GSMA completes multi-vendor image share trials in China

The GSMA and China Mobile have successfully completed the first multi-vendor trials of interoperable Image Share services. This service, which allows mobile customers to share images with the person they are talking to on a phone call, was tested using mobile applications and devices provided by Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens, Motorola, Samsung and Comneon on an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) provided by Nokia Siemens Networks in China Mobile’s laboratories in Beijing. The ability to send images across GSM networks was also verified using interworking capabilities provided by Aicent.

The GSMA, the global trade association for mobile phone operators, envisages that Image Share services, together with voice and video streaming, will form an important part of the multi-media communication experience enjoyed by both consumers and business users. There is a clear demand to be able to share images whilst engaged in an ongoing communication, whether it is young people discussing pictures from a party or other social event, or an estate agent sending pictures of a house during a conversation with a prospective buyer.

The GSMA, drawing on input from leading operators and vendors, has developed guidelines for the Image Share service. These are based on IETF-developed protocols such as MSRP, RTP, SIP and, in particular, file transfer for SIP, as well as 3GPP specifications for IMS and combinational services. These protocols and systems enable near real-time communication over wireless and wireline Internet Protocol (IP) networks and are also the basis for ongoing work on other services such as Instant Messaging in the Open Mobile Alliance standards body.

“Although these tests were the first of their kind, they showed that the world’s leading vendors have taken significant steps towards interoperability,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer of the GSMA. “Interoperability across networks and across devices is the key to the success of any new person-to-person service and these tests bode well for the development of an exciting range of IMS-enabled communications services.”

“China Mobile is delighted to have hosted this successful event with the leading terminal suppliers demonstrating the interoperability of this service on multiple terminals,” said Madam Zhiqiang Yang, Deputy of the Research Institute of China Mobile Communications. “Together, IMS and 3G will play a key role in the development of compelling mobile multimedia services in China and elsewhere.”

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Notes to editors

This initial trial has laid the foundations for further development of the Image Share service and further tests will be hosted by the GSMA as part of its SIP Trial programme. This ongoing programme has already demonstrated IMS interoperability and interworking over the GRX, as well as developing a Video Share service.

The SIP Trials programme is part of the GSMA’s IP Interworking (IPI) initiative. This is a programme of work developed with the support of operators that has produced a commercial and technical framework that will help all stakeholders build a successful business from the provision of IP Services. More information can be found on the SIP Trials and on IPI.


IETF – Internet Engineering Task Force – a body responsible for Internet standards

MSRP – Message Session Relay Protocol – a protocol for transmitting a series of related messages within a communications session.

SIP – Session Initiation Protocol – a protocol to set up a communication sessions between two network nodes. The SIP protocol allows for easy extensibility of sessions with any kind of media.

IMS – Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem – a system to support the setting up of communication sessions between various network nodes

GRX – GPRS Roaming Exchange – a network to support the transfer of data services between mobile operators.

RTP – Real-time Transport Protocol – a protocol to support streaming type of services such as video or voice.

About the GSM Association:

The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries of the world. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association’s initiatives as key partners.

The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers. The Association’s members serve more than two billion customers – 82% of the world’s mobile phone users. See: &

For more information please contact:

For the GSM Association:
David Pringle
Media Relations Manager
GSM Association
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Email: [email protected]