Telecommunication Standardization Sector
New work seeks to achieve cloud interoperability
Momentum towards greater interoperability between cloud services has
been achieved with the announcement of new work in ITU.
ITU-T’s Study Group 13 (SG 13) has created a new Working
Party (WP) on cloud computing, tasked with progressing the Technical
Reports that were the output of a previous Focus Group on Cloud
Computing (FG Cloud) towards formalization as ITU-T Recommendations.
Cloud computing is an industry expected to grow at an annual
growth rate of roughly 30 per cent, consequently more than
quadrupling in size between 2010 and 2015 to become an industry
worth approximately $120 billion. However, concerns with the
portability – freedom to transfer data between the clouds of
different providers - and the interoperability of cloud solutions
has led to calls for standardization to fuel further industry growth
(see ITU-T Techwatch Report, “Distributed Computing: Utilities,
Grids and Clouds”).
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
(ETRI), ZTE Corporation and Microsoft are all very active within
both ITU and the cloud computing field, and ITU is pleased to see
these Questions placed in such capable hands.
In addition, SG 13 has appointed Monique Morrow of Cisco
Systems as convener of the recently-established Joint Coordination
Activity (JCA) on Cloud Computing . The JCA will coordinate the
multi-dimensional study of cloud computing within the ITU, and will
act as a point of contact for other organizations seeking to
contribute to this work.
ITU’s cloud computing work has already attracted a great deal
of interest resulting in several new memberships.
For more on this story
Call for new apps to address ‘sustainable energy for all’
ITU and Telefónica have announced two challenges to uncover
innovative ICT approaches to support the 2012 UN-declared
‘International Year for Sustainable Energy for All’.
Green ICT Hackathon will take place on 28-29 February
during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, while the 2nd
Green ICT Application Challenge is now open for the submission of
Concept Papers until 13 April, 2012.
Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “Sustainable
energy for all is crucial to the future of modern civilization. ITU
is committed to stimulating the creation of innovative ICT apps
founded on new modes of thinking; ideas to effect the change needed
to achieve a sustainable future.”
Alberto Andreu Pinillos, Chief Reputation and Sustainability
Officer at Telefónica: “The Green ICT Hackathon is part of the joint
activities of Telefónica’s Global Energy Efficiency and Climate
Change Office, Movistar Spain and Bluevia, Telefónica’s global
developer platform. These initiatives have a double objective –
first, to support developers with great ideas, and second, to foster
green ICT applications for energy efficiency and sustainable
Full press release
ITU IPTV standards the basis for transcontinental IPTV experiment
An international experiment deploying ITU-standardized IPTV
technologies has taken place 6-8 February 2012. IPTV services were
used to live-stream scenes from the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan
and to provide supporting Video-on-Demand (VoD) segments.
ITU Headquarters in Geneva received the stream from the
head-end server in Japan, participating alongside organizations from
Japan, Singapore and Thailand in what is the first transcontinental
broadcast of a live event using IPTV technology standardized
end-to-end by ITU. The connection uses native IPv6 from ITU
Headquarters to Japan.
Proprietary IPTV services have hampered the growth of this
exciting new market, and such experiments - together with ITU IPTV
Interoperability events – are important steps towards broadening the
IPTV market through globally-interoperable services. Standardized
IPTV will lead to a whole new market for innovation, and ITU
standards will ensure this market remains open, competitive and
accessible to all.
First approved in 2009,
Recommendation ITU-T H.762, a
“Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment” (LIME) for IPTV
services, is the standard with which Sapporo’s live-stream IPTV
application complies. Hokkaido Television Broadcasting (HTB)
developed this application, and is one of many broadcasters,
manufacturers and research institutes involved in the IPTV
experiments. The experiments have been organized by Japan’s National
Institute of Information and Communications (NICT) and are being
conducted over its IPv6 research network, Japan Gigabit Network-eXtreme
Other ITU-T IPTV standards also formed part of the
infrastructure: H.770 IPTV Service discovery, H.721 IPTV terminal
for VoD and Linear TV, H.701 IPTV Error correction, H.750 IPTV
Metadata and the Primetime Emmy Award winning H.264 Video
compression codec. The experiments also used Openflow, PCE/VNTM and
For more on ITU’s IPTV standardization work, please see ITU’s
IPTV Global Standards Initiative
ITU establishes Focus Group on Machine-to-Machine Service Layer
The January meeting of the
Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Service Layer.
M2M refers to the ability of a machine to sense and measure
certain variables, and communicate this information to other
machines in a network. Included under the larger umbrella of the
“Internet of Things” (IoT), M2M technologies have applications in a
number of industries – e-health, fleet management, sales and
payment, security and surveillance, intelligent transport systems
The group will study and evaluate the M2M landscape and M2M
work currently being undertaken by regional and national standards
development organizations (SDOs), with a view to identifying a
common set of requirements.
The Focus Group will initially focus on the APIs and
protocols to support e-health applications and services, and develop
technical reports in these areas. It is suggested that the Focus
Group establish three sub-working groups: “M2M use cases and service
models”, “M2M service layer requirements” and “M2M APIs and
protocols.” Strong collaboration with stakeholders such as Continua
Health Alliance and World Health Organization (WHO) is foreseen. The
Focus Group concept allows for greater operational flexibility and
crucially allows non ITU members and other interested organizations
The group is expected to carry out the following specific
These terms of reference are subject to consultation of the
- Research, collect and analyze the vertical market M2M service
layer needs, initially focusing on e-health.
Identify a minimum common set of M2M service layer
requirements and capabilities, initially focusing on e-health
applications and services.
Study APIs and relevant protocols that satisfy the above
requirements and capabilities to support the communications between
the M2M applications and the telecom networks.
Develop technical reports to address the identified gaps and
propose future standardization work for ITU-T developments on M2M.
Support global harmonization and consolidation by inputting
its final deliverables to the parent Study Group and other relevant
Study Groups as appropriate.
The Focus Group will work closely with all ITU-T Study
Groups, especially Study Groups 13 and 16, with the other ITU
sectors (ITU-R, ITU-D) and with other relevant UN agencies, SDOs,
forums/consortia, regulators, policy makers, industry and academia.
Within the ITU, the group will work particularly closely with the
Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI).
Joint Coordination Activity on Cloud Computing established
January’s meeting of the
Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a Joint Coordination Activity on cloud
computing (JCA-Cloud). The work of the ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud
Computing (FG Cloud) will now be progressed through a number of ITU
Study Groups with the JCA acting as a mechanism to coordinate the
many dimensions of the study of cloud computing.
FG Cloud was formed following a request by leading CTOs to
investigate the standardization landscape in the cloud computing
market and pursue standards to lead to further commoditization and
interoperability of clouds. The end goal is a cloud computing
ecosystem where interoperability facilitates secure information
exchange across platforms. With its work now complete, FG Cloud, in
operation since May 2010, has mapped this landscape, established
official liaisons with other standards developers and, as one of its
deliverables, produced a technical report providing the first
comprehensive view of the end-to-end architecture of a cloud
The burgeoning cloud computing market has evolved into
service-oriented business models that offer physical and virtual
resources on a pay-as-you-go basis – offering an alternative to
in-house data centers and stringent license agreements.
The primary objectives of JCA-Cloud will be to allocate FG
Cloud’s deliverables to study groups with associated domains of
competence, and to ensure that the ITU-T standardization work on
cloud computing progresses in a well-coordinated manner across all
the relevant study groups. TSAG decided that ITU-T Study Group 13 be
designated the lead study group on cloud computing.
Alongside this internal coordination role, JCA-Cloud will
also take up an external collaboration role. It will analyze the
cloud computing work taking place in regional and national standards
development organizations (SDOs), consortia and fora, and will act
as a point of contact for external bodies seeking to coordinate or
collate their cloud computing standardization work with that of
ITU-T. In carrying out this external collaboration role,
representatives from national and regional organizations, consortia
and fora may be invited to join JCA-Cloud.
TSAG establishes new Focus Group to Bridge the Gap between Innovation and Standardization
The January meeting of the
Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on Bridging
the Gap: From Innovation to Standards (ItS). Standardization
converts innovations into internationally-accessible tools to aid
the growth of new markets and bridge the digital divide. The Focus
Group will seek to reduce the lag between innovation and
standardization; an action to ensure key innovations spread as fast
as possible in the global ICT market.
Of particular importance to the group will be the
identification of ICT innovation in the developing world, and the
task of ensuring such innovation achieves international recognition
through its inclusion in the standards produced by ITU-T.
The group will carry out the following specific actions:
- In cooperation with ITU-D, document case studies of
successful examples of ICT innovations, including those that have
emerged in developing countries, and identify relevant
standardization gaps. Particular focus should be on the
socio-economic impact of ICT innovation emerging in developing
- Analyze the innovations that may be standardized and identify
best practices facilitating the implementation of such innovations
in other parts of the world;
- Identify case studies which developing countries can adopt to
enhance their ICT innovation and standardization capabilities and
associated socio-economic welfare;
- Identify the difficulties faced by developing countries in
bringing their ICT innovation to ITU-T;
- Suggest future ITU-T study items and related actions;
- Examine how other Standards Development Organizations, forums
and consortia address ICT innovation and its integration into
- Promote its activity at the World Telecommunication
Standardization Assembly (WTSA) meeting in November 2012.
ITU-T Technology Watch features in ITU News magazine
The two latest reports from ITU-T’s Policy and
Division – on video games and digital signage - feature prominently
in the January issue of
ITU News. Published in all six official ITU
languages, the issue provides a snapshot of today’s ICT ecosystem
and the global ITU activities and events which aid in giving it
Video games today entertain a broad cross-section of
consumers and represent an extremely profitable and still rapidly
growing industry. September 2011’s Technology Watch Report on
“Trends in Video Games and Gaming” brings light to the major gaming
terminals and platforms, game forms and genres, and how the advent
of social media and mobile gaming are augmenting an already
highly-networked gaming culture.
Digital signage is poised to become a very large industry, in
a very short space of time. Standardization is key to the
development and accessibility of digital signage technologies, and a
workshop in Tokyo, organized by ITU and the
of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, aimed to share ideas
and insight on advanced digital signage service features and
requirements, current best practices and existing standardization
activities of key players. The event addressed digital signage
technologies and the related standardization work being undertaken
in ITU-T Study Group 16. For an in-depth view of digital signage and
its market, see November 2011’s Technology Watch Report, “Digital
Signage: the right information in all the right places.”
Experts from industry, research institutions and academia are
invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts for future reports
in the Technology Watch series. Please contact
email@example.com for details and guidelines.
Global CTOs call for faster progress on e-health standards
The January meeting of the
Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on Disaster
Relief Systems, Network Resilience and Recovery (FG-DR&NRR).
A spate of recent natural disasters has underlined the need
for preemptive disaster-response planning. ICT networks must be
resilient enough to withstand disasters, but have also proven to be
pivotal in providing relief to the people affected by major climatic
The Focus Group will coordinate ITU-T’s current work in this
field, and will expand this work into two important new areas: (1)
disaster relief for individuals (to notify relatives, friends or
employers of a victim’s situation) and (2) disaster relief guidance
(to show victims the routes to evacuation shelters, home, etc.).
For these types of standardized emergency communications to
exist, ICT network resilience and recovery capabilities need to be
such that networks can resume normal service quickly after disaster
strikes. TSAG has thus directed the Focus Group to identify all the
standardization requirements of network resilience and recovery; a
study which may extend beyond current ITU work in this field.
The Focus Group’s scope is as follows:
The Focus Group will collaborate with worldwide relevant
communities (e.g., research institutes, forums, academia) including
other SDOs and consortia.
- identify requirements for disaster relief and network
resilience and familiarize the ITU-T and standardization communities
with those requirements;
identify existing standards and existing work related to the
requirements mentioned above;
identify any additional standards that may need to be
developed and identify future work items for specific ITU-T Study
groups and related actions;
encourage collaboration among ITU-T Study Groups, in
particular SG2, SG5, SG13, SG15, and SG17, ITU-R, ITU-D and relevant
organizations and communities, including the PCP/TDR.