I spent a fascinating day on Monday at Fraunhofer FOKUS at the invitation of Dr Thomas Magedanz – Director of the Competence centre – (Next generation networks) – pdf bio and Niklas blum – the deputy head of Fraunhofer fokus.
Fraunhofer FOKUS is a part of the Fraunhofer Institute, one of the world’s largest research institutes – based in Berlin
From their web site ..
Fraunhofer FOKUS provides R&D services for the development of seamless personalizable communication systems at all stages of the innovation process – from the original innovative idea and project-related R&D right through to testing, prototype development and implementation.
Fraunhofer fokus is best known for Open IMS playground, which you can download here for free from their link
At Frauenhofer fokus itself, there is a lot more development around Next generation networks(which includes IMS). Thus, the full setup at frauenhofer fokus includes the software plus the hardware setup – for instance IPTV, DVB-H etc.
This is of interest to me .. because of my work on Mobile Web 2.0 and IMS.
My problem with IMS can be encapsulated by ‘There is so much more to IMS – especially network abstractions and SDP – but Operator after Operator talks only about Voice!’
I discussed this with Thomas, who was also a speaker at the event, and then Thomas invited me to visit their labs in Berlin.
Their motto is ‘Demo or Die’ – a nice attitude compared to so many in the industry!
I must say, when you see some of the IMS demos in action(including convergence scenarios around IPTV, DVB-H etc), the power of IMS is apparent – provided there is a vision to create new services. I could see the vision at Frauenhofer fokus; but sadly not at most of the Operators speaking at IMS world(the three exceptions, in my view, being : Telecom Italia Mobile, Telia sonera and T-mobile)
The frauenhofer institute has very good synergies for my work .. because to explore Mobile Web 2.0 and IMS – I have to be able to understand the network. If I work with equipment vendors, I make my research proprietary and limited. Hence, by working with the Frauenhofer fokus, I can be agnostic of the network elements(and infact can get the best features of many network equipment manufacturers). In addition, I can extend my understanding to IPTV, Mobile TV etc ..
Of course, many of you know that I am also doing a PhD in a related topic .. so this is of interest to me in more than one levels.
So, expect a lot more from me with exploring Mobile Web 2.0/IMS working with Frauenhofer fokus(including perhaps a book called Mobile Web 2.0 and IMS)
Have a look at the OpenIMS platform which you can download from the link above