Future internet the focus of €2.5m Govt-funded telecoms review

28 Oct 2008

Key research into the future shape of telecoms as part of a €2.5m Enterprise Ireland-backed project will be unveiled tomorrow, including how new standards like IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) will drive the future of the internet.

The IMS ARCS network was created by Enterprise Ireland in July 2007, when 26 of Ireland’s leading telecommunications companies and a team of researchers, led by the Telecommunications Software & Services Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), were brought together to form a collaborative partnership.

Branded an ‘industry-led research project’ the IMS ARCS project is half-way through its 30-month lifespan.

IMS ARCS stands for ‘IP Multimedia Subsystem Advanced Research Cluster for Services’. IMS is an emerging network that can carry high-bandwidth services such as media-based TV and music services to mobile phones, laptops and other personal mobile devices.

Gearóid Mooney, Enterprise Ireland’s director of ICT research commercialisation, believes that the IMS ARCS project has some exciting potential for Irish companies and the consumer.

“The researchers are testing a number of applications, but two examples of use that consumers will find handy are a ‘location-based service’ that allows users to see on their handset if there is an available taxi nearby, and the ability to get the quickest route from A to B on public transport”.

The project will run for a further 15 months and is led by the TSSG at WIT and supported by University of Limerick, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Athlone Institute of Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute of Technology.

The mid-term review will also examine the ‘future internet’ with particular focus on the current state of research in this key technology and its future directions. The event will feature a number of key experts from Europe, Japan and the US, providing a global view on the future internet and its implications for Ireland.

Rainer Zimmerman, head of the Future Networks Unit of the European Commission, will speak about EU initiatives in the future internet space, including the FP7 programme.

The research will be launched by the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Jimmy Devins TD.

“The research outputs produced to date have great potential for the telecoms companies involved to identify new services they can offer to customers when the IMS technology comes on stream in the coming years.

“This type of activity is critical to the future of Ireland’s economy and I am encouraging the 26 companies involved to take the best advantage of this valuable resource,” Minister Devins said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years