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 Thursday, July 27, 2006

Colombian Comission for Telecommunication Regulation has just released new report on "Developments in the Telecommunication Sector".

This report has been prepared as a contribution to the New Initiatives Programme project on the Future of Voice. Further information on the project can be found here. The analysis is available here or on the website with background materials of the project the Future of Voice.

Thursday, July 27, 2006 1:00:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"To protect Internet users from online fraudsters and defend the Internet against scammers commandeering network resources, the two most influential global trade associations combating Internet crime have jointly released an explicit new set of Best Practices to combat “phishing,” a major cause of online identify theft and fraud. The recommendations will help Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mailbox providers better police their own infrastructures and filter traffic traversing their networks."

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and the Messaging Anti-Abuse Group (MAAWG) jointly developed the recommendations outlined in "Anti-Phishing Best Practices for ISPs and Mailbox Providers." The paper provides technical and business practices to help ISPs and mailbox providers thwart phishing attacks and other malevolent network abuses and also includes practices to respond constructively when these attacks occur. “Phishing” employs deceptive technology such as spoofing and social engineering to steal consumers' personal identity and financial account data, and has become a major concern."

To download the full recommendations, click here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 3:18:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 20, 2006

Implementation of the outcomes of the recently concluded World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) gathered momentum with the launch of the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS). High level representatives of twenty-two UN agencies met on Friday, 14 July 2006 at ITU Headquarters in Geneva under the chairmanship of ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi to facilitate the process.

UNGIS will serve as an interagency coordinating mechanism within the UN system to implement the outcomes of WSIS. The Group will enable synergies aimed at resolving substantive and policy issues, avoiding redundancies and enhancing effectiveness of the system while raising public awareness about the goals and objectives of the global Information Society. UNGIS will also work to highlight the importance of ICTs in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

See ITU Press Release for full text. 

Thursday, July 20, 2006 4:00:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has announced the convening of the Internet Governance Forum, to be held in Athens on 30 October - 2 November 2006.

The Secretary-General's message is available in all UN languages: [English] [Français] [中文] [عربي] [Русский] [Español]. The message in English reads:

"The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Tunis on 13-15 November 2005, invited me to convene a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue -- called the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The Summit asked me to convene the Forum by the second quarter of 2006 and to implement this mandate in an open and inclusive process.

The Government of Greece made the generous offer to host the first meeting of the IGF and proposed that it take place in Athens on 30 October - 2 November 2006.

I have asked my Special Adviser for Internet Governance, Mr. Nitin Desai, to assist me in the task of convening the IGF and I have also set up a small secretariat in Geneva to support this process. Two rounds of consultations open to all stakeholders held in Geneva on 16-17 February and 19 May have contributed towards a common understanding with regard to the format and content of the first IGF meeting. I have also appointed an Advisory Group with the task of assisting me in preparing the IGF meeting.

The Advisory Group held a meeting in Geneva on 22 and 23 May 2006 and made recommendations for the agenda and the programme, as well as the structure and format of the first meeting of the IGF in Athens.

As the IGF is about the Internet, it is appropriate to make use of electronic means of communication to convene its inaugural meeting. The document adopted by WSIS -- the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society -- calls on me "to extend invitations to all stakeholders and relevant parties to participate at the inaugural meeting of the IGF". Therefore, it is my pleasure to make use of the World Wide Web to invite all stakeholders -- governments, the private sector and civil society, including the academic and technical communities, to attend the first meeting of the IGF in Athens. The overall theme of the meeting will be "Internet Governance for Development". The agenda will be structured along the following broad themes.

  • Openness - Freedom of expression, free flow of information, ideas and knowledge
  • Security - Creating trust and confidence through collaboration
  • Diversity - Promoting multilingualism and local content
  • Access - Internet Connectivity: Policy and Cost

Capacity-building will be a cross-cutting priority.

The meeting will be open for all WSIS accredited entities. Other institutions and persons with proven expertise and experience in matters related to Internet governance may also apply to attend.

In its short life, the Internet has become an agent of dramatic, even revolutionary change and maybe one of today's greatest instruments of progress. It is a marvelous tool to promote and defend freedom and to give access to information and knowledge. WSIS saw the beginning of a dialogue between two different cultures: the non-governmental Internet community, with its traditions of informal, bottom-up decision-making; and the more formal, structured world of governments and intergovernmental organizations. It is my hope that the IGF will deepen this dialogue and contribute to a better understanding of how we can make full use of the potential the Internet has to offer for all people in the world.

(Signed) Kofi A. Annan" 

[via the Internet Governance Forum]

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:46:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 13, 2006

The European Commission recently published the draft of the new roaming regulation to bring down the high roaming charges within Europe.

What will the regulation mean for consumers?

  • "Prices paid for international roaming when travelling within the European Union will not be unjustifiably higher than the charges for calls paid within the user’s country.
  • Consumers will benefit from lower prices for making calls in the visited country, back home or to any other EU Member State.
  • Consumers will make considerable savings when receiving calls.
  • Prices operators charge each other (wholesale charges) will be considerably lower than what they are today. This ensures all operators will be in a position to offer lower retail tariffs.
  • Transparency of roaming charges for consumers will be enhanced. Mobile operators will be required to provide customers with full information on applicable roaming charges when subscriptions are taken out and to update consumers regularly about these charges. Consumers can ask for information on roaming charges free of charge either via SMS or voice call.
  • National regulators will also be tasked to monitor closely the development of roaming charges for SMS and multi-media message services (MMS)."
  • Etc.

Read more about the roaming regulation on the EC website.

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

Thursday, July 13, 2006 1:21:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The high cost for developing countries in accessing the Internet backbone was a hot-topic at a recent, Geneva held meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 3 focusing on tariff and accounting principles including related telecommunication economic and policy issues.

Study Group 3 will submit a paper, outlining its activities and future work plan on international internet connectivity (IIC) to the first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to be held in Athens, Greece in October 2006

It has been claimed that some charging arrangements for IIC disadvantage smaller networks and developing countries. In June 2004 an amendment to ITU-T Recommendation D.50 was made to set out general considerations for parties to negotiate Internet interconnection. These considerations can be used to assist two parties to an interconnection agreement to negotiate in a more harmonized way.

"27.  We recommend improvements and innovations in existing financing mechanisms, including:
 Providing affordable access to ICTs, by the following measures:

i.  Reducing international Internet costs charged by backbone providers, supporting, inter alia, the creation and development of regional ICT backbones and Internet Exchange Points to reduce interconnection cost and broaden network access; 

ii. Encouraging ITU to continue the study of the question of the International Internet Connectivity (IIC) as an urgent matter to develop appropriate Recommendations."

See the ITU-T Study Group 3 website for more information.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:55:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In a new scam, called vishing, identity thieves use bogus phone numbers instead of Web sites, reports PC World in a recent article featuring phishing scams on VoIP phones.

< show to starting increasingly is users, telephone or internet trick numbers Protocol) Internet over (voice VoIP easy-to-obtain using thieves with scam, theft identity of kind new A>"Related to phishing scams, the new scheme uses cheaply obtained VoIP numbers as bogus credit card or financial services telephone numbers", the article continues.  "With Internet users being warned about clicking on hyperlinks in unsolicited e-mail, the new scam includes a phone number instead". "It's a natural elevation of the art to move it to the telephone. People are getting nervous about clicking on links", the article states.

< show to starting increasingly is users, telephone or internet trick numbers Protocol) Internet over (voice VoIP easy-to-obtain using thieves with scam, theft identity of kind new A>

The articles gives examples of how these new scams take place: "In one vishing case, scammers targeted PayPal users by including a telephone number in a spam e-mail. In the other case, the criminals configured an automatic telephone dialer to dial phone numbers, and when the phone was answered, played an automated recording saying their credit card has had fraudulent activity. The recording asked the telephone customer to call a number with a spoofed caller ID related to the credit card issuer. Once users call, they are asked for personal account information."

VoIP numbers are easy to obtain anonymously, but an industry expert interviewed for the story did not fault VoIP providers for vishing scams. "A larger problem is the ease of obtaining credit online or over the telephone. Consumers are comfortable with obtaining credit online or by dialing automated telephone services to get credit, but if credit-granting businesses required physical contact, phishing and vishing scams would be almost eliminated. In today's environment, it's absurd," the industry stated.

Read the full article on the PC World news website.

 

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 6:48:07 AM (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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"South Korea has commercially launched its mobile broadband internet service WiBro. South Korean internet service provider KT and mobile phone operator SK Telecom have begun the service based on Intel's WiMax standard in parts of Seoul and surrounding areas. KT claims that WiBro users can get wireless access to the internet even when travelling at speeds of 120km/hour".

"Subscribers can access the service by using a PCMCIA card provided by Samsung Electronics. The telcos plan to cover the entire country with the service by 2008".

For more information, please see the article featured in Digital Media News for Asia (DMasia.com)

This story was accessed through the SmartMobs blog.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 9:27:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On 20 June 2006 Singapore launched a new ten-year infocomm masterplan that will propel the nation into 2015 and beyond, with a line-up of activities and goals that spell benefits for the people, businesses and the global community. The vision is to turn the country into an Intelligent Nation and Global City, Powered by infocomm. The masterplan recommends the way forward for Singapore, into a future where infocomm will bring a sea change and become intrinsic in the way people live, learn, work and play.

The masterplan sets bold targets for 2015:

  • Singapore to be No. 1 in the world in harnessing infocomm to add value to the economy and society
  • Achieve a two-fold increase in value-added1 of the infocomm industry to S$26 billion
  • See a three-fold increase in infocomm export revenue to S$60 billion
  • Create 80,000 additional jobs2
  • Have at least 90 per cent of homes using broadband
  • Ensure 100 per cent computer ownership for all homes with school-going children

Further information on the masterplan is available here.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 8:30:16 AM (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

A presentation entitled Cybersecurity & Spam after WSIS: How MAAWG Can Help (PDF) was made by Robert Shaw, Deputy Head, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit at the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group meeting held 27-29 June 2006 in Brussels, Belgium.

Thursday, June 29, 2006 3:29:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Thursday, June 29, 2006 3:12:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Anti–spam legislation for the Cayman Islands is being considered by the Information and Communications Technology Authority.

The ITCA is now seeking input through a public consultation campaign. The goal is to ensure that any anti–spam legislation enacted in Cayman Islands is an effective tool as part of a multi–pronged attack on spam.

More information can be found here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 8:52:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts has conducted a legislative review of the Spam Act.

The review is required by legislation to assess the operation of the Spam Act after two years of its operation. The Department prepared a report based on the submissions received. The Minister tabled the report in Parliament on 22 June 2006.

The Minister’s press release is available here.

More information can be found here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 8:46:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The International Herald Tribune in their recent article on Wireless: From zero to 3G: A cellphone utopia? , noted that "Executives in the cellphone and computer industries are fond of speaking about bridging the digital divide, the gap between people with access to technology and those without. But translating the talk into action is not easy. In addition, the benefits of high-tech gadgetry for the poor often are not evident. How do you bring Internet access to remote villages in Africa? And are people's lives going to improve once they can get online? The GSM Association, a trade group that represents mobile phone operators in 213 countries, has a plan for the first question and responds with a resounding yes to the second."

"This month, the association introduced a "3G for All" program that aims to make multimedia phone services and mobile Internet access available to people on the fringe of the digital world. Bringing cellphone services to the two-thirds of the world's population that does not yet use them has long been a goal of the association, which last year promoted a project to build the cheapest possible telephone. Thanks in part to that initiative, the wholesale price of the cheapest cellphones has dropped to less than $30, but now the association wants to take that a step further by encouraging the production of a low-cost mobile phone that works on third-generation networks. Those phones today are typically expensive and advanced, nearly mini-computers themselves."

The aim is to have a group of GSM Association members to define a core set of requirements that the low-cost 3G handsets must have, and then several manufacturers will compete to design the phone that best meets those requirements at the most competitive price.

Read the full story on the International Herald Tribune website.

Access the GSM Association Press Release on the 3G for All program.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 11:40:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU held an international workshop under its New Initiatives Programme on the topic "The Regulatory Environment for Future Mobile Multimedia Services" in Mainz (Germany) from 21-23 June 2006. The final report [PDF]  of the chairman has now been published.

Workshop presentations can be found here. Background documents, including country case studies and thematic papers are also available on the workshop homepage.

 

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 10:08:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 26, 2006

Interim results of the investigation on regional policy and regulatory trends related to the Voice over IP have been presented today as a contribution to the ITU New Initiative Programme project on the Future of Voice.

In her presentation, Ms Anna Riedel focused on VoIP in South and Eastern Europe: Strategy and Policy Considerations [pdf]
Ms Nathaly Rey concentrated on Ruling Voice over IP: Challenges for Regulators in Latin America [pdf]

Both presentations are available on the new resources website related to the Future of Voice project.

Monday, June 26, 2006 3:46:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 23, 2006

Ministry of Information Industry (MII), Internet Society of China (ISC) and China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) launched a national anti-spam campaign on June 21, reports Nanfang Daily. An insider at ISC said MII has set up a hotline at 01-12321 for spam-related tip-offs and is preparing to send out one million anti-spam notices.

The report said that professional training will be offered for 1,000 email administrators and that 20,000 anti-spam volunteers will be recruited.

This news item was accessed through Slashdot Newslog.
Friday, June 23, 2006 9:39:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |