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ITU-T e-FLASH - Issue No. 5


Telecommunication Standardization Sector

Issue No. 5 June 2004

NGN Focus Group Launched
ITU-T has created a new group to tackle the migration to next generation networks (NGN).

As the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry works to define and deploy NGN, standardization has become an increasingly important topic. The formation of the group does not signal the start of ITU-T’s work on NGN. Rather it provides a focal point for continued and new work.

In view of the rapid global development of NGN, the new Focus Group has been established by TSB Director, Houlin Zhao to provide a platform to discuss urgent issues, before October’s WTSA, when ITU-T will see a restructuring which will decide on the groups that will tackle various different work areas.

Chae Sub Lee of Korea Telecom will act as Chairman for the first meeting with Dick Knight, BT and Ron Ryan, Nortel Networks acting as Vice Chairs.

The first meeting of the group will take place in Geneva 23-25 June.

Focus Group on Next Generation Networks (NGN) page

Press Release

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New Group Targets Off The Shelf Components
Further underlining ITU's commitment to NGN, ITU announced in May the formation of the Open Communications Architecture Forum (OCAF) Focus Group. The new Focus Group has been set up to outline requirements for a set of components for new carrier grade open platforms that will accelerate deployment of NGN infrastructure and services. The group was created in response to a call by industry players to fast track the work that will help service providers, equipment and software vendors address the complexity of moving to NGN. OCAF is made up of key ICT (Information and Communication Technology) players from all sectors. Its primary aim is to address the complexity of interoperability between multiple vendor products as service providers migrate to NGN.

The last few years have seen telecommunication solution providers move from in house developed software to integrating commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) into their solutions. However a lack of standards means that costs remain high for licensing, adapting and integrating these components. OCAF seeks to orchestrate a solution to move from this non-standards based environment, which will benefit all industry sectors. The group has identified a need for a framework that outlines the open interfaces and standards required to deploy COTS solutions in NGNs. COTS solutions are seen by many as an important way of driving costs out of infrastructure while continuing to deliver innovative services and decrease the time to market.

OCAF page

Press Release

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iTV Made Easy With New ITU Recs
ITU-T's Study Group 9 has completed a trio of Recommendations that give broadcasters and content producers the means to more easily develop and deliver interactive TV (iTV) services. iTV gives a return path to the broadcaster, so that – for example – it is possible to buy goods at a touch of a remote control button. Previously, proprietary or country-specific standards forced content providers to develop different product versions for each market.

The Recs J.200, J.202 and J.201 taken together form a toolkit that can be used to produce iTV content with the confidence that it can be distributed to a wide global audience.

Simply put, using the toolkit means that the iTV element of a programme’s content can be produced in such a way that it can be broadcast by any broadcaster – rather than having to be adapted for each different broadcaster.

The specifications bring together the work of regional standards makers in the broadcast arena — DVB, ARIB, ATSC, OCAP – and provide the means for content providers to offer their work on a global scale.

The last element of the package consented at SG9’s latest meeting defines the human machine interface (HMI) element of the toolkit.

Charles Sandbank, Vice-Chairman of Study Group 9: “This is an important contribution to the future interoperability of iTV services and the interchange of content that also recognises the extensive implementation of current systems in some countries.”

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Telco Operating Systems Get Standards Boost
The formal relationship between the standardization sector of ITU and the Telemanagement Forum (TM Forum) has resulted in an important new standard that paves the way for better interoperability between service providers’ systems. The ITU-T Recommendation resulting from the relationship — M.3050 — aims to improve efficiency of the business processes at the heart of any service providers' operation. The new framework will be used by industry to more efficiently implement operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS) and by ITU in the continued production of OSS/BSS specifications.

OSS and BSS applications include billing, service management, service assurance, element management, customer care, provisioning, order processing and network management — all essential elements of a telecom service providers operation. And as service offerings and networks become more complicated, so the need for a business-oriented framework has developed.

The importance of OSS/BSS solutions to service providers has increased dramatically in the past few years. This is because OSS/BSS plays a critical role in reducing service providers' operating costs. However, to have a positive impact, solutions must integrate quickly, simply and cost-effectively into the operating environment. This is why specifications that facilitate interoperability are so important.

The TM Forum name for the standard is Enhanced Telecom Operations Map (eTOM). The move to adopt eTOM as an ITU-T Recommendation is a formal endorsement by the world’s most recognized standards body, and signals ITU-T support for working together with other organizations involved in producing telecoms management specifications.

Network operators and equipment suppliers will be able to use eTOM alongside existing ITU-T guidelines for telecoms management defined in its Telecommunication Management Network (TMN) specifications for internal process reengineering, partnership management, and product and service specification. Indeed eTOM will become an important part of TMN.

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Optical Monitoring Spec Gives New Level of Fault Management
A new standard approved by ITU gives network operators the ability to better manage their networks and more easily stick to service level agreements (SLAs) offered to their customers. The standard deals with the monitoring of the optical signal in dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) systems, and allows quick and precise detection and isolation of faults, often before an interruption of service occurs. This gives network owners a better degree of network visibility, meaning that they can offer a more reliable service. Many will use the new standard in defining SLAs and then as a tool to help adhere to them.

The ITU-T Recommendation - G.697 - indicates a minimum set of optical parameters that can be used to perform optical monitoring functions in DWDM optical transmission systems operating up to 10 Gbit/s. In particular G.697 gives indications on the frequency of optical impairments, on what exactly can be measured, and on the most appropriate monitoring choices based on the DWDM system used (e.g. length, number of spans, number of optical channels) as well as on the basis of cost/benefit.

DWDM is a flavour of WDM technology used by the owners of optical fibres to maximise their capacity. The technology achieves this by simultaneously operating at more than one bandwidth. Typically DWDM is deployed in fibre networks that cover great distances - as opposed to CWDM (the C stands for coarse) that is typically deployed in a metropolitan environment.

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Interoperability Demo Set For Access Event
A multi-vendor interoperability demonstration is to take place at ITU-T’s upcoming All Star Network Access workshop. The demo will show interconnectivity among participating vendors’ Optical Line Termination (OLT) and Optical Network Termination (ONT) equipment. This interconnectivity is made possible because of ITU-T's G.983 series of Recommendations, which detail broadband passive optical network (BPON) specifications. OLT and ONT are essential elements of BPONs. ONTs are the optical network elements that terminate a line signal in installations where the fiber extends into the customer premises, they are essentially the demarcation point where the carrier network ends and the customer network begins. And OLTs are typically located within telco exchanges and perform the same function of terminating a line signal.
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Products and Services - Patent Resources
ITU-T has a well-established policy for dealing with patent issues. A patent policy, policy guidelines and patent declaration form can be found here. In addition ITU-T maintains a patent database. The ITU-T Patents Database acts as a resource for standards makers and for those applying ITU-T Recommendations. It consists of details of patents used as well as general statements about organizations' compliance with ITU-T patent policy. The information is communicated to ITU-T by administrations, private enterprises, etc. whether they are members or not.

Discussions on issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are addressed by the ITU-T TSB Director's Ad-hoc Group on IPR. Recently this group has also developed software copyright guidelines for cases where software is included in ITU-T Recommendations. The latest information on all these issues can also be found by following the above link.

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Updated : 2004-09-22