IP Multimedia Subsystem

What Does IP Multimedia Subsystem Mean?

An IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) is a set of specifications that describes the next-generation networking architecture for implementing IP-based telephony and multimedia services. These specifications define a complete framework and architecture that enables the convergence of video, voice, data and mobile network technologies.

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Techopedia Explains IP Multimedia Subsystem

The IP multimedia subsystem is an architectural framework for the delivery of IP multimedia services. It was initially developed by the Wireless Standards Body 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) as part of a vision for mobile network evolution beyond the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) standard.

IMS uses Internet Engineering Task Force protocols to provide access to voice applications and multimedia from wireless and wire-line terminals. IMS also supports services enabled and based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Multimedia subsystems deliver multimedia services, which can be accessed by users from various devices through an IP network or a traditional telephony system.

The network architecture is divided into the following layers:

  • Device layer
  • Transport layer
  • Control layer
  • Service layer
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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.