International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Sunday, February 04, 2007

Under the "Shaping Tomorrow's Networks Project" and in line with the stated objectives of the WSIS Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (November 2005), that “… ITU and other regional organisations should take steps to ensure rational, efficient and economic use of, and equitable access to, the radio-frequency spectrum by all countries ….”, ITU and the Ugo Bordoni Foundation (Italy) jointly organized a workshop to identify global trends and good practice in radio spectrum management.

The Workshop on "Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management" was held from 22 to 23 January 2007 at ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.  

In preparation for the workshop a Background Resources Website on Spectrum Management was created. This website aims to provide a number of background resources on regional and national initiatives as well as some background information on spectrum management policy and regulation in general.

Background papers as well as Contributions to the workshop can be found here.

To download the Speaker's Presentations, please click here.

Link to Workshop Webcast Archives is available here.

More information about the Shaping Tomorrow’s Networks Project can be found here.

More information about the workshop can be found here.

See the full ITU Press Release for the event here.

We would like to inform all workshop participants that the Chairman's Report will be made available at the event website in the next few weeks.

Sunday, February 04, 2007 8:52:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 15, 2007

The ITU has just published a Survey on Radio Spectrum Management, available for download here (.pdf format).

The survey was prepared by Marco Obiso, Cristina Bueti, Rochi Koirala and Lorenzo Mele of the Strategy and Policy Unit (ITU).

Together with other background papers will form part of the input material for an international ITU/FUB Workshop on Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management to be held in Geneva (Switzerland) from 22-23 January 2007.

The Advance Programme for the workshop is now on-line, and will be regularly updated.

More information about the Workshop can be found here.

More information about the Shaping Tomorrow’s Networks Programme can be found here.

Monday, January 15, 2007 8:17:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A major new study prepared for the UMTS Forum by Booz Allen Hamilton quantifies the economic benefits of maintaining a harmonised approach to spectrum management across EU Member States.

To download the study click here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 9:02:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ofcom published its second annual Technology Research and Development Report which provides an overview of emerging technologies that have the potential to make more efficient use of the radio spectrum.

More information can be found here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 10:58:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 07, 2006

As part of the Shaping Tomorrow’s Networks Programme and in line with the stated objectives of the WSIS Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (November 2005), that “… ITU and other regional organisations should take steps to ensure rational, efficient and economic use of, and equitable access to, the radio-frequency spectrum by all countries ….”, ITU (Strategy and Policy Unit and Radiocommunication Sector) and and the Ugo Bordoni Foundation will jointly host a workshop to identify global trends and good practice in radio spectrum management.

The Workshop on "Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management" will be held from 22 to 23 January 2007 in Room C at ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

It will examine, inter alia, the use of market mechanisms for both primary allocation of spectrum (e.g., auctions) and for secondary trading. It will look at recent trends in ITU Member States, the increasing demand for spectrum and will examine future challenges in developing policies for access to radio spectrum.

ITU Member States, meeting participants and other interested parties are encouraged to send in their spectrum related contributions to the meeting. All contributions will be posted on the meeting website. Please send your contributions to spectrum@itu.int

More information can be found here.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 12:02:43 PM (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)  #     | 
 Friday, September 22, 2006

Dear Subscribers,

We regret to inform you that as a result of scheduling complications it has been necessary to postpone the Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management Workshop from the 2nd and 3rd of November 2006 to the 22nd and 23rd of January 2007.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Those directly affected will be contacted by us individually.

More information about the workshop and related activities can be found here.

Friday, September 22, 2006 3:11:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 17, 2006

Boeing has announced that it is to discontinue its Connexion broadband in the sky service

[via GigaOM]

Thursday, August 17, 2006 7:08:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Lithuanian Radio and TV Centre is currently large scale trialing a Lithuania-wide pre-WiMAX solution in the 3.5 Ghz range. The map below shows the current almost blanket country coverage using Aperto gear which is being used to offer services such as broadband internet access for SMEs, government agencies, schools, libraries, L2 VPNs for corporate customers and municipalities, VoIP, radio and tV over IP, videoconferencing and the backbone for road traffic control systems.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006 3:56:57 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 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)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 02, 2006

A study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) has found that cell phones and other portable electronic devices, like laptops and game-playing devices, can pose dangers to the normal operation of critical electronics on airplanes.

"We found that the risk posed by these portable devices is higher than previously believed," said Bill Strauss, who recently completed his Ph.D. in EPP at Carnegie Mellon.

"These devices can disrupt normal operation of key cockpit instruments, especially Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, which are increasingly vital for safe landings." Strauss is an expert in aircraft electromagnetic compatibility at the Naval Air Warfare Center in Patuxent River, Md.

For more information, please click here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 9:21:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 28, 2006

In Japan, the ima doko (where are you now) service allows parents to track the location of their children through a mobile handset or a P-doco?mini device. One can pull up location data using the internet or even with a 3G NTT Docomo handset to see location data on a map (scroll down for sample maps displayed on the i-mode handset.

This flash animation shows a Japanese mother pulling up a map that locates her daughter's mobile handset.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:07:43 PM (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)  #     | 
 Monday, February 13, 2006

The ITU is hosting a workshop on Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) from 14-15 February 2006, bringing the spotlight on the emergence of a so-called "Internet of Things", enabling ubiquitous network connectivity, anytime and anywhere. The agenda and an accompanying press release are available.

Update: The workshop is being audiocast live and archived.

Monday, February 13, 2006 11:23:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 06, 2006

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has published updated indicators on mobile penetration and growth in India. TRAI reports that:

"India has become one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world. The mobile services were commercially launched in August 1995 in India. In the initial 5-6 years the average monthly subscribers additions were around 0.05 to 0.1 million only and the total mobile subscribers base in December 2002 stood at 10.5 millions. However, after the number of proactive initiatives taken by regulator and licensor, the monthly mobile subscriber additions increased to around 2 million per month in the year 2003-04 and 2004-05. For the year 2005-06, the first 9 months have seen an addition of 26 million mobile subscribers, which translates into average addition of 3 million subscribers monthly. The additions in the month of December 2005 alone have touched around 4.5 million."

With currently about 76 million subscribers, TRAI says that monthly mobile growth rates have reached those of its neighbour, China.

Monday, February 06, 2006 1:01:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A practical guide to planning and building low-cost telecommunication infrastructure.

This book was created by a team of individuals who each, in their own field, are actively participating in the ever-expanding Internet by pushing its reach farther than ever before. The massive popularity of wireless networking has caused equipment costs to continually plummet, while equipment capabilities continue to sharply increase. We believe that by taking advantage of this state of affairs, people can finally begin to have a stake in building their own communications infrastructure. We hope to not only convince you that this is possible, but also show how we have done it, and to give you the information and tools you need to start a network project in your local community.

Wireless infrastructure can be built for very little cost compared to traditional wired alternatives. But building wireless networks is only partly about saving money. By providing people in your local community with cheaper and easier access to information, they will directly benefit from what the Internet has to offer. The time and effort saved by having access to the global network of information translates into wealth on a local scale, as more work can be done in less time and with less effort.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 4:14:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 27, 2006

At an early December meeting of ITU-T's Study Group 2, agreement on the allocation of a high-revenue international short message service (SMS) number to two international organisations for the purpose of fundraising was made. An official announcement in ITU-T's Operational Bulletin will be made following the decision of the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

The number +979 0767 was granted following a request from the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It will allow the two organizations to launch relief campaigns across national boundaries, and will encourage regular donations by introducing a recognisable and non-changing number. The 767 portion of the number spells out SOS.

Texting emerged as a popular way to contribute to relief efforts during fundraising for the earthquake in Bam , Iran , 2003 and the 2004 Asian tsunami. [via the ITU-T Newslog]

Friday, January 27, 2006 12:47:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Another take on marketing the Internet of Things (via IP). The source can be found here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:55:42 AM (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)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The European Commission has released a new draft proposal to update the EU's "TV without Frontiers" Directive. In a press release, the Commission notes the proposal is intended to keep pace with rapid technological and market developments in Europe’s audiovisual sector. Highlights from the press release:

  • The proposal will create a level playing field for all companies that offer TV-like services, irrespective of the technology used to deliver them (e.g. broadcast, high-speed broadband, third generation mobiles).
  • The Commission proposes replacing disparate national rules on protection of minors, against incitement to racial hatred and against surreptitious advertising with a basic, EU-wide minimum standard of protection for audiovisual on demand services.
  • Under the Commission proposal, the modernised TV without Frontiers Directive would govern TV and TV-like services. To open up the present EU rules to technological developments, the proposal distinguishes between “linear” services (e.g. scheduled broadcasting via traditional TV, the internet, or mobile phones, which “pushes” content to viewers), and “non-linear” ones, such as on-demand films or news, which the viewer “pulls” from a network. Today’s TV broadcasting rules would apply to linear services in a modernised, more flexible form, whereas non-linear ones would be subject only to a basic set of minimum principles, e.g. to protect minors, prevent incitement to racial hatred and outlaw surreptitious advertising.
  • More flexible advertising rules: For scheduled broadcasting, the Commission proposes to remove red tape, make existing rules more flexible for new forms of advertising, and encourage self- and co-regulation. Instead of detailed prescriptions on how often and under which conditions programmes may be interrupted by advertising, the modernised Directive would simplify the existing EU rules. In the future, broadcasters would be able to choose the best moment to insert advertising in programmes, rather than being obliged, as they are now, to allow at least 20 minutes between advertising breaks. However, the quantity of advertising would not be allowed to increase as the Commission proposes to maintain the existing 12 minutes per hour ceiling.
  • The new Directive would also support new forms of advertising, such as split-screen, virtual and interactive advertising. Product placement would, for the first time, be explicitly defined and provided with a clear legal framework. Except in news, current affairs and children’s programmes, clearly identified product placement would be permitted in Europe, both in linear and non-linear audiovisual services. To prevent surreptitious advertising, consumers would be informed at the start of a programme that product placement is in use. These new rules should remove legal uncertainty, provide additional funding for European productions and thus enhance the competitiveness of Europe’s audiovisual sector.

[Via Roger Darlington's blog

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 12:23:19 PM (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)  #     | 

Dr. Roger Marks, the Chair of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access has announced that a mobile version of IEEE 802.16 has been approved (now officially called IEEE Std 802.16-2004). The amended standard specifies a system for combined fixed and mobile BWA supporting subscriber stations moving at vehicular speeds in licensed bands under 6 GHz. The official press release announcement can be found here. The WiMAX Forum will now expand their certification process to include mobile as well as fixed systems.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 2:22:01 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 16, 2005

The WSIS Stocktaking Report has been officially launched during the World Summit on the Infrmation Society in Tunis. The report has been prepared on the basis of activities entered to the WSIS Stocktaking Database that by November 2005 contained more then 2500 entries. 

For the launch presentation see Stocktaking.pdf (1.47 MB).

For the WSIS Stocktaking Database see here

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 10:50:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 11, 2005

From the soon to be released ITU Internet Report 2005: The Internet of Things comes this fresh survey data showing the breakdown of 3G mobile technologies according to markets. ITU research shows CDMA 2000 1x technology currently has 115 million subscribers while W-CDMA technology has 18.8 million subscribers at the end of 2004. 

 

Friday, November 11, 2005 4:35:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From the soon to be released ITU Internet Report 2005: The Internet of Things comes this fresh survey data showing the top 10 3G mobile markets worldwide, by millions of subscribers and type of technology (CDMA 2000 1x and W-CDMA) at the end of 2004. The USA leads in total number of 3G subscribers with 49.5 million (16.7% of the population) but the Republic of Korea has the highest national percentage with 57.4 of the population using 3G services (27.5 million subscribers).

Friday, November 11, 2005 3:55:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 20, 2005

NTT Docomo has announced a new 3G handset that can receive S-band satellite broadcasting. Korea has also deployed what it calls Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) to handsets in its native market. The definition of DMB according to a proposal from Korea to the ITU Standardization Sector to include DMB in the reference architecture for NGN Release 2 efforts is:

DMB Service is the next generation digital broadcasting service for indoor and outdoor users. The DMB users can enjoy CD quality stereo audio services and real-time video/data streaming services anywhere while moving at the speed of up to 200 km/h. ...There are two kinds of DMB services, terrestrial DMB and satellite DMB.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 11:38:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 30, 2005

European Commission press release on advancing a single market for radio spectrum:

The new Commission strategy in addition advocates overcoming the rigidity of traditional radio spectrum management approaches, where administrations tie usage rights of individual spectrum bands to specific transmission technologies and too narrow service definitions such as broadcasting or mobile communications. A greater flexibility in access to spectrum will give market players more freedom to use radio resources as they choose. This is an essential condition for achieving the full potential of radio spectrum resources and for keeping pace with technological advances and convergence both of technology platforms and of services.

As part of its spectrum reform strategy, the Commission also proposes that, between now and 2010, the exclusive usage rights for significant parts of the radio spectrum ought to be made tradable according to common EU rules. Independent estimates indicate that significant net gains (around €8-9 billion/year) could be achieved by introducing market mechanisms in order to put spectrum to its most promising uses throughout the EU.

As a de-regulated access to spectrum can encourage the development and use of innovative technologies, the Commission’s new strategy inally foresees investigating further the opportunities to make available licence-free radio frequencies to allow different users to share bands as lready the case for WiFi radio access. This will ultimately widen the choice of the wireless applications for the consumer.

Friday, September 30, 2005 7:31:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 15, 2005

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, July 26, 2005

Spectrum licensing and spectrum commons - where to draw the line by Martin CAVE.

A paper prepared for the International Workshop on Wireless Communication Policies and Prospects: A Global Perspective, USC, October 8-9, 2004.

From USC Annenberg School of Communications via Ewan Sutherland's weblog.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 4:33:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 3:44:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 15, 2005

The European Commission has issued a decision on the harmonised use of radio spectrum in the 5 GHz frequency band for the implementation of Wireless Access Systems including Radio Local Area Networks (WAS/RLANs). Additional background information is available in a press release and here.

Friday, July 15, 2005 12:22:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies of the EC Joint Research Center (JRC) has released a report on the "Demand for Furture Mobile Communication Markets and Services in Europe". 

"In order to prepare for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Word Radio Conference in 2007 (WRC'07), where national delegations will consider the future demands of wireless services for radio spectrum, efforts are being made to reach agreement on future traffic volumes within the European Union. This study forms part of this effort and was led by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS1), on the request of DG INFSO. It aims to explore (qualitatively) the way that citizens will use future wireless communications services over mobile networks, and to assess (quantitatively) the traffic that will be generated by 2010, 2015 and 2020."

The report explores different possible scenarios for Europe for the future. "Disposable income determines consumption – what is bought and how it is bought. The failure to understand this or to grasp the real utility to the user of the service, combined with affordability and accessibility, has led to many errors in estimating demand for services in telecommunications. Too often, a technocentric view of new services has resulted in demand being vastly underestimated or overestimated. Thus while some of the biggest product launches in communications services over the past 20 years have delivered flops, seemingly trivial services have exploded. For instance, the impact of a simple service, SMS, has been greatly underestimated and was largely unforeseen by the industry."

"The initial European impacts over 2000 to 2004 of WAP (Wireless access protocol) for mobile web access to rich data services were greatly overestimated for its first form - only now is its utility being seen. We should also note that in wireless services, a regional market such as the European Union will be increasingly shaped by a global market. In 2020, there could be of the order of 5 billion mobile users, shaping technology, services, content and pricing."

For the full report, see here.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:12:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, May 22, 2005

Spectrum policy in transition by Philippa MARKS and Kiyotaka YUGUCHI, Keio Communication Review No. 26 (2004). A comparison of spectrum policy in the UK, France and Japan. Also see ITU's related work in the Strategy and Policy Unit's Radio Spectrum Management for a Converging World.

[Keio University - Mediacom via my weblog]

Sunday, May 22, 2005 6:32:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Although currently mired in a standards war between different camps in the IEEE, UWB is likely to form the basis of an important short-range wireless standard for consumer equipment such as set-top boxes, high definition TVs and portable music systems. The ITU’s Radicommunication Sector is planning to draft ITU recommendations on the UWB standard at its upcoming meeting currently be held in San Diego from 18 to 27 May 2005. The group is due to hand its final recommendations to the ITU and disband after another meeting in October 2005.

However, nailing down the standard is just one of the challenges, some wish to keep UWB restricted to very low power levels at national regulatory levels which impact its potential uses and possible competition with other wireless technologies. An article in TechWorld (pointer via Fergie's Tech Blog)

discusses the doubts held by Bob Heile, chair of the IEEE 802.15.3a working group.

If Europe and Asia apply more restrictions to the technology than the FCC in the US, the technology may not perform well enough to displace Wi-Fi, which is constantly improving, said Bob Heile, chair of the IEEE 802.15.3a working group.

"I believe we will see regulations in Europe that are substantially more restrictive than those applied by the FCC," said Heile, in France for a conference on the ZigBee sensor protocol. "Japan is likely to be even more conservative. If that happens, how good is the performance going to be?

Watkins is hopeful that next week's meeting of the UWB group of the international telecoms standards body, the ITU, may help."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 8:05:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 04, 2005

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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 03, 2005
 Thursday, April 28, 2005

Intel Corporation has announced the availability of its first WiMAX product, providing equipment manufacturers and carriers the ability to deliver next-generation wireless broadband networks around the world. In addition, several service providers worldwide announced plans to begin commercial WiMAX trials based on Intel silicon products later this year, giving consumers and businesses a glimpse at this emerging wireless high-speed broadband technology. Key equipment providers also announced WiMAX solutions based on Intel's product..

The Register (via Wireless Watch) had a recent review of the WiMAX Summit in Paris, France and the related standards debate.

  • It quickly emerged that the issue preoccupying both vendors and potential operators is the road to mobility and exactly how the transition to the forthcoming 802.l6e mobile standard will be achieved. With a key WiMAX Forum meeting to be held in the coming week in Spain, and 802.16e set to be ratified this year, it is essential to the uptake of the platform that the route to mobility is clarified as soon as possible.
  • All agree that 802.16 will be the platform with which WiMAX hits the big time. Most of the equipment majors are merely licensing fixed 802.16d (now renamed 802.16-2004) gear, while focusing their own development efforts on 'e'. That means that the chances for chipmakers to net the big OEM deals - with Alcatel, Nortel and the others - rely on the mobile standard. But there are two basic schools of thought among the chipmakers and their licensees as to their strategy in the interim.
  • One is that there is a period of at least two years before 802.16e achieves volume, and that the upgrade path will be complex. That means the priority is to make 802.16-2004 as impressive as possible in order to drive short term sales and increase confidence in WiMAX. This will mean creating a so-called 'd+' technology that goes beyond the basic stipulations of the fixed standard, with a focus on aspects such as quality of service for voice and video, and portability with consumer grade subscriber equipment.
  • The other view is that the market needs to move to mobility more rapidly, by offering pre-standard networks that provide most of the functionality promised for 'e'. This strategy rests on the belief - or hope - that the mobile standard will come to market rapidly and that the leap from its predecessor will be a simple one.

In related news, only days before a deadline for its first licensing fee payment, South Korea’s Hanaro Telecom announced Tuesday it will forego a license to roll out a WiBro mobile broadband network (based on 802.16e technology). Hanaro was one of three Korean operators granted licenses by the Korean Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) in January. "We still believe WiBro is commercially viable. We plan to grant the remaining licensee withdrawn from Hanaro to an eligible hopeful,’’ MIC director general Kim Dong-soo said.

[via my weblog, The Register, MIC]

Thursday, April 28, 2005 8:43:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |