Telecommunication Standardization Sector
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Cost of International Internet Connectivity (IIC) Too High Says ITU group
The high cost for developing countries in accessing the
Internet ‘backbone’ was a hot-topic at a recent, Geneva,
meeting of ITU-T’s
Study Group 3.
SG 3 will submit a paper, outlining its activities and
future work plan on international internet connectivity
(IIC) to the
Governance Forum meeting to be held in Athens,
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.
The area is a key concern for ITU as it was mandated by
WSIS to examine the topic. Paragraph 27 – C of the Tunis
“27. We recommend improvements and innovations in
existing financing mechanisms, including:
C Providing affordable access to ICTs, by the following
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
ICT in Cars: Focus Group and Event
A new ITU-T Focus Group will develop standards for ICTs
in cars, and a workshop on the same topic has been
announced for March 2007.
The group, open to non-ITU members, and in particular
aiming to attract participation from car manufacturers,
will be called From/In/To Cars Communication and will,
according to terms of reference agreed at the recent
meeting of ITU-T’s
Study Group 12 address:
communication in cars: Quality parameters and testing
of car hands-free systems with the radio channel
of the work to wideband car hands-free systems
requirements/testing procedures for speech recognition systems in cars
Deliverables from the group will be submitted to SG 12
for formal approval as ITU-T Recommendations.
Jean-Yves Monfort, Chairman Study Group 12: “It is
essential for all stakeholders to come to grips with
these technologies that are having a profound influence
on vehicle development, the driver experience and the
way that vehicles are now sold. They have the potential
to vastly improve vehicle mobility and safety, while
increasing comfort and enjoyment, but they also raise
some fundamental questions. What are the right business
models in linking the automotive and telecoms
sectors? How do we face the technical and engineering
challenges? How do we make sure that the right standards
are adopted to deal with the complexity of so many
electronic components and to allow this market to
develop its full potential? It is the goal of these activities, the formation of the Focus
Group and the workshop, to provide some answers to these
ITU-T’s SG12 work in the field started following the
2003 ITU, Workshop on Standardization in
Telecommunication for Motor Vehicles. The formation of
the FG, will make it easier for car manufacturers,
standards organizations and others to participate in the
development of a new set of requirements and
specifications to help advance the work of ITU-T.
The group, chaired by Hans Gierlich, Head Acoustics,
will first meet January 2007, with a second meeting
planned during the Geneva Motor Show, March 2007. The
Motor Show will also host a workshop, convened jointly
by ITU, ISO and IEC, The Fully Networked Car,
Information and Communication Technologies in Motor
Vehicles. The event will review and examine the
implications of the latest developments in this
fast-moving market. A significant value-add will be an
exhibition showcasing the latest technologies in the
field. The exhibition will run the length of the Geneva
Motor Show, while the workshop will take place between 7
and 9 March.
20 Years of JPEG Celebrated With Software Launch
ITU-T together with the Independent Joint Photographic
Expert Group (IJG) is celebrating the twentieth
anniversary of the formation of the CCITT/ITU-T and ISO
Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG) with the release
of an alpha version of software for a new more efficient
compression scheme. The new ITU extension to JPEG known
as ITU-T Recommendation T.851 means that compression is
increased such that images will take-up less space on
people’s hard drives or digital cameras.
The program available
here allows users to input image
files for compression at a more efficient rate than that
currently offered. The group responsible for producing
the open source software is inviting people to test and
contribute to the development of the project.
Recently, and capitalizing on the ‘toolbox’ concept of
the original JPEG design, ITU-T approved ITU-T Rec.
T.851, a royalty-free extension that adds to T.81, more
commonly known as JPEG, an alternative compression
method using so-called Q15 arithmetic coding. Q15
provides not only higher compression ratios for stored
and transmitted images, but - compared to the original
arithmetic coding in JPEG - also lower latency for
compressing and displaying images. T.851 also extends
the color precision of JPEG to a maximum 16 bits per color
component, which is seen as essential in applications
such as medical imaging, professional photography and
high quality printing.
Founded in 1986 by its parent bodies, the then ITU CCITT
Study Group VIII and the ISO/TC97/SC2/WG8 group, JPEG
continues today under the auspices of ISO/IEC JTC1
SC29/WG1 and ITU-T
Study Group 16.
The most famous product of JPEG was ITU-T Recommendation
T.81 | ISO/IEC 10918-1, which specifies a process for
digital compression and coding of continuous-tone still
images, and is more commonly known by the name of the
group, JPEG. This is the most used format for storing
and transmitting photographs on the Internet, in digital
photography and in many other image compression
applications, and it was approved in 1992 first by ITU-T
(then CCITT) and later by ISO/IEC.
Work on the new compression algorithm was started in
2004 by ITU-T Study Group 16. The aim was to allow users
to take advantage of recent technological advances, with
the addition to the JPEG suite of an alternative,
royalty free coder that would allow even better image
compression efficiency and lower latency. The successful
completion of this first phase of the work resulted in
the publication of the specification ITU-T Rec. T.851
after approval in September 2005. Experts from SG 16 say
to stay tuned for further developments.
Key QoS Challenge Tackled
Study Group 12 has consented a new Recommendation
(Y.1542) that gives the groundwork for service providers
to realize end-to-end network performance for services
like VoIP and IPTV. The work goes some way to satisfying
a key challenge for next generation networks (NGN),
which need to provide QoS across multiple network
operators, and in some cases, unusual topologies and
The Recommendation points out that compared to the
circuit switched environment, networks based on: “…IP
pose distinctly different challenges for planning and
achieving the end-to-end performance levels necessary to
adequately support the wide array of user applications.”
Complementary work was completed previously in the form
of Recommendations Y.1540 and Y.1541 which give network
performance objectives for IP-based services, and QoS
classes with more stringent packet loss performance,
needed for example for commercial video applications.
Using the QoS classes defined in Y.1541, the new
Recommendation explores different approaches to realize
end-to-end QoS depending on the type of service. Each
class is designed to support a group of applications,
VoIP, or IPTV for example.
One key area to be addressed is the development of an
end-to-end QoS signalling mechanism that will allow the
deployment of such classes.
The new Recommendation, Y.1542, is a framework towards a
methodology for satisfying end-to-end objectives and
gives guidance intended to accelerate the planning,
deployment and management of networks and systems that
can interoperate with a goal of supporting the
end-to-end performance objectives detailed in Y.1541.
The guidance provided in Y.1542 should "...facilitate
network design and operation capable of nearly always
meeting the desired levels of performance". According to
experts it will also act as a contribution by SG12 to
the ITU-T's Joint Coordination Activity (JCA) on NGN.
Guidelines Aim to Reduce Mobile Call Charges
Study Group 3 has started analysis of survey
responses into international mobile termination rates.
Previously SG 3 research identified that in some cases
mobile termination rates can be five to ten times more
than fixed termination rates. Termination rates occur
when international calls are terminated in the network
of a country other than that from which they have
Given results of analysis and validation of statistics,
SG3 will develop guidelines for reducing the gap.
See also previous story.
Standard Makes SLAs in NGN Easier
Study Group 4 saw the consent of a Recommendation
(M.3342) which provides the means to document service
level agreements (SLA) between a service customer and a
The Rec. takes into account the fact that
demands QoS guarantees for services. SLAs are considered
an effective way of solving the problems of QoS
guarantee between customers and providers. The
Recommendation describes the detailed classification of
SLA content, provides guidelines and instructions for
the definition and composition of ‘SLA representation
templates’ in order to manage QoS and service guarantees
more effectively. It also includes instructions on how
to complete the templates.
NGN Trouble Ticketing: New Recommendation
ITU-T Recommendation M.3343 consented at the Beijing meeting of
Study Group 4
outlines the requirements and protocol neutral
information model necessary to communicate trouble
tickets in a multi-service provider NGN environment.
NGN according to the Recommendation introduces new
reporting needs to address new service types expected.
The Recommendation describes 'trouble' in a
communications network as a problem that has an adverse
effect on the quality of service perceived by network
users. Management of trouble tickets is necessary to
ensure that they receive attention and that the trouble
is cleared to restore the service.
At the time of a trouble, a network may have been
inter-working with another network to provide a service.
Therefore a standardized way of exchanging trouble
management information between management systems across
interfaces is necessary.
Focus Group Delivers V2 Roadmap
The NGN Management Focus Group (NGNMFG) 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 roadmap at the May meeting of Study Group 4, in Beijing, changed its terms of reference to reflect the 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.
The roadmap can be found here.