Telecommunication Standardization Sector
Issue No. 33
Free access for all to ITU-T standards
Standards produced by ITU —
ITU-T Recommendations —
are now available without
charge. The announcement follows a highly successful
trial conducted from January−September 2007, during which
some two million ITU-T Recommendations were downloaded
throughout the world.
The experiment’s aim was to “increase the visibility and
easy availability of the output of ITU-T”. Offering
standards for free is a significant step for the
standards community as well as the wider information and
communication technologies (ICT) industry. Now, anyone
with Internet access will be able to download one of
over 3000 ITU-T Recommendations that underpin most of
the world’s ICT. The move further demonstrates ITU’s
commitment to bridging the digital divide by extending
the results of its work to the global community.
Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization
Bureau (TSB) Malcolm Johnson, presenting the results of
the trial to the 2007 meeting of ITU’s Council, said
that not only had the experiment been a success in
raising awareness of ITU-T, it would also attract new
members. Most importantly, he noted, it had helped
efforts to bridge the “standardization gap” between
countries with resources to pursue standardization
issues and those without. “There has been very positive
feedback from developing countries,” said Johnson. “Last
year exactly 500 ITU-T Recommendations had been sold to
developing countries; this year, after allowing free
access, they have downloaded some 300 000.”
ITU-T Recommendations are developed in a unique
contribution-driven and consensus-based environment by
industry and government members, with industry providing
the most significant input. A strong focus of current
standards work is providing the foundations for the
so-called next-generation network (NGN).
Other key areas include IPTV, ICT in vehicles,
cybersecurity, quality of service, multimedia, emergency
communications and standards for access, such as VDSL 2
— very high speed digital subscriber line 2, the newest
and most advanced standard of DSL broadband wireline communications.
The Fully Networked Car III
A call for
abstracts has been issued for ITU,
IEC’s now regular event focusing on information and communication
technologies (ICT) in motor vehicles. A focus of the 2008 event will be ICT
and climate change.
For the third year running
The Fully Networked Car is being organized by ITU,
ISO and IEC, working together as the World Standards Cooperation (WSC).
Taking place at one of the world’s leading automotive events, the Geneva
International Motor Show, the event will comprise a workshop with
demonstrations and will take place between 5 and 7 March 2008.
Authors wishing to present papers should submit a
half-page abstract, including the title of the paper and the author’s full
name, short biography, address, telephone and e-mail, to
email@example.com by Friday, 16 November 2007.
Suggestions for topics can be found on the
This year’s event will feature keynote speeches from Max
Mosley, president of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile)
which is also the organizer of the Formula One World Championship and the
CEO of Freescale Semiconductor, Michel Mayer.
Prize fund announced for NGN event
A prize fund totaling $10,000 has been kindly donated by
Cisco to be awarded
to the three best papers submitted to the upcoming
Innovations in Next Generation Networks event to be
held in May 2008.
The fund is announced in a third call for papers which
has been issued to attract contributions towards a
kaleidoscopic view of communication habits for the
call for papers has also been updated to announce
the availability of an online submission tool.
Cisco’s prize fund will be split into three: First
prize, $5,000, second $3,000 and third $2,000.
Innovations in Next Generation Networks is organized by
Communications Society as Technical Co-Sponsor.
Those wanting to submit papers are asked to consider
questions such as what services will emerge in NGN, how
NGN will affect the marketplace for ICT, and how society
will be affected. The event is the first in a series,
under the banner “Kaleidoscope Conferences”. The events
will increase the dialogue between academia and experts
working on the standardization of information and
communications technologies (ICT).
Deadline for the call for papers is 15 November 2007.
Identity work enters new phase
Following completion of four deliverables by
The Focus Group on Identity Management,
ITU-T's Study Group 17
has recommended to the
Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG)
that a Global Standards Initiative on Identity
Management (IdM-GSI) is established. If the December
meeting of TSAG initiates the IdM-GSI and the related
Joint Coordination Activity (JCA), a meeting has already
been planned for January 2008 to enter into a new phase
of work on IdM based on these groups and existing ITU-T
The four IdM deliverables have been transferred to
relevant Study Groups via Study Group 17 and also to
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 27 for further consideration and
possible development as ITU-T Recommendations and a
potential common text with ISO/IEC on entity
authentication assurance. Indeed work on three new ITU-T
Recommendations and the ITU-T/ISO common text standard
has already begun.
The term IdM is understood as "management by providers
of trusted attributes of an entity such as a subscriber,
a device, or a provider." IdM promises to reduce the
need for multiple user names and passwords for each
online service used, while maintaining privacy of
personal information. A global IdM solution will help
diminish identity theft and fraud. Further, IdM is one
of the key enablers for a simplified and secure
interaction between customers and services such as
e-commerce. A key issue for the Focus Group was to
provide interoperability between existing solutions.
Herb Bertine, Chairman of Study Group 17, lead Study
Group on security in ITU-T said: “We are very pleased
with the productivity and efficiency of the Focus Group.
We now have the building blocks to enter the important
next phase where the world’s service providers can
profit from international standards for IdM services.
Clearly identity management is an important topic and
one that industry has put significant weight behind in
order to turn out standards that will provide an IdM
framework for global interoperability.”
The deliverables were supplied to a meeting of ITU-T’s
Study Group 17. Essentially IdM-GSI will be an umbrella
title for IdM work that will be distributed across all
Study Groups. A joint coordination activity (JCA) will
ensure that there is no duplication of work, oversee
strategic/planning issues and work assignments and
develop a roadmap for the development of a global ID
management standards. IdM-GSI will enhance
harmonization, in collaboration with other bodies, among
the different approaches to IdM frameworks and
The publicly available deliverables are:
- Report on Identity Management Ecosystem and Lexicon
- Report on Identity Management Use Cases and Gap Analysis
- Report on Requirements for Global Interoperable Identity Management
- Report on Identity Management Framework for Global Interoperability
The first meeting of IdM-GSI including the JCA-IdM is planned to be held during the January 2008 NGN-GSI event in Seoul, Korea.
T-MPLS Agreement: ITU-T and IETF
the standardization sector of ITU (ITU-T) and the
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have agreed to
recommend progression of Transport-MPLS (T-MPLS)
standards work in a way that ensures compatibility,
consistency, and coherence of MPLS technology when used
in transport networks. The recommended approach, which
recognizes and leverages ITU-T and IETF design expertise
and authority, is expected to resolve concerns raised
regarding usage of common Ethertypes for IETF MPLS and
T-MPLS when running over an Ethernet backbone. Broader
review and approval of the proposal by the two standards
bodies is expected in the coming months.
The experts proposed in a joint statement that "The IETF
and ITU-T will work in close collaboration on T-MPLS"
and that "a joint working team of experts from the IETF
and ITU-T be established to propose how to progress the
various aspects of the requirements, solutions, and
architecture for the T-MPLS work." The initial goal of
the working team will be to examine T-MPLS work, and
foster "an agreement on leadership roles and the
modifications necessary to develop an architecture that
it is compatible, coherent and consistent between both
transport and IETF MPLS technologies."
Yoichi Maeda, Chairman of ITU-T's Study Group 15, home
of the T-MPLS work said: "This type of agreement is a
characteristic of the spirit of cooperation that exists
between ITU-T and IETF. Both organizations understand
that in order to meet the needs of industry it's
imperative to quickly resolve differences and avoid
duplication of work."
"Future work," the proposal states, "will be progressed
by first analyzing the requirements and desired
functionality." Since T-MPLS utilizes MPLS functionality
extensively, the experts recommend that, "The IETF
Standards Process will be used for extensions or
modifications of IETF MPLS Technology." It was clearly
noted that there are aspects of the problem space that
lie outside the domain of expertise in the IETF or
straddle both organizations, e.g., management of
transport equipment, and some aspects of OAM and
survivability. The working team will be tasked to help
identify which of these aspects are best standardized in
IETF RFCs and which in ITU-T Recommendations.
T-MPLS has been under development for three years in
ITU-T with four specifications published, including an
architecture document, a network-to-network interface (NNI),
an equipment specification and a protection switching
document. T-MPLS draws extensively on IETF MPLS, a
foundation of more than 50 RFCs published by the IETF
MPLS and PWE3 Working Groups over the last eight years.
Importance of standards for developing world highlighted at Rwanda event
The government of Rwanda generously hosted ITU’s first
Forum on Bridging the ICT standardization and
development gap between developed and developing
countries, in Kigali, Rwanda, 2-4 October.
Participants welcomed the recent establishment of a
special fund for voluntary contributions from world
governments and industry to address the issue.
The ICT standardization gap refers to the shortage of
human resources in developing countries, relative to
developed ones, in terms of being able to participate
effectively in the standards-making and implementation
process. Standards are an essential tool in bridging the
digital divide, in reducing costs, and bringing vital
aid to developing countries in building their
infrastructure and encouraging economic development.
Over 160 participants from 38 countries took part in the
meeting, with several countries being represented at
government Minister or company CEO level. The
conclusions of the Forum, outlining the importance of
addressing the standardization gap, were provided as
input to the Connect summit, Kigali, 29-30
The Forum was formally opened by H.E. Albert Butare,
Minister of State in charge of Energy and
Communications. He drew attention to the country’s
National Information and Communications Infrastructure (NICI)
Plan where the aim is to focus on the benefits of ICTs
for national development and prosperity so that by 2020
Rwanda will have achieved middle-income status as a
knowledge-based economy. The Minister welcomed the
support being given by ITU and the international
community in helping Rwanda to achieve its goals.
Mr. Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU
Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, speaking in
Kigali at the opening of the Forum, said: “The
significance of the standardization gap is that it
contributes to the persistence of the wider digital
divide in ICTs. That is because one of the underlying
causes of the digital divide is unequal access to
technology and the ability to implement and use that
technology. The process of technology transfer and
implementation will happen much faster when African
engineers can participate in standards development,
particularly at the requirements-gathering stage, and
are familiar with the relevant standards.”
Meeting participants agreed that a sustained commitment
to raising standards awareness and to capacity-building
is of particular importance and the meeting called on
the ITU to step up its efforts, welcoming ITU’s
organisation of a Global Standardization Symposium to
address the issue. This will be held on 20 October 2008
just ahead of the next World Telecommunication
Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08), to be held in
A chairman’s report from the Forum is available online
as well as a full set of presentations: here.
CALM report. First in a series
Imagine a future in which cars will be able to foresee
and avoid collisions, navigate the quickest route to
their destination, making use of up-to-the-minute
traffic reports, identify the nearest available parking
slot and minimize their carbon emissions. Indeed,
imagine a future where cars can largely drive
themselves, leaving their passengers to use the free
time to watch the sports game on live TV.
All of these possibilities already exist within the
laboratories of car manufacturers and some are already
available commercially. But they rely on communications
links that must be increasingly high-capacity and long
range to deal with the full range of requirements of
future transport users. The generic technology they use
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The requirement
for future standards in the ITS field is to be able to
provide multiple services, over multiple different
platforms, that will work in different countries (as
vehicles can easily cross borders), while maintaining a
simple-to-use interface that requires minimum
intervention from the driver.
This, then, is the rationale behind an ongoing effort,
launched by the
Organisation for Standardization (ISO) in 2003,
under the auspices of Working Group 16 of
ISO Technical Committee 204, and promoted by the
more recently created industry association - The
CALM Forum - to
develop a new family of ITS standards with the overall
branding of Continuous Air-interface, Long and Medium
A new ITU-T Briefing Report on CALM has been released as
part of the Technology Watch function, which evaluates
its potential as a new area for ITU standardization work
(for instance, integrated with Next-Generation Networks)
and its likely implications for developing countries.
The report notes the work currently going on in ITU on
ITS, including the forthcoming
Fully Networked Car III
workshop, to be held on 3-5 March 2008 in Geneva. It is planned that this will be the first of a series
of new Briefing Reports looking at emerging new technologies.
Watch report on CALM.pdf (165.36 KB)
vehicle comms work moves to wideband
on specifications that will enhance communications in
vehicles will expand to development of requirements and
testing methodologies for wideband communications in
The news reflects the increased attention being given by
ITU-T to wideband audio and other codec-related quality
issues, especially regarding their subjective testing,
such as for superwideband and fullband.
Work has progressed over a number of meetings, since the
beginning of 2007, of the Focus Group
From/In/To Car Communication on 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
participate. While first concentrating on narrowband
speech (3.4kHz), the group working under new banner -
FitCarCom - will move into better quality - wideband
Participating companies include Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya,
DaimlerChrysler, France Telecom, Harman/Becker, Head
Acoustics, Mitsubishi, Nortel and Volkswagen. The first
meeting of the group is expected to be March or April,
Making accessibility a reality in emerging technologies
ITU is holding a workshop -
Making accessibility a reality in emerging technologies
- at the second meeting of the
Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio de Janeiro, 13
ITU’s standardization arm - ITU-T - has a long history
of providing standards in the field of accessibility. It
started in the early 90's with the international text
telephone standard, ITU-T Recommendation V.18, which
ties together text telephone protocols allowing
different textphone types to communicate.
ITU-T’s accessibility experts have helped to incorporate
accessibility needs into standards for multimedia,
network interoperability, multimedia service
descriptions and multimedia conferencing.
The latest work has focused on taking accessibility
needs into account in the development of all standards.
For this reason an ‘Accessibility Checklist’
has been created for the makers of
standards to ensure that they are taking into account
the needs of those to whom accessibility to ICTs are
restricted, the deaf or hard-of-hearing for example.
Experts say that such a list will help to ensure that
accessibility needs are taken into account at an early
stage, rather than ‘retrofitted’.
An area of current intensive standardization activity is
that on the next generation network (NGN). Accessibility
features have been included at the first stage of
standards work where requirements are defined. However
it is important that these needs are taken into account
as work progresses.
This workshop, organized by ITU, as part of the Internet
Governance Forum brings together experts from around the
world to examine how best to take into account
accessibility needs in emerging technologies.