ETSI IMS Plugtests™ show major advancements in interoperability between IMS networks based on 3GPP standards

Lannion, France – 23 October 2009

ETSI today announced the successful completion of their third annual interoperability testing event for IP Multimedia Sub-system (IMS) NNI (Network-to-Network Interface). The event was organized by ETSI with the technical partnership of Orange Labs and promoted by the GSM Association's Rich Communication Suite (RCS) consortium and the Multi Service Forum (MSF).

The event confirmed a high level of interoperability between components of advanced future telecommunications networks, as well as between those networks and traditional legacy networks.

The principal aims of this event were to:
• Enable participants to evaluate the level of interoperability between IMS networks core networks, multimedia telephony (MMTel) and presence applications servers, as well as IMS clients
• Enable participants to evaluate the interoperability between IMS core networks and legacy Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) networks
• Validate 3GPP™ IMS base standards as well as IMS NNI and IMS/PSTN test specifications produced by ETSI's IMS Networks Testing Technical Committee (TC INT).

These aims have been well achieved, with interoperability between multiple vendors over a variety of configurations being proven beyond expectations. During the event over 576 tests were executed and 89% interoperability was observed.

Interoperability of IMS equipment was assessed in different scenarios including interworking, IMS roaming, and session border control based on 52 tests from the ETSI IMS NNI test specification. In addition, this event also checked for the first time the interoperability of IMS core networks with legacy PSTN networks.

As part of the interoperability testing, ETSI also evaluated the conformance of NNI communication to IMS base standards using automated NNI trace checking tools based on the Testing & Test Control Notation (TTCN-3) specification language. Feedback from this evaluation will be submitted by ETSI TC INT to relevant 3GPP Technical Specification Groups in order to further refine and improve IMS base specifications. 

This year's event showed a significant increase in IMS core vendor attendance, with a good mix of large and small vendors. Compared to previous Plugtests significant improvements in conformance and wider support of IMS standards have been observed. The importance of IMS NNI interoperability was confirmed by vendor presentations that showed a promising increase in the availability and deployment of IMS-based products in operational networks. Plans are already in place to hold a fourth IMS NNI interoperability event in 2010.

Network Equipment, Test tool vendors, and Observers included: Acme Packet, Agilent Technologies, Astellia, Ericsson, Hotaru Project, Images et Reseaux, Inexbee, Iskratel, Nexcom Systems, Nokia Siemens Networks, NTT Advanced Technology, Orange Labs, Starent Networks, Telecom Bretagne, Telecom Italia, Testing Technologies, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Jordan, and Thomson. Inexbee provided commercial IMS clients for driving IMS NNI testing.

This Plugtests™ interoperability event was organized by the ETSI Centre for Testing and Interoperability (CTI), and the test descriptions underpinning the event were developed by ETSI Technical Committee INT (IMS Network Testing).


Notes for Editors
This event was generously sponsored by the eEurope Initiative of the European Commission (
Technical expertise and overall organization for the event was provided by the ETSI Centre for Testing and Interoperability. Technical support was provided by Orange Labs.


Notes for Editors

About ETSI
ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Commission as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit association whose 766 member companies and organizations, drawn from 63 countries across 5 continents worldwide, participate directly in its work.
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About ETSI Plugtests™
ETSI Plugtests™ are specialised events dedicated to improving technical interoperability and validating and improving the technical quality of ETSI standards and other specifications. 
For more information about ETSI Plugtests™ please visit: .

About 3GPP
3GPP™ brings together six standards organizations from Asia, North America and Europe (ETSI) to publish mobile standards. 3GPP™ has a website ( containing all specifications and latest drafts free-of-charge.

Plugtests™ and the ETSI logo are trademarks of ETSI registered for the benefit of its Members.
3GPP is a trademark registered by ETSI on behalf of the 3GPP Organizational Partners

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Anthony Wiles,
Centre for Testing & Interoperability
Tel: +33 4 92944387
Email: [email protected]

Paul Reid,
Events & Communications 
Tel:  +33 4 92944219  
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