Telecommunication Standardization Sector
|Issue No. 30
Key architecture and requirements documents for IPTV progressed
Standards that will ease the wide spread rollout of
video over IP networks took a step forward in January.
IPTV architecture and requirements, two fundamentally
important areas in standards work were progressed at a
recent meeting of the
ITU-T Focus Group on IPTV.
There was general
consensus in the meeting that FG IPTV will successfully
develop documents which will accelerate introduction of
IPTV to the global market. Setting the architecture and
requirements in stone allows the rest of the work to
continue with greater ease.
Meeting at the Microsoft conference center, Mountain
View California, at the invitation of the Alliance for
Telecom Industry Standards (ATIS)
the group saw a record number of contributions and
experts worked often late to keep up with the workload.
Nearly 90 documents were dealt with in the fields of
architecture and requirements alone.
Malcolm Johnson, newly elected Director of ITU’s
Telecommunication Standardization Bureau said in a
message he sent to the event: “The excellent cooperation
between ITU-T and ATIS is an example of the spirit of
cooperation that I believe now pervades in the standards
world... From what I have seen there is a great deal to
be satisfied by in terms of the progress that FG IPTV
has achieved so far.”
In opening comments, ATIS President & CEO Susan Miller
shared with the 200 meeting attendees that IPTV is
serving as a “change agent” for the industry, and “as
both the business case and principal driver for
accelerating deployment of the next generation network.”
Miller noted that for North American service providers
in particular, “IPTV is a critical ingredient to bundled
service offerings that encompass television services,
mobile services, Internet access, and much more. We have
seen in the last decade, enormous investments in
broadband, and fiber deployments to the home and to the
premise,” said Miller.
Also important a document outlining terms and
definitions in the field was created. While seemingly
mundane this work is crucially important in ensuring
consistency of comprehension in an area where many
standards outlining different aspects of IPTV will
Further discussion is expected on whether and how to
treat the issue of redistribution of content to a point
past an IPTV terminal device, and, in particular, how
content protection and content management functions can
or should apply in a home network environment.
Other issues examined and progressed were accessibility
issues for people with disabilities, AV codecs and
content format requirements. Output (and other)
documents can be seen here.
The next meeting of FG IPTV will be held from 7 to 11
May 2007 in Bled, Slovenia.
IPTV Vice-Chair to present at London event
Simon Jones, Vice Chairman of ITU-T's Focus Group on
IPTV will present The importance of ITU-T’s activities
in IPTV Standardization at the
IPTV World Forum,
5-7 March, Olympia, London, UK.
The event comprises a free to attend exhibition, and
tech demo zone area in which Jones is presenting.
Additionally a conference will feature over 30 telcos
and ISPs from around the world discussing IPTV service
Fully Networked Car:
Fully Networked Car will review and examine the
implications of the latest developments in the
fast-moving market for information and communication
technologies (ICT) in motor vehicles.
To guarantee a pass for the event to be held 7-10 March,
at the Geneva Motor Show,
register now. Entry to the event is without charge.
programme is now available featuring speakers from
some of the biggest names in information and
communication technologies (ICT) and the motor industry,
including: Bosch, BMW, Cisco, Ford, France Telecom,
Freescale Semiconductor, Head
Acoustics, Hitachi, Intel, Motorola, Nissan, On-Star,
Orange, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Q-Free, T-Systems, Telecom
Italia, Telecordia, Toyota, Vodafone and Ygomi.
In addition to the packed programme an exhibition will
allow visitors to see close-up some of the technologies
Revised workplan for Study Group 12 adds IPTV
A revised workplan for some of the Questions in Study Group 12 will include specific mention of IPTV Quality
of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS).
The latest meeting of Study Group 12, Geneva, January, also saw agreement on a definition for QoE.
This, experts said, is particularly important given the inclusion of QoE in the definition of IPTV
agreed by the ITU-T IPTV Focus Group. (See previous story).
Study Group 12 Vice Chair, Chuck Dvorak, said that he expects that IPTV and other multimedia QoS and QoE
issues will see increasing attention in SG12 moving forward. Dvorak also said that he expects that the
non-transport aspects of networks and services, for example call processing performance, will also receive
more attention. Additionally he says that he expects SG12 will take a closer look at how to better address
the needs of developing countries in terms of QoS.
- Quality of Experience (QoE)
- The overall acceptability of an application or service, as perceived subjectively by the end-user.
- Quality of Experience includes the complete
end-to-end system effects (client, terminal,
network, services infrastructure, etc).
- Overall acceptability may be influenced by
user expectations and context.
Focus Group sees motor industry
participation and standards progress
Representatives of the car industry joined with more
traditional ITU-T members at the first meeting of the
Focus Group From/In/To Car Communication.
The Focus Group meeting in Geneva, January, worked on
specifications that will enhance communications in
vehicles. Using as a starting point a specification
developed by the German Association of the Automotive
the Focus Group is looking to improve a draft
Recommendation – P.Carhft – under development by ITU-T’s
Study Group 12. The Focus Group concept allows for
non-members, in this case the auto industry to
A first priority is to deal with speakerphone audio
quality, aiming to provide a specification that will
help to improve the speech- and sound - quality between
different devices. Second priority is requirements for
headsets including wireless. Chairman of the group, Hans
Gierlich of Head Acoustics noted also that a major
problem for the car industry is car-to-car
While first concentrating on narrowband speech (3.4kHz),
the group will eventually move into better quality -
wideband (8kHz). Input is also required in the area of
testing for interaction between the network and
hands-free terminals. In addition speech recognition
will be addressed.
Participating companies included Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya,
DaimlerChrysler, France Telecom, Harman/Becker, Head
Acoustics, Mitsubushi, Nortel and Volkswagen.
A second FG meeting hosted by HARMAN/BECKER Automotive Systems is planned
for March 15 in Ulm, Germany following the ITU, ISO and
The Fully Networked Car, Information and Communication
Technologies in Motor Vehicles. The event taking
place at the Geneva Motor Show 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
Number recommended for UN use
Study Group 2
has recommended the allocation of the
international dialing code 888 to the UN for use in
disaster relief situations.
It means that in cases where the telecoms infrastructure
is down, UN teams can quickly get a communications
system up and running for use in coordination. The
recommendation was made following a request from the
United Nations Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization
Bureau (TSB) will study the recommendation from Study
Group 2 to allocate the code.
It's good to talk: Child helpline discussions continue
Study Group 2’s February meeting saw work continue
on harmonizing numbering resources for child helplines.
SG 2 is looking at the issue following a request from
Child Helpline International (CHI).
CHI is a global network of telephone helplines and
outreach services for children and young people.
Specifically SG 2 is looking at the logistics of providing a global
number. It previously conducted a survey which
discovered that a wide range of numbers are in use
globally and that there is support in many countries for
studying a more harmonized solution.
A review process will be an initial assessment of all of
the various options for introducing childrens’ helplines.
The fundamental question is whether a single number can
be deployed worldwide. Other issues include how
regulators will handle migration from existing services
and who pays for the services.
Joint ITU-T/IEEE Workshop on
ITU and the
will hold a
workshop on carrier-class Ethernet, 31 May- 1 June.
Much work has been done in both organisations to progress Ethernet,
developed as an enterprise technology, into a carrier
service. The event will focus on opportunities for
Long-recognized as the ubiquitous LAN technology,
Ethernet is now seeing increased attention as a
carrier-grade service. In part this is due to the
convenience of being able to simply provide end-to-end
service, but also carriers can realize savings both in
terms of capital and operational expenditure.
Ethernet services are becoming popular because they allow carriers to
offer considerably improved flexibility to customers
through a much simpler and lower cost interface.
Ethernet allows users to specify exactly how much
bandwidth they want between the 10Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s
range currently offered. Further, Ethernet provides
reduced operation complexity and improved scalability
for carriers. And as operators look to NGN and the use
of the Internet Protocol (IP), Ethernet is seen as the
best fit, especially given the rise of such services as
IP VPNs, VLANs and dedicated Internet access.
The event will start with an overview of the standards
work from ITU-T and IEEE and will then drill down into
detail with sessions focusing on: Ethernet based and
Ethernet capable access networks; Ethernet network
transport; Ethernet Bridging architecture; Ethernet OAM
and management; Ethernet QoS, timing and
synchronization. A closing session will bring together
reports from all of the session chairs in order to
identify the direction of future work.
Videophone performance measurement tool approved
acts as a performance planning
tool for videophone applications taking into account the
effects of video as well as voice quality. The
computational model described is for point-to-point
interactive videophone applications including dedicated
videophone terminals, desktop or laptop PCs, PDAs and
mobile phones over IP networks.
Recommendation G.1070 gives an algorithm that estimates
videophone quality in terms of quality of
experience/quality of service (QoE/QoS). The model is
designed to be used by QoE/QoS planners to help ensure
end-to-end user satisfaction and to avoid
over-engineering at the application, terminal, and
Performance measurement for high layer protocols
Study Group 12 consented a new Recommendation that
provides a way to give consistency to performance
measurements in high layer protocols such as FTP, HTTP
The Recommendation, ITU-T Recommendation Y.1562, may be
used by service providers in the planning, development,
and assessment of IP service to check that it meets user
performance needs; by equipment manufacturers to give
performance information that will affect equipment
design; and by end users in evaluating higher layer
protocol service performance.
New Recommendation will give
improved audio for headsets
A Recommendation that ensures that sound levels between
various devices are harmonized in order that listening
quality is not degraded was amended at
Study Group 12s January meeting.
The amendment takes into account the transmission
characteristics for headsets and hands free terminals.
The original Recommendation – P.313 - provides audio
performance requirements for portable digital cordless
and mobile handsets, headset and loudspeaker terminals.
Specifications for car mounted hands free terminals will
be treated in a new Recommendation in progress and also
under study in the
Focus Group - From/In/To Cars Communication.