Network Convergence or Divergence? : A service perspective on the underlying requirements of future handsets

University essay from KTH/Kommunikationssystem, CoS

Abstract: Network Convergence or Divergence, what is it, and which are the most likely developments? Today, a much talked about area of telecommunications is the move toward the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), and with it the introduction of IP-based communication in both Public Land Mobile Networks and Public Switched Telephony Networks. This thesis attempts to show whether these two networks will converge with each other and with the Internet in the future - based upon the existence of a few important prerequisites in terms of standards and protocols, whilst divergence in the networks could result if technical and economical obstacles are difficult to circumvent or to exclude from future networks. The major drivers for convergence include the existence of standards for packet-based transmission over a wide variety of underlying networks, the existence of services that make use of these underlying networking protocols, and ultimately also the existence of devices that can use the new features of a converged network architecture. The focus is on the impact convergence services or offerings may have on handsets; specifically which protocols need to be supported, as well as those hardware and software requirements that need to be catered for to enable convergence in the handset sector. The thesis concludes with a summary of the most important factors for convergence in future mobile handsets.

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