Plural form of IM.
An architectural concept built around a packet core and providing an environment in which a user can access a wide range of multimedia services using any device and any type of network connection. IMS supports Internet Protocol (IP) sessions between devices over any type of connection and protocol, whether wireline or wireless in nature. IMS will support sessions between devices in the PSTN, Internet, WLAN, and cellular domains, recognizing the limitations of each and adjusting as required, even as a terminal device roams amongst them. IMS manages internetwork handoffs, bandwidth negotiation and quality of service (QoS), while it keeps peers engaged in the session advised via the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) as to the level of multimedia presence. IMS originated in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), which was seeking a common means by which GSM cellular operators could deliver data services. IMS subsequently transcended the cellular domain, and is now being embraced by both wireless and wireline service providers. Industry groups such as the Multiservice Switching Forum (MSF), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) have adopted IMS as the foundation for their next-generation infrastructure strategies. See also 3GPP, architecture, ATIS, cellular radio, ETSI, Internet, IP, multimedia, packet, protocol, PSTN, QoS, session, SIP, wireless, wireline, and WLAN.
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