the IMS, RCS & VoIP Research Service which includes Reports, Market Data, Insights, and Competitive Assessments.