Telecommunication Standardization Sector
undertakes new climate change challenge
The second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change closed
June 18 with a call for ITU to increase its activities
in three areas: reducing energy consumption of ICT
equipment; promoting efficiencies to be gained through
the use of ICTs in other sectors; encouraging behaviour
change – both in business and consumers.
"We are here because we are seeking to find the best
ways to make ICTs a critical element in addressing
climate change, and to identify the work that must be
carried out in standards development, environmental
monitoring, climate change mitigation and adaptation,"
said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU's
Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.
In a message to the symposium, UN Secretary-General, Mr
Ban Ki-moon commended ITU for working with partners
inside and outside the UN family to give high priority
to actions in this field. "The information and
communication technology sector has much to offer in
creating a cleaner, greener world," he said.
Since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, in December
1997, the number of ICT users has tripled worldwide. The
ICT Sector produces between two to three per cent of the
total emissions of greenhouse gases, but if applied to
reducing emissions in other industry sectors such as
energy, transportation and buildings, could reduce
global emissions by between 15 to 40 per cent depending
on the methodology used to make these estimates.
The first ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, held
in Kyoto April 15-16, and co-organised by MIC Japan,
drew attention to the wide variation in estimates on the
impact of the fast paced ICT evolution on the global
climate and recommended that ITU standardise
methodologies for estimating the impact of ICTs on
climate change both directly and indirectly. This was
confirmed in London.
The chairmen’s reports of the two symposia will now be
forwarded to the G8 Summit, to be held at Lake Toya,
Hokkaido Prefecture in July 2008, and to other relevant
“We must remind ourselves that this is only a first step
on the long road to finding and implementing global
solutions to the challenge of climate change through the
use of ICTs. What is important is not so much what we
say this week, but how we act and follow up on the
momentum we have created” said Johnson.
Speaker Luis Neves, chairman of the Global
e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), a group comprised of
key technology companies and organizations (including
ITU) said that communications technology is a part of
the climate change solution. A GeSI study on
facilitating the low carbon economy in the information
age has been
The London symposium was chaired by Mr. Tom Walker,
Director, Europe and international Business Relations,
Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
During the opening session BT chairman Sir Michael Rake
accepted a Queen's Award for Enterprise - recognizing
the company’s efforts in the field of sustainable
development. The award - also received by BT in 2003 and
which runs for five years - was presented by the Lord
Mayor of the City of London Alderman David Lewis on
behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.
The ITU is expected to conduct most of its work using
remote collaboration tools. It may also undertake a gap
analysis of work being carried out among other
standardization development organizations so as to
better focus its activities. In the closing session
Johnson strongly encouraged all the attendees, as well
others, to participate in this work.
Presentations from Kyoto and London can be viewed
climate change news feed and
video interview with Malcolm Johnson, Director, ITU,
Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.
New report on lawful interception
The sixth in a series of ITU-T
Technology Watch Briefing Reports covers the technology and standards behind lawful
interception (LI), the lawfully authorized monitoring and interception of
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have enabled (lawful)
interception since the early days of electronic communications, but it
remains a shadowy area due to the necessary secrecy that must be accorded to
investigations. National laws, LI methods and standards need to be adapted
to new telecommunication technologies, which continue to develop at an ever
LI has been subject of recent discussion in different
Groups and there is agreement that the topic cannot be limited to its
technical parameters: it involves a range of different aspects including
legal, regulatory, social and political considerations, at national and
international levels. Some parties view LI as a national rather than an
international matter while others fear that ITU efforts might duplicate work
already done elsewhere. Any discussion of LI, even from a strictly technical
perspective, tends to get very quickly into a parallel discussion on human
The report addresses the importance of developing international standards
assuring a transparent process of interception, focusing on the sometimes
conflicting goals of privacy and security.
QoE challenge tackled in new ITU-T Rec.
A recent meeting of ITU-T’s
Study Group 12 saw consent – first stage of the approval process - on
two key new standards for IPTV.
The first ITU-T Recommendation defines user requirements
for Quality of Experience (QoE) for IPTV services.
Quality of Experience (QoE) is defined thus: The overall
acceptability of an application or service, as perceived subjectively by the
The new Recommendation (ITU-T Rec. G.1080) defines QoE
requirements from an end user perspective, agnostic to network deployment
architectures and transport protocols. They are specified as end-to-end and
information is provided on how they influence network transport and
application layer behaviour.
QoE requirements for video, audio, text, graphics,
control functions and meta-data are provided.
The second ITU-T Rec. (ITU-T Rec. G.1081) consented
defines performance monitoring for IPTV. The goal of this is to provide
higher QoS/QoE to customers by identifying, localizing and quantifying
service and network issues. IPTV performance monitoring can be software
based, hardware based, or a hybrid.
Monitoring parameters, monitoring points and monitoring
methods are defined that allow the service provider/network operator to
monitor the performance of the service delivery to the end user.
Successful deployment of IPTV services requires
performance to be monitored at the customer premise (e.g. set-top-box), key
aggregation points such as DSL Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) or cable modem
termination system (CMTS) and at interconnect points between disparate
network domains. Performance monitoring can help:
IPTV standards are progressing rapidly through ITU-T's
IPTV Global Standards Initiative
(GSI). With successful first generation IPTV services
offered by many service providers worldwide standards are seen as vital to
boost next generation services where a customer may go into shop, buy an
IPTV box, call their network operator and sign-up and then access services
from a range of third party service providers. More Recommendations are
expected to be consented at the upcoming IPTV-GSI meeting 23-27 June in
Find errors in an end-to-end system (system debugging)
Check the resource utilization and the work load of
Compare values (metrics) regarding performance of
different system deployments
Provide a base for modelling the systemFind system
Optimize IPTV network deployment
Ensure that system performance does not degrade with
Development Forum for the Americas Region
Development Forum for the Americas Region closed 20 May 2008, in
Brasilia, Brazil. The Forum, was jointly organized by 17 countries in North, Central and
South America as well as the Caribbean.
At the opening ceremony, the chairman, H.E. Ambassador Ronaldo Sardenberg,
President of Anatel, Brazil, confirmed Anatel’s interest in increasing
its cooperation with ITU and other regulatory agencies. He stressed the
importance of the Forum in terms of preparing for WTSA-08 and discussing the
“standardization gap”. He pointed out that the capacity to participate in
the standardization process is of fundamental importance to decrease this
standardization gap between developed and developing countries.
In his speech Mr. Clovis Baptista, Executive Secretary of CITEL underlined
the great impact that the information society has on society. The
information society responds to society’s needs and helps people build on
progress, he said. Baptista also reported an increase in the number of
available services within the Americas region. A universal and suitable
infrastructure is one of the objectives necessary to accelerate the process
of American integration he said.
Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), Malcolm
Johnson, thanked the Ambassador for hosting the event and the cooperation of
CITEL. He expressed his appreciation to countries in the Americas for their
active support of ITU’s activities, especially its standardization work. He
highlighted the importance of standards for international communications and
global trade. Globalisation requires global standards, and a global
standards body like ITU clearly has an increasing role to play, he said.
In his speech, Johnson also raised the serious problem of cost of
participation, especially to meetings in Geneva, as well as the cost of
membership, particularly for small start-up companies in developing
countries. He said that there had been attempts to overcome these
difficulties, and that the issues would be hot topics at the upcoming World
Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08). Johnson said that he
had long encouraged members to host meetings in the regions, and had
recently established a fund to assist hosts with the cost of doing so, as
well as for providing fellowships to attend the meetings. He also mentioned
the invitation to hold an NGN Global Standards Initiative (GSI) meeting in
the Americas region in September 2009. Moreover, he added that ITU-T has
also been trialling new collaboration tools which will allow remote
participation in ITU-T meetings.
ITU Presentation at TMF event
ITU-T NGN expert, Seungyun Lee, from the Korean Electronics and
Telecommunications Research Institute (Korea) will make a presentation at
the upcoming Telemanagement Forum’s (TMF),
Summit. Lee’s presentation is entitled Towards a SOA/WS
enabled NGN Open Service Environment - ongoing developments in ITU-T SG13.
“Across the telecom industry, much work is underway to separate the
communications capabilities in today’s networks from the networks themselves
and to make those capabilities available for integration into the
applications in the IT industry. This effort is making possible a rich menu
of modular building blocks that can be easily mixed and matched with
building blocks from the IT industry to form wholly new kinds of multimedia
services and automated business processes that marry the rich content, data
applications, and business processes of the IT world with the intelligent,
real-time, in-the-network functions of the telecom domain.
Key to this effort at the core of future multimedia service architectures
are the SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and the WS (Web Services)
frameworks. ITU-T SG13 has started the development of specifications towards
the integration of SOA and WS technical approaches in the NGN context. In
line with approved and ongoing ITU-T recommendations, this presentation,
building over the basic concept of NGN capabilities, will introduce some key
requirements and capabilities for the support of an advanced open service
environment in NGN. The integration of SOA and WS in NGN will be then
examined, including some achievements and current challenges for the
The event focuses on the drive to create an open, industry owned blueprint
of how new and exciting services can be created and delivered across complex
value chains. It examines standardization of key elements of service
delivery platforms (SDPs), which will open up the ability of partners to add
end-user value by working seamlessly together to deliver novel services,
created and delivered in a fraction of the time and cost it takes today,
while dramatically cutting integration costs and avoiding vendor lock-in.
ITU and IEEE
Comsoc collaborate to bring Academia and the standards
ITU-T and IEEE Communications Society (Comsoc)
have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aiming to better
collaboration between academia and the standards world.
The document was signed during the first ITU-T
Kaleidoscope conference, Innovations in NGN - Future Network and Services
by Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization
Bureau, and Alexander D. Gelman, Director of Standards, IEEE ComSoc.
The objective of the MoU is to increase cooperation particularly in the area
of events (e.g. workshops, seminars, symposia, forums and academic
conferences) and publications.
The conference was the first in a series that aims at increasing the
dialogue between academia, research institutes and ITU experts working on
the standardization of ICTs. Held in Geneva, 12-13 May, it was attended by
more than 220 participants.
Organized by ITU-T with IEEE ComSoc as Technical Co-Sponsor and supported by
International Communications Foundation
of Japan) and
Sun Microsystems, the
conference brought together the best academic minds from around the world to
present their future visions for Next-Generation Networks (NGN).
Among over 140 papers submitted. 53 papers were presented and the best three
were awarded prizes totaling $10,000 kindly donated by Cisco. These papers
will be included in a future special edition of the IEEE Communications
The winning papers were:
Architecture and business model of open heterogeneous mobile network,
Yoshitoshi Murata; Mikio Hasegawa; Homare Murakami; Hiroshi Harada; Shuzo
Differential phase shift quantum key distribution, Hiroki Takesue; Toshimori
Honjo; Kiyoshi Tamaki; Yasuhiro Tokura.
Open API standardisation for the NGN platform, Catherine Mulligan.
In addition to the prize pool 16 entrants received a Young Author
Recognition Certificate, a recognition ITU will continue to give in future.
The conference highlighted technologies, services and applications that will
capitalize on the NGN infrastructure as well as looking beyond NGN. It
covered multidisciplinary aspects related to the deployment of NGN,
including analysis of regulatory and societal challenges.
Attendees agreed on the the importance of strong collaboration between
ITU-T, academia, and research institutes, which would be to the benefit all.
The many academics in attendance expressed the importance of the role of
universities in the standardization process. One issue discussed was the
lowering of the ITU membership fee for such organizations, a topic that will
likely be discussed at the coming
Building on the success of the first Kaleidoscope event, a second conference
is planned for 2009.
A live audiocast, and archived audio of the conference can be accessed
ITU Standard allows emergency rescue workers to
identify a victim's next-of-kin
A standardized language-independent way to identify a next-of-kin (or other
emergency contact) in a mobile handset's directory, in case of an emergency,
has been adopted as a new clause in ITU-T Recommendation E.123.Emergency
rescue workers searching for contact information for the next-of-kin to an
injured person have had no globally understood way of identifying that
The directory of the injured person's mobile handset is typically used,
since it usually contains the names and numbers of next-of-kin. However,
without a standard way to distinguish these contacts from all other entries
in the directory it is difficult for emergency workers to identify who to
call. system does exist but works only for readers of latin scripts. In
2005, an English ambulance paramedic, Bob Brotchie, proposed a world-wide
introduction of an easy-to-find listing of phone numbers to be called "In
Case of Emergency" (ICE) in the mobile phones of victims of accidents etc.
ICE spread across Europe from the mid 2000's and started to grow into North
America. In a very short time ICE became a standard phrase used by safety
advice agencies and emergency services all over the English-speaking world.
The United Nations issued a guidance note to its entire staff making them
aware of the programme.
Even though very useful, the acronym ICE is specific to the English
language, and the letters ICE is of no use to people who can not recognize
letters in the Latin script.
ITU believes that international standards must be useable by anyone,
regardless of language or script, and has thus taken one step further by
approving the standardized language-independent version of ICE using Arabic
numerals (the digits 0 through 9) instead, since they are known by all users
around the world.
The new clause in Recommendation E.123 proposes to store emergency contact
numbers in the form "0nx", where "n" is a digit from 1 through 9 and "x" is
any meaningful descriptive character string in any language or script (e.g.
"Anna" or "Spouse"). In the handset's rectory this would be displayed as
"01Anna" or "01Spouse" enabling easy identification by the emergency
ICT giants contribute to bridging the
Nokia Siemens Networks,
Cisco have contributed
over USD 125,000 between them to establish an ITU fund to
bridge the standardization gap
between developed and developing countries.
ITU recently announced the fund that would be used to support forums ,
tutorials and workshops, participation of delegates from least developed
countries in meetings, the hosting of meetings in developing countries,
surveys and study programmes.
Bridging the standardization gap means allowing easier participation in the
standards development process which in turn allows developing countries to
profit from access to new technology development and ensures that their
needs are taken into account in the development of standards.
Rajiv Kapoor, Director Carrier Standards and Architectures, Cisco Systems,
Cisco: “As a technology leader, Cisco is a longtime supporter of ITU
activities in many fields and especially of projects aimed at bridging the
digital divide. Increasing developing country participation in the standards
making process is not a short term fix. It will give developing countries a
voice in the development of next generation ICTs and sow the seeds of a
truly equitable information society.”
Tom Robertson, General Manager for Interoperability and Standards at
Microsoft: “Technical standards play a critical role in defining the
technical and economic landscape around the world. All communities affected
by standards should have a voice in their creation. We are strong supporters
of bridging the standardization gap between developed and developing
countries. The ITU fund represents important efforts being made to ensure
that all countries have the opportunity to contribute to standards
development. We look forward to supporting the ITU's efforts to resolve
disparities and bring the potential of technology development to all
communities. ”Dirk Weiler, Vice President Standards and Fora at Siemens
Information and Communication Mobile, Nokia Siemens Networks: “Technology is
a way for the poor of the world to break free from poverty. We have
identified participation in the standards making process as an important way
to facilitate digital inclusion. The problem is that in the past developing
countries have lacked the resources to access, implement and contribute to
standards. This new initiative goes a long way to addressing the problem. We
look forward to working with ITU on its continuing efforts to bridge the
Companies interested in making a contribution to the fund should contact
Thierry Perewostchikow (thierry.perewostchikow[a]itu.int). The relevant
Circular Letter can be found
ITU is hosting a workshop that will examine the critical issue of
Property Rights (IPR) and ICT standards.
The one day workshop will be held at ITU headquarters, 1 July.
The event, aimed at intellectual property specialists and standards makers
will discuss the inclusion of patented technology in standards and the
patent policy approaches to address this. International experts from both
the public and private sectors from around the world will help provide an
overview of the issues and share their insights on present and future
The exchange of ideas and experiences facilitated by this workshop will
provide valuable insight and input that can help to guide future discussion
of the related issues – both at the ITU and in other fora.
Press release on
common patent policy.
More information and registration