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 Tuesday, September 04, 2007

World Information and Communications Development Trends, a presentation by Robert Shaw, head of the ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division, ITU Telecommunication Development Sector, is now available. It was presented to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) in Hanoi, Viet Nam on 27 August 2007 discussing issues related to transition to new technologies and Next Generation Networks (NGN). For more relevant information, visit the CYB website.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007 1:20:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 08, 2007

The first steps towards a globally harmonized approach to identity management (IdM) have been taken during a meeting of the ITU Focus Group on Identity Management (FG IdM) bringing together, for the first time, the world’s key players in the IdM space.

IdM promises to reduce the need for multiple user names and passwords for each service used, while maintaining privacy of personal information. A global IdM solution will help diminish identity theft and fraud. Further, IdM is one of the key enablers for a simplified and secure interaction between customers and services such as e-commerce. Experts at the meeting concurred that interoperability between existing IdM solutions will provide significant benefits such as increased trust by users of on-line services as well as cybersecurity, reduction of spam and seamless "nomadic” roaming between services worldwide. Abbie Barbir, chairman of the Focus Group on Identity Management: "Our main focus is on how to achieve the common goals of the telecommunication and IdM communities. Nobody can go it alone in this space, an IdM system must have global acceptance. There was a very positive feeling at the meeting that we can achieve this and crucially we saw a great level of participation from all key players."

The meeting of the FG IdM brought together developers, software vendors, standards forums, manufacturers, telcos, solutions providers and academia from around the world to share their knowledge and coordinate their IdM efforts. Interoperability among solutions so far has been minimal. One conclusion of attendees is that cooperation is crucial and that players cannot exist in isolation.

The spirit of the meeting was that everyone will gain by providing an open mechanism that will allow different IdM solutions to communicate even as each IdM solution continues to evolve. Such a "trust metric" does not exist today experts say. Work will continue online and during Focus Group meetings in April, May, and July 2007. An analysis of what IdM is used for will be followed by a gap analysis between existing IdM frameworks now being developed by industry fora and consortiums. These gaps should be addressed before the interworking and interoperability between the various solutions can be achieved. The aim is to provide the basis for a framework which can then be conveyed to the relevant standard bodies including ITU-T Study Groups. The document will include details on the requirements for the additional functionality needed within next generation networks. ITU has a long history of innovation in this field, with key work on trusted, interoperable identity framework standards including Recommendation X.509 that today serves as the primary "public key" technical mechanism for communications security across all telecom and internet infrastructures.

See more information on the Focus Group on Identity Management (FG IdM) website.

Thursday, March 08, 2007 10:42:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Clean Slate Design for the Internet is an interdisciplinary research program at Stanford University. The founders of this program believe that the current Internet has significant deficiencies which must be resolved before the Internet can become a unified global communication infrastructure. They feel that to solve these deficiencies, focus must be placed on bold, unconventional, and long-term research that tries to break down the network's ossification. 

They characterize the program with two questions: (1)  Given current knowledge, if we were to start over with a clean slate, how would we design a global communications infrastructure? and (2) How should the Internet look in 15 years? The program will be driven from the ground up, by research projects with the intention of creating a "loosely-coupled breeding ground for new ideas."  The program's goal is to be flexible and to create the structure and identify and focus funds to support the best research in clean slate design.  The program will also collaborate with and receive funds from approximately seven industrial partners with interests in networking services, equipment, semiconductors, and applications.

See more background information on the program here.
See the white paper describing the program structure and key areas of research here.
For a presentation describing the program, click here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 11:44:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 23, 2007

As one the series of Google TechTalks, Van Jacobson presents his talk entitled "A New Way to Look at Networking."

Jacobson's motivation for giving this talk is his feeling that in the last decade network research in the United States has been at a dead end. Despite technological advances, everything with networking is becoming more difficult. People are spread out over multiple devices, wireless barely works, and the solutions that are being presented solve the small problems but do not deal with the larger cause.  In the current situation, Jacobson feels the Internet is not a bad solution but the problem has changed. We are on the verge of a Copernican revolution. A good analogy to this situation is the one faced in the 1960s and 1970s when efforts were being made to use the telephony system to move data.

The traditional telephony system was not about calls, it was about wires. To have a successful business model, a ubiquitous wire system was necessary. Jacobson provides an explanation of the system, how it works, and the issues that arose over ownership of the network. One characteristic of the network was its unreliability. Every piece had to work all the time. Because of this the network was designed to have reliable elements instead of being reliable as a whole. 

The current issue is in order to have access to information, the device used must be connected to the Internet or the user will be cut off. This can be difficult because the device must have a topologically stable address. Also, the Internet does not like things that move or broadcast; it was not designed for this.  How the network is being used has changed. We are not longer in a conversation model. A conversation model cannot be transformed into a viable security model. Instead, Jacobson promotes a dissemination model by discussing the work that is being done with this framework including ways of transferring and storing information and their advantages.

Jacobson feels that the continued reliance on the conversation model has evolved the situation to the point where the user must now do the low level connection plumbing to get what he/she wants.  If we change our view to the dissemination model, the network does the plumbing. 

The full talk can be found here.

 

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 4:23:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 22, 2007

Within the framework of the ITU New Initiatives Programme event on The Future of Voice held from 15-16 January 2007 in ITU Headquarter, Geneva, Mr Wolfgang Reichl, ÖFEG, Austria, submitted an interesting discussion material on "Balancing Innovation and Preservation in Telephony"

In paper's abstract Mr Reichl writes: Telephony might become just another application on the Internet. To examine if this is a likely or even desireable future, is the topic of this article. Everyone used to know what telephony is but with the appearance of software applications like Skype it isn't that easy anymore. Telephony in the traditional sense is interactive voice conversation between two people connected to a global network. When we talk about connectivity to a global network today, we envisage the Internet and when we talk about telephony, it is mobile telephony. The technological platform for telecommunications seems to evolve towards a common data network for all applications. The service specific silo-like networks convert towards a layered network architecture. When the underlying technology changes it remains critical to entangle the telephony application from technology. This article tries to find a clear seperation between application and technology and explores innovations of the telephony application in the light of convergence of computers, media and telecommunications. Innovations should be balanced against society's needs to preserve a world wide network for voice communications.

To download the paper, please click here.

Monday, January 22, 2007 3:37:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

After the ITU New Initiatives Programme event on the Future of Voice held on 15-16 January 2007 in ITU Headquarter, David Allen provided his direct comment on few issues discussed during the meeting.

To see video material, please click here.

 

Monday, January 22, 2007 1:09:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 18, 2007

Several Internet-related Decisions and Resolutions were adopted at the ITU 2006 Plenipotentiary Conference. These include:

  • DECISION GT-PLEN/A (Antalya, 2006): Fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum
  • RESOLUTION 101 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): Internet Protocol-based networks
  • RESOLUTION 102 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): ITU’s role with regard to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses
  • RESOLUTION 130 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): Strengthening the role of ITU in building confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies
  • RESOLUTION 133 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): Role of administrations of Member States in the management of internationalized (multilingual) domain names
  • RESOLUTION GT-PLEN/7 (Antalya, 2006): Study on the participation of all relevant stakeholders in the activities of the Union related to the World Summit on the Information Society

The text of these resolutions and decisions can be found here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 11:09:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 06, 2006

One of the Intenet's pioneers, Dr. Larry Roberts, gave a presentation yesterday at ITU World Telecom Forum 2006 in Hong Kong entitled Optimizing the Internet Quality of Service and Economics for the Digital Generation. Dr. Roberts discussed standardization work in the ITU on end-to-end QoS signalling to better deliver video over the Internet. In particular, he discussed the work on a new flow based, in-band signaling standard called Y.flowreq.

 

 

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 8:04:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 01, 2006

The UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) has launched its new book "Communications - The Next Decade". It consists of a series of essays by academics, politicians and regulators that examine the effect of convergence on the communications sector and the authors come to some provocative conclusions.

The book is available for download as a pdf either in sections or in its entirety from the Ofcom website.

Friday, December 01, 2006 3:05:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 30, 2006

OFCOM has just released its first research publication, The International Communications Market 2006. Report focuses specifically on the international communications market, reflecting the increasing impact of global issues on the UK commercial and regulatory communications agenda. 

To read executive summary, please click here.

To download the document, please click here.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 4:29:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 27, 2006

OFCOM has just released a new public discussion document on Regulatory Challenges Posed by Next Generation Access Networks. 

To read executive summary, please click here.

To download the document, please click here.

Monday, November 27, 2006 10:46:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, November 11, 2006

A new tool that gives a unique overview of ITU-T’s Next Generation Network (NGN) related activities has been released. The NGN Project Management Tool, was developed with the support of a voluntary contribution for one of the ITU-T Sector Members.

Since the work towards standards for NGN is taking place across a number of different ITU-T study groups and other standards development organizations (SDOs) the ability to coordinate and view all NGN work in one place will be invaluable to the swift and efficient publication of NGN specifications.

Essentially a repository of information from ITU and other SDOs, the system was asked for by members of the various Study Groups working on NGN. Key will be the ability to keep track of the latest versions of Recommendations and provide detailed information for experts and summaries for management.

Access information on the NGN Project Management Tool here.

Saturday, November 11, 2006 11:19:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 07, 2006

ITU-T will host this year's Broadband Europe Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, 11-14 December 2006. BBEurope is an annual event which was initiated by the European Commission Framework Programme 6 BREAD project which is part of the "BroadBand for All"-strategic objective of the European Commission.

Peter Van Daele, BREAD Project Leader: "The concept of 'Broadband For All' refers to a situation in which broadband is not only available to every citizen, but is actually used by all of them. In that respect it is a more demanding concept than the traditional universal service obligation in telephony, which merely stipulates the availability, at certain conditions, of a given service. The usage of information and communication technologies via broadband infrastructures by all citizens is a policy objective because it is considered to be a key component of transforming Europe into a knowledge-based society, thus enhancing economic growth and increasing employment."

The BREAD project has amongst its objectives to develop a holistic vision encompassing technical, as well as economical and regulatory aspects. Another important aspect is of identifying roadblocks on European, national/regional level and share visions and best practices on national level to EU level.

BBEurope brings together on an international level all the BroadBand players, researchers, service providers, content providers, operators, manufacturers, policy makers, standardisation bodies, professional organisations. The meeting will discuss topics such as NGN, IPTV, wireless access, powerline, security, QoS, and broadband in rural areas. The event will conclude with a panel discussion titled: Future Perspectives in Broadband.

For a draft meeting agenda and more information on the call for papers (deadline: 10 November 2006), see the event website.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 10:27:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 27, 2006

With the second meeting of the Focus Group on IPTV seeing a record number of participants and contributions, experts have declared satisfaction that work towards a set of standards for IPTV is well on track.

A recent report from industry analyst Gartner says that the number of households around the world subscribing to IPTV services offered by telecom carriers will reach 48.8 million in 2010. Buoyed by new service launches, IPTV subscribers will more than double in 2007 from an expected 6.4 million in 2006 to 13.3 million according to Gartner. Experts agree that it is imperative that standards needs are met if these impressive figures are to be achieved.

A key achievement at the FG IPTV meeting in Korea was progress towards a standardized IPTV architecture: The group agreed that IPTV architecture shall allow for both NGN and non-NGN approaches to IPTV, and within the NGN-approach, include both IMS and non-IMS based approaches.

Ghassem Koleyni, chair of the group stated that: "I am particularly happy that we have achieved so much progress in ITU-T Working Group 1 (service requirements and architecture). The level of participation in this group is growing and progress is overall good. But requirements and architecture are of such fundamental importance that getting a fix on these points, at this stage, is very satisfying. In order to gain momentum here we will convene an electronic meeting looking specifically at requirements and architecture, 18-21 December."

The Korea meeting agreed on the following definition of IPTV: "IPTV is defined as multimedia services such as television/video/ audio/text/graphics/data delivered over IP based networks managed to provide the required level of QoS/QoE, security, interactivity and reliability."

The FG IPTV meeting was preceded by an ITU-T workshop. The event attended by over 400 and held in Seoul provided a view and examination of IPTV standardization, political and regulatory aspects, business models and various case studies as well as technical developments and service provider’s operational aspects. A roundtable discussion at the event concluded that global standardisation and interoperability are key for further development of IPTV worldwide. Other issues that might be further discussed at an international level, according to the roundtable’s twenty participants, include digital rights management (DRM).

The next face-to-face meeting of the FG IPTV is scheduled for 22-26 January 2007 at the Microsoft facilities, Mountain View, California, USA at the invitation of Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).

For more information see the ITU-T IPTV Focus Group website.

Friday, October 27, 2006 10:26:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, October 22, 2006

The 13th European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations' (CEPT) Conference, took place in Berlin 11-12 October 2006. The title of the conference was "Regulations under Challenge".

The conference looked at the electronic communications policy and regulatory matters with the aim of facilitating a fruitful dialogue between regulators working at different levels of international and national institutions, industry and users on topics including: forward-looking regulatory and policy developments in a rapidly changing environment; technological, market and other developments with potential impact on regulations; and the impact of regulations on technology developments and telecom markets.

The first day, "Policy challenges", featured visionary keynote speeches by top level speakers, followed by plenary sessions presenting views from industry, the European Commission, regulators and others. Speakers included: Yoshio Utsumi (ITU), Guido Landheer (CEPT), Fabio Colasanti (EC), Michael Bartholomew (ETNO), Kevin Power (ECTA), Tom Lindström (EICTA), Sergio Antocicco (INTUG), Peter Scott (EC), Kip Meek (ERG and OFCOM), Mathias Kurth (RSPG), Rainer Münch (ETSI TISPAN), Kenneth Neil Cukier (The Economist) and Chris Marsden (RAND).

The second day, "Regulatory practices under challenge", addressed more specific topics in two parallel tracks. An overview of the state of the art in VoIP from a regulator's and incumbent's viewpoint was given in sessions on Digital Dividend, Spectrum Management Reform, New Technologies and Suitable Regulation, Building Blocks of NGN, NGN Challenges, and the Future of Telecommunications.

The meeting programme and the presentations can be found here.

This information was accessed through Richard's Blog for VoIP and ENUM

Sunday, October 22, 2006 7:21:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Economist has an article entitled Your television is ringing that discusses service providers build-outs of Next Generation Network (NGN) converged platforms.

In fact, although the industry likes to depict convergence as a great boon for customers, it actually involves a technological shift that, in the first instance at least, will primarily benefit network operators. At its heart, convergence is the result of the telecoms industry's embrace of internet technology, which provides a cheaper, more efficient way to move data around on networks. On the internet everything travels in the form of “packets” of data, encoded using internet protocol, or IP. The same system can also be used to encode phone conversations, text and photo messages, video calls and television channels—and indeed anything else.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 10:09:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The OECD's Information, Computer and Communications Policy Committee (ICCP) organised a one-day international Forum on "Next Generation Networks: Evolution and Policy Considerations", which was held on Tuesday, 3 October 2006 in Budapest, Hungary.

For more information about the event see the OECD website.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 2:28:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 03, 2006

ITU-T is hosting a workshop NGN and Grids in collaboration with the Open Grid Forum (OGF) in Geneva , 23-24 October 2006. Grid computing enables organizations to pool IT resources across departmental and organizational boundaries in a secure, highly efficient manner in order to solve massive computational problems.

Next generation networks (NGN) offer increased quality and service features for users, independent of the underlying transport technology. ITU-T’s Global Standards Initiative on Next Generation Network (NGN-GSI) is well under way and is responding to urgent market needs for global NGN standards.

The workshop will explore how Grids will work in an NGN environment by bringing together experts from both communities.
The telco community is eyeing Grid development with interest. Telcos could use grids internally, for billing and simulations for example but new revenue streams can be foreseen in areas such as managed grid services.

One panel discussion and Q&A will pose the question: "What can Grids do for Telcos and what can Telcos do for Grids?" Other panel discussions will examine NGN management and security. From a telecoms perspective there are some challenges such as QoS, how to control the network, how to manage dynamic provisioning and how to provide collision-free addresses (IPv4 <-> NAT). It is expected that all of these topics and more will be addressed. A key result of the event will be a gap analysis of standards in the field and a better understanding of how grids can be catered for in ITU-T’s NGN Release 2. An action plan outlining what work needs to be done, and where can then be developed.

See the ITU-T Newslog for more details on the workshop.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 9:13:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T Study Groups meeting under the auspices of the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) in July 2006, finalized a substantial body of work. Sixteen new standards went into the final stages of the ITU approval process in areas including requirements, architecture, QoS and security. Around 650 documents were considered by the lead Study Group on NGN, Study Group 13, alone. Study Group management reported high levels of participation and good progress.

Two rather fundamental documents describing requirements for NGN and describing the functional architecture of the NGN will be published as ITU-T Recommendations after formal approval. Also, QoS, a crucial element as networks move to an environment inherently more susceptible to delay, interference etc. was a key focus. One new Recommendation was consented in this field.

Experts also point to the importance of a Recommendation (ITU-T Rec. Y.2021) describing how the IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) as specified by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2) can be used in the NGN context. A Recommendation from Study Group 19 on mobility management was also highlighted.

See the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) website for further details.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 9:12:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 14, 2006

In the latest issue of Total Telecom, an article entitled No Signal discusses the need to develop an NGN global interconnection regime.

"NTTs CEO and CTO have raised the alarm and are calling for the worlds operators to start work on new interconnection models today, before NGNs are in place, and more importantly before legacy networks are switched off.

At a CEO summit hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva in July, NTTs president and CEO, Norio Wada, called for a new interconnect framework that will extend national NGNs into a secure and fully managed global IP network."

Thursday, September 14, 2006 10:24:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Within the framework of the 17th European Regional ITS Conference, session on the Next Generation Infrastructure (see programme)C.B. Blankart, G. Knieps, and P. Zenhäusern presented their new paper on "Regulation of New Markets in Telecommunications? Market Dynamics and Shrinking Monopolistic Bottlenecks".

In the paper the Authors focuse on the debate on the EU telecommunications regulatory framework and analyse whether new markets create new monopolistic bottlenecks or extend the borderlines of existing bottlenecks. Three kinds of transmission qualities on service markets can be dif-ferentiated according to the products provided: narrowband services like PSTN/ISDN or GSM, semi high-speed broadband services like broadband inter-net access up to 6 Mbps download and VDSL services up to 50 Mbps. As long as, due to the absence of alternative network infrastructures, a monopolistic bot-tleneck in local infrastructure networks exists the question arises what the re-maining bottleneck components are for these different markets. In this paper we will demonstrate the shrinking-bottleneck hypothesis.

Download the full version of the paper.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 6:02:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

European Commission published three studies by external consultants on the review of the EU 2003 regulatory framework.The three studies are the following:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 2:53:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 20, 2006

ITU-T’s work on IPTV took a significant step forward following a meeting held at ITU Headquarters in in Geneva, Switzerland, 10-14 July 2006.

IPTV is being explored by media companies and service providers around the world as a way to add value to their existing offerings, and globally accepted standards are seen as essential in order that – for example – a broadcaster in one part of the world can easily distribute content in another. The meeting of the IPTV Focus Group (FG IPTV) attracted over 150 delegates from the world’s key ICT companies, over 100 input documents were considered, and the first drafts of various output documents agreed. All documents can be viewed on the group’s webpage.

A key output document drafted at the meeting shows the requirements for standardization in IPTV. Establishing this list is an essential part of the standards making process. Also dealt with by the group, and equally as important is outlining what standards already exist. The meeting among other things approved the establishment of six working groups.

The next FG IPTV meeting will take place in Busan, Korea, 16-20 October 2006.

Read more about the IPTV Focus Group (FG IPTV) meeting output documents through the ITU-T blog channel for IPTV

IPTV | Media | NGN | Standards | VoIP
Thursday, July 20, 2006 3:45:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 07, 2006

A presentation entitled Networks in Transition: Emerging Policy and Regulatory Challenges of Next Generation Networks (PDF) was made by Robert Shaw, Deputy Head, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, at the Masters of Communication Management (MCM) Annual Conference, Goodenough College on 6 July 2006 in London, England.

Friday, July 07, 2006 12:05:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cullen International has just released new Cross-Country Analysis on IPTV Commercial Offers.

Apart from the overview of the commercial offerings available in selected EU countries the material provides comprehensive comparison of the national regulatory frameworks for the IPTV.

The analysis is available here or on the website with background materials for the New Initiatives Programme project on the Future of Voice. Further information on the project can be found here.

Thursday, July 06, 2006 1:17:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 30, 2006

A presentation entitled What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs? (PDF) was made by Robert Shaw, Deputy Head, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit at a London Business School Global Communications Consortium event entitled "Next Generation Networks - Investment & Regulation" on 29 June 2006 in London, England.

Friday, June 30, 2006 3:11:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 29, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006 3:12:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 19, 2006

The ITU NGN Management Focus Group (NGNMFG), a group sponsored by ITU-T Study Group 4,  is seeking more input from service providers and network operators in order to build a more accurate roadmap of needs and existing specifications for NGN management. The group, presenting Version 2 of its NGN Management Specification Roadmap at the 22-23 May 2006 meeting of Study Group 4 in Beijing, China, changed its terms of reference to reflect this need.

While roadmap V1 identified NGN management specifications from ITU-T as well as other standards making organizations, V2 provides gap analysis and pinpoints areas that can benefit from better harmonization. Recognizing a gap in managing new functions tying the NGN transport stratum to the service stratum, V2 sees the addition of management of IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) and NGN transport technologies like ASON (automatic switched optical network) and Ethernet.

Further information on the NGN Management Specification Roadmap can be found here.

Monday, June 19, 2006 12:39:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 09, 2006

OVUM's Research Director, Mr. Dan Bieler, presents few observations on NGNs.

To read the article, please click here.  

 

Friday, June 09, 2006 4:51:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Will Content Be King?, presentation by Robert Shaw, Deputy Head, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, at the 7 June 2006 conference Digital Content: a Modern Fairy Tale or the Old King in the New Clothes in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event was organized by the law offices of Norcous & Partners, in association with the Communications Regulatory Authority of the Republic of Lithuania and Vilnius University Faculty of Law.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006 1:21:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 01, 2006

A joint ITU-T/Global Grid Forum (GGF) workshop on NGN and Grids will take place at ITU headquarters, Geneva, from 23 to 24 October 2006 inclusive. The invitation letter contains additional details and a provisional agenda. The objective of the meeting is to:

  • Review the present status of applications, services and business opportunities in Grid networks and NGNs.
  • Discuss future evolution for Grids and NGNs both in terms of business opportunities and related technical requirements.
  • Identify relevant existing international standards as well as gaps in the standardization framework for Grids and NGNs.
  • Understand what additional features required by Grids should be considered in ITU-T’s NGN Release 2.
  • Identify the impact of NGN on Grids.
  • Contribute to the establishment of a roadmap for future standardization activities among major players.
  • Prepare a coordinated action plan on urgent standardization issues between standards developing organizations and fora/consortia working in this area.
Thursday, June 01, 2006 10:26:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 22, 2006

This brochure summarizes the results of a workshop on Tomorrow’s Networks Today, held in Saint Vincent (Aosta), Italy from 7 to 8 October 2005. It was prepared by Cristina Bueti and Marco Obiso on the basis of specially prepared case studies, input documents and contributions to the workshop. The enclosed CD-Rom contains the background materials and documents of the workshop as well as a wide range of background resources related to tomorrow’s networks.

More information can be found here.

Click here to buy the brochure.

Monday, May 22, 2006 4:52:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bill St. Arnaud on the Canarie mailing list points to an interesting paper entitled The Ongoing Evolution from Packet Based Networks to Hybrid Networks in Research & Education Networks (Word). The paper references a number of the standardization activities on optical transport networks taking place in the ITU-T's Study Group 15.

Abstract:

The ongoing evolution from packet based networks to hybrid networks in Research & Education (R&E) networks, or what are the fundamental reasons behind this fundamental paradygm shift and the resulting growing gap between commercial and R&E Internet networks?

As exemplified by the Internet2 HOPI initiative, the new GEANT2 backbone, the GLIF  initiative and projects such as Dragon and Ultralight, National Research and Education Network (NREN) infrastructures are undergoing several very fundamental evolutions moving from conventional Packet based Internet networks to Hybrid networks while also moving from commercial Telecom Operator networks to Customer Empowered, dark fiber based, networks.

By hybrid networks, we mean the combination of conventional packet based Internet networks coupled with the capability to dynamically establish high speed End-to-end circuits, i.e. Bandwidth on Demand (BoD), also referred to sometimes as "lambda Grids",

This paper is attempting to explain the fundamental reasons behind this very significant paradygm shift and to assess its likely impact on National R&E, while also giving a very brief overview on what next generation Optical Transport Networks (OTN) may look like in a few years time with the advent of Ethernet over SONET/SDH (EoS), Generic Framing Procedures (GFP), Virtual Concatenation (VCAT) and Link Capacity Adjustment Scheme (LCAS).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 11:22:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 05, 2006

3 Italia has launched Walk TV, the first digital TV mobile broadcast using DVB-H technology in Europe. Programming will initially consist of channels from state broadcaster RAI, Mediaset and News Corp unit Sky Italia. And in June, the TV services will expand to include 3 Italia's own La3-branded channels, and World Cup soccer action, for which 3 Italia has bought the DVB-H Italian territory rights.

The 3 Italia DVB-H service reaches 65% of Italy's population and customers will need specific handsets to access the content.

More information can be found here.

Friday, May 05, 2006 8:58:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 01, 2006
 Friday, April 21, 2006

The National Communications Authority of Hungary (NCAH) started last summer the elaboration of a regulatory strategy for the period 2006 to 2010. In this process a detailed breakdown is given of the means by which NCAH intends to promote the development of electronic communications markets which play an increasingly important role in the Hungarian economy contributing to the creation of the information society and consequent improvement of the country’s competitiveness.

The concept is available here.

Friday, April 21, 2006 1:50:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Telecommunications Policy Review Panel was established by the Minister of Industry on April 11, 2005, to conduct a review of Canada's telecommunications framework. The Panel was asked in particular to recommend on:

1. how to implement an efficient, fair, functional and forward-looking regulatory framework that serves Canadian consumers and businesses, and that can adapt to a changing technological landscape,
2. mechanisms to ensure that all Canadians continue to have an appropriate level of access to modern telecommunications services,
3. measures to promote the development, adoption and expanded use of advanced telecommunications services across the economy.

The Panel's reviewed Canada's telecommunications policy and regulatory framework and made recommendations on how to make it a model of 21st century regulation.

The Final Report of the Telecommunications Policy Review Panel 2006 is available here.

Friday, April 21, 2006 1:33:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On 6 April 2006 Quallo Center held 2006 Quello Communication Law and Policy Symposium.

For programme of the event and presentations please click here.

Friday, April 21, 2006 1:13:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 30, 2006

"The European Commission launched a new website which aims to help consumers get a better deal when using their mobile phones abroad. For this purpose, the website makes public roaming tariffs from the operators in all 25 EU Member States. The launch of this site was signalled in July when Commissioner Viviane Reding highlighted the high cost of using mobile phones abroad and the need to ensure greater transparency of these charges. By means of tables of sample tariffs and direct links to EU mobile operators, the website intends to give EU consumers a concrete idea of the level of tariffs they are likely to face when going on holiday as well as guidance and tips on how to manage their international roaming bills. Since the announcement of the website before this summer, there are signs that competition is starting to develop, in particular with some operators offering special holiday and other tariff packages."

More information can be found here.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 9:19:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 27, 2006

On 23-24 March 2006 at ITU headquarters, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit hosted a high-level experts workshop entitled What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs? focused on the policy and regulatory challenges related to the deployment of IP-enabled NGNs. The following materials are now available:

Monday, March 27, 2006 11:18:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 21, 2006

John McDonald, a member of the ITU team that created the new VDSL 2 standard, will participate in an upcoming Webinar on this topic, Monday 3 April 2006.

The Webinar hosted by Light Reading will look at this development and explore the significance and implications of the new standard for both operators and the enormous installed base of DSL subscribers. ITU’s new VDSL 2 standard (Very High-Speed DSL 2)(ITU-T Recommendation G.993.2) delivers up to 100 Mbit/s both up and downstream, a tenfold increase over ADSL (Asymmetric DSL). By doing so, it provides for so-called fiber-extension, bringing fiber-like bandwidth to premises not directly connected to the fiber optic segment of a telecom company’s network.

VDSL 2 will allow operators to compete with cable and satellite providers by offering services such as high-definition TV (HDTV), video-on-demand, videoconferencing, high-speed internet access, and advanced voice services, over a standard copper telephone cable. As well as addressing fast-growing consumer demand for high-speed multimedia services, VDSL 2 offers carriers a solution that is interoperable with the DSL equipment many already have in place, expediting migration of customers to new VDSL 2-based products. VDSL 2 works with both legacy ATM networks and next generation IP-based networks.

Register for the online event to learn more about VDSL 2.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 3:40:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The draft agenda (PDF) for the 23-24 March 2006 ITU Workshop What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs is now available.


A related page of NGN Policy and Regulatory Initiatives around the globe is also available.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 11:21:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The OECD hosted a workshop entitled The Future of the Internet in Paris on 8 March 2006. Presentations given at the event will serve at "food for thought" for future OECD work.


The Economist has a related article entitled Reinventing the Internet.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 10:09:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, March 04, 2006

An interesting workshop organized by WIK: Bill and Keep: A New Model for Intercarrier Compensation Arrangements?, 4-5 April 2006, Hotel Königswinter near Bonn, Germany.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 8:53:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 02, 2006

ITU-T together with the US Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) is holding a free workshop Next Generation Network Technology and Standardization at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre in Las Vegas , USA , 19-20 March 2006 during the TelecomNEXT event.

This workshop will: 

  • Examine the status of NGN standards 
  • Identify standards work needed to support ongoing viable businesses for all parties as NGN becomes reality, and 
  • Enhance and extend standardization community cooperation to further coordinate NGN work

A particular emphasis of the event will be next generation network (NGN) requirements and standards objectives from a North American perspective and how these can be best taken into account in global NGN standardization by the ITU-T.

More information on the event and the draft meeting programme can be accessed through the ITU-T website

Thursday, March 02, 2006 11:51:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 01, 2006

IPDR.org hosted an event last week to take a focused look at IPTV accounting and settlement. The event objectives included:

  • Understanding the requirements for IPTV accounting
  • Summarizing challenges associated with all network data related aspects of IPTV such as advertising, content settlement, user behavior, capacity management, multimedia events, and other IPTV service components
  • Developing technical specifications to address the needs of IPTV overall accounting and settlement
  • Creating an industry wide task force comprised of leaders and contributors

IPDR plans to submit protocols to international groups such as the ITU and 3GPP for adoption as industry standards, according to Kelly Anderson, President of IPDR.org. Her group is working especially closely with the IPTV Interoperability Forum of the Alliance for Telecom Industry Solutions (ATIS), represented at the meeting. ATIS and IPDR said last week that the American National Standards Group had approved as an American national standard for trial use a generic IPDR specification for billing applications for packet-based services on which ATIS had collaborated.

The presentations made at the event are available.

The Director of the TSB is holding a consultation meeting on IPTV standardization on April 4-5 2006.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 11:44:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The ITU-T Newslog has news of a joint ITU-T Workshop and IMTC Forum 2006 on "H.323, SIP: is H.325 next?" to be held 9-11 May 2006 in San Diego, California. 

The rollout of NGN will bring with it in a new era of multimedia communications and with that a need to consider updating or replacing the currently used H.323 and SIP multimedia protocols. The question is whether to pursue development of a new protocol and a new generation of multimedia communication systems, or define new multimedia capabilities and functionality for existing protocols. Perhaps some consideration needs to be given to service control interface specifications. With work already underway in ITU on a new protocol dubbed H.325, the industry must decide whether to invest more time and resource into this pursuit. The answer to this question will be one of the more fundamental issues addressed at this IMTC Forum and ITU-T Workshop, which will have to consider: market acceptance/need and benefit to end users, service providers and to enterprise information technology (IT) staff.

More details on the workshop are available here. For a primer on H.325, see here.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006 4:14:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has published comments received on its recent consultation paper on Issues pertaining to Next Generation Networks (NGN) released in January 2006. Also see accompanying Press Release.

The ITU Strategy and Policy Unit is hosting a workshop entitled What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs? in March 2006. The ITU also has a website on related national, regional and international policy and regulatory initiatives.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 9:50:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, February 26, 2006

A group of technology chief executives are calling on the U.S. Congress and President George Bush's administration to create a "21st century" radio spectrum policy that would transfer poorly used government spectrum to private companies.

For more information, please click here.

Sunday, February 26, 2006 1:16:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ahmed Bin Ali, Manager Corporate Communications, Etisalat, said: 'We are happy to make this option available to all our valued customers, and we are empowering them to be able to decide what content they receive and from whom. Our customers have shown interest in a service like this, and we have taken all the steps to make this option available at the earliest.'

For more information, please click here.

Sunday, February 26, 2006 12:50:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Programs that fight viruses have become a necessary evil on Windows PCs. Now the antivirus industry is turning its attention to mobile phones, but it's running into reluctance from cell service providers, who aren't so sure that the handset is the best place to handle security.

For more information, click here.

Sunday, February 26, 2006 12:46:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 17, 2006

ITU Study Group 15 (Study Group focusing on access network transport and optical technology) has consented a Recommendation that will address a key concern in the evolution to next generation networks (NGN).

With the proposed move to packet switched networks, carriers, mobile operators and system integrators all have a need to support time-division multiplexing (TDM) over packet networks. TDM, experts say, today forms all of the transmission network and a good part of the access network.

The role of this Rec - G.8261 - is to outline the requirements for the support of a crucial part of TDM's operation in packet networks. The Recommendation's authors say that without proper synchronization, applications such as mobile telephony simply will not work.

G.8261 analyses synchronization aspects in packet networks, with particular focus on the Ethernet, and outlines the minimum requirements for the synchronization function of network elements. In particular it focuses on the transport of synchronization information required for the transport of TDM signals over packet networks. The transport of SDH signals is for further study.

Read more about Study Group 15 activities.

Friday, February 17, 2006 3:30:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Eli Noam: Moore’s Law at risk from industry of delay:

"So, in technology, Moore’s Law is alive and well. But technology does not operate in a vacuum. No business or government institution can change at 50 per cent a year. While stability and tradition are important, if a fundamental technology progresses far beyond society’s ability to absorb its impacts, a growing disconnection occurs. When, in the 19th century, technology proceeded at a rapid pace while social institutions did not, the results were upheavals and revolutions. Today, again, the key elements of the information economy are progressing at a scorching rate, while private and public institutions are lagging behind.

Examples include the way the US lost leadership in mobile wireless and broadband internet because of interminable governmental processes in spectrum allocation. Around the world, it has taken more than a decade to set the rules on interconnection among telecommunciation carriers, and they are still far from settled. This has slowed the entry of new-style carriers.

The question of whether new broadband services should be treated in the same time-consuming way as traditional telecommunication has tied regulators in knots and recently created a confrontation between Brussels and Germany. In South Korea, video over the internet requires a broadcasting licence, which has slowed how much the network is used. Patent offices every­where are falling behind their workload. It may soon take more than five years to get a patent in the US."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 12:49:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 09, 2006

Richard Stastny's VoIP and ENUM has a long post on his views on NGN and regulation.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 11:15:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Measuring Broadband's Economic Impact, William H. Lehr, Carlos A. Osorio, Sharon E. Gillett, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Marvin A. Sirbu, Carnegie Mellon University (Revised January 17 2006):

Abstract: Does broadband matter to the economy? Numerous studies have focused on whether there is a digital divide, on regulatory impacts and investment incentives, and on the factors influencing where broadband is available. However, given how recently broadband has been adopted, little empirical research has investigated its economic impact. This paper presents estimates of the effect of broadband on a number of indicators of economic activity, including employment, wages, and industry mix, using a cross-sectional panel data set of communities (by zip code) across the United States. We match data from the FCC (Form 477) on broadband availability with demographic and other economic data from the US Population Censuses and Establishment Surveys. We find support for the conclusion that broadband positively affects economic activity in ways that are consistent with the qualitative stories told by broadband advocates. Even after controlling for community-level factors known to influence broadband availability and economic activity, we find that between 1998 and 2002, communities in which mass-market broadband was available by December 1999 experienced more rapid growth in (1) employment, (2) the number of businesses overall, and (3) businesses in IT-intensive sectors. In addition, the effect of broadband availability by 1999 can be observed in higher market rates for rental housing in 2000. We compare state-level with zip-code level analyses to highlight data aggregation problems, and discuss a number of analytic and data issues that bear on further measurements of broadband’s economic impact. This analysis is perforce preliminary because additional data and experience are needed to more accurately address this important question; however, the early results presented here suggest that the assumed (and oft-touted) economic impacts of broadband are both real and measurable.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006 8:52:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 07, 2006

ITU's Strategy and Policy Unit has just unveiled a new web site dedicated to NGN Policy and Regulatory Resources. The purpose of the site is to provide links to ITU NGN related activities, a March 2006 workshop entitled What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs? and related national, regional and international policy and regulatory initiatives.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006 11:08:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In accordance to Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held in Hong Kong SAR, INTUG has submitted to Trade Directorate-General its position on Trade in Telecommunications Services.

For more information, please click here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006 10:19:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Geoff Huston in the February 2006 edition of ISP Column asks what Convergence?

The effort to arm networks with complex quality and service manipulation capabilities in the guise of NGNs and QoS networks appears to be a step in precisely the opposite direction to what customers demonstrably want from networks.

...

There is no next vertical killer application coming, and it certainly isn’t going to be just VOIP.

...

We are seeing a new suite of application components in the form of XML, Ajax, RSS, Torrents, Podcasts and similar, and methods of constructing content in previously undreamt of methods. Many of the more captivating services are now in the form of overlay applications, such as Skype for voice or Google’s Gmail for mail . The common factor here is that these services do not use dedicated network infrastructure, but exist as application level overlays. Its clear in this that user’s perception of where the value lies is shifting to the application rather than remaining with the network’s access infrastructure. This value shift is not coalescing within a single application, however. What is evident is that the application space is now an area of intense innovation, and we are seeing diversification in this space, rather than convergence. The richness of structured data sets and their potential to create innovative services is an obvious outcome of this application level activity.

...

Perhaps its time to forget about convergence, and instead look at what it takes to survive as a carrier ISP in today’s deregulated, competitive, unconverged world. Certainly one of the more important principles is to stop attempting to add value to the network by spending large amounts of effort in providing a panoply of services that customers simply don’t want and don’t value. It would appear that want customers want today is for packet carriers to stick to the basics - keep overheads low and operate a network that is simple, stable, fast and cheap. User value construction is happening at the edge of the network through overlay structures, and the major attribute of networks today is not convergence per se, but the ability to open the network’s edge up for competitive innovation.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006 9:15:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 06, 2006

More regulation while competition is increasing? That does not sound right, according to the GSM Association. Instead, given the innovative nature of 3GSM, its embryonic status and the current lack of market and legal certainty, regulatory forbearance is advisable.

10 Regulatory Principles:

1. Regulators should continue to seek a balance between the benefits and costs of intervention, on the one hand, and regulatory forbearance, on the other.

An overly interventionist approach, which could lead to short-term benefits, could potentially stifle a dynamic market process with inevitable and adverse competitive, economic and even social consequences on the longer term. In general, competition is deemed to be a better approach to economic efficiency than regulation, and the regulators must encourage sustainable competition for the long term.

2. Regulation should be based on clearly defined goals and policy objectives and should be kept to the minimum necessary to meet these objectives.

Once effective competition is established or there is a reasonable prospect of a effectively competitive market in the near term, regulatory forbearance should prevail (with competition law providing appropriate safeguards).

3. Regulators should acknowledge that 'normal' competitive markets reflect a range of operator return and should not intervene in competitive markets where one or more operators' return appears to be above the 'norm'.

In the mobile market, the reality is that some operators have made good returns (on invested capital), while others have not. This situation is not of itself a cause to regulate away 'excess profits'. If a regulator judges from the highest standard, and regulates accordingly, then the less performing companies will unavoidably hit, thus further reducing already inadequate returns and threatening long term competitive development.

4. Regulation should fit (reflect) the market situation and balance the micro and macro views.

For example, when in certain cases mobile termination or roaming charges may appear high to regulators in certain countries, these cannot be judged in isolation.

5. Regulators should be publicly accountable and act in a transparent way.

Regulatory intervention should only be imposed after an appropriate public consultation process, which in most cases, will include market definition and assessment and a further assessment as to the appropriate regulatory remedy. A full right of appeal both on grounds of law (substance) and procedure (process) is an essential element of the checks and balances, which are necessary between operators and regulators.

6. Governments should adopt licensing practices that encourage new investments in telecommunication infrastructures and facilitate competition within the sector.

Un-harmonized license award procedures together with varying license conditions/obligations may lead to varying investment incentives in national markets and may eventually give rise to some discrepancy with respect to the levels of mobile service developments. Licensing policies and procedures must be applied judiciously] since not only they can influence market entry but also the post-entry conditions affecting competitiveness and market development. For auctions to contribute positively to economic welfare, they must meet a set of stringent preconditions (all potential bidders must be fully informed as to any Government imposed terms and conditions, including fees and changes to fees). When designing auctions, policy-makers should seek to achieve efficient resource allocation rather than primarily aiming to raise surplus government revenue. High license fees in some developed countries may constrain the ability of operators to invest in developing countries.

7. Spectrum should be allocated on the basis of achieving economically efficient, competitive and structurally desirable outcomes rather than to extract monopoly rents from the industry.

If the market is the best allocator of scarce resources, as most economists would argue, it is important that countries should be able to develop their own spectrum trading arrangements. In principle, regulators should allow for secondary trading of spectrum within planned internationally frequency allocations, after a thorough consultation process with the industry (i.e. mobile operators) evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of spectrum trading.

8. The feasibility and commercial desirability of sharing of facilities and infrastructure is a matter, which is operator and market specific.

In certain circumstances, sharing can be beneficial by, for instance, driving efficiencies through accelerated network rollout, the potential elimination of unnecessary cost duplication and the minimization of certain adverse environmental impacts. Accordingly, regulators should enable commercial negotiations on facility sharing among mobile operators to proceed subject however to license conditions not prohibiting the proposed form of sharing and competition not being materially and adversely impacted by the proposed form of sharing.

9. Restrictions on the deployment of mobile networks should be based on science and substantiated studies, and not in response to 'public concern' which is without scientific basis.

10. Adequate consumer safeguards against the inappropriate use of customer data are in place in most countries.

In overseeing the implementation of those safeguards, regulators should balance the interests of consumers to data privacy, on the one hand, and timely and easy access to services and information on the other. Further, regulators should look first to relevant self-regulatory industry initiatives to achieve those objectives.

Monday, February 06, 2006 2:26:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU-T Newslog has news on a new ITU-T standard (ITU-T Recommendation, Y.1731) which will allow operators offering Ethernet services to use OAM (operations, administration, and maintenance) mechanisms to facilitate network operation and troubleshooting.

Recommendation Y.1713 gives user-plane OAM functionality in Ethernet networks. The architectural basis for this Recommendation is the Ethernet specification G.8010. A previous Recommendation Y.1730 served as a prelude to Y.1731 outlining the OAM requirements of operators. Joncour says that Y.1731 was developed in close collaboration with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) group 802.1. This group is also preparing a standard (802.1ag - Connectivity Fault Management) devoted to Ethernet OAM aspects. IEEE 802.1ag defines a subset of the functions/PDUs described in Y.1731. Regular communications between the two groups ensured alignment of the description of the common features.

Monday, February 06, 2006 10:36:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 03, 2006

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation document on the impact of transition to NGNs (also see press release). TRAI will be conducting open house discussions in Delhi and Bangalore on the NGN consultation paper as well as the recent consultation on convergence and competition.

Friday, February 03, 2006 5:03:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

IDATE has just released material with 2005 statistics on FTTx in Europe.

At mid 2005 IDATE identified 166 FTTx projects in Europe of which 13 are new initiatives since mir 2004.

By the end of June 2005, there were approximately 646 570 FTTx subscribers in EU 181 and
roughly 2.51 millions Homes/Building passed showing a penetration rate of 25.8%. Compared to
mid June 2004 this represents a growth of 18% for subscribers and 28% for Homes/Building
passed. There are still no major deployments in the 10 new members and we should also notice that nearly 97% of these FTTx Subscribers are concentrated in 5 countries (Sweden, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway).

To read brief material with statistics, please, click here.

Friday, February 03, 2006 4:52:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 30, 2006

The French telecommunications regulator, ARCEP has published a study (in French) by OVUM on the impact of the deployment of NGNs, migration scenarios as well as the possible impact on regulation.

Monday, January 30, 2006 6:25:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 27, 2006

If you missed the recent ITU-T web-based seminar (webinar) on NGN you may be interested to know that the whole thing including slides, audio and the question and answer session is available in Light Reading’s archive. Nearly 400 people attended the live event on 23 January, submitting close to 100 questions to the speakers. [via ITU-T Newslog]

Friday, January 27, 2006 12:47:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) has announced the latest news on its recently established (October 2005) "Study Group on a Framework for Competition Rules to Address Progress in the Move to IP". The Study Group is considering i) basic concepts of competition rules in preparation for a full-fledged IP age, as well as ii) interconnection and tariff policies in the future.

At the first meeting, members of the Study Group discussed an agenda to be deliberated upon and adopted a draft agenda. From the standpoints of i) improved transparency for open deliberations and ii) further enhancement of the themes, the Study Group decided to invite public comments on the draft agenda during November 2005. During the second meeting of the Study Group on December 21, 2005, the Study Group adopted the Consideration Agenda Concerning a Framework for Competition Rules to Address Progress in the Move to IP.

Friday, January 27, 2006 10:11:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006 7:20:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the 18 November 2005 Newsletter of Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, they have decided to set up a “Study Group on a Framework for Competition Rules to Address Progress in the Move to IP", with the aim of laying out basic principles on a framework for competition rules applicable as well as clarifying specific directions concerning interconnection and tariff policies.

In other news, Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has recently announced (Japanese) that they have established a IP-based Next Generation Network promotion forum. About 190 entities are participating in the newly established forum which will feed into ITU's work on NGNs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 7:15:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The official website of the 1st Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be convened later this year in Greece has been launched.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 11:52:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 23, 2006

In preparation for an upcoming ITU workshop entitled What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs?, to be held 23-24 March 2006 at ITU (see workshop concept document), an ITU NGN Policy and Regulatory site is now available and under development.

The new site contains links to the workshop and other resources as well as the most recent NGN-related news from the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit and the ITU-T.

Monday, January 23, 2006 9:42:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

OECD: Telecommunication Regulatory Institutional Structures and Responsibilities issued January 2006. From the conclusions:

Almost all OECD countries have adopted a regulatory model for the telecommunication sector based on the creation of an independent regulatory authority. Sector specific regulators have often been viewed as temporary institutions created to ensure that effective competition was created in the sector. Once such competition was created regulators would forbear from regulation and over time the sector would be subject, as other industry sectors, only to oversight by the competition authority. Although telecommunication regulators have taken steps to forbear from regulation, and competition has been developing, it would be too premature to view the regulator as only a temporary institution. The development of new technologies, new services, issues such as convergence, and the implications that new voice services may have on universal service, all raise new important regulatory issues. The shift by operators to the “next generation network” may create further pressure to have a single regulatory structure which deals with electronic communications networks and services. New technological developments now allow communications services which historically were regulated differently to appear identical from the consumer point of view. This underscores the regulator’s need to be mindful not only of issues related to companies, but also with the concerns of consumers. An independent regulator with the habit of interacting and learning from consumers will have an advantageous perspective on markets as different technologies vie for new or different regulatory actions.

Monday, January 23, 2006 8:17:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The report Co-Regulation Measures in the Media Sector from the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, Hamburg, Germany, and the Institute of European Media Law, Saarbrücken, Germany is a study commissioned by the European Commission, Directorate General Information Society and Media.

The study aims at providing a complete picture of co-regulatory measures taken to date in the media sector in all 25 EU Member States and in three non-EU-countries, as well as of the research already done in this field. The study indicates areas in which these measures mainly apply, their effects and their consistency with public interest objectives. The study also examines how best to ensure that the development of national co- and self-regulatory models does not disturb the functioning of the single market by re-fragmenting the markets.

The Hans-Bredow-Institute and the Institute of European Media Law presented the Draft Final Report on 19 January 2006 in Brussels. The authors will consider all comments which have been submitted by the 5th of February 2006.

More details about the study are available in German and English.

Monday, January 23, 2006 8:09:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An entry on Richard Stastny's blog (VoIP and ENUM) points to a number of interesting presentations made at an ERO hosted event on scenarios for NGN naming, numbering and addressing, interconnection and QoS.

Monday, January 23, 2006 1:33:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 18, 2006

James Seng takes a look at IPTV, its hardware requirements, the value proposition for IP-enabled NGN players, and why he is excited about P2P IPTV which he says can be traced back "to an academic paper called Coolstreaming (see also Wikipedia) published about a year ago (the authors of the paper is rumored to be funded by Softbank after the publication). The release of their python code no doubt spurred the the creation of PPLive, Sopcast and Cybersky."

As several presentations in this FGNGN document show, there is a recognition to bring IPTV into ITU's future work on NGN standardization. The US-based ATIS has already formed the IPTV Interoperability Forum which is part of their NGN standardization activities.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 10:40:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 17, 2006

From MarketWatch comes additional confirmation that a multi-tiered internet or IP-enabled NGNs, where content providers pay for differentiated service levels is emerging:

"BellSouth Corp. confirmed Monday that it is pursuing discussions with Internet content companies to levy charges to reliably and speedily deliver their content and services.

Bill Smith, chief technology officer at BellSouth, justified content charging companies by saying they are using the telco's network without paying for it.

"Higher usage for broadband services drives more costs that we have to recover," he said in a telephone interview.

He suggested that Apple Computer might be asked to pay a nickel or a dime to insure the complete and rapid transmission of a song via the Internet, which is being used for more and more content-intensive purposes. He cited Yahoo Inc.'s plans to stream reality TV shows as an example.

"It's the shipping business of the digital age," Smith said, arguing that consumers should welcome the pay-for-delivery concept.

BellSouth has discussed its idea with MovieLink, a film-download service. He called MovieLink an example of the kind of company that wants customers to have a good experience and would view costs incurred in the strengthening of BellSouth's Internet capacity as worthwhile. Smith also said online game companies are likely candidates for charges.

Over the weekend, Internet entrepreneur and NBA team owner Mark Cuban wrote on his blog at BlogMaverick.com that such fees are critical to the survival of the Internet. "Our ability to consume bandwidth is growing far, far faster than the speed at which it is being added," he said. "The more bandwidth we consume, the more Internet traffic jams we have."

Cuban wants telephone and cable and wireless companies to work out a way to deliver traffic at various levels of service quality. "Yes, that will mean some content will cost more if we want it faster," he conceded. "But that will be our choice."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:20:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the ITU-T NGN web portal, the ITU-T Focus Group on Next Generation Networks (FGNGN) proceeding are now available:

Additional background on the proceedings

ITU-T Focus Group on Next Generation Networks (FGNGN) was created under ITU-T Study Group 13 in June 2004 to address the emerging needs for global standards for Next Generation Networks (NGN). FGNGN was made-up of seven working groups:

  • Services and capabilities
  • Functional architecture and requirements
  • Quality of service (QoS)
  • Control aspects
  • Security issues
  • Migration of current networks into NGN
  • Future packet based network requirements

During the 18-month life-time of FGNGN, nine meetings were organized, with more than 1,200 input documents and 1,400 participants. FGNGN deliverables cover all those seven fundamental framework areas of NGN. Its final output was a total of 30 documents that will be transferred to the relevant ITU-T Study Groups for their further consideration. Deliverables are classified by release concept. Proceedings contain the deliverables, each with its status indication. The proceedings are now available freely in two parts:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:44:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 16, 2006

Announcements on the ITU-T Newslog include:

  • ITU-T in cooperation with Light Reading is organizing an NGN Free Online Seminar on January 23 2006. The event will be hosted by Light Reading and feature key players in ITU’s work on NGN. For further information, see this announcement.
  • An NGN Technology and Standardization workshop sponsored by ITU-T and the US Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA from 19 to 20 March 2006 in conjunction with the TelecomNEXT event. For more details, see this announcement.
Monday, January 16, 2006 2:38:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ofcom commissioned Spectrum Strategy Consultants to help develop the scope of a new NGN industry body which it does in a report linked from this page, as proposed in this consultation. Spectrum’s recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of Ofcom. Ofcom continues to discuss a range of issues in relation to NGNs with industry stakeholders. These discussions include the scope and role of any NGN industry body.

From the Executive Summary of the report.

Introduction

In its “Next Generation Networks: Further consultation”, held between 30 June and 12 August 2005 , Ofcom proposed the creation of an industry body tasked with the co-ordination of the UK telecoms industry’s transition to NGN core networks. The respondents to the consultation generally agreed that there was a need to address NGN issues that are currently not being covered by existing bodies. However, there was less consensus as to how to do this, and many respondents questioned what the purpose, scope and mechanics of a new NGN Body would be.

This report outlines a proposal for the purpose and role of an NGN Body. It also sets out a proposed organisational and governance structure. It does not include a review of Ofcom’s proposal to establish an Operational Adjudicator.

The recommendations in this document are based on a series of 32 interviews with representatives from the industry, Ofcom, and other industry bodies. We have endeavoured to reflect the views of the majority of stakeholders interviewed and to suggest pragmatic solutions to concerns raised. We expect that the proposals set out in this report will be refined as Ofcom embarks on further engagement with key stakeholders in the NGN transition.

Summary of recommendations

We recommend that Ofcom and the stakeholders in the UK telecoms industry proceed with setting up an NGN Body. We believe that such a body would benefit all stakeholders in the transition of the UK telecommunications industry to NGNs and help to ensure a smooth transition for both industry and end-users.

We propose the creation of an NGN Body in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • The body’s purpose should be to develop a joint vision and framework for the transition to NGNs that encompasses commercial, technical and operational issues
  • It will issue recommendations to the industry
  • In order to function effectively, the body will require a stringent governance and organisational structure:

    • its membership should be inclusive; stakeholders will be able to participate in workgroups on specific issues independent of size and degree of infrastructure ownership
    • in order to function effectively, the NGN body will need a strong figurehead as a chairman supported by a well-resourced management team equipped with strategic, technical and programme management expertise
    • a board consisting of 8-10 industry representatives needs to be appointed to approve the body’s recommendations and to drive its agenda forward
    • the organisation will be independent, accountable only to its members
    • Ofcom should adopt the role of an active observer

  • The body should be owned and funded by industry in order to enable its independence. However, Ofcom will need to play a leading role during the set-up phase
  • The body is required as soon as possible and should be set up within the next six to seven months; it is expected to have a lifetime of 3-4 years
Thursday, January 05, 2006 4:42:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Malaysia has recently launched its latest 5 year ICT master plan called MyICMS 886.

[Via James Seng's blog]

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:14:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Net's basic flaws cost firms billions, impede innovation, and threaten national security. It's time for a clean-slate approach, says MIT's Dave Clark. This article, the cover story in Technology Review’s December 2005/January 2006 print issue, is divided into three parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. [via James Seng]

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:34:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The internet as we know it is set to transform radically, according to a new ITU Internet Report entitled The Internet of Things, specially prepared to coincide with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in November 2005. From an academic network for the chosen few created in the late 1960s, the internet is now a mass-market, consumer-oriented network being accessed by over 900 million people worldwide, through personal computers, mobile phones and other wireless devices. But this is only the beginning. According to ITU’s report, we are standing on the brink of a new ubiquitous computing and communication era, one that will radically transform the Internet, and with it, our corporate, community, and personal spheres. The new ITU report looks at key enabling technologies for ubiquity (e.g. RFID, sensors and sensor networks, telematics, robotics, nanotechnology) and how they might impact the future human and technological landscape.

At WSIS, the report was launched at a Press Conference and Panel Debate moderated by Kenn Cukier of The Economist. The lively debate included the following speakers and panelists: Nicholas Negroponte - MIT Media Lab, Olivier Baujard - CTO of Alcatel, Hitomi Murakami - VP General Manager of KDDI (Japan), Jonathan Murray - VP and CTO, Microsoft EMEA, Walid Moneimne, Senior VP and Head of EMEA Networks - Nokia, John Gage, Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office - Sun Microsystems, and from the ITU, Lara Srivastava, lead author of the report.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 4:59:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 25, 2005

Internet governance: A tale of community structure and individual initiative by David Allen.

On one side, the Internet community argues for the informality and flexibility necessary for innovation – that is, for individual initiative – to flourish. On the other side, some governments call for more formality and the stable base – that is, for community structure – upon which ongoing operations and change can both occur.

Friday, November 25, 2005 3:26:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 21, 2005

LightReading has an article on the recent NGN Industry Event in London on 18 November 2005, where ITU unveiled Release 1 standards for NGN by ITU-T's Focus Group on Next-Generation Networks (FGNGN). The event also outlined the next phase of NGN work to be progressed under the banner of the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI). In the presentation (Zipped PowerPoint) by BT Group Technology Officer Mick Reeve:

"...the world's telecom standards groups are, at last, all singing from the same song sheet with their work on next-generation network (NGN) standards.

"Addressing an International Telecommunication Union meeting in London today, Reeve, a key figure in the development of BT's 21st Century Network (21CN), praised the ITU for its role in bringing together the work of many different groups around the world and delivering a unified vision of what an NGN should look like and deliver. (See BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers, Bross: More to Come on 21CN, and Wales to Get 21CN First.)

"The ITU has done a great job in finding a global agreement on NGNs. There's a high level of agreement globally about NGN principles" that has helped deliver an "overall architecture for next generation networks and systems, something that has been unheard of before now," says the BT man. He cited the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), TeleManagement Forum, and Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) as organizations that have helped in the ITU's work."  

Other presentations made at the event can be found here.

Monday, November 21, 2005 10:44:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) today called on EU policy makers to reject the idea of an "NGN moratorium" in favour of a policy to boost investment confidence for the entire communications sector.  Pointing to wealth of evidence that markets with competition enjoy higher levels of innovation, and ECTA’s own broadband scorecards which confirm that competition also boosts broadband adoption, ECTA recommends that policy makers maintain the pro-competitive approach that underpins the EU regulatory framework.

The proposal for a so-called "NGN Moratorium" was floated by [EC] Commissioner Reding in September as an idea for next year’s review of the Telecoms Directives. Since then, the issue has become live with a proposal from German politicians to grant a three-year regulatory moratorium on plans by the incumbent to upgrade its access network, undermining competitors’ current and future investment plans. 

The detailed ECTA position can be found here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 1:53:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 07, 2005

For the upcoming Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) to be held in Hammamet, Tunisia, 14-15 November 2005, just before the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the ITU has released a paper by Tracy Cohen, Olli Mattila and Russel Southwood, entitled VoIP and Regulation, which will be presented at the GSR:

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is generally viewed as a “disruptive technology”. All the current market indications show that IP networks and services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will replace traditional PSTN networks and services. ITU estimates that by 2008, at least 50 percent of international minutes will be carried on IP networks and that many carriers will have all-IP networks. Recent trends are certainly headed in this direction. For example, in the United States, residential VoIP subscriber numbers have increased from 150,000 at the end of 2003 to over 2 million in March 2005. It is predicted that subscribers in the US will exceed 4.1 million by 2006, generating over USD 1 billion in gross revenues for the year. In March 2005, the Chilean broadband operator VTR launched the first telecommunication network for residential services based on IP technology. The operator expects to expand its platform and reach 2 million customers in five years. There are approximately 35,000 residential telephones that use IP technology in Chile, either through Chilean operators or through Vonage...

This paper examines how VoIP services will affect future regulation. Due to the starkly contrasting global perceptions of VoIP however, it is difficult to present a unified approach to regulatory treatment of VoIP and this paper aims to reflect regulatory experiences from a wide range of countries that are grappling with the transition to VoIP. The three sections of this paper are structured to answer both the broad and specific questions raised by VoIP services, including the overall approach to regulating VoIP as a mainstream service; how VoIP has changed voice business models and the various ways of classifying the services it has created; and finally, other related issues frequently raised in connection with VoIP, such as quality of service; network integrity; emergency calling, numbering, communication security and lawful interception.

Monday, November 07, 2005 11:23:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 01, 2005

James Seng's blog points to a recent paper published in the Internet Protocol Journal by Tony Hain regarding IPv4 allocation exhaust and references another recent paper by Geoff Huston on the same topic.

To this can be added a recent presentation by K. Claffy at ARIN entitled apocalypse then: ipv4 address space depletion:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 4:22:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 31, 2005

According to the ITU-T Newslog, a roadmap identifying NGN management specifications has been published on the ITU-T SG 4 website.

Monday, October 31, 2005 2:02:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 28, 2005

This recent presentation What2what (was end2end): the future of the Internet by Scott Bradner discusses the disappearing end-to-end nature of the Internet and the reasons, evolution to NGN, as well as his views on how innovation may slow down.

Friday, October 28, 2005 8:29:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 17, 2005

Austrian Regulatory Authority (Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH) released the Guidelines for VoIP Service Providers on 10 October 2005.

For more information and documents, please click here.

Europe | NGN | VoIP
Monday, October 17, 2005 12:53:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 14, 2005

Home Networking is the linking of all types of electronic devices for applications such as entertainment, telecommunication, home automation systems and telemetry (remote control and monitoring systems). And given the wide range of previously unrelated technologies involved, standards that allow for interoperability are seen as key to the successful marketing of the concept.

Now taking place at the ITU is a workshop on Opportunities and Challenges in Home Networking. The event is organized by ITU-T Study Group 9, in cooperation with several other ITU-T study groups and various organizations outside of ITU. It follows the Workshop on Home Networking and Home Services held 17-18 June 2004, Tokyo.

Study Group 9 has been working on standardization in home networking systems for more than four years. It has already approved three ITU-T Recommendations in the field, particularly dealing with IP-based multimedia services over cable networks. A current focus is a new Recommendation that will specify ways to bridge conditional access systems (that ensure payment in pay TV for example) to digital rights management (DRM) systems, an important step toward smooth operation of fully integrated home networking.

This workshop will bring together experts from all over the world who are pushing forward the frontiers of this fast-moving field. It will provide an overview of the technology as well as an examination of standards that address access, services, performance, Quality of Service, electromagnetic interference and security issues. The workshop will deal with current technology and future trends to provide a framework for moving forward standardization work. Attention will be given to both the technology and service aspects of this new technology.

The programme can be found here with links to the presentations. Highlights include:

  • Worldwide Status of Home Networking
  • Home Network Architecture and Technologies (including an update on UPnP and DLNA)
  • Home Networking Services and Business Models
  • Security and Digital Rights Management
  • Quality of Service in the Home Network
  • Electromagnetic Interference in the Home Environment
  • The Home Networking Future: Efforts and Challenges
Friday, October 14, 2005 10:13:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 13, 2005

The ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Communications, the Ugo Bordoni Foundation and the Aosta Valley regional authority, organized a Workshop on “Tomorrow’s Network Today” on 7-8 October 2005.

The workshop considered five broad themes:

• International Visions of Ubiquitous Networks and Next Generation Networks
• National Visions of Ubiquitous Networks and Next Generation Networks
• Creating an Enabling Environment
• The Italian Path Towards Ubiquitous Networks
• An example of Italian best practice: "Being Digital in the Aosta Valley"

Now available on the workshop website  are the agenda, with links to presentations as they were delivered and the two Case Studies on Italy – “Bridging the Gap: Taking Tomorrow’s Network Today” presented by Marco Obiso and “Ubiquitous Networks Societies: The Case of Italy” presented by Cristina Bueti - as well as background papers and voluntary contributions produced for the workshop.

During the event, Tim Kelly, Head of the Strategy and Policy Unit (ITU) presented “Tomorrow’s Network and the Internet of Things”, showing some of the outcomes of the forthcoming ITU Internet Reports publication that this year will be dedicated to the theme of the “Internet of Things “.

A final report of the workshop will be available in the next few weeks at the workshop website.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 3:46:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 05, 2005

ITU, together with sponsors BT, Cisco, Motorola, Nortel and Siemens, is holding a one day event to mark a new milestone in ITU’s work on next-generation networks (NGN). The event will present an overview of NGN work so far, details on future directions, and some of the key business drivers for NGN. In addition to announcing completion of work on the Release 1 standards for NGN by ITU-T’s Focus Group on Next-Generation Networks (FGNGN), the event will communicate the next phase of NGN work, dubbed the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI).

Press are invited to attend for the whole day, specific sessions or just for lunch, which will be preceded by a panel session. There will also be opportunities for one-on-one interviews with key NGN players from the world’s leading telcos and systems vendors.

For more details click here.

Operators from around the globe are implementing NGN strategies and plan to invest billions of dollars in the rollout of new packet-based networks. Their involvement in global standards-making stimulates innovation and more robust technology, fosters interoperability and multi-vendor product offerings, and protects current and future investment.

The operators, systems vendors and governments driving this standardization work believe NGN will deliver substantial cost savings through the economies of scale inherent in a single converged network. They believe international standards will facilitate an open market for systems, lowering costs and providing for mix-and-match implementation and global interoperability. NGN will benefit consumers through innovative new services, greater control and personalization, ease of migration between services, and continuity for existing services.

The event is aimed at professionals involved in product planning and service creation for systems vendors and service providers.

A limited number of places will be made available for journalists. Journalists interested in attending should contact ITU’s Toby Johnson.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005 11:38:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Network World has an article on the evolution of IP-based networks that notes there are divergent views among standards bodies such as the ITU and the IETF, on the future evolution of the internet.

"The current Internet model is the stupid network model, where the network doesn't know what applications you're running and doesn't try to be helpful," he says. "The ITU's model [is] where the network is application-aware and can provide specific extra support for a particular application, such as VoIP. That session will compare what their strengths and weaknesses are, and hopefully out of it we can get some idea of what the future is going to look like."

Bradner says the ITU's model is designed to provide defined and guaranteed QoS, while the Internet is a best-effort model based on bandwidth capacity. He says both are applicable given the network circumstances - if there's plenty of bandwidth, there's no need for QoS controls; if not, there is.

The future of the 'Net could be shaped in large part by the need to support peer-to-peer applications and Web-based services, which use peer-to-peer protocols. This type of traffic is growing in use and importance in enterprise networks and on the 'Net, especially as companies move to SOAs designed to support peer-to-peer and message-based transmissions.

Are we heading for a future of dumb or smart networks? This recent piece in BCR Magazine on Making Networks Smart suggests that industry players on both the network side (e.g., Cisco and Juniper) and applications side (e.g., Microsoft, IBM, Sun, BEA) are making moves in the latter direction. Initiatives like the IPSphere Forum suggest that both the equipment manufacturers and the major service providers are on the same strategy:

The goal of the IPsphere forum is to create an industry call to action to create public networks that combine the reach of the Internet with the assured performance and security of a private network. This new approach is designed to overcome the current limitations of the Internet through the creation of "IPspheres," delivering an enriched experience for consumers, business-critical performance, and opening new markets for service providers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 11:42:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 26, 2005

To further encourage the development of a ubiquitous network society, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, the Italian Ministry of Communications, the Ugo Bordoni Foundation and the Aosta Valley are hosting a Workshop on "Tomorrow's Network Today" that will be held in Saint-Vincent (Aosta), Italy on 7-8 October 2005.

This Workshop will discuss specific measures to help overcome potential challenges and determine possible future actions.

One session will be dedicated to Next Generation Networks (NGN) as a framework to harmonize the worldwide technical and functional basis needed to extend the use of integrated ICTs to as many users as possible.

During the workshop there will be an Exhibition which will bring together a wide range of leading industry participants as well as high-level representatives from government and regulators.

Click here for more information about the event.

Monday, September 26, 2005 9:46:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 22, 2005

A circular letter (Word) from the Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector's Bureau provides an update on structure of ITU's future NGN standardization activites. The Focus Group on NGN (FGNGN) will have its final meeting on 14-18 November 2005 and it has been agreed that further work on NGN will be progressed under the banner of the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) involving, in addition to NGN related Rapporteur Groups of Study Groups 11, 13 and 19, those from Study Groups 12, 15, 16 and other Study Groups as appropriate.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:53:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 15, 2005

September has got off to a flying start as far as Next-Generation Networks (NGN) work in ITU is concerned. The important milestone of the Release 1 set of standards is on track for November (2005) and sufficient momentum has been achieved to ensure that the next stages of NGN work will be carried out with similar efficiency.

The continuation of the NGN study by ITU will be re-branded the NGN-Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI).

Houlin Zhao, Director of TSB, ITU-T's secretariat said: "I am very pleased with the progress and the results achieved by the Focus Group on next-generation networks (FGNGN ). These first results will provide the building blocks on which the world's systems vendors and service providers can start to make this monumental shift to NGN. We have the momentum, the tools and the will to continue this significant and important work."

Agreement on a future plan is clear and the Focus Group on next-generation networks (FGNGN) has been putting the finishing touches to Release 1 before formally submitting it into the Study Group system.

The FGNGN met in Geneva 24 August - 2 September alongside meetings of Study Groups 11 , 13 and 19 (2005), themselves all having elements of NGN work. Each FGNGN meeting has seen increased participation and contributions according to management.

The group chaired by Chae-Sub Lee of Korea is expecting to see completion of its Release 1 set of standards, at its November 2005 meeting in London, UK. A one day briefing session following that meeting will serve as an overview of the work, as well as an opportunity to promote future direction and business drivers.

The first draft of an allocation table for the distribution of work following the November meeting was also agreed. This type of activity as well as the development of a prototype project management tool, is seen as important in order to keep NGN work, that cuts across the study groups, aligned, coherent and consistent.

According to FGNGN chairman Lee, an important focus of the work at this Geneva meeting are the quality of service (QoS) aspects that will allow - for example - services like IPTV to be offered with the same broadcast quality as traditional TV. The Focus Group expects that there will be more than ten deliverables on QoS that will be submitted into the Study Group system for approval as ITU-T products such as Recommendations. Additionally the topic of fixed-mobile convergence saw much discussion in the meeting according to Lee.

FGNGN also saw the document that describes the scope for NGN standards in ITU reaching near maturity, an important step, according to meeting insiders. The document that gives an overview of what Release 1 is expected to cover in terms of services, capabilities and high level objectives was described in the meeting's report as 'very stable'. Additionally much progress was made on another crucial document describing Release 1 requirements.

Via ITU-T Newslog.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 2:56:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Leaders from the leading national and regional telecommunications and radio standards organizations and a delegation from ITU consisting of both high-level secretariat staff and Study Group chairs met 28 August - 2 September, at The Tenth Global Standards Collaboration meeting (GSC-10).

The mission of the GSC is to exchange information between participating standards organizations to facilitate collaboration and to support the process of global telecommunication standardization in the ITU. The event was hosted by ETSI in Sophia Antipolis, France.

Participants at GSC-10 included the Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF), Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) of Japan, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) from the US, the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), the Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC) of Japan, the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of Korea, the ICT Standards Advisory Council of Canada (ISACC), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Guests and observers included representatives from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and the Sector Board 4 of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Specific resolutions on the following topics were agreed at the meeting:

  • Next-Generation Networks
  • Mapping Standards for "Systems Beyond IMT 2000"
  • Cybersecurity
  • Home Networking
  • Emergency Communications
  • Broadband Services in Rural and Remote Areas
  • Open Standards
  • Facilitating Liaison in relation to Measurement Methodologies for Assessing Human Exposure to RF Energy
  • Wireless access including RLANs, Ad-Hoc Networking and Broadband Wireless Access
  • Supporting Automotive Crash Notification ("ACN") by Public Wireless Communications Networks
  • Radio Microphones and Cordless Audio Devices
  • RFID Systems, Services and Networking
  • Public Protection & Disaster Relief
  • Ultra Wide Band
  • Intellectual Property Rights Policies
  • User Interest Working Group

Other areas discussed were:

  • Location-based Services
  • Internet Protocol over Wireless
  • Software defined radio & Cognitive radio
  • Digital Broadcasting including mobile multimedia applications
  • Satellite services

ITU maintains a repository of documents relating to this and all past GSC meetings.

Via the ITU-T Newslog.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:22:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 13, 2005

"Industry has agreed on the technical direction for NGN" (next generation networks), said Keith Dickerson, BT head of standards and co-leader of ITU-T Focus Group on Next Generation Networks (FGNGN) Working Group 7 on future packet-based networks. "We shouldn't have interoperability problems when the NGN is deployed," he said.

FGNGN's job is to define network architecture and requirements to support fixed-mobile convergence, letting a fixed-line operator provide the same services as a network operator offering 3GPP defined services, for example, using IMS, said Dick Knight of BT vice chairman of FGNGN: "Thus equipment can be connected to either a fixed or mobile network [and] receive the same services, and a dedicated device, such as a phone, may roam between a 3GPP or 3GPP2 network and a fixed line network."

Fixed-mobile convergence will be enabled by extending the 3GPP IMS to provide the same services over the fixed network, said Dickerson: "BT is pushing for emulation of PSTN services to meet the 2009 deadline, when we'll be closing down PSTN... BT plans to move all its customers to its 21st Century Network," BT's version of the NGN, by 2009.

"FGNGN has given strategic and technical direction to industry, and enables a network operator to offer new services in new markets: Presence, IM, maybe in the future broadcast digital TV and video on demand. The design of a flexible service platform enables the networks to innovate to provide almost any capabilities and services we can imagine," Knight said.

FGNGN's main product will be Release 1, which "is a set of capabilities," said Keith Mainwaring of Cisco, co- leader of the FGNGN Working Group on Quality fo Service (QoS) and member of ITU Study Group 11, "one that specifies the mechanisms to provide NGN services. Defining the mechanisms will be assigned back to ITU Study Groups." With most standards "quite stable," the group is getting ready for final comments, "expected to be mostly of an editorial nature," said Chae-Sub Lee of Korea's Electronics Telecom Research Institute (ETRI), FGNGN chairman. QoS documents will comprise about 40% of Release 1. Among the group's 6 or so expected independent releases may be 12-14 QoS documents, said Lee.

Release 1 is due to be completed Nov. 18 in London, and a day later Cisco, Motorola, BT and Siemens will sponsor an industry event at which CTOs plan to speak on how firms will use the NGN standards.

The full text can be accessed through Warren's Washington Internet Daily.

For more information on the topics above, see the ITU FGNGN website.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 4:12:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU has released an IP Policy Manual.

"The use of Internet Protocol (IP)-based technologies is now a strategic element in the design, development and use of telecommunication networks. Consequently, there is a growing interest by ITU members in the policy and regulatory issues related to the growth of IP-based networks, such as the Internet, and their convergence with other networks. One example is the rapid uptake of Voice over IP (VoIP), which has given rise to a number of recent national regulatory proceedings and decisions. We are also witnessing a growing interest in the policy and regulatory implications of next-generation networks (NGNs), a key standardization activity in ITU. Convergence across media platforms, such as delivery of television over broadband networks, is also forcing national policy and regulatory reviews spanning what were previously different sectors. This clearly will result in new challenges for national policy makers and regulators and there appears to be a need to build international dialogue on these issues, including the sharing of national experiences and approaches as well as assistance in capacity building for developing economies. There is much opportunity not only to find common technical approaches, as in ITU's standards work on NGNs, but also to discuss and share common policy and regulatory approaches to convergence and network security."

For further information click here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:14:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) has announced it is bringing together a number of Australian industry leaders to advise on convergence issues.

The new ACIF Convergence Group will advise on the best way to tackle issues relating to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Next Generation Networks (NGN), content and other associated areas.

ACIF’s chief executive officer, Anne Hurley, who chairs the new group, explained that the convergence of multiple technologies was blurring the boundaries of the various regulatory regimes and creating new challenges which the industry needed to address.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 9:46:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 28, 2005

According to this article relating to a recent event at Supercomm, while carriers and manufacturers aggressively press for the convergence of infrastructures, applications and services over next-generation network (NGN) technologies on a worldwide basis, there are many policy issues in regulation, public safety and security the United States and other national/international bodies are addressing on NGN implementations.

The various next-gen activities and challenges among U.S. and global policy makers were explored and outlined during a number of exhibit-booth lecture sessions sponsored by ATIS - a technical planning-and-standards- development organization with more than 350 participating companies - at the recent Supercomm exposition in Chicago.

Anthony M. Rutkowski, vice president for regulatory affairs and standards at VeriSign, said the Internet-inspired NGN terminology began to take greater shape within the telecom community during the 2000-04 timeframe, and it has come to "represent an omnibus array of activities and products emerging from a constellation of standards, regulatory and professional bodies worldwide," with significant NGN-related activities oriented around a real need facing providers and regulators worldwide.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 9:03:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The US-based Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and Telephony have collaborated on a special 16-page supplement exploring and explaining the critical elements of their Next Generation Network standardization efforts.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 8:40:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From Business Communications Review: IMS 101: What You Need To Know Now.

"Out of the wireless standards consortium called 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) comes a slow-growing and complicated collection of carrier network functions and processes that collectively are referred to as IMS, which stands for the IP (or Internet) Multimedia Subsystem. The IMS standards promise an operator-friendly environment for real-time, packet-based calls and services that not only will preserve traditional carrier controls over user signaling and usage-based billing, but also will generate new revenue via deep packet inspection of protocols, URI and content. IMS was conceived for the evolution of cellular telephony networks, but the benefits of user signaling and billing controls have attracted the endorsement and involvement of wireline network operators and standards makers, including the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the U.S.-based Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and the UN-sponsored International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In the U.S., cable multiple systems operators (MSOs) are also showing interest in IMS as part of the recent CableLabs PacketCable initiative, and network operators recently approached the WiMAX Forum's Network Working Group, asking that IMS be included in its forthcoming reference architecture."

From Ewan Sutherlands weblog.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 7:32:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 27, 2005

From the ITU-T Newslog: The Focus Group on Next Generation Networks (FGNGN) has recently completed a technical report that will hand back some elements of network management to the customer.

The document is an approved deliverable of the group that will be submitted to FGNGN’s parent within ITU-T, Study Group 13, for further consideration as a candidate ITU-T product (e.g. Recommendation, supplement, handbook, etc.). It outlines a framework for customer manageable IP networks (CMIP).

CMIP will give end users the ability to manage network elements and resources, such as bandwidth and storage.

Using a menu driven system CMIP will allow end-users to split bandwidth, dedicating, for instance, 1 Mbps to file sharing, .5 Mbps to instant messaging and e-mail, and .5 Mbps to web browsing.

Service providers will benefit by being able to offer this ability as value-add to their Internet service offerings, and will also be able to better provision network resources for services, such as web browsing, VoIP, and peer to peer (P2P), given the increased knowledge of exactly how users are using their bandwidth.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 10:31:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A very good article entitled Telecom: Conflict of Motives by Tom Nolle in the June 2005 issue of BCR Magazine discusses how the future of networking is often seen too simplistically as a fundamental conflict between "the Internet" and "the telcos". 

  • "The Internet supporters have a notion of good public policy: Anything over IP is unregulated. However, “unregulated” means free market dynamics will prevail, and so this position is actually self-defeating. What’s needed is a constructive open debate on what regulatory policy should be..."
  • "Proof point one is simple: “Prove that your concept of rampant innovation doesn’t necessarily mean free networks.” Somebody has to finance the network of the future."
  • "Proof point number two is more complicated: “Prove that revolutionary new opportunities are really opportunities and not just disruptions.” Pure research is wonderful and necessary, but when you talk about deploying worldwide infrastructure for services critical to the economic survival of many societies, you ought to be out of the experimenting phase."
  • Proof point number three is the most complicated of all: “Prove you won’t do it again.” We lied, as an industry. We lied to Wall Street, to Main Street, to regulators and to ourselves. The financial markets move on credibility. They will never understand this industry, our technology. They will have to take us at our word, and our word is no longer good. Every naïve comment about “profit,” every notion of “free” this or that, only validates the financial view that the best thing this industry can do is hunker down and control costs. Who better to do that than the “conservative” common carriers?
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 11:07:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Korea's Chosun Ilbo has an article on how competition is heating up in deployment of Korea's national NGN project which is called the Broadband convergence Network (BcN). BcN is the fusion of communication, broadcasting and the Internet, is a next-generation information network that the Korean government is pushing to complete by 2010 as part of its national IT 839 Strategy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 10:11:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

BCR Magazine has an editorial entitled Monetizing the Internet:

"I won’t pretend that John Waclawsky’s article in this month’s issue (“IMS 101: What You Need To Know Now”) is easy going. There are a lot of protocol acronyms and stuff about standards bodies that might tempt you to turn the page. Don’t.

Waclawsky’s article has everything to do with what the public networks, wireline and wireless, are likely to become over the next few years. It deals with the IP/Internet Multimedia Subsystem or IMS, the standards set that began in the wireless world but is likely to become the foundation of a comprehensive vision that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) calls the Next Generation Network or NGN.

What’s remarkable about Waclawsky’s article, to me anyway, is its conclusion. If you’ve followed his past articles for BCR (see “Closed Architectures, Closed Systems And Closed Minds,” October 2004, and “Where Do System Standards Go From Here?” March 2005), you know that Waclawsky is not kindly disposed toward these overarching, carrier-driven standards efforts. He’s highly skeptical of attempts to, as he puts it in this month’s article, “monetize the Internet.” He uses the current article to critique the IMS and related efforts, and finds much wanting.

Yet his bottom line is this: “In spite of the drawbacks and delays, it seems one or more variations of IMS could become the norm for all broadband access.” This forecast cannot be made with any relish."

More....

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:58:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Light Reading says it is IMS Crunch Time:

"After a dizzying ascent from minor-league 3G standards initiative to major-league NGN architecture, IMS is clearly ready for prime time. But what is it, exactly, that it’s called upon to deliver? To answer that question, we need to remind ourselves what the standards-setters set out to achieve."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 8:32:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 21, 2005

Article featured in Total Telecom talks about Japan's intentions to work towards developing an NGN standard.

"The Japanese government is to urge private telecom carriers to upgrade domestic telecoms networks to next-generation IP-based telecommunications networks (NGN) by 2007.

According to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper, the policy has been decided in order to try and push Japanese NGN standards in the hope of getting a big slice of the international equipment market for Japanese equipment manufacturers.

The International Telecommunication Union is expected to decide on the global specifications for NGNs by around 2008. The Japanese Ministry of Communications aims to have developed and proposed a standard to the ITU by then after working with the country's major telcos, including Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT), KDDI Corp. and SoftBank, as well as manufacturers of communications equipment including NEC Corp., Fujitsu Ltd., and Hitachi Ltd."

"The ministry hopes Japan will seize the initiative by being the first to come up with a tried and tested set of standards that might be accepted for international adoption, thus giving local manufacturers a huge leg up on international markets. While Japanese manufacturers have dominated their domestic market for telecommunications equipment through working with NTT, U.S. firms control 90% of the global market for routers. The Japanese firms are hoping the switch to a new set of standards for NGNs will help them overcome this imbalance.

The adoption of NGNs is expected to substantially lower communications costs because they will require only half the plant and equipment investment and maintenance expense required for current phone systems, according to the report, which says the networks will use a new breed of low-cost routers. Replacing Japan's current domestic phone networks will require an investment of an estimated 3 trillion to 6 trillion yen (22 billion to 44 billion euros) in plant and equipment over a five-year period. KDDI has been proposing replacement of its copper network by 2007 and NTT by 2010, but the Ministry hopes to speed this up to fit in with the ITU's schedule."

Thursday, July 21, 2005 11:21:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 14, 2005

In November 2004, the UK's Ofcom published a consultation on Next Generation Networks: Future arrangements for access and interconnection which explored the potential regulatory issues raised by the move to Next Generation Networks (NGNs). In a follow-up consultation released in June 2005, Ofcom aims to establish a regulatory framework to address those issues and to support the development of NGNs.

The full version of this document, along with the Annexes, are available via the links below.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 2:52:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 30, 2005

ITU-T has recently hosted a workshop on IPv6 organized in cooperation with the European Union’s IPv6 Task Force Steering Committee (IPv6 EU TF-SC) and the IPv6 Forum. The event, held in Geneva, between 22 to 23 June 2005, examined the current status of IPv6, with regards to rollout, policy, technology and applications. An additional aim was to promote awareness of IPv6 to countries where Internet use is relatively low. The agenda and presentations have been made available on the event web site.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 12:02:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The European Commission recently hosted an Open Workshop on Identifying Policy and Regulatory Issues of Next Generation Networks (PDF) on the 22 June 2005. The presentations made at the workshop can be found here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:27:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 03, 2005

On 31 May 2005 the European Telecommunication Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) ran its 3rd annual conference on "New Generation Networks: The Next Telecoms Revolution". The discussion focused mostly on three issues 1) convergence, 2) regulatory and policy challenges, and 3) business opportunities. 

For more information as well as links to the presentations click here.

Friday, June 03, 2005 5:33:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From Om Malik:

TeleGeography says that there will be 4.1 million VoIP subscribers by end of 2005 and these subscribers will spend around $1 billion on their VoIP home services. U.S. residential subscriber totals have jumped from 150,000 at the end of 2003 to well over 2 million as of March 2005. Vonage says it has about 700,000 of those 2 million subscribers, but cable operators are catching up. By the end of 2005, TeleGeography predicts that Cablevision, Comcast, and Time Warner together will have 2 million subscribers and nearly one-half of the total residential VoIP market. In other words, the heat is on, and it will be interesting to see how long Vonage can hang around in the top tier. I hope they do - because they are keeping a lot of people honest.

Still you can see the “mainstreaming” of VoIP show up in the equipment sales, which are up 40% in 1Q 2005 from 1Q 2004 to about $493 million. These are world wide numbers. “The market continues to move further mainstream, and last month’s announcement from BT is further indicative of the maturation of the market,” said Infonetics Research’s Kevin Mitchell, directing analyst.

From Infonetics Research: 1Q05 Market Highlights

  • Worldwide softswitch revenue is up 4% from 4Q04 and 63% from 1Q04
  • Nortel is the worldwide revenue market share leader in the softswitch market
  • Siemens is number two for worldwide softswitch revenue
  • Italtel is third worldwide but first in EMEA after nearly doubling softswitch revenue share in EMEA in 1Q05
  • Trunk media gateways topped $200 million and high-density media gateways represent 78% of all trunk media gateway revenue
  • The geographic breakdown for total service provider next gen voice equipment: 45% North America, 27% EMEA, 21% Asia Pacific, and 7% CALA
Americas | NGN | VoIP
Friday, June 03, 2005 12:46:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From the ITU-T Newslog: A meeting of Study Group 15, the ITU-T group responsible for studies into optical and other transport network technologies, has consented a new Recommendation that defines the way for equipment providers to produce systems for Ethernet virtual private line (EVPL) services. EVPLs offer a way for operators to provide point-to-point connections for carrying data over shared-bandwidth facilities.

The announcement is in line with the current industry trend to offer Ethernet services, and further signals Ethernet's growth in popularity as an enterprise telecom service.

Long-recognized as a ubiquitous LAN technology, Ethernet is now seeing increased attention as a carrier-grade service. In part this is due to the convenience of being able to simply provide end-to-end service, but also carriers can realize savings both in terms of capital and operational expenditure.

In terms of capital expenditure, Ethernet is easy and cost-effective to provision in the network. In terms of operational expenditure, carriers can deploy a single physical connection to the end user, but adapt its data-carrying capacity as end-user requirements dictate over time. This flexibility means a significant saving for the operator and the customer.

This work follows earlier work in the area of ITU Ethernet standards approved last year. See this ITU press release from June 2004.

The new Recommendation - G.8011.2 - defines the service attributes and parameters for carrying Ethernet characteristic information over shared-bandwidth, point-to-point connections, provided by SDH, ATM, MPLS, PDH, OTH, or ETY server layer networks.

Friday, June 03, 2005 11:18:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 02, 2005

In the framework of its Technology Watch activities, ITU-T has recently published a technical paper on radio frequency identification (RFID) and opportunities for its use in mobile telecommunication services. RFID enables data to be transmitted by a tiny portable device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. It is only recently that the technology has begun to take off in the mass market. Analysts predict that RFID will revolutionize areas of industry, such as supply chain management and the retail business, for example by reducing costs with better stock management. The technical paper presents several ideas for applications of RFID technology in mobile telecommunication services as well as possible areas for standardization efforts. Apart from purely technical concepts, the challenging aspects of security and privacy are discussed. A PowerPoint presentation of the paper is also available.

ITU-T recently set up a correspondence group on RFID in the framework of its Technology Watch and a dedicated e-mail reflector on the matter for initiating studies on the technology. Additionally, ITU-T is to hold a workshop on RFID standardization issues in the first quarter of 2006. [via ITU-T Newslog]

Thursday, June 02, 2005 12:15:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 27, 2005

OECD has released a report on Next Generation Network (NGN) development in member countries.

"Over the last several years, a number of the major network operators have put in place network upgrade plans to implement next generation networks (NGN). Some market analysts now predict that the entire Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) will evolve into an NGN over the next 10 years or so. Technological change is happening very quickly, underscoring the need for policy and regulation to be based on principles that support consumer interests, such as competition policy, not on specific technical aspects of networks."

For the full report (PDF), click here.  

Friday, May 27, 2005 2:53:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 26, 2005

Communications has a post on the recent IMTC Forum 2005: The Future of Next Generation Networks: Convergence of VoIP, Videoconferencing and Mobile, May 10-12, 2005.

The IMTC is an industry association best known for championing video telephony.  Many of the attendees have devoted 10, 15, even 20 years of effort to making video telephony work. 

All of the presentations made at the Forum are linked to in this document (Word) on the IMTC web site. Some presentations worth highlighting include:

Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:47:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, May 22, 2005

Lucent Bets on Wireless and IMS

In a tail-wags-dog story, Lucent Technologies, long associated with telecom big iron, is literally throwing its weight and its product development into the air. “We see the wireline business eroding. Mobility has higher growth, and it appears mobility is the best target for the new services architecture—IMS (IP multimedia subsystem),” said Rand Edwards, Lucent’s director of strategy and marketing-network operations software group.

Lucent will make its migration policy very clear at next week’s Telemanagement World conference in Nice, France, where it will showcase its IMS-driven VitalSuite software, demonstrating how service providers can migrate it into their systems to expand offerings into more complex architectures that start first with next-gen services and applications on wireless networks.

Canadian wireless operator Telus has bought into the VitalSuite for its trouble-patterning capabilities to do detailed network surveillance through analysis and network problem identification.

IMS “is a pretty complex service delivery platform and being able to isolate where a problem might be occurring gets more difficult (and) might not be observable from a traditional fault or performance type of view,” Edwards said. “This type of diagnosis or analysis is going to become increasingly important.”

From [Telecom Flash via my weblog]

Mobile | NGN | Standards
Sunday, May 22, 2005 3:23:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 19, 2005

Om Malik's Broadband Blog has a piece on ITU-T's upcoming VDSL2 standard and a comparison of speeds of various xDSL flavours. ITU-T Study Group 15 meetings are now underway (16-27 May 2005) in Geneva working on this as well as a number of other standards. The list of 281 delayed contributions into the meeting shows the intensive activity in this Study Group by service providers and equipment manufacturers.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 4:33:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Commission will hold an Open Workshop on Identifying Policy and Regulatory Issues of Next Generation Networks (PDF) on 22 June 2005. The workshop is directed towards policy makers and regulators, but is open to anyone who may have an interest. A provisional programme can be found here (PDF). Attendance is free of charge but registration is required.

The ITU is also hosting a workshop on NGN policy and regulatory issues in February 2006. More details will be announced later here.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 3:29:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

This new Strategy and Policy Unit website gathers ITU resources related to Next Generation Networks.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 12:49:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2005
 Sunday, May 15, 2005

Roger Darlington's CommsWatch notes some of the issues facing Ofcom concering regulation of next generation access networks. Ofcom's Phase Two consultation document (PDF), which is  part of its strategic review of telcommunications devoted six pages (paras. 8.49 - 8.74) to the subject of regulating next generation access networks. From the Phase Two consultation document (8.60-8.61):

  • "We believe that the deployment of next generation access represents an opportunity for a new competitive structure to emerge which would avoid the regulatory battles of the last twenty years. Next generation access networks also have a slightly different regulatory imperative to today’s infrastructure. Because they are not yet in place to any significant degree, there is a strong imperative that regulation does not disincentivise their timely and efficient deployment. As we noted in Chapter 4, there is widespread acceptance among our stakeholders that widely-available broadband is critical to economic competitiveness, and many consider that this effect will become more pronounced with the advent of the more powerful broadband applications which can only be supplied over next generation broadband access networks. This suggests that there is a strong citizen interest in seeing these networks deployed as soon as possible. But this needs to be carefully balanced against our duty to safeguard the interests of consumers, where appropriate by promoting effective competition.
  • These are clearly conflicting factors..."
Sunday, May 15, 2005 9:48:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2005

Richard Stastny in VoIP and ENUM debates as to whether we need phone companies for VoIP:

"I want to pick up on the statement by Jon Peterson on slide 2 of his presentation at the ITU-T/IETF NGN meeting in Geneva I posted last week:

On the Internet, telephony is an application
– Not necessarily a service, no service must be provided This implies that if no service is provided, one does not need a service provider either.

Tom Evslin in the last? of his series of posts "As the Phone world Turns Part 9 - Do we need Phone Companies?" first gives a tutorial how VoIP and especially SIP is modelled after e-mail and from this comes to the conclusion:

Notice that most medium or larger size companies DO NOT use any outside servers other than DNS when doing email.

So three quick inferences for the phone world from the analogy with email:

  • consumers and very small business will continue to need someone to operate “voice” servers for them but that service is likely to be bundled AT NO EXTRA COST with ISP service or be “free” and advertising supported.
  • larger businesses will operate their own servers and will not require a service provider other than for DNS and basic connectivity to the Internet
  • There is no long term business model which supports charging by the minute for voice transport"

Now add to this the recent post from Tom Keating: "Traditional Telephony Dying at the Hnads of VoIP", where he cites a report from the Info-Tech Research Group:

  • "... that 23% of small- to mid-sized enterprises have already implemented VoIP technology and that number will grow to 50% within the next three years.
  • VoIP is displacing traditional telephony services a lot faster than anyone expected,” says George Goodall, Research Analyst at Info-Tech Research Group. “It means a whole change to the look and feel of an organization’s IT infrastructure.”
  • While one network that handles applications and telephone calls is an IT manager’s dream, the speed with which VoIP is coming to the market might be an IT manager’s nightmare,” Goodall says. “Senior managers are demanding the cost savings associated with VoIP, vendors are scrambling to reinvent their offerings, and IT managers are scrambling to implement the technology.”

So "service providers" = "telcos" are left with the residential customer, and what they are offering there is not very exciting: it basically simple POTS replacement. The only one here going sucessfully into another direction is Skype.

So the (local) phone companies will be squeezed regarding services between enterprise DIY and cleverly branding and globally acting up-starts."

Thursday, May 12, 2005 11:10:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The UK communications regulator OFCOM has done one of the first public consultations on the regulatory implications of Next Generation Networks (NGN), particularly with regard to BT's 21CN NGN initiative. The consultation document, entitled Next Generation Networks - Future arrangements for access and interconnection (overview,complete) explores the implications of Next Generation Networks (NGNs) for access and interconnection arrangements in the UK. The responses to the consultation are available here.

In BT's response to the consultation, it indicates some of its views on 21CN regulation:

Finally BT observes that some key aspects of the strategic positioning, NGN access and interconnect, are not addressed in Ofcom's questions. We wish to point to the following specific points.

  1. We would expect that NGNs will blur many of the boundaries all of us in the industry currently take for granted. For example, the distinction between "operators" and "service providers" will diminish; and one could foresee an increase in pan-European alternative providers leveraging their IP infrastructure using next-generation interconnection more effectively. Further, as the barriers to market entry are lowered through technology advances and open standards, we would expect many new entrants to change the landscape - some with innovative value propositions and others by identifying and exploiting new arbitrage angles.

  2. We believe end user customers will soon demand seamless, ‘any to any’ interworking between mobile and fixed networks. Operators will require the ability to roam on, and interconnect to, other national and international fixed and mobile networks in order to facilitate the provision of next generation services. The regulatory regime needs to become more technologically neutral and focus on economic bottlenecks, irrespective of the underlying network technology.

  3. We believe that innovative services will be heavily reliant on intelligent interworking to provide coherent services. Therefore, cross platform access (including roaming and interconnect) to intelligence capabilities will be essential in ensuring further development of services and competition in the convergent marketplace.

  4. BT is disappointed to see the level of potential regulatory intervention and micromanagement, both in commercial and technical terms, demonstrated in this Consultation. This is particularly inappropriate as it followed so soon after the second phase of the Telecoms Strategic Review, which promulgated a deregulatory agenda and a focus on regulating only bottlenecks. This Consultation also includes some substantive inconsistencies of approach which will need to be addressed.

  5. It is critical that the outcome of this - and any later - consultation processes should be a regulatory regime which rewards investment and does not leave BT with a significant proportion of the 21CN investment risk, whilst distributing the investment returns across the industry. Ofcom will wish to consider this issue as they contemplate the responses to the Consultation.

The ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, in cooperation with the ITU-T and ITU-D, is organizing a workshop on NGN Policy and Regulation in February 2006.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 4:32:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

CommsWatch has a post on the challenges to content regulation with convergence:

"It is not obvious why, in a news item today, the "Guardian" should highlight the challenge to conventional regulation of broadcasting posed by the growing trend to put broadcast material over the Internet. After all, it was 20 January 2005 when Ofcom published its Annual Plan for 2005/06 which contained the following statements:

  • "We will prepare for further change, for example, by examining how digital platforms and services are likely to evolve and the implications for regulation, including regulatory withdrawal. (para. 1.5)
  • "We will also look forward by conducting a review of digital, multi-media platforms. We hope this will facilitate a wide-ranging public debate about whether content, including internet content, could or should be regulated in a converged world, and, if so, how. (para. 2.15)
  • "In setting the agenda for media literacy, we will complete a major research programme and seek to identify areas of concern relating to emerging communications technology and services, particularly relating to fixed and mobile internet content. We will encourage public debate and engagement on key issues such as labelling. (para. 3.30)
  • We will carry out a review of digital platforms that will address the regulatory issues associated with content becoming available via a range of different media. (para. 3.47) andWe hope this review will facilitate a wide-ranging public debate about the future development of content and the implications for regulation, if any. (para. 3.48)
  • "Media literacy agenda setting: Identify areas of concern relating to emerging communications technology and services, particularly relating to fixed and mobile internet content, and encourage public debate. (Annex 3, section 3)

There [i]s obviously a theme here: Ofcom wants a debate on Internet content and it intends to encourage, facilitate and inform such a debate. It is now up to broadcasters, Internet service providers, and others to engage in that debate. Today's "Guardian" piece suggests that the issue has "come to a head" because of the European Commission's review of the Television Without Frontiers Directive. However, it was 21 March 2005 when the new European Commissioner Viviane Reding used a speech to the Council of Presidents of UNICE in Brussels to state:

  • "Let me be clear. The Television without Frontiers Directive can no longer just be concerned with broadcasting. Television is now on the Internet; it is also going mobile. Admittedly, for the moment TV on the internet is small scale but it will grow. We have to make sure it grows strongly and correctly. And for this we need the right, modern framework. I will only regulate this new market where absolutely necessary in the concerns of European citizens for diversity, quality, decency and safety from abusive uses. Also, convergence means increased competition between media. This indicates relaxing regulatory restrictions to leave more to the market and to consumer choice than in the traditional media world. In particular, I am thinking about easing advertising restrictions.""
Wednesday, May 04, 2005 11:59:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 02, 2005

Richard Stastny has a post on his take on the 1-2 May 2005 ITU-T workshop on NGN in collaboration with the IETF in Geneva at ITU headquarters.

  • The workshop was very well attended (270 participants), both from IESG and IAB, and also from ITU-T SG groups and other standardization bodies (e.g. ETSI TISPAN). An indication of the high-level attendance can also be derived from the speakers list in the program.

Update: he has some further thoughts in a later post on the different visions of NGN.

[via VoIP and ENUM]
Monday, May 02, 2005 9:59:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, May 01, 2005

Richard Stastny in his VoIP and ENUM has an interesting post on the debate as to whether "SIP is dead" versus Skype versus NGN:

  • So the real fight will take place between the planned IMS NGN and the existing Skype NGN, having a headstart of approx. two years. If the IMS NGN will be able to catch up will be decided finally by the customer, because he will be able to choose on his mobile device if he is using the IMS NGN VoIP or the Skype NGN VoIP. Of course one can download a SIP client also on a Smartphone, try to configure it (good luck) and register with a free SIP provider, , in case there are any left. Then he may be reached via his SIP URI and also contact anybody with a SIP URI, if thery are any. Metcalfe's will be against this approach.
Sunday, May 01, 2005 9:44:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 29, 2005

The presentations from last month's ITU-T Cybersecurity II Symposium, hosted by RANS in Moscow, are now available, including presentations from:

  • Mr Herbert Bertine, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 17, presentation
  • Mr Igor Faynberg, Technical Manager, NGN Standards, and Technologies and ITU-T FGNGN WG 5 Leader, presentation
  • Mr Magnus Nyström, RSA Security, presentation
  • Mr Charles Brookson, Head of Technology and Standards, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), UK, presentation
  • Mr Igor Furgel, Common Criteria, T-Systems GEI GmbH, presentation
  • Mr Bill McCrum, Deputy Director General, Telecom Engineering, Industry Canada, presentation
  • Mr Hyun-Cheol Jeong, Senior Research Staff, Korea Information Security Center of KISA, presentation
  • Mr Gary Kondakov, Managing Director, Kaspersky Labs in Russia, CIS and Baltic countries, presentation
  • Mr Eliot Lear, Consulting Engineer, Network Security, CISCO, pesentation
  • Mr Alexander Pogudin, CEO of Center of Financial Technologies, presentation
  • Ms Amal Abdallah, Federal Communications Commission, USA, presentation
  • Mr Andrey Chapchaev, Director General, Infotecs, presentation


Friday, April 29, 2005 11:45:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 22, 2005

ITU-T is hosting a workshop on IPv6 organized in cooperation with the European Union’s IPv6 Task Force Steering Committee (IPv6 EU TF-SC) and the IPv6 Forum. Here is the advanced programme.

Taking place in Geneva, between 22 to 23 June 2005, the event will examine the current status of IPv6, with regards to rollout, policy, technology and applications. An additional aim will be to promote awareness of IPv6 to countries where Internet use is relatively low. The workshop will also follow-up on recent comments sent to the Director of ITU-T’s secretariat, the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) on the management and distribution of IP addresses. .

Friday, April 22, 2005 4:59:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The March 2005 issue of Business Communications Review, pp. 20–21 has an interesting article entitled Which NGN? that debates different visions of the future of the Internet:

  • But this all could change. Major moves are afoot to radically alter the way the Internet operates. If certain organizations and people have their way, the Internet will evolve to look considerably more like the public switched telephone network (PSTN) or today’s mobile/cellular networks. And this could happen much sooner than you might think.
  • To facilitate this migration, many carriers started participating in a major international standards development effort. Working through an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Study Group, the carriers (with vendor and government assistance) are developing their own blueprint that they call the “Next Generation Network” (NGN). Intense standards work is under way at the ITU and other groups such as the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) to further the integration and interoperability of IP networks with the PSTN and mobile networks.
  • Architecturally, the ITU’s NGN relies heavily on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) framework, developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)/3GPP2 for 3G/UMTS and CDMA mobile networks. The IMS has been extended to cover wireline facilities, to create a converged, seamless mobile user experience. The ITU NGN also mandates IPv6, and uses traffic prioritization end-to-end to deliver service quality. It requires reservation and commitment of network resources before connections are established.

Although the article suggest a conflict of vision on NGN standards, this post also notes that the ITU and IETF are exploring ways of cooperating on NGN standardization. Both ITU's FGNGN (Focus Group on Next Generation Networks) and Study Group 13 (Next Generation Networks) are meeting in the coming weeks at ITU to advance NGN standardization.

Friday, April 22, 2005 4:55:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 18, 2005

ITU-T Workshop on NGN in collaboration with IETF will be held in Geneva at ITU Headquarters on 1 - 2 May 2005. The workshop will also serve as an important meeting point for ITU-T and IETF management.

The overall objectives of the workshop are to explore specific NGN issues that impact both the ITU-T and the IETF to better understand the work underway in the two organizations and to identify areas where actions could be taken between the ITU-T and IETF to further coordinate their work. Six sessions will each be co-chaired by an ITU representative and a representative from IETF. Topics will include requirements and functional architecture; nomadicity and mobility; QoS, control and signalling capabilities; network management; security capabilities and evolution.

The workshop, the second on NGN in 2005, is an example of the way in which ITU-T is seeking to engage all interested parties in work towards the development of worldwide standards for NGN. Objectives of the workshop include:

  • To explore specific NGN issues that impact both the ITU-T and the IETF to better understand the work underway in the two organizations; and
  • To identify those areas where actions could be taken between the ITU-T and the IETF to further should coordinate their NGN-related work., and to seek to reach agreement on any actions to be taken to coordinate the work of the two organizations and perhaps establish joint activities.

Also see the ITU press release:

The objectives of the workshop are to report the progress of ITU’s work on NGN and explore specific issues that impact both the ITU and the IETF in order to better understand the work underway in the two organizations and to identify areas where action can be taken to make further progress.

Houlin Zhao, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau notes that, "We have made tremendous progress, thanks to the support of ITU members and members of other standards developing organizations such as IETF, ETSI and ATIS. The momentum that this work has achieved will allow the ICT industry to develop a raft of new products and services on a much more powerful and dynamic infrastructure based on globally accepted standards."

Monday, April 18, 2005 1:28:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 14, 2005

ITU Session on Internet Governance (PDF) was presented by Robert Shaw, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, on 17 February 2005 in a session before the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG's) open consultations held at the United Nations. The subject of the talk was Internet Governance in context of evolution of telecommunications technologies and policies.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 11:50:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |