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ITU-T e-FLASH - Issue No. 14


Telecommunication Standardization Sector

Issue No. 14 March 2005


 ITU to hold NGN Workshop with IETF
ITU-T will hold a workshop on NGN together with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), 1 - 2 May, 2005, Geneva. 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. In this way, industry demands for the efficient and swift completion of the specifications that will define the way that NGNs work will be met.

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 Home Phone Networking Standards Progress
A new international standard from ITU-T looks set to help take home phoneline networking technology into the mainstream. 

Home phone networking is a simple way to network devices such as computers, printers, games machines etc. in the home. It uses existing internal - telephone line - infrastructure and so is available to anyone with more than one phone in their home. Data rates up to 128 Mbps (240 Mbps with optional extensions) are achievable with the technology according to the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) upon whose specifications some of ITU-T's standards are based.

ITU-T Recommendation G.9954 is the latest in a series of ITU-T Recommendations (including G.989.1, G.989.2 and G.989.3) in the area and outlines interoperability and compatibility issues for phoneline networking transceivers. Specifically it gives enhanced physical, media access, and link layer specifications for the devices. 

A number of manufacturers are already incorporating ITU-T specifications into their phoneline networking products. 

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 Yellow Books Available
New versions of the two publications that detail the basic guiding principles for the work of ITU-T for the next four years are available.

Yellow Book 1 - available now - contains all the resolutions of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) held in Florianópolis, Brazil (5 - 14 October 2004). Resolutions are essentially the guiding principles by which the study groups operate. In 2004 there were new resolutions on topics including bridging the standardization gap between developing and developed countries, cybersecurity and combating spam.

Book 1 also contains ITU-T A-Series Recommendations. A-Series Recommendations detail the organization of the work of ITU-T. For example working methods for the study groups and focus groups are included, as are the communications processes between ITU-T and industry forums and consortia. Additionally Book 1 details the work topics, or Questions that study groups will work on in the period 2005-2008.

Book 2 provides a record of the discussions that took place during WTSA, with all decisions made shown in the various reports that make up a substantial part of the publication. In addition Book 2 contains a report on the activities of the previous study period including statistics, a list of participants and the list of documents made available. 

Yellow books 1 and 2 can be purchased at the ITU bookshop in Geneva and online. Both books will be available in six languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese) as soon as translation is completed.

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 The Importance of Standards
Would the pervasiveness of information technologies have been possible without standards? This is a question posed by the organizers of The 4th International Conference on Standardization and Innovation in Information Technology (SIIT), and a key theme for the event, hosted in Geneva by ITU-T, 21- 23 September. 

SIIT2005 aims at bringing together standardization researchers from different disciplines, IT-practitioners, policy makers (including WTO), standards developers (ITU-T, ISO) and users (administrations, companies, etc.). In short anyone interested in exchanging insights on standardization is welcome. 

Specifying and quantifying the importance of standards is a notoriously difficult task. SIIT2005 organisers are soliciting papers to help us understand, better, the importance of standards. 

Unpublished papers of not more than 6000 words and that shed light on aspects, issues, and dynamics of standards and standardization are welcome, and can be submitted until 15 April. Authors of accepted contributions will be notified on 1st of June 2005.

Further details and submission guidelines can be found here. Access to the conference is free.

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 ITU-T Gives SPIE Event Support
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), ITU-T will lend its support to a session on the advances and applications in H.264/AVC Video Coding. The session will take place during the SPIE meeting in San Diego, USA, (31 July - 4 August 2005).

H.264/AVC is the leading video codec developed jointly by the Joint Video Team of ITU-T Q.6/SG16 VCEG and ISO/IEC MPEG. It incorporates a dramatically increased compression performance that will enable existing applications like videoconferencing, streaming video over the Internet, and digital television on satellite and cable to offer better quality video at lower cost. It will also allow new video applications such as High-Definition TV on DVD, video on mobile phones, and videoconferencing over low bandwidth connections. 

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 Car Workshop Online
For those who missed the recent ITU-T workshop The Fully Networked Car - a Workshop on ICT in Motor Vehicles, all sessions and conclusions are now available on the web. ITU's Internet Broadcasting Service (IBS) is hosting an audio-archive of the event, that took place during the Geneva Motor Show, 2 - 4 March. 

The workshop brought together more than 100 experts from the ICT and car industries. During nine sessions, topics such as the need for consensus between the public and private sectors and business models for interlinking the car and telecom businesses were discussed. Technically oriented sessions examined topics such as telematics and diagnostics, safety, the integration of in-vehicle systems with existing and future telecommunications infrastructures, and seamless communications on the move.

Paul Najarian, Director of Telecommunication and Standards, for the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) stressed the need for more standardization in the field of ICT in vehicles: “The workshop has shown that both the automotive and the telecommunication industry clearly benefit from standardization initiatives. The fully networked car can only be achieved by fostering collaborative efforts on the international level.”

A lengthier feature-story on the car-workshop will be linked to in the next e-Flash.

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 Security Standards for Network Management Defined
Study Group 4 recently consented a series of Recommendations which specify the security  requirements, services, and mechanisms for the management plane. 

More specifically, the standards (the M.3016.x series of ITU-T Recommendations) support the ability to provide secure communication of management information across interfaces between network elements and management systems and also interfaces between management systems. In addition, the specifications also apply to the administration of the management systems themselves. 

SG4 Chairman Dave Sidor says that this work is an important part of ITU-T's ongoing NGN activity. 

The standards have been designed to allow tailoring by other management standards organizations to meet their regional, national, or specific-technology needs. This feature is supported by M.3016.4, Profile Proforma. 

Recommendations in the series include: 
M.3016.0 – Security for the Management Plane: Overview 
M.3016.1 – Security for the Management Plane: Security Requirements 
M.3016.2 – Security for the Management Plane: Security Services 
M.3016.3 – Security for the Management Plane: Security Mechanisms 
M.3016.4 – Security for the Management Plane: Profile Proforma 

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 New Standards for Human Machine Interface 
A recent meeting of Study Group 4 saw the completion of one Focus Group’s work and the start of another’s. Both achievements are a result of the formal relationship between the standardization sector of ITU and the Telemanagement Forum (TM Forum).

The Telecommunication Management Collaboration Focus Group for Human Machine Interface (HMI) comprised of members of the TM Forum and Study Group 4 has completed its activities, inputting its work into SG4 for progression into ITU-T Recommendations. Recommendation Z.371 deals with the graphical user interfaces and information requirements for displaying telecommunications objects such as links and nodes, while Recommendation Z.372 provides patterns for the design of the HMI templates for object browsers.

As management systems and network elements have become more complex, telecommunication network operators have demanded improved and standardized HMIs. This they believe will allow them to increase quality of service and reduce response times to customers.

Following the success of this Focus Group, another on Multi-Technology Network Management has been set up in Study Group 4. This group will look to further standardize management interfaces, this time machine to machine. Specifically the group will examine the interfaces for managing transport networks and their elements, for technologies such as SONET/SDH, DWDM, ATM, Frame Relay, Ethernet and DSL. 

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