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Summary form only given.The world is currently witnessing the arrival of a new domain in telecommunications, that of network and media convergence. This new field was motivated by the desire to provide a unified interface capable of supporting various services across the many types of delivery networks that are available. This has resulted in a rush to develop and implement new standards and protocols that can support a multiplicity of media services such as the "Triple Play" (voice, data and video), and the "Quadruple Play" (voice, data, video and mobility). Among the emerging standards is the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) that is an overlay control subsystem across heterogeneous access networks. IMS will enable fixed and mobile convergence and support service mobility. On the practical side, an intense competition is underway among fixed and mobile network operators where each is fighting to be the leader in providing fixed-mobile convergence in the least amount of time. Concurrently, another competition related to application convergence is gathering momentum among Internet Service Providers and Content Providers to win customer ownership. One of the other important components in the convergence realm is the need for adopting security techniques and policies that ensure confidentiality, privacy, anonymity, availability and accountability. Clearly, the above activities cannot be sustained and enhanced without developing an appropriate regulatory framework that defines the roles, rights and responsibilities of all involved parties. In this talk, many crucial issues underlying network and media convergence are identified. We also examine current activities and track future trends that will help us grasp the bigger picture of this new and exciting realm - a development that is expected to shape the way we live for many years to come.
Date of Conference: 16-18 Dec. 2007