ETSI test event proves Interoperability between IMS Networks based on 3GPP and ETSI TISPAN Standards

Sophia Antipolis, 19th November 2008

ETSI today announced the successful completion of an interoperability event IMS NNI (Network-to-Network Interface) based on publicly available test specifications for the Network-to-Network Interface for evolving telecommunication networks that are based on the IP Multimedia Sub-system (IMS).

The principal aims of the event were to:
• Enable participants to evaluate the level of Interoperability of IMS networks
• Assess the quality of 3GPP™ and ETSI TISPAN IMS specifications

These aims have been well-achieved, with interoperability between multiple vendors over a variety of configurations being proven beyond expectations. During the event over 410 tests were executed and 82 % interoperability was observed.

Interoperability for basic as well as supplementary services based on TISPAN Release 1/3GPP Release 7 multimedia telephony (MMTel) application server running over different IMS scenarios including interworking, roaming and border control has been tested using soft clients and test tools, allowing participants to evaluate the interfaces used to connect IMS networks.
Originally conceived for evolving mobile communication technologies, IMS, the Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem, provides a framework for delivering internet protocol (IP) multimedia services to end users, and is now being deployed in diverse communication networks, mobile and fixed. IMS will allow fast development of convergent services with OPEX and CAPEX savings.

The event was organized by ETSI, with the Technical Partnership of Sintesio which provided technical support for the event. IMS Core Network equipment used in the IMS NNI tests was either locally or remotely connected to Sintesio Lab network infrastructure.

Network Equipment and Test tool vendors included: Ericsson, EXFO NAVTEL Product Group, Italtel and Cisco Systems, Iskratel, Nokia Siemens Networks, Thomson-SSP.
Network operators observing the event included: France Telecom Orange, Mobitel Slovenia, Telecom Italia, Sonaecom Portugal, Swisscom Switzerland.
RADVISION and Smith Micro Software provided commercial IMS clients for ad-hoc testing.

This PlugtestsTM interoperability event was organized by the ETSI Centre for Testing and Interoperability (CTI), and the test descriptions underpinning the event were developed by Working Group 6 of ETSI Technical Committee TISPAN in collaboration with ETSI Technical Committee INT (IMS Network Testing). Technical experts from ETSI collected feedback at the event on the base specifications for later submission to 3GPP, in order to further refine and improve the specifications. 

What they said about this event:
Stephan Schulz, ETSI Senior Technical Expert and responsible for the ETSI IMS PlugtestsTM technical organization observed: 'This second event has shown us that also the more advanced features of IMS core network technology such as IMS roaming and border control work in practice between different vendors. It has also enabled us to collect a lot of important feedback on existing IMS standards that we are planning to submit to 3GPP.'

Primož Švigelj, Product Manager, Iskratel, said: 'We were really glad to participate in the second IMS interoperability event. Our expectations were fulfilled and we are satisfied with the test results. We found here also a good collaborative spirit that made the testing even more successful and helped the event to be a tremendously good experience for all participants.'

Magnus Furustam, Head of Product Area Core & IMS, Ericsson said: 'Every ETSI IMS Core Networks interoperability evaluation opens doors for mass-market deployment of services based on IMS. As the deployment of services based on IMS is now accelerating around the world it is a great pleasure to acknowledge that interworking also of services based on TISPAN/3GPP Multimedia Telephony (MMTel) has been so successful. Ericsson strongly endorses and will continue to support activities that enable interoperable services based on IMS.'

'We are very happy to see that the ETSI Plugtest went well and will be become a recurring event to help demonstrate the general readiness of the IP Multimedia Subsystem for the global market,' said Wieland Stübinger, Head of Interoperability Lab at Nokia Siemens Networks. 'We are glad that the event also dealt with important roaming and NNI aspects and that our system proved its compatibility and compliance with ETSI standards.'

Fabien Maisl, Telephony and Video Platforms Marketing Director Thomson said: 'This interoperability event with the various industry vendors shows that IMS has complied with its aim of easy interworking. Thomson is very pleased to leverage this opportunity to demonstrate the strong maturity of its IMS technologies. Thomson is a key contributor to various IMS standardisation bodies and is committed to helping the telecom industry migrate to IMS'.

Vladimir Borcic, Sonaecom Portugal, said: 'After successful commercial launch of several IMS services, Sonaecom Portugal was very glad to witness the effort and cooperative spirit of major IMS Core vendors to assure interoperability and make IMS a truly global and open platform for a lot of new service.'

Primoz Jenko, Mobitel Slovenia, remarked: 'Mobitel is aware that interoperability is the essence of communication in a globally connected world, so we attended the event as observers and provided one test session chair. The expectations of new IMS releases are great and we are very pleased to see the joint efforts of ETSI, vendors and operators to bring interoperability to immediate reality. The results of the Plugtests are encouraging and will make operators better equipped to face the challenge of IMS interworking and roaming.'

Patrick Lilley, General Manager and Vice President Device Solutions, Smith Micro Software - 'It was extremely rewarding to be able to test and verify our IMS handset client performance on a wide variety of IMS infrastructure specifications during one event. We look forward to participating in future events and working with ETSI and the various network infrastructure partners to help ensure the successful deployment of IMS networks.'

Sagi Subocki, Product Manager with RADVISION's Technology Business unit, said:  'As a leading provider of IMS application products and software components, RADVISION values ETSI's IMS Plugtests for the opportunity to perform interoperability testing with leading IMS core network equipment providers and vendors.'



This event was sponsored generously by the eEurope Initiative of the European Commission ( and Iskratel (
Technical Expertise and overall organization for the event was provided by the ETSI Centre for Testing and Interoperability ( Technical support was provided by Sintesio (

For more information about the event and ETSI's testing services, please contact:

Anthony Wiles
Centre for Testing and Interoperability
Tel:  +33 4 92944387 
Email: [email protected]
For general ETSI press enquiries:

Paul Reid
Events & Communications
Tel:  +33 4 92944219 
Email: [email protected]

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 a not-for-profit organization whose 700 ETSI member organizations benefit from direct participation and are drawn from 62 countries across 5 continents worldwide.
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About ETSI Plugtests™

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