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Telecommunication Standardization Sector 

 January 2012  

The Telecommunication Standardization Bureau of ITU would like to wish you all a very successful and enjoyable 2012, and thank you all for your support and contributions to ITU-T during 2011!

ITU approves new worldwide smart grid standards
Key standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on smart grid have been approved at a recent ITU SG 15 meeting.

Recommendations ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956 define three international next generation narrowband powerline communications (NB-PLC) standards. The approved family of standards will enable cost-effective smart grid applications such as distribution automation, diagnostic and fault location, smart metering, demand response, energy management, smart appliances, grid-to-home communications and advanced recharging systems for electric vehicles.

The standards are an ideal platform for smart grid applications because of their use of power lines as a communications medium which is under the direct and complete control of power utilities.

Full press release
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Carrier network standards approved at Geneva meeting
Key standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on a technology (MPLS-TP) required by telecoms operators to increase network efficiency while also reducing capex and opex costs have been approved (or attained first level approval) at a recent ITU meeting.

MPLS-TP refers to extensions to the IETF's MPLS protocol developed in cooperation with the IETF. MPLS can carry packets of different types, allowing telecom operators to offer private connections as well as IP services. Many network operators expect MPLS-TP to work under the same principles as longstanding ITU transport network technologies like SDH and OTN. MPLS-TP provides network operators with a reliable packet-based technology the operation of which aligns with current organizational processes and large-scale work procedures. Its deployment may reduce the need for layer 3 routing in an operator’s network.

Another important draft standard in the field has been forwarded to ITU’s quadrennial World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai next year. This provides an Ethernet based protocol for operations, administration and management (OAM) for Transport MPLS (MPLS-TP). The delay in approval follows the breakdown of a deal brokered by the Japanese administration in November. The compromise proposed was intended to address concerns expressed by IETF, following a series of previous setbacks, detailed here and here. Unfortunately the IETF were unable to deliver one key element of the proposal, the ACh codepoint which contributed to four national delegations vetoing the standard.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: “I would like to thank Japan for its great effort as a neutral party to find a compromise that took into account IETF’s concerns. It is clear that the majority of the world’s ICT industry and governments supports this standard. It is a practical solution demanded by operators around the globe. I am hopeful that IETF will be able to assign the ACh codepoint before WTSA-12 which should allow the standard to be approved by consensus. ITU has a tradition of working by consensus but this is dependent on delegations being willing to compromise.”

At the close of its December meeting Study Group 15 repeated its request to the IETF to provide an ACh codepoint for the Ethernet based OAM protocols. This request is in line with ITU’s continued commitment to a collegial working environment for ICT standards development.
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Announcing the launch of a Global Survey on e-Waste
ITU, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)/ Secretariat of the Basel Convention and the United Nations University (UNU), in collaboration with the Solving the E-waste Problem (StEP) Initiative and the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE), have launched a joint survey on e-waste.

This survey aims to collect detailed data on e-waste management, policies and standards; constructing a comprehensive overview of the current e-waste landscape and identifying future challenges in this realm. Such a mapping of the e-waste issue will establish a base upon which the exchange of e-waste information and best practices can occur, and will form a valuable tool in communicating the gravity of the problem and promoting collaborative work in the future development of policy and management of e-waste.

The widespread use of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) has raised public awareness of its positive effects such as the reduction of the digital divide, but also of the negative environmental and health effects associated with the inefficient waste management of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or e-waste).

There have been alarming reports of e-waste mismanagement in many countries, particularly in less developed nations and countries with economies in transition. E-waste is a significant contributor to the ICT industry’s impact on the environment, and urgent global action to address this issue is essential if the industry is to fulfill its commitment to a sustainable future.

For further information, please see the survey’s webpage:
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Personalized signage: the next digital revolution?
The arresting digital displays of Times Square, Piccadilly Circus and Shibuya are just a foretaste of a brave new world of cityscapes illuminated by interactive, dynamic and highly targeted signage, according to a new ITU-T Technology Watch Report, Digital signage: the right information in all the right places.

Advances in display technologies, declining manufacturing costs and a retail boom in emerging economies are all contributing to the rapid spread of large-scale high-definition display networks. But the proprietary nature of current digital signage solutions is restricting the integration of applications across different networks and vendors. Interoperable global standards will be crucial to the future development of this emerging market, unlocking enormous value not just for display system developers, retailers and newscasters, but for governments and the community at large.

Tomorrow’s dynamic signage can play a crucial civic role in areas like traffic management, public transport systems, safe crowd management at large events, control of people flows in public areas and private venues, and emergency response systems. But to do that effectively, standardized platforms will be crucial.

Full press release
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Job vacancy: Programme Coordinator, Conformity and Interoperability
ITU is inviting applications for the post of Programme Coordinator, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Lack of conformity and interoperability of ICT equipment is a major concern, especially in developing countries. Ensuring the interoperability of ICT products and services is one of the founding principles of the ITU.

The successful candidate should have an excellent knowledge of the ICT industry and, in particular, the ICT standardization landscape. Familiarity with ITU-T rules and procedures, its meeting activities and its products would be an advantage, as would previous involvement in the development of standards.

An attractive package of salary (approximately USD 124,047-166,220 with dependents; USD 115,789-154,533 without dependents [Net of Tax]) plus international allowances and benefits is offered (subject to eligibility).

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2012.A detailed vacancy notice and application form can be downloaded at Applications using the form must be sent to or by post to ITU Human Resources Policies Division, Place des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland.

Applications must reach ITU by the closing date.
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Job vacancy: Chief, Operations and Planning Department
ITU is inviting applications for the post of Chief of the Operations and Planning Department, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more information see: Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) provides essential logistical support to ITU-T’s 10 Study Groups including electronic working facilities and meeting management. It also manages promotion, workshops, membership, documents, finance, the website etc. It is the body responsible for providing cohesion to ITU-T’s standards making process.

The successful candidate should have an excellent knowledge of the ICT industry and, in particular, the ICT standardization landscape. Familiarity with ITU-T rules and procedures, its meeting activities and its products would be an advantage, as would previous involvement in the development of standards.

The senior management level (Director level in the United Nations system) post demands strong organizational skills and diplomacy. Under the general direction of the TSB’s Director, the incumbent will plan and coordinate the activities of the Operations and Planning Department.

The incumbent will also be expected to provide authoritative advice to the Director and the Deputy to the Director on all the matters for which he/she is responsible, and will contribute to TSB strategy and policy through their participation in the TSB management committee.

An attractive package of salary (approximately USD 213,046-244,756 with dependants; USD 196,923-224,263 without dependants [Net of Tax]) plus international allowances and benefits is offered (subject to eligibility).

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2012.A detailed vacancy notice and application form including remuneration can be downloaded at Applications using the form must be sent to or by post to ITU Human Resources Administration Division, Place des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland.

Applications must reach ITU by the closing date.
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New ITU standards fuel virtualization and energy saving for Future Networks
ITU-T’s Study Group 13 has consented new standards underpinning central elements of Future Networks (FNs); multiple virtual networks enabling a wide range of network services, and energy saving capabilities superior to those offered by traditional network technologies.

Future Networks (FNs) will provide revolutionary capabilities, facilities and services which will be difficult to support using existing network technologies. The number and range of network-based services is expected to explode in the near future, and a single network architecture will struggle to satisfy the requirements unique to each of these new services. Forming multiple physical networks will demand large outlays of capital for their installation, operation and maintenance. FNs thus need to realize diverse services through the creation of heterogenous network architectures overlaying a common physical network.

The new standards are Recommendation ITU-T Y.3011, “Framework of Network Virtualization for Future Networks”, and Recommendation ITU-T Y.3021, “Framework of Energy Saving for Future Networks.”Recommendation Y.3011 provides a framework of network virtualization technology, a means allowing multiple virtual networks called Logically Isolated Network Partitions (LINPs) to coexist in a single physical network. Network Virtualization will create isolated, flexible networks supporting a broad range of network architectures and services. Their isolation will allow the satisfaction of services’ unique requirements, but also presents the opportunity to create experimental networks or test-beds where developers, providers and users can design and evaluate new services. The flexibility of these virtual networks is another key feature of Y.3011’s design, allowing the reconfiguration of networks to reflect the evolving characteristics of FN services and applications as they mature.

Environmental awareness is one of the fundamental objectives of FNs and energy-saving technologies form a crucial part of their development. Through their creation of network architectures for smart energy grids and ubiquitous sensor networks, FNs will do much to improve the energy efficiency of other non-ICT industry sectors. Their proliferation will however also increase the volume of energy demanded by FNs themselves. Y.3021 thus provides a framework to minimize the energy consumption of network facilities such as routers, switches and servers, as well as a method to manage the total energy consumption of FNs at all stages of their lifecycle.
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Global CTOs call for faster progress on e-health standards
A meeting of 20 CTOs from leading companies1 in the information and communication technology (ICT) industry has urged ITU to accelerate technical standardization work in the field of e-health. CTOs stressed that reliable, interoperable standards are key to providing patients and health professionals with the means to utilize remote consultation services, advanced ICT-based diagnostic procedures and electronic health information services.

The meeting, which was held today in Geneva during ITU Telecom World 2011, agreed that international coordination on standards will be vital, and that growth in telemedicine services will also demand aggressive roll-out of broadband networks. The CTOs encouraged ITU, as the world’s leading developer of global ICT standards, to intensify its involvement by developing essential e-health infrastructure standards, and by cooperating with other standards bodies to create reliable, secure and interoperable e-health solutions.

1) Participating companies were: Alcatel-Lucent; Cisco; Ericsson; Etisalat Group; Freescale; Fujitsu; Huawei; KDDI; Microsoft; Netscout Systems; NSN; NTT; Orange FT Group; RIM; Telecom Italia; Telefonica; Telekom South Africa; Turk Telecom Group; Verizon; Vodafone Group; ZTE.

Full press release
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IPTV App challenge winners revealed
ITU announced the winners of its IPTV App Challenge at ITU Telecom World 2011. The corporate app category was given to Discover Japan from NHK Enterprises (Japan) which offers users an introduction to the best of Japanese culture. The best individual/SME award split the vote and was awarded to 7 Days Gallery and Dengue Combat.

Discover Japan highlights Tokyo's cutting-edge pop culture but also the traditional culture of Kyoto, a city steeped in over 1,000 years of history. With broadcast TV and video on demand as the areas of focus, the application responds to users' interests, providing answers to their questions, offering interesting information, and enabling them to shop online.

7 Days Gallery, by Alève Mine and Eric Bréchemier is a digital space to promote new artists/designers. It organizes seven pieces of art work from one artist/designer in a collection, and presents a different collection for each day of the week. Users can browse the pictures with their remote control and find out more information on each of the piece of art, such as its title, description text, a web site (URL) and online shopping possibilities. Users can also find information about the artist including: their biography, portrait and web site.

Dengue Combat is an interactive TV programme to promote awareness and knowledge to combat dengue fever. IPTV users are informed by watching a video programme about dengue fever. They can also find out the nearest medical care facility by providing their postal code and verify their knowledge of this disease by participating in a quiz.

More details on the apps can be found at:
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Using telecommunication to transfer biometric information
ITU has approved a new protocol to relay biometric information, connecting medical practitioners with the real-time medical data of patients in remote locations. Study Group 17’s Recommendation ITU-T X.1080.1 is the first in a suite of e-health and telemedicine recommendations and supports interactions between a patient’s local medical facility and a remote medical centre.

e-Health technologies have great potential to bridge the service provision inequalities between developed and developing nations, as well as between urban and rural communities. ITU-T X.1080.1 takes into account work in other standards bodies and recognizes and identifies data formats and interactions using Abstract Notation One (ASN.1) object identifiers (OIDs and OID-IRIs). It also provides security features in the form of Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS), which enables both integrity and encryption.

ITU-T X.1080.1 is designed to provide wide-area communication supporting all health-related activities, where the communication can be usefully undertaken as structured messages. From this base, the X.1080 series will develop into a set of recommendations addressing physical, chemical, biological, culturological and psychological diagnoses, interventions and prescriptions. It aims to remove the need for a co-location of medical practitioners and patients, and will support both multi-party (for audit and training purposes) and one-to-one interaction.

The remaining five parts of the X.1080 series, dealing with the identification of physiological quantities and units, are being constructed in close collaboration with ISO/TC 12, and IEC/TC 25.
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ITU Kaleidoscope 2010 winners featured in IEEE Comms Magazine
The October issue of IEEE Communications Magazine carries a ‘feature topic’ on ITU’s third Kaleidoscope event – Beyond the Internet? − Innovations for future networks and services.

The magazine, also available online, carries the winning papers, as well as one invited paper from this ITU academic event.

All Kaleidoscope papers are also available in IEEE Xplore, IEEE's online library.

The fourth Kaleidoscope event “The fully networked human? Innovations for future networks and services” was held in Cape Town, South Africa, 12-14 December 2011.
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Updated : 2012-01-06