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Telecommunication Standardization Sector 

 September 2012  
ITU acts to cut roaming charges
ITU members from the public and private sectors have agreed on measures to reduce ‘bill-shock’ whereby consumers are faced with unexpected and excessive charges for mobile roaming. They have approved a number of measures to empower consumers and encourage operators to lower tariffs. These measures (Recommendation ITU-T D.98) will represent the first truly international agreement taking steps towards lowering roaming costs.

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ICT stakeholders set out carbon commitments
Industry leaders outlined their commitment to a green agenda with a Declaration issued at the end of ITU’s Green Standards Week which was organized together with TechAmerica Europe and hosted by Microsoft in Paris. Agreed by over 150 participants from the private and public sectors, the document includes carbon commitments from leading ICT companies including: Alcatel-Lucent; AT&T; Cisco; Dell; Fujitsu; Hewlett Packard; Huawei; Infosys; Intel; KPN; Microsoft; Nokia Siemens Networks; Orange, Telecom Italia and Telefónica.

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ITU Forum on C&I for the Arab and African Regions
ITU is to host a Forum on Conformance and Interoperability for the Arab and African Regions. The event will focus on the ITU Conformity and Interoperability programme, and will be held 5-7 November 2012, in Tunis.

The Forum will address the following questions: tasks, efforts and priorities to be fulfilled in the international standardization field to increase interoperability of products between various providers/manufacturers; capacity building and the creation of test centres in the Arab and African regions; accreditation; certification; mutual recognition agreements for quality certificates; testing experience for system and network solutions; services and parameters of network functionality for ensuring quality of service (QoS).

Detailed information on the event is available here.
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Briefing session on proposals submitted to WCIT-12 and WTSA-12
Briefing sessions for ITU members on proposals submitted to WCIT-12 and WTSA-12 will be held at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, on 8 and 9 October 2012. The sessions will be chaired by Mohamed Al-Ghanim, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, United Arab Emirates. The WCIT-12 session will take place the full day on Tuesday 8 October and the morning of 9 October and the WTSA-12 session will follow that afternoon.

These meetings will provide participants with the opportunity to explain their proposals, exchange views and have a better understanding of each other’s proposals and positions. The Secretariat will provide two documents, one for WCIT and one for WTSA, showing the consolidated proposals submitted by 1 October 2012..

For further information please refer to Circular 1025
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Job Vacancy: Study Group Advisor
ITU is inviting applications for the post of Study Group Advisor, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The successful candidate will provide secretariat support to an ITU-T Study Group; assisting the management team and working groups by, inter alia, studying all contributions and consulting with the submitting bodies, preparing draft texts (recommendations, reports, questions, etc.) and providing input on the technical accuracy and comprehensiveness of all such texts.

Applicants should have at least seven years of experience in the field of ICTs/ telecommunications, including at least three at the international level. A Doctorate in a related field can be considered as a substitute for three years of working experience.

Expertise on service definition, numbering, naming, addressing requirements and resource assignment including criteria and procedures for reservation and assignment would be an advantage. In addition knowledge of tariff and accounting matters (including costing methodologies) for international telecommunication services and related telecommunication economic, accounting and policy issues would be an advantage.Standards from the ITU are at the heart of modern information and communications technologies (ICTs). For more information see:

The 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.

An attractive package of salary (132,499 -171,699 USD without dependents; 142,285-185,624 USD with dependents [Net of Tax]) plus international allowances and benefits is offered (subject to eligibility).

The closing date for applications is 5 November 2012.A detailed vacancy notice and application form, including remuneration, can be downloaded here. 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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In Memoriam: John Larmouth
ITU regrets to announce the death of Professor John Larmouth (1941-2012), a great contributor to the work of ITU-T and a lifelong proponent of the virtues of international standardization.

John embarked on his career in computing at Cambridge University where he earned a PhD in Pure Mathematics and Computing. After another ten years at Cambridge, as a researcher and technical officer involved in the provision of the university’s computing service, John took up a position at the University of Salford, where he founded and directed the university’s Information Technology Institute and retired as Professor Emeritus of Telematics.

Alongside his academic career, John’s active involvement in international standardization spanned thirty four years; beginning in 1978, and leading to his 2001 founding of Larmouth Training & Protocol Design Services Ltd., a consultancy specializing in ASN.1, biometrics, and computer protocol design using ASN.1.

For the past 14 years, John served as a Rapporteur in ITU-T Study Group 17 (Security), playing a crucial role in the successful development and implementation of ASN.1 (Abstract Syntax Notation One), and particularly in the notation’s support for XML (Extensible Markup Language). He worked as the Editor of ITU-T Recommendations and ISO and IEC International Standards, including ITU-T X.1082, IEC 80000-14 and several standards in ISO/IEC JTC1/SC37 (Biometrics). He was Rapporteur and Convenor of the joint work on ASN.1, Object Identifiers (OIDs) and associated registration in ITU-T SG 17 and JTC1/SC6.

ASN.1 is a standardized notation used to describe the data structures carried by messages exchanged between communicating parts. Ratified as a standard in 1984, the industry-shaping specification language today boasts a long record of reliability and interoperability, supporting the exchange of information in any form (audio, video and data) and used in applications ranging from telecommunications to parcel tracking, power distribution, banking and biomedicine. The success of ITU-T’s series of ASN.1 standards was in large part due to John’s prowess as a writer and editor of technical standards, with the adoption of this series owing a great deal to his role in increasing the clarity of successive editions. His book, ASN.1 Complete, is available on the web and in print.

Many standards define certain objects for which unambiguous identification is required. This is achieved through the assignment of an object identifier (OID) to an object by a Registration Authority, making the assignment available to all interested parties. The naming structure is a ‘tree’ structure that allows the identification of objects in a local or international context, without being limited by registration authorities or the number of objects they can register. John’s leadership in this effort included authoring the 2010 ITU Handbook on Object identifiers (OIDs) and their registration authorities.

John is survived by wife, Carol, and twins, Sarah-Jayne and James.
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High-level ITU talks address rampant patent litigation
In light of recent patent disputes that have caused shipments of goods to be impounded at docks and the worldwide increase in standard essential patent (SEP) litigation, ITU will host a high-level roundtable discussion between standards organizations, key industry players and government officials at ITU headquarters in Geneva, on 10 October 2012.

The ITU Patent Roundtable will address the worldwide surge in patent litigation and the growing lack of adherence to standards bodies’ existing patent policies. Topics include potential improvements to existing policy frameworks, entitlement to injunctive reliefs, and definitions of what constitutes a royalty base.

Discussions on the relevance of current arrangements based around reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) patent policies will be a key focus. RAND-based policies have thus far been an effective way of managing natural tensions between patent holders, standards implementers and end-users. However, the definition of what constitutes ‘reasonable’, and whether or not holders of SEPs are entitled to injunctive relief are now emerging as major points of contention.

Full Press Release
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ITU GeSI report uncovers opportunity to decrease e-waste
A new ITU-Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) report reveals that standards for the manufacture of external power supplies (EPS) could enhance their reliability and extend their lifecycle while decreasing their average weight by up to 30 per cent. This could eliminate 300,000 tonnes of e-waste annually, the report estimates. Putting this in context, this amount of waste, equivalent to sixty per cent of current annual EPS e-waste, would form a 300km truck-jam, every year.

Full press release
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Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and ICTs: the Case of Ghana
ITU, the Ministry of Communications of Ghana, the National Communications Authority of Ghana and the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, in cooperation with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, have published a report Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Information & Communications Technologies (ICTs): the Case of Ghana.

The report written by Angelica Valeria Ospina (University of Manchester), Cristina Bueti (ITU), Keith Dickerson and David Faulkner (Climate Associates), focuses on exploring an increasingly important question: How can developing countries effectively integrate ICT tools within climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies?

Ghana’s experience, illustrated in the report, demonstrates that ICTs can help developing countries to unlock those opportunities, and overcome the challenges posed by climate change through e-enabled adaptation and mitigation responses.

The contribution of this report is two-fold. It presents the potential of ICTs towards adaptation and mitigation through the concrete case of Ghana, illustrating the challenges and opportunities faced by developing countries in this field. The report complements this analysis by offering concrete lessons learned and practical suggestions aimed at developing country decision makers and practitioners, thus fostering the adoption of novel, ICT-supported approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The case of Ghana represents a successful model to be replicated in other developing countries to build resilience against climate change using ICTs.
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Guidance on Green ICT Procurement
ITU together with the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ association (ETNO) has launched a new report giving Guidance on Green ICT Procurement.

The report was launched during the forum on Environmental Sustainability for the ICT Sector, which took place on 20 September 2012 in Paris (France) as part of the second ITU Green Standards Week.

This report aims at guiding ICT companies in adopting sustainable business practices.

Aimee Torres, ITU consultant, author of the report: “ICT companies have the power and legitimacy to innovate, transform and dematerialize the economy, but the increasing proliferation of information and communication technologies has raised concerns about the environmental consequences of these technologies… All kinds of business practices and procurement decisions should, and can, be made with a greener perspective.”

The report proposes a structured step-by-step procurement process, outlining green principles to be applied by the ICT industry when procuring goods, products and services, answering the questions: How to buy? What to buy? Whom to buy from?

To achieve effective procurement practices, the author reiterates the need to foster effective standardization in these processes.

Full story
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Review of Mobile Handset Eco-Rating Schemes
A Review of Mobile Handset Eco-Rating Schemes was another of a raft of reports launched at the second Green Standards Week in Paris this week. The publication outlines eco-ratings schemes developed by mobile telecommunication operators to measure the sustainability and environmental performance of their products to consumers.

Achieving environmental sustainability is one of the major challenges of our times. To support the behavioral change of consumers towards more sustainable purchasing, industries have developed schemes to provide information on a product’s relative sustainability, especially with regard to environmental aspects.

These eco-rating schemes generally cover three broad categories — the company, the supply chain and the device itself.

This report shows that there is no scheme that could be considered a perfect view of sustainability; however, each does attempt to provide a broad perspective of the sustainability impact of the manufacture, use and disposal of a mobile handset.

Based on this study, areas that eco-rating schemes should consider as best practice are identified. To drive further improvements, ITU-T Study Group 5 is encouraged to take the lead on integrating the best elements of each scheme into a single scheme to simplify the process for consumers, mobile operators and manufacturers.
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Greening ICT Supply Chains
ITU together with the United Nations University (UNU) has launched a report containing results of a Survey on Conflict Minerals Due Diligence Initiatives.

The report Greening ICT Supply Chains – Survey on Conflict Minerals Due Diligence Initiatives was launched during the forum on Greening ICT Supply Chain, which took place on 18 September 2012 in Paris, France as part of the second ITU Green Standards Week.

International concern has been raised about the so-called Conflict Minerals issue, referring to minerals (namely tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold) mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses.

These minerals are key inputs for products of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry. Their sourcing from the African Great Lakes Region - one of the largest sources of these minerals - is taking place in the heart of two of the most important ecosystems on the planet: the Congo Basin Ecosystem and the Albertine Rift. Unsustainable management of how minerals are accessed, extracted, processed and transported can irreversibly endanger the surrounding environment.

While the conflict and human rights aspect of ICT supply chains originating from the African Great Lakes Region garners much of the current international attention, the environmental aspect has been overlooked. This survey details existing initiatives (national and international legislation, as well as industry-, government- and multi-stakeholder led activities) aimed at providing the ICT sector with guidance to conduct due diligence on their supply chains to ensure that their sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold does not contribute to conflict and human rights violations and does not harm the environment.
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Updated : 2012-09-28