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 Thursday, July 05, 2012

ITU and the European Telecommunications Standardization Institute (ETSI) have agreed on a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will smooth the way for regional standards, developed by ETSI, to be recognised internationally.

In addition, the new MoU creates a single framework through which to channel ITU, ETSI collaboration. The agreement will replace existing MoUs with ITU-T and ITU-R, signed in 2000 and 2002 respectively.

ITU and ETSI possess complementary roles as Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), with ITU recognized as an international standardization body in the ICT field and ETSI as the European standardization organization for telecommunications.

The agreement between ETSI and ITU follows last year’s MoU between key Asian standards developers ARIB, CCSA, TTA and TTC. See press release here.

Mutual cooperation between SDOs is key to ensuring a coordinated approach to standards development. International standardization re-engineers regional standards to allow them international reach, or reconciles regional standards to form cohesive international standards.

Clear, coordinated action from standards bodies, will provide the business community with greater clarity regarding standards under development. This increased certainty will promote a faster, more efficient adoption of standards in products manufactured; leading to greater economies of scale and lower costs to consumers.

Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “ITU standards allow international access to the innovations progressing our Information Society. This is achieved through cooperation with national and regional standards bodies to uncover the most valuable innovations and standards, no matter where they originate. It is thus very encouraging to see an extension of ITU’s MoU with ETSI, an action which will ensure ITU standards reflect the current ‘state of the art’ in European ICT standardization at the international level.”

Luis Jorge Romero, Director General, ETSI: “ETSI isrecognized by industry for its work in standards for ICT in the fixed, radio, mobile and broadcast domains, and our drive for excellence can be seen in our continuing focus on testing and interoperability. Our membership has grown to become global and in many cases is common with the ITU, which has resulted in a strong partnership and common goals being built up between us. Today we welcome the renewal of our relationship with the ITU and the extension of our co-operation into new fields.”

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Thursday, July 05, 2012 9:50:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 25, 2011

Further to the agreement between the Director, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau and the Chairman of the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) detailed in the ITU-T Newslog of November 14, the agreed statement has been included in a proposed compromise from the Japanese administration. The relevant documents are publicly available at: http://www.itu.int/oth/T0A0B00000C.


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Friday, November 25, 2011 6:24:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 14, 2011

Ahead of IETF’s 82nd meeting Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) has issued a statement underlining ITU’s commitment to a collegial working environment for ICT standards.
 
"Wherever appropriate, ITU will continue to reference the deliverables of other standards bodies rather than duplicating their work, and as far as possible we try to avoid the development of competing standards. By doing so we can best serve the needs of the international ICT community."
 
The statement underlines ITU core principles on cooperation detailed in ITU-T’s strategic plan (contained in Resolution 71 (Rev. Guadalajara 2010)) : “Cooperation and collaboration with other standardization bodies and relevant consortia and fora are key to avoiding duplication of work and achieving efficient use of resources, as well as incorporating expertise from outside ITU.”
 
Full details on generic procedures for including references to documents of other organizations in ITU-T Recommendations can be found in ITU-T Recommendation A.5.
 
Consequently Mr Johnson and Mr Russ Housley, Chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have agreed that MPLS, including MPLS-TP, is defined exclusively in the standards-track RFCs. The ITU-T will reference the IETF RFCs for MPLS-TP from its Recommendations providing there is consensus that they meet the needs of its members. By mutual agreement some other specific aspects, including the equipment model and protocol-neutral management information model (G.8121-series, G.8151, G.8152), developed in ITU-T are considered part of MPLS-TP.
 

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Monday, November 14, 2011 9:24:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 14, 2011

2011-10-14 – World Standards Day is celebrated each year on 14 October to pay tribute to the efforts of thousands of experts worldwide who collaborate within IEC, ISO and ITU to develop voluntary International Standards that facilitate trade, spread knowledge and disseminate technological advances.

The theme of World Standards Day 2011 is, “International standards – Creating confidence globally”.

The World Standards Day message is signed by the leaders of the three principal international standardization organizations: Dr. Klaus Wucherer, President of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC): Dr. Boris Aleshin, President of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The three organizations are the partners making up the World Standards Cooperation (WSC).

Their message points out that international standards for products and services underpin quality, ecology, safety, reliability, interoperability, efficiency and effectiveness. Standards do all of this while giving manufacturers confidence in their ability to reach out to global markets safe in the knowledge that their product will perform globally.

This is because international standards provide interoperability which in turn creates economies of scale and ensures that users can obtain equal service wherever they travel. So international standards benefit consumers, manufacturers and service providers alike. Importantly, in developing countries this accelerates the deployment of new products and services and encourages economic development.

“In today’s world we need to have a high level of expectation that things will work the way we expect them to work,” the three leaders affirm.

“We expect that when we pick up the phone we will be able to instantly connect to any other phone on the planet. We expect to be able to connect to the Internet and be provided with news and information… instantly. When we fall ill, we rely on the healthcare equipment used to treat us.  When we drive our cars, we have confidence that the engine management, steering and braking, and child safety systems are reliable. We expect to be protected against electrical power failure and the harmful effects of pollution.”

The heads of IEC, ISO and ITU underline that international standards create confidence globally, adding, “Indeed one of the key objectives of standardization is to provide this confidence. Systems, products and services perform as we expect them to because of the essential features specified in international standards.”

In addition, international standards create confidence by being developed in an environment of openness and transparency, where every stakeholder can contribute.

The three standardization leaders conclude by emphasizing that the objective of IEC, ISO and ITU is to “facilitate and augment this confidence globally, so as to connect the world with international standards”.

Download the World Standards Day poster here.

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Friday, October 14, 2011 8:30:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 29, 2011

ITU has underlined its key role in green ICT with a raft of announcements today by Study Group 5 of its Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).

A meeting of the group in Seoul, Korea has seen agreement on a globally-recognized set of methodologies to assess the environmental impact of information and communications technology (ICT). It also saw agreement to produce a report on due diligence guidelines for conflict minerals supply, and to study environmental protection and recycling solutions for batteries for mobile phones and other ICT devices.

Estimates of how much ICTs can reduce global emissions – and estimates of the emissions generated by the ICT sector itself – still vary widely, due to the application of different measurement methodologies. After the problem was raised by delegates to ITU’s ‘ICTs and Climate Change’ symposium in 2008, ITU took on the challenge and has pioneered adoption of a new globally-agreed set of standards.

To ensure consistency between different approaches, the new methodology has been developed in cooperation with other standardization organizations such as ISO, IEC, ETSI and ATIS. The new methodology is also aligned with the Digital Agenda of the European Commission. 

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General, ITU: “This methodology has been developed by ITU's industry members. This will be important in ensuring it gains wide acceptance by the world's ICT industry. An internationally agreed methodology means estimates of the impact of ICTs on greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption will now have much greater credibility. It will also show just how significant a contribution ICTs can make by reducing global emissions in other sectors.”

Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission: “I'm pleased that the industry is taking the task of measuring its own footprint so seriously. And I'm pleased that the ITU, as a UN agency, is doing such good work facilitating negotiations, reaching out globally to industry sub-sectors and to other standardization initiatives.”

New guidelines on conflict minerals

New ITU work on ‘conflict minerals’ will also begin in response to a request from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). ITU will make a survey of existing due diligence requirements and guidelines concerning sources of conflict minerals (in particular, those that are smelted into tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold), as well as their use in conformity with recognized international treaties and national legislation, where this exists.

Rare earth minerals are used in consumer electronics products such as mobile phones, DVD players, video games and computers. The report will provide guidance to ICT entities seeking to exercise due diligence on, and formalize the origin and chain of custody of, conflict minerals used in their products and on their suppliers to ensure that conflict minerals used in their products do not directly or indirectly finance armed conflict or result in labour or human rights violations. Agreement to address this issue demonstrates the ICT industry’s commitment to sustainability at all levels of the value chain.

Following on from the success of ITU’s Universal Charging Solution for mobile devices (Recommendation ITU-T L.1000), the meeting also agreed to study the benefits and disadvantages of the standardization of batteries for mobile terminals and other ICT devices, looking at energy efficiency over the battery life cycle, eco-design information, battery lifetime and exchangeability, safety and environmental protection, recycling and reuse. This could lead to a reduction of harmful materials used in batteries and an increased lifespan of ICT products. Battery manufacturers, device manufacturers, operators and users will all benefit, say experts. 

Ahmed Zeddam, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 5: “This has been the most productive and significant meeting in the long history of Study Group 5. Twelve new important standards have been agreed, including many critical to methodologies to assess the environmental impact of ICT and the protection of home networks and next generation network (NGN) equipment from electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and environmental effects. The meeting also saw revisions to a key set of standards on resistibility to overvoltages or overcurrents of telecoms equipment. ITU is the only organization producing these important global standards.”

For more information, please contact:

Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer
E-mail: toby.johnson@itu.int
Tel: +41 22 730 5877;
mobile: +41 79 249 4868

Sarah Parkes

Chief, Media Relations and Public Information,
E-mail: sarah.parkes@itu.int
Tel: +41 22 730 6135;
mobile: +41 79 599 1439

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Thursday, September 29, 2011 1:21:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Geneva, 6 July, 2011 – ITU has signed an agreement with key Asian standards developers that will mean new technologies come to market quicker and at lower cost. ARIB, CCSA, TTA and TTC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITU recognizing ITU as the pre-eminent global ICT standards body. The agreement seeks to smooth the way for regional standards, developed in these four key regional bodies, to be internationally recognized.

The MoU will build on the good relationship ITU has built with all four bodies over many years, increase transparency between the organizations, avoid duplication of work and increase efficiency in the publication of standards. All of which means that product manufacturers will be able to more efficiently incorporate globally standardized solutions in their products, leading to greater economies of scale and lower costs to consumers.

Full press release

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011 4:27:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 10, 2011
ITU and its partners ISO and IEC have launched a new electronic newsletter providing concrete examples of how standards impact the bottom line, stimulate economic growth, productivity and innovation and allow businesses large and small to access broader markets.

The newsletter goes out under the banner of the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) which the three organizations established in 2001 in order to strengthen and advance the voluntary consensus-based international standards systems of IEC, ISO and ITU.

The first issue of the WSC eNewsletter includes the following success stories:

How Tyco Electronics achieved additional profits of USD +50 million by participating in standardization

  • Why the former CEO of Mitsubishi believes that standardization and certification are now crucial for Japanese companies' continued success
  • Why the CEO of Rockwell, the world's largest automation company, recommends that businesses participate in standardization work
  • How a 50-employee SME succeeded in opening up the European market for its medical devices 

In addition, the eNewsletter includes articles on the following subjects:

Now you can calculate the cost and benefit of standardization
Standards have a direct impact on the bottom line which you can calculate. The cost of standardization is relatively easy to calculate, but the calculation of its benefits was much trickier... until now. Find out how your company can assess and communicate the economic benefits of international standards, and determine which areas are likely to result in the highest benefits...

Senior executives share their insider tips on standardization
This Canadian study looked both at the impact of standards on overall economic growth and provided insights by senior executives from private and public sectors about participation in standardization...

The benefits of standards in "CEO speak"
Order or download your free information package that summarizes all the benefits of using International Standards and participating in their development.

New evidence links technological change, productivity and economic growth directly to standardization

A series of recent studies conducted in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the UK, point to a direct relationship between the use of standards and economic growth, labour productivity, ability to export and more.

The WSC eNewsletter will be published three times a year. A subscription form is available at this address. Additional information on the WSC and its activities can be accessed on the WSC Website: http://www.worldstandardscooperation.org/

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Monday, January 10, 2011 2:08:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A group of twenty-three leaders from the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and senior management of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) met for the second annual meeting of Chief Technology Officers (CTO) in Paris. They agreed on a set of recommendations to modernize the current ICT standardization landscape and set priorities for new issues in standards work.

The CTOs reaffirmed that standardization is one of the essential building blocks of the Information Society and of the global ICT networks that power trade, commerce, sustainable development, healthcare, education, literacy, and entertainment. Today, standards are not only the technical blueprints necessary for interoperability and connectivity within global information infrastructures. They are also tools with significant public policy and economic consequences.

Faced with an ever-growing number of standards bodies and consortia, the CTOs called for immediate steps to streamline and modernize the standards landscape and endorsed the need for a new approach, based on collaboration, cooperation and coordination, to improve the efficiency of standards work, reduce duplicating and conflicting standards and promote a seamless, interoperable future global communications network. As a result of the review, the CTOs initially identified, in addition to ITU, a number of regional and national standards bodies that are key standardization organizations. It was recognized that additional work is needed to further develop the concept into multi-dimensional ecosystems for different markets and technologies, pre- and post-standardization, and appropriate links and cooperation among the different bodies, given the technological convergence that is taking place.

Full press release


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Tuesday, November 09, 2010 9:28:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 29, 2010
The http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/ict-auto/201003/*1 concluded in Geneva, March 4 with participants calling for better cross-sector standards collaboration in order to facilitate the rollout of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau: “There is a will from manufacturers to implement these technologies but thus far no real breakthrough in terms of standards needed to roll this out on a global scale. Global car manufacturers don’t want to create different versions of this technology for every different market. They don’t want regional or national standards, they want global standards and ITU and its World Standards Cooperation (WSC) partners ISO and IEC are willing and able to provide these for this global partnership.”

New services and applications may be the selling points that will win car makers an advantage in the depressed market. “Today's communication capabilities give cars the potential to foresee and avoid collisions, navigate the quickest route to their destination, make use of up-to-the-minute traffic reports, identify the nearest available parking slot, alert the emergency services, monitor air pollution, minimize carbon emissions, and provide multimedia communications,” said Johnson.

The involvement  of ITU, ISO and IEC is seen as critical to ease bottlenecks resulting – in part – from poor communication between overlapping sectors; automotive, ITS players,  telecoms suppliers and operators. One conclusion of an Executive Session was that competition between standards bodies was unwelcome.

A large amount of resources has been invested in research and development, but harmonization of the many standards that exist at a proprietary or regional level is missing. This lack of global standards is considered to be an impediment  to a large scale deployment of ITS services and applications. While most agree that the technologies are at an advanced stage of development, participants agreed that clearer views are needed on what standardization work is being done and where; user, regulator and supplier liability and privacy concerns; business and payment models; interoperability requirements and who owns them.

This – the fifth - Fully Networked Car workshop organized by the World Standards Cooperation (WSC), a partnership between ISO, IEC and ITU, was held on 3-4 March at the Geneva International Motor Show 2010 and focused on the latest developments in ITS technology including network requirements for electric cars. It represented a unique  opportunity to strengthen the dialogue between the ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) key players, in particular with the motor industry.

Held during the 2nd Press Day and the first public day of the motor show, the event – attracting over 120 participants in 2010 - represents a matchless opportunity for experts and executives from the car industry, ICT community, governments, research and development institutes, academia to share their vision and strategies.

Speakers at a special Executive Session at the Fully Networked Car event included Christoph Huss, Vice President of BMW and President of the International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies (FISITA), who gave the keynote address; Juhani Jääskeläinen, European Commission; Raymond Resendes, Chief, Intelligent Technologies Research Division, United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Samuel Loyson, Orange, France; David Schutt, SAE International, USA; Yasuro Nakanomori, OKI, Japan; Russ Shields, Chairman, Ygomi and Reinhard Scholl, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

In his opening remarks, Rob Steele, ISO Secretary-General, on behalf of WSC, said: "There is the need for standardization of essential technologies to provide the solid base for further innovation and the economies of scale for commercialization of technologies... Most interestingly of all, is the urgent need to consider the interoperability of all of this technology not only in the car, but in the wider infrastructure that is needed to support this revolution".

Information obtained from electronic devices as part of an in-vehicle network is critical to ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) services and applications, including emergency telecommunications. Currently, the way of extracting the vehicle information differs by manufacture, model and chassis type. Standards are being researched in the support of a Vehicle Gateway that will allow all consumer devices to work in harmony in all vehicles and with all infrastructures. Work on this in ITU is focused on a ‘Question’ within ITU-T’s Study Group 16. Contributions from ITU’s membership are being sought on a Vehicle Gateway platform for telecommunication/ITS services/applications.

Since ITS applications will have to rely mainly on existing infrastructure, NGN (Next Generation Networks) will play a key role for their deployment. This is currently considered in the framework of fix-mobile-convergence in ITU-T Study Group 13, ITU-T’s lead group lead on future networks. One of the sessions of the workshop recommended that a joint ISO / ITU-T group on in-vehicle architecture and protocols take the work forward.

Participants in one technical session at the workshop concluded that quality and naturalness of all speech services need to be increased to reduce driver distraction and seamless interaction. Agreement was reached that work on a standards-based framework for dialogue between user and device is needed, with the ITU-T Focus Group on Car Communications (ITU-T FG CarCOM) identified as the appropriate place for this work.

An electric future

Today, with the increasing deployment of electric vehicles, ICTs have a significant role to play in areas such as the careful management of battery status, warranty concerns and driver behaviour. Given the potential of these new technologies for both the automotive and the ICTs industries, it is essential for the different parties to understand the requirements for fully networked cars and agree on the solutions to be provided by the network platforms. In many cases existing telecoms infrastructure can be used.

As electric vehicles begin to find their way to our driveways and garages, knowing what is involved in charging their batteries becomes crucial. The development of smart power grids will also be vital to support the adoption of electric cars which according to some proposals can also act as storage capacity for electricity. The scale of this challenge was highlighted in one of the presentations to the workshop, citing work under way in the United States.

In the US, the electric grid is owned and operated by over 3100 utilities, using equipment and systems provided by thousands of suppliers, delivering power to hundreds of millions of users and billions of end devices. The transformation of this infrastructure into an “energy Internet” is a huge undertaking requiring an unprecedented level of cooperation and coordination across the private and public sectors as well as across industry sectors. A robust, interoperable framework of technical standards is the key to making this possible.

ITU is responding to this challenge by the formation of a new ITU-T Focus Group that will help develop the necessary global standards to hasten this move to Smart Grids. The newly formed group will look at the networking between use of current control, metering, charging and electricity distribution systems.
____________________________________________________________________________________
1 New title for the event following agreement of Geneva Motor Show to support the event for next three years

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Monday, March 29, 2010 8:51:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 09, 2009
High-level meeting underlines importance of unified international approach to technology development

Geneva, 8 October 2009 — Nineteen CTOs from some of the world’s key ICT players have called upon ITU to provide a lead in an overhaul of the global ICT standardization landscape.

The call came at a meeting held at ITU headquarters in Geneva on 6 October between ITU senior management and the world’s technology leaders. The meeting will become a regular feature on the ITU calendar.

The CTOs agreed on a set of recommendations and actions that will better address the evolving needs of a fast-moving industry; facilitate the launch of new products, services and applications; promote cost-effective solutions; combat climate change; and address the needs of developing countries regarding greater inclusion in standards development.

Participants reaffirmed the increasing importance of standards in the rapidly changing information society. Standards are the ‘universal language’ that drives competitiveness by helping organizations optimize their efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness and innovation, the CTOs agreed.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU, said: "Standards are a proven and key driver in the successful growth and deployment of new ICT products, services, and applications. And while there are many examples of successful standards collaboration, a fragile economic environment and an ICT ecosystem characterized by convergence makes it all the more important to streamline and clarify the standardization landscape. We have agreed on a number of concrete actions that will help us move towards this goal and strengthen understanding of standards’ critical role in combating climate change, while better reflecting the needs of developing countries."

The meeting reinforced the importance of standards in assuring interoperability. As operators embrace IP, the networks and services of the next 20-30 years are being developed that will help people make contact anywhere and anyhow. The emergence of technologies such as globally standardized IMS will bring customers richer services. Only agreed global standards can deliver on the promise of disseminating those services on mobiles, PCs, wirelines and home devices, CTOs agreed. At the same time, they acknowledged that new players and business models will emerge, and that the continued convergence of telecoms and IT is likely to provoke some tensions across different paradigms and cultures. CTOs pledged to cooperate to bridge the developed and developing worlds, bringing IP benefits to all while also ensuring network security and reliability.

The standardization landscape has become complicated and fragmented, with hundreds of different industry forums and consortia. CTOs agreed that it has become increasingly tough to prioritize standardization resources, and called on ITU – as the preeminent global standards body - to lead a review to clarify the standardization scenario. This will allow ICT companies to make more efficient use of resources and ensure that standards are developed in the most appropriate bodies, benefitting both industry and users.

ITU will host a web portal providing information on the interrelationship of standards and standards bodies, which would facilitate the work of industry and standards makers while promoting cooperation and collaboration and avoiding duplication.

The meeting also recognized that standards can play a critical role in ‘greening’ the ICT industry and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in other sectors, and supported ITU’s efforts to have this role recognized in the new Copenhagen Agreement on Climate Change.

An official communiqué from the event can be found here.

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Friday, October 09, 2009 3:14:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Participants at a unique international gathering of standards development organizations have agreed that a major concern, especially for developing countries, is a lack of equipment interoperability. Delegates at the Global Standards Collaboration (GSC) meeting taking place at ITU Headquarters, Geneva agreed that providing for interoperability should be an important aim of standardization.

The Global Standards Collaboration (GSC) provides an opportunity to exchange information, collaborate to reduce duplication, and to support the ITU as the preeminent global telecommunication and radiocommunication standards development organization.

In addition to interoperability, standards aimed at mitigating climate change continued as a key topic of discussion, with all participants agreeing that collaboration and focus is of key importance here.

The GSC meeting saw a broad spectrum of issues covered including international mobile telecommunications (IMT), NGN (next generation networks), home networks, emergency communication, security and lawful interception, identity management, IPTV, reconfigurable radio systems, broadband wireless access and intelligent transport systems (ITS). Topics highlighted as warranting further investigation included smart grid, service oriented networks, future networks and machine-to-machine communications /smart embedded device communications.

The host, Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: “Increasing the probability of interoperability will greatly increase both the quality of standards and quality of service for service providers and end users alike. ITU welcomes the opportunity to work with the world’s most important standards bodies on this and other important matters. GSC has an enormously important role to play in globalizing the standardization process. GSC promotes the value of standardization to the international community by sending a clear message of efficiency and commitment to address global needs by working together to avoid the duplication of effort and wasted intellectual resource.”

Zhu Gaofeng, Chairman of the Council of China Communications Standards Association, next year’s GSC host: “GSC continues to be an important venue for coordination of global standardization strategies. It is clear that in an age with a proliferation of standards bodies and newly emerging technologies, industry requires this level of collaboration. I am very happy that we have achieved – again – this high-level agreement on a diverse range of issues, some of which are not just important in terms of market development but have much wider ranging social impact.”

Susan M. Miller, President and CEO of ATIS, last year’s GSC host: “The tremendous collaborative work of GSC expands our ability to deliver global standards which, at heart, are designed to promote innovation, foster market competition, advance infrastructure development, and enhance interoperability. The ability to do this is fundamental to the global ICT industry’s primary objective – responding to and delivering on user needs with innovative services and solutions in a timely and cost-effective basis.”

More than one hundred participants from eight Participating Standards Organizations (PSO) attended, along with observers from additional groups.

Participants at GSC-14 included the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) of Japan, the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) of China, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the ICT Standards Advisory Council of Canada (ISACC), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) from the U.S., the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of Korea and the Telecommunications Technology Committee (TTC) of Japan.

Guests and observers included representatives from American National Standards Institute (ANSI), APT Wireless Forum, Broadband Forum, CDMA Development Group (CDG), European Patent Office (EPO), Home Gateway Initiative, International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Sector Boards 4 (SB4), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1, Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), UMTS Forum, and the U.S. Patent & Trade Office.

The official communique from the event can be found here

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 1:36:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 23, 2008

Geneva, 21 October 2008 — Yesterday, the first-ever Global Standards Symposium closed in Johannesburg, South Africa with broad agreement from industry and standards bodies on the need to take aggressive action to streamline standards work and end confusion and duplication.

Opening the event, ITU standards chief Malcolm Johnson said: “Confusion and duplication cannot serve the purposes of anyone… consumer, manufacturer, service provider, rich or poor country. Clarity, and efficiency must be brought to bear in this – most important of industrial sectors.”

Industry and standards leaders argued that the bewildering array of standards bodies that exists today is costly and inefficient. It is estimated that over 300 ICT standards bodies exist. GSS delegates agreed that keeping track of them was alone a difficult enough task. Better coordination at an international level is needed between industry and standards developing organizations (SDOs) to ensure that standardization needs are met quickly and efficiently. Steps are being planned to establish a direct line of communication between technology leaders and ITU’s standardization arm, to ensure that emerging needs are addressed in the most efficient manner and the most appropriate place. This is ITU’s role, Johnson said, as the world’s pre-eminent ICT standards body.

ITU Secretary General, Dr Hamadoun Touré underlined the importance of standards in times of financial crisis: “Standards are a proven tool in terms of economic development,” he said in his opening speech. “The World Trade Organization (WTO) trade report of 2005 underlines the important benefits that standards can deliver…standards may have a significant effect on limiting the undesirable outcomes of market failure. And, the work of ITU and other bodies in the development of global standards for ICTs and telecoms has helped the smoother, more economical introduction of new technologies.”

Other topics tackled at the Global Standards Symposium in Johannesburg were ICTs and climate change, increasing developing country participation in the standardization process, and accessibility to ICTs for people with disabilities.

Delegates were called on to set an example by committing to specific programs to limit and reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to help ensure that the expansion of the global communications network is done in an environmentally friendly manner. The importance of the work of the ITU Focus Group on Climate Change was recognized; in particular the need for a standardized approach to measuring the impact of ICTs on the reduction of GHG emissions.

Bridging the standardization gap is the term ITU uses to describe its efforts to increase developing country participation in the standards making process. Recent efforts by the ITU-T were applauded, for example holding five regional forums in 2008, establishing a voluntary fund to be used for workshops and meetings in developing countries, fellowships, remote participation, surveys and study programmes. It was recognized that the increased involvement of developing countries in standardization work provides an opportunity to better consider their needs in developing new standards and will help to meet the traditional objective of ITU in continuing to ensure global interoperability of communications.

ITU was also applauded for its efforts so far in the arena of accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities and encouraged to continue and increase efforts in producing standards that support the ICT needs of persons with disabilities. Work to develop an on-line toolkit that will serve as a global electronic repository of policies and strategies and as a platform for sharing experiences on best practices on ICT accessibility was announced.

The GSS took place one day before the start of ITU’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08) which is a quadrennial event where ITU members decide on the direction of ITU’s standardization work for the next four years. The inaugural GSS gathered Ministers and Ambassadors, senior executives from the private sector and lead officials from other standards bodies. A report from the GSS will be submitted to WTSA-08 and high on its agenda there are likely to be topics such as those discussed at the GSS but also cybersecurity, IPTV, and some Internet related issues. A communiqué will also be issued following WTSA-08.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 1:26:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 06, 2008

ITU will host a workshop to address international public policy issues on the migration to IPv6, as well as the economic aspects related to IP address allocation 4-5 September in Geneva.

With the massive deployment of Internet-related resources worldwide and the integration of IP-enabled consumer devices connected directly to the network, the issue of the depletion of IPv4 addresses is becoming pertinent. Indeed, there is wide recognition of the need for better awareness of the availability of IPv4 addresses and the deployment of IPv6.

Despite the use of network address translation (NAT) as a strategy for reducing the use of public IPv4 addresses, several experts forecast depletion in the next few years. In addition to other features, IPv6 with its 128 bit address space is aimed at addressing the current shortage of public IPv4 addresses. However the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is going at a rather slow rate, with both versions being used in parallel. Many informed observers attribute this to market forces and other economic considerations.

There is growing interest in IPv6 especially among the organizations involved in its management. ITU is organizing this workshop in order to foster dialogue and international cooperation on IPv6 related issues.

The workshop will provide a platform for dialogue where key players in the field, including all ITU sectors, as well as other interested entities will be able to discuss and address international public policy issues on the migration to IPv6, as well as the economic aspects related to IP address allocation.

The workshop is designed to stimulate discussion and interaction with the audience, rather than offer a string of presentations and speeches provided by panelists and speakers.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 3:20:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 21, 2008

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 Cisco, Intel, the 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 Magazine.

The winning papers were:

  • Architecture and business model of open heterogeneous mobile network, Yoshitoshi Murata; Mikio Hasegawa; Homare Murakami; Hiroshi Harada; Shuzo Kato.
  • 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 WTSA-08 .

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 here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 6:59:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Nokia Siemens Networks, Microsoft and 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 digital divide.”

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 here.

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 1:10:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The ITU/MIC Kyoto Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change closed 16 April with agreement that ITU should play a significant role in the global effort to combat climate change.

A number of actions were recommended for ITU. Among them was a task for ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) which was tasked with the development of an internationally agreed standard methodology to measure the impact of ICTs on climate change, both in terms of the direct emission of greenhouse gases, and the savings that can be generated in other sectors of industry through the application of ICTs.

Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), Malcolm Johnson, supported the meeting’s recommendation that an ITU-T Focus Group would be an appropriate vehicle to take forward this work. He said that he would propose the formation of a new group to ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) at its next meeting in July. However, to move quickly, he encouraged the submission of proposals on the terms of reference for this group, as well as initial proposals on methodologies, to: tsbtechwatch@itu.int.

Johnson also proposed that a draft Resolution would be presented at this year’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08), in Johannesburg, October. The document is expected to outline ITU-T’s responsibility in identifying the role that ICTs should play in the mitigation and monitoring of climate change and target reductions for the industry.

Experts agreed that the chairman’s report of the Kyoto event provides an excellent start point for the Resolution which will be discussed in further detail at the second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, 17-18 June 2008 in London. More information is also available in the meeting summary and the ITU background report.

The chairman’s report of the Kyoto symposium will also be forwarded to upcoming meetings of the World Economic Forum, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ministerial meeting in the Republic of Korea, the G8 meeting in Japan and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, will be held 17-18 June in London, hosted by BT. The London event will also be broadcast as a live Webinar. Register: [more information]

Presentations from Kyoto can be viewed here.

See also climate change news feed for more detailed reports on the Kyoto event.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 3:15:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 21, 2008

Fears that a set of next-generation network transport specifications developed by ITU-T could cause interoperability problems have been allayed.

The IETF and ITU will work together to extend IETF MPLS functionality to address the needs of the transport network. The work will move forward recognizing that the sole design authority for MPLS resides in the IETF, and the domain of expertise for Transport Network Infrastructure resides in ITU-T SG15.

ITU-T has been developing extensions to Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) MPLS to address the requirements of the transport network (T-MPLS). However, concerns were raised by the IETF that the approach taken by the ITU-T was incompatible with widely deployed - MPLS - technology. These concerns have been allayed with the agreement that the IETF and ITU-T will work jointly on the development of a transport profile for MPLS technology which will now be referred to as “MPLS-TP”.

The Joint Working Team (see previous newslog entry) consisting of experts from the IETF and ITU-T has recommended that IETF MPLS technology should be extended to meet the requirements of the transport network. The proposal is based on technical analysis that showed that the IETF MPLS architecture can be extended to provide the functionality required by the transport network as defined by ITU-T's Study Group 15. The ITU-T has accepted this proposal and the IETF will develop a transport profile for MPLS (MPLS-TP) with input from ITU-T to ensure that the requirements of the transport network are fully addressed. Details of the proposal and the technical consideration are available here.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau said, "Given the complexity of today’s networks it is inevitable that we will, from time-to-time, see divergent approaches. What is important is that we quickly agree on a way forward. The experts in the joint group have worked hard to find a cooperative solution rather than going our separate ways. This is an excellent result and bodes well for the future collaboration between ITU and IETF".”

Russ Housley Chair of the IETF, "I am very optimistic about the outcome, and I see this as a significant milestone in the cooperation between the ITU-T and the IETF."

 

Monday, April 21, 2008 2:45:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 18, 2008

Following an ITU-T workshop on accessibility last year at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio, a Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD) has been established by ITU-T. The DCAD will facilitate interaction between relevant bodies and ensure that information and communications technologies (ICT) accessibility and tools to facilitate it are included in the key debates around Internet governance.

DCAD aims to help build a future where all sectors of the global community have equal access to communications and online information as well as the ability to participate in IGF discussions and seminars. The initiative takes into account the fact that all communities can benefit from ICTs and improve their quality of life, a view supported by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The coalition is currently composed of eight organizations, and is open to any entity or individual working in the field. If you wish to be part of this effort please contact the Dynamic Coalition Secretariat.

Further information on ITU and ICT accessibility can be found here.

Friday, April 18, 2008 3:14:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 28, 2008

An ITU event will bring together the best academic minds from around the world to present their future visions for next generation networks (NGN). The three best papers will be awarded from a prize fund donated by Cisco totaling $10,000.

Innovations in NGN, 12-13 May, Geneva is the first in a series of conferences under the banner ‘Kaleidoscope’ that will bring closer ties between ITU, academia and research organizations. The event, technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society attracted around 140 contributions with its initial call for papers. From this, 54 of the most visionary papers have been selected by a review panel of 140 experts from around the world for presentation at the conference. The event will also host the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between ITU and IEEE Communications Society.

Innovations in NGN will highlight technologies, services and applications five years and beyond that will capitalize on the NGN infrastructure and lead to the ubiquitous network society in which information can be accessed anywhere and anytime by anyone and anything. It will also cover multidisciplinary aspects related to the deployment of NGN, including analysis of regulatory and societal challenges.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau: “Technology is a critical determinant of sustainable growth and poverty reduction. And, education is key to the accelerated development of information and communications technologies (ICT) and contributes to the increased use of these technologies all over the world. Without the involvement of the world’s universities and other academic and research institutions we would not have reached the level of innovation that we see today. The Kaleidoscope series is an excellent innitiative to capitalize on the fruitful relationship that we already have with academia and take it to another level.”

ITU has a long history of collaboration with academia and many standards (ITU-T Recommendations) have been developed with academic input. Some leading Study Group positions are held by university professors. The Kaleidoscope initiative will encourage a new type of engagement along the lines of an academic conference. Authors whose works are selected for the event’s proceedings will gain extra academic recognition by being published online by IEEE. The standards world will profit from new ideas for possible future development.

Innovations in NGN is to inspire contributions towards a kaleidoscopic view of communication habits for the future. We know what NGN is in terms of the underlying technology, but we don’t know what services will emerge, how NGN will affect the marketplace for ICT, and how society will be affected. This, first in the series of Kaleidoscope conferences is free for anyone to attend and will shed light on some of these questions as well as inspire debate and future work on the future of ICT and ICT standardization. Please register at www.itu.int/ITU-T/uni/kaleidoscope/.

ITU-T is seeking sponsors to join Cisco, ICF and Sun Microsystems and help fund the various activities connected to the event including publication of proceedings, coffee-breaks and reception. For more details contact kaleidoscope@itu.int.

Friday, March 28, 2008 3:48:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ITU together with G3ict is holding a joint Forum to review areas of challenges and opportunities for international ICT accessibility standards in light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The event will take place at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, 21 April 2008. See previous story on ITU’s latest work in the field of accessibility.

The Convention has been signed by an unprecedentedly high number of UN Member States in a relatively short time – 126 since 30 March 2007. This makes it all the more urgent to promote ICT accessibility standards that will support a better and faster implementation around the world of the many dispositions of the Convention regarding ICTs.

For the first time since the Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly, an international group of experts from industry, standards development organizations, NGOs representing persons with disabilities, international development institutions, governments and academia will examine in detail its many implications for ICT accessibility standards. Proceedings will be edited to serve as a reference for future accessibility standards developments.

The event will review existing and in-progress technology standards and standardization of product development methodologies; discuss the role of public policy and procurement in support of standardization and the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and identify follow-up actions to facilitate its implementation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 1:53:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 28, 2008

ITU experts have reported a good spirit of cooperation following a meeting with counterparts from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) on the topic of T-MPLS, during February’s Study Group 15 meeting in Geneva.

The Ad-Hoc Group on T-MPLS met to iron out perceived inconsistencies between MPLS developed by IETF and T-MPLS developed in ITU-T. The meeting appointed Malcolm Betts as ITU representative and Dave Ward from IETF.

A joint working team (JWT) has been created with experts from ITU-T and IETF.

Previously the IETF requested that the ITU-T either: (1) Work in cooperation to extend the IETF's MPLS technologies through the IETF Standards Process or: (2) Decide to use its own Ethertypes and maintain separation of codepoints in the future, change the name of the technology so it is not easily confused with IETF MPLS and work independently.

The JWT will allow the IETF and ITU-T to work in close collaboration on T-MPLS to understand the implications of these options and facilitate the subsequent development of solutions that ensure that the required degree of MPLS/T-MPLS compatibility, consistency, and coherence, recognizing that the sole design authority for MPLS resides in the IETF, and the domain of expertise for Transport Network Infrastructure resides in ITU-T SG15.

It is expected that the group will use remote collaboration tools and make a decision on which way to progress by April 2008. See also previous newslog entry here.

MPLS is widely embraced in backbone networks as a way to speed up routers. Lately some have advocated its use further downstream in access networks, there have even been suggestions to extend this as far as customer premises. ITU’s work seeks to support this, but additionally to allow the seamless interworking between Ethernet and MPLS. This has been progressed in SG 15 through the completion of a new set of Recommendations for Transport MPLS (T-MPLS), a technology which uses a subset of the components defined in the MPLS Layer Network Architecture of Recommendation G.8110 to support packet transport applications that adhere to ITU-T layer network architecture principles. A T-MPLS layer network can operate independently of its clients and its associated control networks (i.e., multi-carrier or single carrier networks (MCN, SCN) and can carry a variety of client traffic types. This independence affords network operators the freedom necessary to design robust packet transport networks for their own use and to transport customer traffic. T-MPLS is designed to behave consistently with existing transport technologies, thus offering the operational characteristics, performance and reliability that network operators require from carrier-class technologies. The new Recommendations for this technology cover the T-MPLS layer network architecture (G.8110.1/Y.1370.1), interfaces for the T-MPLS Hierarchy (G.8112/Y.1371), and T-MPLS Equipment (G.8121/Y.1381).

Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:53:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 14, 2008

IEEE Communications Magazine has issued a call for papers: ITU-T International Standards in Information and Communications Technologies. Contributions are solicited for an issue focusing on ITU-T's role in developing global standards for ICTs.

Contributions should include but are not limited to the following areas:

Overview of the ITU-T standardization mechanisms and process: Building consensus, alternative approval process (AAP), WTSA, TSAG, Study Groups, Focus Groups, IPR policy, the role of TSB etc.

  • ITU-T Strategy
  • Bridging the standardization gap
  • Hot standardization topics in ITU-T including standards coordination aspects
  • Access technologies
  • Transport technologies
  • Advanced Multimedia System (AMS)
  • ICTs for climate change

The manuscript submission date is April 15, 2008 .

More details here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008 3:57:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 08, 2008

ITU, together with Telcordia, are again collaborating to organize a multi-company interoperability demonstration featuring gigabit passive optical network (G-PON) equipment built according to the ITU-T G.984 Recommendation. Participating companies are now being finalized, with interested companies being requested to contact Rob Bond (rbond@telcordia.com), G-PON Pavilion Coordinator, by Monday February 25, 2008. Any optical access system, customer premises equipment, or G-PON device vendor with commercial products compliant with G.984 series Recommendations are eligible to participate.


The interoperability demonstration featured in the ITU G-PON (G.984) Pavilion at NXTcomm 2008 may include both traditional FTTP-focused G-PON technology, as well as emerging applications such as G-PON fed xDSL services, Enhancement band operation (G.984.5), and G-PON Reach Extender demonstrations (G.984.re). More information is contained in the ITU G-PON Pavilion fact sheet.

Friday, February 08, 2008 9:38:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 04, 2008

The quadrennial event that defines the future direction for the ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) – the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) – will take place for the first time in Africa in 2008. It will also be the first chaired by a woman (Ms Lyndall Shope-Mafole, Director-General of the South African Department of Communications), and for the first time is preceded by a Global Standards Symposium (GSS). WTSA-08 will be held 21 - 30 October 2008, at the Emperors Palace, Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

An official ‘Circular’ letter has been issued encouraging Member States and ITU-T Sector Members to participate in discussions on the future structure of the Sector: the study groups (including regional tariff groups under Study Group 3); and the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). WTSA-08 will also be unique in that the term limit for chairmanships agreed at the WTSA-2000 will apply for the first time and many of the current chairmen and vice-chairmen will retire. Although this will mean the loss of much experience, it does offer the opportunity to consider a major restructuring of the Sector. Member States and ITU-T Sector Members are therefore advised to await the outcome of the next TSAG meeting in July, when a new structure for the Sector should be clearer, before submitting candidatures for chairmen or vice-chairmen.

The Global Standards Symposium (GSS) will be held at the same venue on 20 October 2008. It will see leading figures in the telecom/ICT field, both from government and the industry, give their vision of the future, and suggest ways of increasing the involvement of developing countries in the development and implementation of standards (bridging the standardization gap). Additionally the event will examine global ICT standards challenges, such as accessibility, climate change and collaboration among standards development organisations (SDOs). Although not formally a part of the WTSA-08, the GSS will provide a report to the WTSA for information and action as appropriate, giving participants a unique opportunity to provide input to the event that decides the future direction for ITU-T.

Monday, February 04, 2008 5:09:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 01, 2008

ITU will team up with ISO and IEC for a third time in 2008 to present the Fully Networked Car. The three organisations working together under the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) banner will host the workshop and exhibition at one of the world’s leading automotive events, the Geneva International Motor Show.

Key for 2008 is the question: How can ICTs in vehicles help mitigate and monitor climate change? The Honda Racing F1 Team has kindly agreed to display, as the key feature of the exhibition, its new 2008 F1 “Earthdreams car” to give special emphasis to the environmental theme. Experts believe that more sophisticated traffic management and driver assistance systems can help reduce the environmental impact caused by motoring.

2008 will see a keynote speech from Max Mosley, president of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), organizer of the Formula One World Championship.

In general, the event, 5 - 7 March, will focus on information and communication technologies (ICT) in motor vehicles and specifically standards that will facilitate the convergence of these industries.

ICT in vehicles represents a significant value-add for consumers in terms of safety, comfort and mobility. Predictions for the size of the market run into billions of dollars and stakeholders agree that standardization is key to the development of new technologies and that coordination between the traditionally remote vehicle manufacturing and ICT industries is crucial.

The Fully Networked Car brings together experts ranging from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and analysts. The workshop programme features speakers from some of the biggest names in the ICT and automobile industries. The panel of high-level global experts that will frame the major issues and engage the audience in discussion on this important topic come from companies including: BMW, Connexis, Fiat, Ford, Freescale Semiconductor, Honda, Intel, Motorola, Oracle, SVOX, Telefonica, Telcordia, Toyota-InfoTechnology Center, T-Systems, Volvo and Wavecom.

Among other topics to be discussed are the radio spectrum used for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications; the convergence of telematics and infotainment and systems and standards related to safety.

Friday, February 01, 2008 11:04:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 17, 2008

Reinhard Scholl, Deputy to the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau has taken a seat on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) board.

Annually, in rotation, ETSI, ITU-T and W3C appoint one non-voting liaison (TLG, Technical Liaison Group) to the ICANN Board. ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers. These include domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes like .UK), as well as the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols.

At ICANN’s 30th International Public Meeting in Los Angeles, Internet pioneer Vint Cerf's term as Chairman of ICANN’s Board came to an end. He was succeeded by Peter Dengate Thrush, a New Zealand lawyer and former President of InternetNZ.

The news follows a recent announcement on collaboration towards standards for the multilingual Internet made during the Internet Governance Forum.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008 5:21:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:59:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 17, 2007
 Friday, November 23, 2007

A new report from ITU-T shows how Information and communications technologies (ICTs) contribute to global warming, but also how they can be used to monitor climate change, to mitigate its effects, to improve energy efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions in other sectors of the economy. The report -- ICTs and Climate Change -- is the third in the new series of Technology Watch Briefing Reports, launched by ITU-T in October 2007. It has been submitted to TSAG for further discussion at its upcoming meeting, 3-7 December. It is planned that an ITU symposium on this topic will be held in 2008.

Since 1970, the production of greenhouse gases has risen by more than 70 per cent, and this is having a global effect in warming the planet, causing changing weather patterns, rising sea-levels, desertification, shrinking ice cover and other worrying long-term effects. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) foresees a further rise in average global temperatures of between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees centigrade by 2030. Climate change is a concern for all of humanity and requires efforts on the part of all sectors of society, including the ICT sector. Although ICTs contribute only an estimated 2.5 per cent of total greenhouse gases, this share is set to grow as usage of ICTs expands globally, growing at a faster rate than the general economy.

ICTs are thus part of the cause of global warming, but they can also be part of the solution, for instance through the promotion of carbon displacement technologies. ICTs are also vital in monitoring the spread of global warming. One specific contribution ICTs can make is through the substitution of travel by electronic forms of communication, such as telephone calls, email or video-conferencing, all of which benefit from ITU-T¡¯s standardization work. In particular, high-performance video-conferencing, or telepresence (the topic of the second Technology Watch Briefing Report), can give the impression of 'being there, without going there'. Furthermore, ITU-T itself is also contributing to a greener future through its decision to make ITU-T Recommendations freely available online. In the mid 1990s, more than one million publications were printed by ITU but, with free Recommendations now available in electronic form, this has been cut to just a few thousand that are still printed, and carbon emissions from transport of printed copies and CD-ROMs has been greatly reduced.

Friday, November 23, 2007 2:16:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 12, 2007

A standard that allows a warning message to be consistently disseminated simultaneously over different systems and applications has been approved as an ITU-T Recommendation.

The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) v.1.1 developed by OASIS was the basis for the text that will be published as an ITU-T Recommendation following approval on 12 September. Publication as an ITU-T Recommendation (X.1303) will help ensure that CAP is deployed worldwide giving technical compatibility for users across all countries. The goal of public warning is to reduce the damage and loss of life caused by a natural or man-made hazard event.

CAP is a simple, lightweight XML-based schema that provides a general-purpose format for the exchange of emergency alerts for safety, security, fire, health, earthquake and other events over any network. CAP associates emergency event data (such as public warning statements, photographs, sensor data or URIs) with basic metadata such as time, source and level of urgency, and with geographic locations. The original V.1.1 specification was enlarged by a binary ASN.1 specification of the CAP messages that will enable the transport of CAP messages to VoIP terminals using H.323 among other systems. Experts say the use of ASN.1 significantly reduces the size of the message and therefore the potential for network congestion. OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee has also adopted the same extension.

CAP is successfully in use by a number of public emergency services and land management agencies today, and works with a wide variety of devices and messaging methods.

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Monday, November 12, 2007 9:15:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 23, 2007
ITU-T's work on specifications that will enhance communications in vehicles will expand to development of requirements and testing methodologies for wideband communications in cars.

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 (8kHz).

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, 2008.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007 10:23:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 16, 2007

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 studies.

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 capabilities worldwide.

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.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007 3:55:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Experts from 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.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007 9:53:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 08, 2007

The government of Rwanda generously hosted ITU’s first ever global 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, will be provided as input to the upcoming Connect Africa summit to be held in Kigali, 29-30 October.

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), planned for South Africa.

A chairman’s report from the Forum is available online as well as a full set of presentations: here.

Monday, October 08, 2007 12:56:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 05, 2007

ITU is holding a workshop - Making accessibility a reality in emerging technologies - at the second meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio de Janeiro, 13 November, 1430-1600.

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.

Further information here (ITU page) here (IGF page).

Friday, October 05, 2007 3:10:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

World Standards Day is celebrated each year on 14 October to pay tribute to the efforts of thousands of experts worldwide who collaborate within IEC, ISO and ITU to develop voluntary International Standards that facilitate trade, spread knowledge and disseminate technological advances.

International Standards help citizens to exercise their rights and to meet their obligations within the Global Village. This link between standards and global citizenship is the theme of this year's World Standards Day message, “Standards and the citizen: Contributing to society”. The message is signed by the leaders of the three principal international standardization organizations: Mr. Renzo Tani, President of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Mr. Håkan Murby, President of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The three leaders point out that standards solve problems in all spheres of activity and give the following examples: “A world without standards would soon grind to a halt. Transport and trade would seize up. The Internet would simply not function. Hundreds of thousands of systems dependent on information and communication technologies would falter or fail — from government and banking to healthcare and air traffic control, emergency services, disaster relief and even international diplomacy.”

International Standards are ubiquitous in the modern world, making many everyday tasks easier and safer. The heads of the three standardization organizations point out that even the simple act of reading the World Standards Day message on a computer screen depends on hundreds of standards that allow the computer to function, provide access to Internet, or simplify the printing and distribution of hard copies through standardized paper sizes.

The leaders of IEC, ISO and ITU underline how much standards underpin our daily lives: "Without standards, consider how difficult — or even dangerous — it would be to carry out ordinary, daily tasks. Safety standards for machinery protect us at work and at play. At home, standards keep electrical appliances connected to the national grid and keep our refrigerators and air conditioners compliant with environmental safeguards to prevent global warming. Our audio systems, television sets and DVD players, mobile phones and WiFi all comply with standards to make them compatible with other systems. From mobile videos and music to online education, telemedicine, e-banking and satellite navigation systems for our cars and aircraft — where would we be without standards in an increasingly networked world?"

Through their work in developing standards, IEC, ISO and ITU help to open up markets, promote environmental protection, safety, security, health and access to information, and to break down barriers between rich and poor nations. Their standards also foster technological innovation, healthy commerce and fair prices.

The leaders of the three organizations conclude their message, "As we move into the future, the work of IEC, ISO and ITU will continue to facilitate the development and diffusion of new technologies that will drive the world economy, contributing to the well being of all of the world’s inhabitants."

Friday, October 05, 2007 8:59:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 01, 2007

A call for abstracts has been issued for ITU, ISO and IEC’s now regular event focusing on information and communication technologies (ICT) in motor vehicles.

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 tsbcar@itu.int by Friday, 16 November 2007. A new topic area for 2008 is ICT and the environment, suggestions for other topics can be found on the event's webpage.

This year’s event will feature a keynote speech from Max Mosley, president of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) which is also the organizer of the Formula One World Championship).

Monday, October 01, 2007 11:13:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) will host the results of an interoperability demonstration at ECOC 2007, Berlin, Germany. The event will show how a suite of ITU-T standards enable on-demand Ethernet services.

Seven global telecommunication carriers taking part will provide test facilities, engineering staff and network connectivity.

The demonstration will highlight dynamic Ethernet services over multiple, control plane-enabled intelligent optical core networks, including:
- Ethernet Private Line service
- Non-disruptive bandwidth modification
- Graceful recovery from control plane or signaling network failures

See the OIF’s press release.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 8:39:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 27, 2007

IEEE Communications Society has been announced as Technical Co-Sponsor of the International Telecommunication Union’s upcoming Innovations in Next Generation Networks event to be held in Geneva, Switzerland May 2008. The partnership means that IEEE Communications Society will encourage members to respond to a call for papers issued by ITU.

The call for papers is to inspire contributions towards a kaleidoscopic view of communication habits for the future. We know what NGN is in terms of the underlying technology, but we don’t know what services will emerge, how NGN will affect the marketplace for ICT, and how society will be affected. Innovations in NGN is the first in a series of events, under the banner “Kaleidoscope Conferences”, that aims at increasing the dialogue between academia and experts working on the standardization of information and communications technologies (ICT).

By viewing technologies through a kaleidoscope, these forward looking conferences will also seek to identify new topics for standardization. Innovations in NGN will bring together visionary ideas on the future of NGN. It will highlight technologies, services and applications five years and beyond that will capitalize on the NGN infrastructure and lead to the ubiquitous network society in which information can be accessed anywhere and anytime by anyone and anything. The event will also cover multidisciplinary aspects related to the deployment of NGN, including analysis of regulatory and societal challenges.

Monday, August 27, 2007 4:35:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 31, 2007

ITU-T has issued a call for papers for an event - Innovations in Next Generation Networks - to be held in Geneva, 12-13 May 2008. The event is the first in a series that will increase the dialogue between academia and experts working on the standardization of information and communications technologies (ICT). Awards will be granted to selected best papers, as judged by the organizing and programme committee. Details will be announced later.

Innovations in NGN is to inspire contributions towards a kaleidoscopic view of communication habits for the future. We know what NGN is in terms of the underlying technology, but we don’t know what services will emerge, how NGN will affect the marketplace for ICT, and how society will be affected. The call for papers lists a number of suggested topics.

Innovations in NGN will bring together new and visionary ideas on the future of NGN. It will highlight technologies, services and applications five years from now that will capitalize on the NGN infrastructure and will lead us to the so-called ubiquitous network society in which information can be accessed anywhere, at anytime, by anyone and anything. The event will also cover multidisciplinary aspects related to the deployment of NGN, including analysis of the regulatory and societal challenges that the deployment of NGN will bring.

Thursday, May 31, 2007 2:45:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 18, 2007

NXTComm, June 18-21, Chicago will see ITU-T members, and guests stage an interoperability showcase for fibre to the premises (FTTP) related standards.

ITU, together with Telcordia, have collaborated to organize a multi-company interoperability demonstration featuring gigabit passive optical network (G-PON) equipment built according to the ITU-T G.984 Recommendation. PON technology is used in the local loop environment to cost effectively connect residential and Small and medium enterprises (SME) end users premises in an all-fibre network.

The G-PON Pavilion features live demonstrations of G-PON equipment interoperability; with interoperability being a critical enabler to reducing G-PON equipment costs. Triple-play interoperability demonstrations are provided by the following device and equipment manufactures: Alphion, Cambridge Industries Group, Hitachi, Huawei, iamba Networks, LS Cable, PMC-Sierra, Tellabs, Terawave Communications, TXP Corporation, XAVi Technologies, ZTE Corporation. Corning is providing the optical distribution network components over which the 2488 Mbps/1244 Mbps (downstream/upstream) G-PON systems will be operating.

With PONs, signals are carried by lasers and sent to their destination without the need for active electronics in the outside plant of the telecommunications network. Carriers can realize significant savings with fiber sharing in the local loop, equipment sharing in the Central Office and by eliminating the dependence on expensive active network elements.

ITU-T Recommendations in the G.984 series detail gigabit PONs (G-PON), the latest generation of PON technology. Increasing capacity to gigabit levels should more than satisfy foreseeable customer demands, offering video applications, high-speed Internet access, multimedia and other high-bandwidth capabilities. G-PON maintains the same optical distribution network, wavelength plan and full-service network design principles of broadband PONs (B-PON) defined in ITU-T Rec G.983. As well as allowing for increased network capacity, the new standard offers more efficient IP and Ethernet handling.

Friday, May 18, 2007 3:18:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ITU and the IEEE will hold a workshop on carrier-class Ethernet, 31 May - 1 June.Much work has been done in both organisations to progress Ethernet, developed as an enterprise technology, into a carrier service. The event will focus on opportunities for further collaboration. Long-recognized as the ubiquitous LAN technology, Ethernet is now seeing increased attention as a carrier-grade service. In part this is due to the convenience of being able to simply provide end-to-end service, but also carriers can realize savings both in terms of capital and operational expenditure.

Ethernet services are becoming popular because they allow carriers to offer considerably improved flexibility to customers through a much simpler and lower cost interface. Ethernet allows users to specify exactly how much bandwidth they want between the 10Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s range currently offered. Further, Ethernet provides reduced operation complexity and improved scalability for carriers. And as operators look to NGN and the use of the Internet Protocol (IP), Ethernet is seen as the best fit, especially given the rise of such services as IP VPNs, VLANs and dedicated Internet access.

The event will start with an overview of the standards work from ITU-T and IEEE and will then drill down into detail with sessions focusing on: Ethernet based and Ethernet capable access networks; Ethernet network transport; Ethernet Bridging architecture; Ethernet OAM and management; Ethernet QoS, timing and synchronization. A closing session will bring together reports from all of the session chairs in order to identify the direction of future work.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 2:05:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 30, 2007

A Seminar on Standardization and Development of Next-Generation Networks for the Arab Region, will take place in Manama, Bahrain from 29 April to 2 May (morning) 2007.

Hosted by the Bahrain Telecommunications Company (BATELCO), the event is organized by the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) and the Standardization Bureau (TSB) of ITU.

The seminar will be followed by a Workshop on NGN Interconnection from 2 to 3 May 2007. The objectives of the seminar are two fold: first, to discuss the current trends, status and future evolution of NGN technology and standardization. Second, NGN regulatory and policy issues which will allow developing countries to exploit its full potential will be discussed.

The objective of the interconnection workshop is to look at the challenges for regulatory and policy frameworks associated with the deployment of NGN in the region. It will focus, in particular, on what kinds of interconnection arrangements make sense in an NGN world.

Monday, April 30, 2007 8:50:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 20, 2007

A call for papers has been issued for the 10th Asia-Pacific Network Operations and Management Symposium (APNOMS 2007).


The event will be held in Sapporo, Japan from October 10 to 12, 2007 with the theme “Managing Next Generation Networks and Services.”

From the call for papers: “Recently, various convergences in wired and wireless networks, and convergence of telecommunications and broadcastings are taking place for ubiquitous multimedia service provisioning. For example, broadband IP/MPLS wired networks are actively converged with IEEE 802.11e wireless LAN, IEEE 802.16 Wireless MAN, 3G/4G wireless cellular networks, and direct multimedia broadcast (DMB) network. For efficient support of service provisioning for ubiquitous multimedia services on the broadband convergence networks, well-designed and implemented network operations and management functions with QoS-guaranteed traffic engineering are essential.”

“In APNOMS 2007, the topics of interest include, but not limited to, network & service management for broadband convergence networks, business operations & management, service-oriented managements (e.g., SLA/SLS, security, billing), management architecture and technologies, various experiences, and recent standardization activities.”

Friday, April 20, 2007 1:35:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 18, 2007

ITU-T will hold a Workshop on Multimedia in NGN, Geneva, 10-11 September.

Multimedia applications and services are migrating towards a single converged user-centric communications network. The “internet of things” represents one of the key challenges for NGN standardization.

This migration, or evolution, has been recognized in ITU-T and a number of initiatives have started for the development of global standards in specific areas like IPTV, GRID, networked aspects of identification (including RFID aspects), sensor networks and more.

An aim of the NGN is to provide the necessary service capabilities to support present and future multimedia applications and services.

This workshop will contribute to the NGN vision of supporting future multimedia services and applications, and will facilitate experience and knowledge sharing between the NGN community, multimedia service and application experts. The various sessions will identify future developments at the service and application level and their impact on NGN capabilities.

The workshop will investigate future trends driven by technology and business needs in the area of multimedia services and applications, including those resulting from fixed-mobile-broadcast convergence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 3:58:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 05, 2007

Two vice chairs of ITU-T’s IPTV Focus Group will guest edit an upcoming issue of IEEE Communications Magazine. Chae-Sub Lee, of ETRI, Korea and Simon Jones, of BT, UK will edit the issue for publication February 2008.

A call for papers has been issued on the broad topic IPTV Systems, Standards and Architectures. Papers are solicited on topics including IPTV standards progress, architecture for IPTV systems, deployment challenges, performance considerations, content management and security. Articles should be tutorial in nature, further guidelines can be found here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007 1:46:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 02, 2007

Reinhard Scholl, Deputy to the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU will speak at a seminar titled Global Standards and Developing Economies: Broadband Access and Infrastructure 9-10 May, Tunis, Tunisia.

The event hosted by the IEEE-Standards Association (SA) in collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Communication Technologies will bring together leaders from industry, government and international standards organizations to share their insights on how local entities can participate in and optimize global standards and best practices to help close the digital divide.

An in-depth introduction to international standards activities and highlighting of the scope of the IEEE and its relationships with ITU and other standards bodies will be given. Through interactive presentations, the seminar will provide an overview of the issues being faced by today’s policy makers and industry leaders and provide real world examples of how standards are making a difference in emerging economies.

In addition to discussion of broadband access and infrastructure standards via presentations and case studies, challenges and opportunities for developing countries regarding intellectual property rights (IPR) and standardization will also be addressed. For further information see here, or call the IEEE-SA Corporate Standards Office at +1 732 562 5342; E-mail cag-conference@ieee.org.

Monday, April 02, 2007 1:56:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 19, 2007
Link here

Monday, March 19, 2007 10:56:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 09, 2007

The Fully Networked Car workshop held during the Geneva Motor Show has closed today, Friday 9 March, with participants and speakers declaring the event a great success. 191 people participated in the event according to the organizers. 

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, underlined his commitment to working with other standards bodies at the opening of the recent Fully Networked Car event in Geneva. "We are now placing great emphasis on bringing together the various standards bodies to avoid duplication of effort and to address convergence in areas such as the one addressed in this workshop,” he said. “That is why I am so pleased to have had the cooperation of ISO and IEC in the organization of this workshop."

The workshop (accompanied by an exhibition on 6-10 March) was the latest initiative organized by the three partner organizations of the World Standards Cooperation (WSC): IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), ITU (International Telecommunication Union), and ISO (International Organization for Standardization).

ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden remarked: “Following the previous workshops that we have organized with IEC and ITU on health technologies and the digital home, this workshop on the fully networked car is another example of the initiatives we have taken in the area of converging technologies."

The workshop addressed the market for information and communication technologies (ICT) in motor vehicles, which represents an ever-increasing share of innovation and added value in the automotive sector. The “fully networked car", taking full advantage of ICT for vehicles and road transport systems, is expected to offer a range of benefits including improved safety, reduced traffic congestion and pollution, and a smoother driving experience.

The WSC event provided a forum for the key specialists in the field, from top decision makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. It helped to identify how and which standards can speed the development of the fully networked car and its introduction into the market.

Participants at the Fully Networked Car Event.

Friday, March 09, 2007 5:14:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 05, 2007
The first steps towards a globally harmonized approach to identity management (IdM) have been taken during a meeting bringing together, for the first time, the world’s key players in the IdM space.

IdM promises to reduce the need for multiple user names and passwords for each 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.

Experts at the meeting concurred that interoperability between existing IdM solutions will provide significant benefits such as increased trust by users of on-line services as well as cybersecurity, reduction of SPAM and seamless “nomadic” roaming between services worldwide.

Abbie Barbir, chairman of the Focus Group on Identity Management (FG IdM): “Our main focus is on how to achieve the common goals of the telecommunication and IdM communities. Nobody can go it alone in this space, an IdM system must have global acceptance. There was a very positive feeling at the meeting that we can achieve this and crucially we saw a great level of participation from all key players.”

The meeting of the FG IdM brought together developers, software vendors, standards forums, manufacturers, telcos, solutions providers and academia from around the world to share their knowledge and coordinate their IdM efforts. Interoperability among solutions so far has been minimal. One conclusion of attendees is that cooperation is crucial and that players cannot exist in isolation. The spirit of the meeting was that everyone will gain by providing an open mechanism that will allow different IdM solutions to communicate even as each IdM solution continues to evolve. Such a “trust metric” does not exist today experts say.

Work will continue online and during Focus Group meetings in April, May, and July. An analysis of what IdM is used for will be followed by a gap analysis between existing IdM frameworks now being developed by industry fora and consortiums. These gaps should be addressed before the interworking and interoperability between the various solutions can be achieved. The aim is to provide the basis for a framework which can then be conveyed to the relevant standard bodies including ITU-T Study Groups. The document will include details on the requirements for the additional functionality needed within next generation networks (NGN).

ITU-T has a long history of innovation in this field, with key work on trusted, interoperable identity framework standards including Recommendation X.509 that today serves as the primary “public key” technical mechanism for communications security across all telecom and internet infrastructures.
Monday, March 05, 2007 11:16:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 19, 2007
The Fully Networked Car will review and examine the implications of the latest developments in the fast-moving market for information and communication technologies (ICT) in motor vehicles.

To guarantee a pass for the event to be held 7-10 March, at the Geneva Motor Show, register now. Entry to the event is without charge.

The workshop programme is now available featuring speakers from some of the biggest names in information and communication technologies (ICT) and the motor industry, including: Bosch, BMW, Cisco, Ford, France Telecom, Freescale Semiconductor, Head Acoustics, Hitachi, Intel, Motorola, On-Star, Orange, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Q-Free, T-Systems, Telecom Italia, Telecordia, Toyota, Vodafone and Ygomi. In addition to the packed programme an exhibition will allow visitors to see close-up some of the technologies being discussed.
Monday, February 19, 2007 11:31:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Study Group 2 has recommended the allocation of the international dialing code 888 to the UN for use in disaster relief situations.

It means that in cases where the telecoms infrastructure is down, UN teams can quickly get a communications system up and running for use in coordination. The recommendation was made following a request from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) will study the recommendation from Study Group 2 to allocate the code.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007 5:49:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Study Group 2’s February meeting saw work continue on harmonizing numbering resources for child helplines.

SG 2 is looking at the issue following a request from Child Helpline International (CHI). CHI is a global network of telephone helplines and outreach services for children and young people.

Specifically SG 2 is looking at the logistics of providing a global number. It previously conducted a survey which discovered that a wide range of numbers are in use globally and that there is support in many countries for studying a more harmonized solution.

A review process will be an initial assessment of all of the various options for introducing childrens’ helplines. The fundamental question is whether a single number can be deployed worldwide. Other issues include how regulators will handle migration from existing services and who pays for the services.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007 11:02:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Standards that will ease the wide spread rollout of video over IP networks took a step forward in January.

IPTV architecture and requirements, two fundamentally important areas in standards work were progressed at a recent meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on IPTV. There was general consensus in the meeting that FG IPTV will successfully develop documents which will accelerate introduction of IPTV to the global market. Setting the architecture and requirements in stone allows the rest of the work to continue with greater ease.

Meeting at the Microsoft conference center, Mountain View California, at the invitation of the Alliance for Telecom Industry Standards (ATIS) the group saw a record number of contributions and experts worked often late to keep up with the workload. Nearly 90 documents were dealt with in the fields of architecture and requirements alone.

Malcolm Johnson, newly elected Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau said in a message he sent to the event: “The excellent cooperation between ITU-T and ATIS is an example of the spirit of cooperation that I believe now pervades in the standards world... From what I have seen there is a great deal to be satisfied by in terms of the progress that FG IPTV has achieved so far.”

In opening comments, ATIS President & CEO Susan Miller shared with the 200 meeting attendees that IPTV is serving as a “change agent” for the industry, and “as both the business case and principal driver for accelerating deployment of the next generation network.” Miller noted that for North American service providers in particular, “IPTV is a critical ingredient to bundled service offerings that encompass television services, mobile services, Internet access, and much more. We have seen in the last decade, enormous investments in broadband, and fiber deployments to the home and to the premise,” said Miller.

Also important a document outlining terms and definitions in the field was created. While seemingly mundane this work is crucially important in ensuring consistency of comprehension in an area where many standards outlining different aspects of IPTV will co-exist.

Further discussion is expected on whether and how to treat the issue of redistribution of content to a point past an IPTV terminal device, and, in particular, how content protection and content management functions can or should apply in a home network environment.

Other issues examined and progressed were accessibility issues for people with disabilities, AV codecs and content format requirements. Output (and other) documents can be seen here.

The next meeting of FG IPTV will be held from 7 to 11 May 2007 in Bled, Slovenia.

 

 

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:14:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 05, 2007

ITU and the IEEE will hold a workshop on carrier-class Ethernet, 31 May- 1 June.

Much work has been done in both organisations to progress Ethernet, developed as an enterprise technology, into a carrier service. The event will focus on opportunities for further collaboration.

Long-recognized as the ubiquitous LAN technology, Ethernet is now seeing increased attention as a carrier-grade service. In part this is due to the convenience of being able to simply provide end-to-end service, but also carriers can realize savings both in terms of capital and operational expenditure.

Ethernet services are becoming popular because they allow carriers to offer considerably improved flexibility to customers through a much simpler and lower cost interface. Ethernet allows users to specify exactly how much bandwidth they want between the 10Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s range currently offered. Further, Ethernet provides reduced operation complexity and improved scalability for carriers. And as operators look to NGN and the use of the Internet Protocol (IP), Ethernet is seen as the best fit, especially given the rise of such services as IP VPNs, VLANs and dedicated Internet access.

The event will start with an overview of the standards work from ITU-T and IEEE and will then drill down into detail with sessions focusing on: Ethernet based and Ethernet capable access networks; Ethernet network transport; Ethernet Bridging architecture; Ethernet OAM and management; Ethernet QoS, timing and synchronization. A closing session will bring together reports from all of the session chairs in order to identify the direction of future work.

Monday, February 05, 2007 1:02:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Representatives of the car industry joined with more traditional ITU-T members at the first meeting of the Focus Group From/In/To Car Communication.

The Focus Group meeting in Geneva, January, worked on specifications that will enhance communications in vehicles. Using as a starting point a specification developed by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) the Focus Group is looking to improve a 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.

A first priority is to deal with speakerphone audio quality, aiming to provide a specification that will help to improve the speech- and sound - quality between different devices. Second priority is requirements for headsets including wireless. Chairman of the group, Hans Gierlich of Head Acoustics noted also that a major problem for the car industry is car-to-car communications.

While first concentrating on narrowband speech (3.4kHz), the group will eventually move into better quality - wideband (8kHz). Input is also required in the area of testing for interaction between the network and hands-free terminals. In addition speech recognition will be addressed.

Participating companies included Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, DaimlerChrysler, France Telecom, Harman/Becker, Head Acoustics, Mitsubushi, Nortel and Volkswagen.

A second FG meeting hosted by HARMAN/BECKER Automotive Systems is planned for March 15 in Ulm, Germany following the ITU, ISO and IEC event, The Fully Networked Car, Information and Communication Technologies in Motor Vehicles. The event taking place at the Geneva Motor Show will review and examine the implications of the latest developments in this fast-moving market. A significant value-add will be an exhibition showcasing the latest technologies in the field.

 

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 5:30:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 08, 2007
Following ITU-T’s Workshop on Digital Identity for NGN Geneva, 5 December 2006 a decision has been made to set up a Focus Group on Identity Management (IdM) under the parentage of Study Group 17.

Digital identity refers to the online representation of a user’s or network element’s identity and the identity of those that the user or network element interacts with. It does not mean the positive validation of a person. Information regarding device identities is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity, and as a consequence, its protection and management are vital to a healthy and inclusive digital world.

There are different approaches for representing identities and different identity management frameworks. The lack of a common view on digital identity and its management has so far resulted in incompatible applications.

The Focus Group will explore mechanisms that allow different frameworks to interoperate together. Experts said there is a need to identify current gaps in proposed solutions. For example, IdM solutions that involve the telecom network level and in general lower layers have not been addressed sufficiently, they said. The Focus Group will act as a platform for an exchange of information in order to bring about necessary harmonisation.

All standards organizations and developer forums involved in identity management worldwide, including institutes, forums, companies, experts and individuals regardless of whether ITU members or not are encouraged to participate.

The first meeting of the FG IdM is scheduled to take place at ITU Headquarters, in Geneva, from 13 to 16 February 2007.

Monday, January 08, 2007 10:11:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 17, 2006

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), with the support of the ITU, will hold two workshops on Numbering and Convergence January 2007.

The announcement follows the development of a draft National Numbering Plan (NNP) (for industry consultation) as mandated by the 2003 Communications Act.

The first workshop Impact and challenges of implementing NNP will be held 9 – 10 January the second Challenges of convergence 11 January.

Aims of the event include allowing participants to: gain a better understanding of the draft NNP and associated new services; identify implementation impacts to the network and possibly proffer a common solution to the articulated impacts; reach a consensus on efficient techniques to implement the services / associated modifications and also on the NNP implementation schedule; participate in producing guidelines for an industry committee that will oversee the NNP implementation / transition plan.

Delegates are expected to include Telecoms Stakeholders such as Interconnection / Core Network Staff, Equipment Manufacturers / Vendors, Programmers / Installers, Consumer Advocacy Groups, Internet Groups, other Sector Stakeholders and Regulatory Agencies worldwide. Nigerian Network Operators are specifically encouraged to send delegates that have sufficient knowledge of their systems as decisions taken during the workshops may impact on their networks.

Telcordia is supporting the workshops with expert speakers. Opportunities are available for experts to serve as panelists for days: 1, 2 and 3 and also to facilitate breakout sessions for days: 1 and 2.

In addition, the event will provide a venue for local and international solution providers who are interested in showcasing state-of-the-art solutions on Numbering, Number Portability, ENUM, VOIP and Convergence.

Exhibition and sponsorship Opportunities are available, for further information on these or any other aspect of the events, please contact Mrs. M.K Onyeajuwa (telephone +234-9-6700630, +234-9-2340330 ext 1052, +234804419088, email nnp@ncc.gov.ng).

 

Friday, November 17, 2006 12:18:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T will hold a Workshop on Digital Identity for NGN Geneva, 05 December 2006.

In the last few years, the need for digital identity has risen as a strong driving force behind network architecture design, service provisioning, and content handling, billing and charging. Digital identity is expected to be a powerful tool for users to access unlimited digital resources via a limited number of trusted relationships, and for providers to offer these resources across the different layers of communication systems, administrative domains and even legal boundaries. However, the lack of a common view on digital identity across these different layers has so far resulted in independently developed and therefore often inconsistent identity management frameworks as well as incompatible applications.

Key challenges towards the development of a more consistent approach are to tackle the conflicting requirements of privacy, identification and security. This workshop, a Joint ITU-T/EU IST Daidalos Project Workshop, intends to investigate different approaches, analyze gaps in today’s standards, identify future challenges and find common goals which will provide direction to the work currently being undertaken in the different projects and standards development organizations (SDOs).

 

Friday, November 17, 2006 9:15:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 09, 2006
ITU-T will hold a Consultation meeting on cooperation between ITU-T and Universities, Geneva, 18 and 19 January 2007, to explore ways to improve cooperation between the ITU standardization sector and universities. Other objectives include discussion of how ITU-T can become better known to students and how to make it easier for academia to participate directly in ITU-T work.

Given a belief that many new technologies find life in the minds of the academic world, ITU is increasingly looking to attract more involvement from the world’s universities and other academic institutions. There are already many examples of this policy bearing fruit. Some standards that have emerged from ITU study groups have been heavily influenced by academic involvement. However often this is not recognized because academia has frequently chosen to participate under the banner of an organization other than its own. Exploration of how these important contributions can be better recognized will also be on the agenda.

Universities can benefit from participation in the standards making process by becoming part of an international ‘club’ of ICT experts. Among ITU’s key attractions are its truly international scope and its role as the architect behind many modern communication systems. All major ICT companies are ITU Sector Members. There can be no more enlightening a window on the world of ICT development. The opportunity to be part of a team that creates a worldwide standard provides an exciting opportunity for any university. For these reasons and others this consultation meeting will be an excellent opportunity for university representatives to explore ways to increase university involvement in ITU-T’s work.

ITU-T requests the input of universities on how best to further the relationship between ITU-T and academia for the benefit of both parties. See webpage for documents submitted so far and for details and how to contribute.

 

Thursday, November 09, 2006 9:04:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 07, 2006

ITU-T will host the annual Broadband Europe conference 11-14 Dec 2006.

BBEurope is an annual event which was initiated by the FP6-BREAD-project (broadband for all in Europe: a multi-disciplinary approach), part of the "BroadBand for All"-strategic objective of the European Commission.

Peter Van Daele, Project Leader BREAD: “The concept of “Broadband For All” refers to a situation in which broadband is not only available to every citizen, but is actually used by all of them. In that respect it is a more demanding concept than the traditional universal service obligation in telephony, which merely stipulates the availability, at certain conditions, of a given service. The usage of information and communication technologies via broadband infrastructures by all citizens is a policy objective because it is considered to be a key component of transforming Europe into a knowledge-based society, thus enhancing economic growth and increasing employment.”

The BREAD project has amongst its objectives to develop a holistic vision encompassing technical, as well as economical and regulatory aspects. Another important aspect is of identifying roadblocks on European, national/regional level and share visions and best practices on national level to EU level.

BBEurope brings together on an international level all the BroadBand players, researchers, service providers, content providers, operators, manufacturers, policy makers, standardisation bodies, professional organisations.

A diverse agenda will cover topics including NGN, IPTV, wireless access, powerline, security, QoS, and broadband in rural areas. The event will conclude with a panel discussion titled: Future Perspectives in Broadband. A ‘full preliminary’ programme is available from the event’s website, with the call for papers ending November 10 when a programme committee will make a final selection of the papers.

 

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 9:18:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

John MacDonald, a member of the ITU team that created the new VDSL 2 standard, will take part in an upcoming Webinar on this topic, Tuesday, November 21. The Webinar, the second on the topic that ITU has contributed to, will outline what VDSL2 is, which are its competitive differentiators and benefits, and how it allows service providers to compete with cable and satellite operators - by enabling the delivery of enhanced voice, video and data services over a standard copper telephone cable.

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is a product of ITU-T, ITU’s standardization arm, and is the world's most widely deployed broadband access technology. It has enhanced users' experience of the Internet, provided access to digitized content, and fuelled the delivery of streaming video and the development of online gaming by offering downstream data rates of up to 8 Mbit/s. Today, service providers must ensure their DSL offerings can compete against other market options from cable operators. One way to do so, is by offering services over VDSL2 (ITU-T Recommendation G.993.2) - very high-speed DSL - a new version of DSL, which gives service providers the ability to deliver even higher bandwidth and more enhanced services to consumer and business customers.

Delivering up to 100 Mbit/s both up and downstream, a tenfold increase over ADSL (Asymmetric DSL) VDSL2 provides for so-called fiber-extension, bringing fiber-like bandwidth to premises not directly connected to the fiber optic segment of a telecom company’s network. By deploying VDSL2 operators expect to be able to offer services such as high-definition TV (HDTV), video-on-demand, videoconferencing, high-speed Internet access, and advanced voice services. Importantly VDSL 2 offers carriers a solution that is interoperable with the DSL equipment many already have in place. In addition, VDSL 2 will work with both legacy ATM networks and next generation IP-based networks.

Register to take part in this online event here

 

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 9:16:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 31, 2006

An ITU-T and OASIS workshop on public warning, October, attracted 80 participants and saw agreement on a number of ways forward. The event signaled a further stepping-up of cooperation between the two organizations.

The OASIS Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), which was successfully demonstrated at the event, has been submitted to ITU for international standardization, officials from both organizations confirmed. Publication as an ITU-T Recommendation will help ensure that CAP is deployed worldwide giving technical compatibility for users across all countries. This action had strong support from the workshop.

The goal of public warning is to reduce the damage and loss of life caused by a natural or man-made hazard event. CAP allows a warning message to be consistently disseminated simultaneously over many warning systems to many applications.

Attendees, from policy makers to manufacturers to personnel involved in emergency management also agreed among other things to: “Coordinate actions among all relevant players to ensure that standards-based, all-media, all-hazards public warning becomes an essential infrastructure component through platforms such as the Telecommunications for Disaster Relief and Mitigation - Partnership Co-ordination Panel (PCP-TDR)”.

The workshop produced a number of other proposals, which will shortly be available from the event’s website.

In a separate announcement, OASIS said that it was happy to welcome ITU as an event supporter for its upcoming Adoption Forum, London, 27-29 November. ITU members are invited to attend the conference, titled Managing Secure Interactions in Sector Applications, at the reduced rate of EUR100 per day.

The announcements follow the June 2006 approval as internationally recognized ITU-T Recommendations of OASIS’ SAML as ITU-T X.1141 (Security Assertion Markup Language) and XACML as ITU-T X.1142 (Extensible Access Control Markup Language). See previous story.

 

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:03:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom World, December 4-8, Kong Kong will see ITU-T members, and guests stage an interoperability showcase for fibre to the premises (FTTP) related standards.

 

On show will be gigabit passive optical network (G-PON) equipment built according to the ITU-T G.984 Recommendation. PON technology is used in the local loop to connect residential and SME end users premises in an all-fibre network.

 

The G-PON Pavilion features live demonstrations of G-PON equipment interoperability; with interoperability being a critical enabler to reducing G-PON equipment costs. Triple-play interoperability demonstrations are provided by the following device and equipment manufactures: AMCC, Cambridge Industries Group, Ericsson, FlexLight Networks, Fujitsu Network Communications, Hitachi, LS Cable, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Terawave Communications, and ZTE.

 

With PONs, signals are carried by lasers and sent to their destination without the need for active electronics. Carriers can realize significant savings with fiber sharing in the distribution network, equipment sharing in the Central Office and by eliminating the dependence on expensive active network elements. 

 

ITU-T Recommendations in the G.984 series detail gigabit PONs (G-PON), the latest generation of PON technology. Increasing capacity to gigabit levels should more than satisfy foreseeable customer demands, offering video applications, high-speed Internet access, multimedia and other high-bandwidth capabilities. G-PON maintains the same optical distribution network, wavelength plan and full-service network design principles of broadband PONs (B-PON) defined in ITU-T Rec G.983. As well as allowing for increased network capacity, the new standard offers more efficient IP and Ethernet handling.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 3:58:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 27, 2006
With the second meeting of the IPTV Focus Group (FG IPTV) seeing a record number of participants and contributions, experts have declared satisfaction that work towards a set of standards for IPTV is well on track.

A recent report from industry analyst Gartner says that the number of households around the world subscribing to IPTV services offered by telecom carriers will reach 48.8 million in 2010. Buoyed by new service launches, IPTV subscribers will more than double in 2007 from an expected 6.4 million in 2006 to 13.3 million according to Gartner.

Experts agree that it is imperative that standards needs are met if these impressive figures are to be achieved.

A key achievement at the FG IPTV meeting in Korea was progress towards an standardized IPTV architecture: The group agreed that IPTV architecture shall allow for both NGN and non-NGN approaches to IPTV, and within the NGN-approach, include both IMS and non-IMS based approaches.

Ghassem Koleyni, chair of the group: “I am particularly happy that we have achieved so much progress in Working Group 1 (service requirements and architecture). The level of participation in this group is growing and progress is overall good. But requirements and architecture are of such fundamental importance that getting a fix on these points, at this stage, is very satisfying. In order to gain momentum here we will convene an electronic meeting looking specifically at requirements and architecture, 18-21 December.”

The Korea meeting agreed on the following definition of IPTV: “IPTV is defined as multimedia services such as television/video/ audio/text/graphics/data delivered over IP based networks managed to provide the required level of QoS/QoE, security, interactivity and reliability.”

The next face-to-face meeting of the FG IPTV is scheduled for 22-26 January 2007 at the Microsoft facilities , Mountain View, California, USA (Silicon Valley) at the kind invitation of Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).

The FG IPTV meeting was preceded by an ITU-T workshop. The event attended by over 400 and held in Seoul provided a view and examination of IPTV standardization, political and regulatory aspects, business models and various case studies as well as technical developments and service provider’s operational aspects. A roundtable discussion at the event concluded that global standardisation and interoperability are key for further development of IPTV worldwide. Other issues that might be further discussed at an international level, according to the roundtable’s twenty participants, include digital rights management (DRM).

 

Friday, October 27, 2006 8:30:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Joint Coordination Activity on Network Aspects of Identification Systems (including RFID) (JCA-NID) had its first meeting 19-21 September.

The newly established group aims to foster relationships with related standards bodies working in the field in order to exchange information, and – through co-ordination and close working relationships – avoid proliferation of incompatible standards and duplication of work.

The group’s work is currently focused on providing high-level specifications that are always the first step in any standardization work. Key are a roadmap document outlining the order for standards work in the field, a high level requirements document and a generic architectural model. These will be developed as deliverables for eventual input into ITU-T Study Group system.

Meeting attendees agreed to distribute an invitation to relevant groups to inform them of the JCA-NID’s activities and ask them to each identify a coordinator.

A proposal for the next meeting, 25 February 2007, looks set to be adopted.

 

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 2:14:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 02, 2006
ITU* together with partners ISO* and IEC*, will hold an event at the Geneva Motor Show, March 2007 to review and examine the implications of the latest developments in the fast-moving market for ICT in motor vehicles.

The Fully Networked Car, Information and Communication Technologies in Motor Vehicles, will comprise an exhibition which will run the length of the Geneva Motor Show, and a workshop which will take place between 7 and 9 March.

ICT is a key area of focus for the automotive industry influencing vehicle development, the driver experience and the way that vehicles are now sold. ICT has the potential to vastly improve vehicle mobility and safety, while increasing comfort and enjoyment, but there are fundamental questions that need to be addressed.

Building on the success of two previous workshops the exhibition portion of the event will showcase the latest technologies in the field, while the workshop brings together all stakeholders to discuss the current state of this technology and to agree on how to achieve progress.

The Geneva Motor Show is one of the world’s leading automotive events and in 2007 will give seven hundred square metres of exhibition space to consumer or concept communication technologies for vehicles. This will include communication from/to the car, location-based services, multimedia entertainment, diagnostics, safety, e-call, and others.

Hans Gierlich of Head Acoustics and Chairman of the steering committee for the event, said: “The workshop will examine some of the challenges faced in linking the automotive and ICT sectors. There are many hurdles here and standardization will play an important role in smoothing the way forward for the industry.”

The goals of the workshop are to shed light on questions such as; how do we face the technical and engineering challenges; how do we make sure that the right standards are adopted to deal with the complexity of so many electronic components and what are the best ways to allow this market to develop its full potential?

This event is convened as part of the activity of the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) between ITU (ITU-T and ITU-R), ISO and IEC. More details can be found at the event’s website - itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/ict-auto/200703/. Exhibitor/speaker enquiries: tsbcar@itu.int, +41 (0)22 730 5808, 5882. Media enquiries: toby.johnson@itu.int, + 41 (0) 22 730 5877.

*The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) group government authorities, representatives of industry, research institutes, universities and consumers, and other experts, to reach a consensus on worldwide standards in almost all realms of human endeavour, from aircraft and space vehicles to basic units of measurement and test methods. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is an agency of the United Nations which has among its aims the extension of the benefits of new telecommunication technologies to all the world's inhabitants and facilitation of the worldwide standardization of telecommunications.

 

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:25:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU-T is hosting a workshop and demonstration together with OASIS on Advances in ICT Standards for Public Warning, 19-20 October.

In the wake of the Tsunami disaster that took place on 26 December 2004 and major natural catastrophes that hit in 2005 standards development organizations (SDOs) have stepped up work on public warning in concert with organizations dealing with disaster management, prevention and relief. Emphasizing the practical application of standardized public warnings, the workshop will review relevant work by SDOs, identify standardization gaps, and identify key players to collaborate on further work as needed.

The two-day event will feature an emergency management interoperability demonstration of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) OASIS standard, as well as presentations by various players active in public warning and discussion of relevant technology issues that may also have public policy implications. 

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:24:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T is hosting a workshop NGN and Grids in collaboration with the Open Grid Forum (OGF) in Geneva, 23-24 October 2006.

Grid computing enables organizations to pool IT resources across departmental and organizational boundaries in a secure, highly efficient manner in order to solve massive computational problems.

Next generation networks (NGN) offer increased quality and service features for users, independent of the underlying transport technology. ITU-T’s Global Standards Initiative on Next Generation Network (NGN-GSI) is well under way and is responding to urgent market needs for global NGN standards.

The workshop will explore how Grids will work in an NGN environment by bringing together experts from both communities.

The telco community is eyeing Grid development with interest. Telcos could use grids internally, for billing and simulations for example but new revenue streams can be foreseen in areas such as managed grid services.

One panel discussion and Q&A will pose the question: “What can Grids do for Telcos and what can Telcos do for Grids?” Other panel discussions will examine NGN management and security.

From a telecoms perspective there are some challenges such as QoS, how to control the network, how to manage dynamic provisioning and how to provide collision-free addresses (IPv4 <-> NAT). It is expected that all of these topics and more will be addressed.

A key result of the event will be a gap analysis of standards in the field and a better understanding of how grids can be catered for in ITU-T’s NGN Release 2. An action plan outlining what work needs to be done, and where can then be developed.

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:22:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI), and the ITU’s Center of Excellence, in association with the ITU-T, will run a three day workshop on telecommunication standardization, 25 to 27 October 2006. The workshop will be conducted at the TDM Training Centre in Maputo, Mozambique. A broad aim of the event is to give African regulators and operators an insight into the working methods of ITU-T and encourage greater particpation.

The event will explore topics including NGN, VOIP, issues of security related to these technologies, and their likely regulatory implications. Also covered will be the outcome of the last World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly (WTSA – 2004) held in Brazil in October 2004 and the implications on the structure and working methods of ITU-T, as well as what some of these decisions mean for Africa.

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:18:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Interoperability between equipment using the ITU-T Recommendation G.984 for passive optical network (G-PON) has been demonstrated at an independent test laboratory, KTL in Santa Clara, California.

PON technology is used in the local loop to connect residential and SME end users premises in an all-fibre network. The event organized by the Full Service Access Network (FSAN) Group demonstrated service level interoperability between several vendors.

ITU-T Recommendation G.984 enables line rates of 2.5 Gbps in the downstream (central office to customer) and 1.2 Gbps in the upstream (customer to central office) to handle the bandwidth requirements for services like HD IPTV, online-gaming, Ethernet services, VoIP and TDM over fibre. In addition it offers more efficient IP and Ethernet handling.

FSAN together with ITU have hosted a series of B-PON and G-PON interoperability events over the years. The recent event, involved voice, data and IPTV testing between the following system vendors: Calix, Cambridge Industries Group, Entrisphere, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Huawei, Iamba Networks, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Siemens, Terawave. Shenick provided IPTV and data testing with quality of experience (QoE) and performance assessment. Spirent provided its triple play test solution to verify voice, video, and data service performance and functionality with 'real world' scenarios. Corning provided the complete optical distribution network (ODN) for the event, including the optical fibre, cable, splitters, cabinet, terminal distribution system, and connectorized drop cables.

The multi-vendor G-PON systems were used to transport voice, data and IPTV between the optical networking terminals (ONTs) and the optical line terminals (OLTs). Service provisioning of triple-play services was done via the ONT management and control interface (OMCI). Detailed test cases where used to verify quality and performance of services in a multi-vendor environment.

"We are very pleased with the achievement of VoIP and IPTV as well as other services working across a mix of vendor equipment," said Michael Brusca, Verizon Communications, Chair FSAN Interoperability Task Group. "We have overcome the challenge of OMCI interoperability that built on our previous physical layer testing, within a year after specifying its enhancements. G-PON is now mature and ready for mass deployment."

Don Clarke, 21CN chief access designer for BT Wholesale: "We are actively supporting FSAN and the ITU-T in their endeavor to achieve interoperability for GPON equipment. Interoperability will help drive down costs and leverage innovation in the customer termination space."

A public G-PON Interop Showcase is planned for ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 this December in Hong Kong.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:42:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 03, 2006

Celebrating its leading role in setting standards in communications ITU will hold a one day event - 20 July - to hear what some of the top executives from the world of ICT have to say about the future of this remarkable industry.

In 2006, ITU-T (formerly CCITT) celebrates fifty years of making the standards that have played a massive role in shaping the information and communication technologies (ICT) and services of today. In 1924/5, two technical committees were created to set standards regulating technical and operating questions for international long-distance telephony and telegraphy. Fifty years ago, in 1956, these two technical committees were merged to become CCITT (Consultative Committee for International Telegraphy and Telephony) which later became ITU-T, where all standards-setting activities of ITU were consolidated for wire and wireless networks.

While celebrating the past achievements of ITU in the field of standardization, the event will be forward looking in focus. The morning will see keynote speeches from among others the Chairman of the Board of China Netcom and the CEO and President of NTT and CEO of Svyazinvest. In the afternoon there will be two executive round table discussions on the future of ICTs. The discussion panels will consist of CTOs and other senior experts from some of the world’s major ICT companies, including Alcatel, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, France Télécom, KDDI, Korea Telecom, KPN, Nortel, Rostelecom, Siemens, Telefónica and ZTE.

As well as attending this important event you are invited to vote for the most influential standards work from the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) at www.itu.int/ITU-T/50/vote.html. Select from this shortlist which you think has best shaped the ICT world of today, or feel free to nominate your own.

Study group chairs and experts attending the meeting on next generation networks — global standards initiative (NGN-GSI) will be present. The event is free and open to any interested party but only a limited number of places are available, so please register online as soon as possible. An audio webcast of the entire event will be available at www.itu.int/ibs/. Journalists interested in attending should contact Toby Johnson.

 

 

 

Monday, July 03, 2006 2:41:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 26, 2006

A new ITU-T Focus Group will develop standards for ICTs in cars, and a workshop on the same topic has been announced for March 2007.

The group, open to non-ITU members, and in particular aiming to attract participation from car manufacturers, will be called From/In/To Cars Communication and will, according to terms of reference agreed at the recent meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 12 address:

  • Hands-free communication in cars: Quality parameters and testing methods
  • Interaction of car hands free systems with the radio channel
  • Extension of the work to wideband car hands-free systems
  • Special requirements/testing procedures for speech recognition systems in cars

Deliverables from the group will be submitted to SG 12 for formal approval as ITU-T Recommendations.

Jean-Yves Monfort, Chairman Study Group 12: “It is essential for all stakeholders to come to grips with these technologies that are having a profound influence on vehicle development, the driver experience and the way that vehicles are now sold. They have the potential to vastly improve vehicle mobility and safety, while increasing comfort and enjoyment, but they also raise some fundamental questions. What are the right business models in linking the automotive and telecoms sectors? How do we face the technical and engineering challenges? How do we make sure that the right standards are adopted to deal with the complexity of so many electronic components and to allow this market to develop its full potential? It is the goal of these activities, the formation of the Focus Group and the workshop, to provide some answers to these questions.”

ITU-T’s SG12 work in the field started following the 2003 ITU, Workshop on Standardization in Telecommunication for motor vehicles. The formation of the FG, will make it easier for car manufacturers, standards organizations and others to participate in the development of a new set of requirements and specifications to help advance the work of ITU-T.

The group, chaired by Hans Gierlich, Head Acoustics, will first meet January 2007, with a second meeting planned during the Geneva Motor Show, March 2007. The Motor Show will also host a workshop, convened jointly by ITU, ISO and IEC, The Fully Networked Car, Information and Communication Technologies in Motor Vehicles. The event will review and examine the implications of the latest developments in this fast-moving market. A significant value-add will be an exhibition showcasing the latest technologies in the field. The exhibition will run the length of the Geneva Motor Show, while the workshop will take place between 7 and 9 March.

 

Monday, June 26, 2006 9:59:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 19, 2006

The NGN Management Focus Group (NGNMFG) is seeking more input from service providers and network operators in order to build a more accurate roadmap of needs and existing specifications for NGN management. The group presenting version 2 of its roadmap at the May meeting of Study Group 4, in Beijing, changed its terms of reference to reflect the need.

While roadmap V1 identified NGN management specifications from ITU-T as well as other standards making organizations, V2 provides gap analysis and pinpoints areas that can benefit from better harmonization. Recognizing a gap in managing new functions tying the NGN transport stratum to the service stratum, V2 sees the addition of management of IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) and NGN transport technologies like ASON (automatic switched optical network) and Ethernet.

The roadmap can be found here.

Monday, June 19, 2006 8:21:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 05, 2006

As part of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of ITU-T, you are invited to vote for the most influential standards work from ITU-T.

ITU work is behind many of the worlds most prevalent information and communications technologies. Choose here from our shortlist which you think has best shaped the ICT world of today, or feel free to suggest your own idea.

 

 

Monday, June 05, 2006 8:05:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T together with the Independent Joint Photographic Expert Group (IJG) is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the formation of the CCITT/ITU-T and ISO Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG) with the release of an alpha version of software for a new more efficient compression scheme. The new ITU extension to JPEG known as ITU-T Recommendation T.851 means that compression is increased such that images will take-up less space on people’s hard drives or digital cameras.

The program available here allows users to input image files for compression at a more efficient rate than that currently offered. The group responsible for producing the open source software is inviting people to test and contribute to the development of the project.

Recently, and capitalizing on the ‘toolbox’ concept of the original JPEG design, ITU-T approved ITU-T Rec. T.851, a royalty-free extension that adds to T.81, more commonly known as JPEG, an alternative compression method using so-called Q15 arithmetic coding. Q15 provides not only higher compression ratios for stored and transmitted images, but - compared to the original arithmetic coding in JPEG - also lower latency for compressing and displaying images. T.851 also extends the color precision of JPEG to maximum 16 bits per color component, which is seen as essential in applications such as medical imaging, professional photography and high quality printing.

Founded in 1986 by its parent bodies, the then ITU CCITT Study Group VIII and the ISO/TC97/SC2/WG8 group, JPEG continues today under the auspices of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC29/WG1 and ITU-T Study Group 16. The most famous product of JPEG was ITU-T Recommendation T.81 | ISO/IEC 10918-1, which specifies a process for digital compression and coding of continuous-tone still images, and is more commonly known by the name of the group, JPEG. This is the most used format for storing and transmitting photographs on the Internet, in digital photography and in many other image compression applications, and it was approved in 1992 first by ITU-T (then CCITT) and later by ISO/IEC.

Work on the new compression algorithm was started in 2004 by ITU-T Study Group 16. The aim was to allow users to take advantage of recent technological advances, with the addition to the JPEG suite of an alternative, royalty free coder that would allow even better image compression efficiency and lower latency. The successful completion of this first phase of the work resulted in the publication of the specification ITU-T Rec. T.851 after approval in September 2005. Experts from SG 16 say to stay tuned for further developments.

 

Monday, June 05, 2006 8:03:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 22, 2006

The joint ITU/UNESCO Global Symposium on Promoting the Multilingual Internet closed with the chairman encouraging the two organizations to take a lead role in promoting international cooperation for developing the multilingual internet and encouraging interested relevant organizations as well as individuals to actively join these initiatives and strengthen their cooperation in this regard. Specifically it was said, there is a need for increased ITU/UNESCO involvement in the harmonization of standards, in addition to their specific programmes to promote multilingualism and local content throughout the digital world.

There is, it was agreed, a huge demand for the support of multiple languages and responding to this in a more coordinated way, experts concurred is a key way to avoid fragmentation of the Internet.

Chair, Direk Charoenphol, National Telecommunications Commission, NTC, Thailand: “It is fundamental that, in the end, multilingualism – whether using IDNs, keywords or contents – be natively supported in operating systems and browsers, not retrofitted, to avoid the need for plug-ins, which creates a constant source of user and operational difficulties.”

Houlin Zhao, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU said: “By organizing this event, ITU has demonstrated its determination to work on these issues.” He thanked UNESCO for its support in the organization of the event.

Elizabeth Longworth, Director, Information Society Division, UNESCO: "We should not talk about culture as a feature of communications technology - rather, the internet is a domain of human activity in its own right, where language and content are manifestations of the users' cultures and so the focus should be on the users' ability to participate, to become content providers and to navigate across linguistic boundaries."

A roadmap or guidelines highlighting steps towards a multilingual Internet is seen as an important initiative. It was agreed that this is a complex task that requires substantial and strengthened cooperation between relevant bodies.

During the three-day Symposium, a number of presentations were made and discussions focused on standardization activities and technical solutions for internationalized domain names (IDNs), for equipping non-scripted languages and allowing them to be present on the internet, the development and promotion of local contents, and measurements of the current linguistic diversity on the internet. Perspectives of domain name registries and an overview of the associated intellectual property issues that arise when multilingual domain names are deployed were also presented.

Monday, May 22, 2006 10:30:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) authored by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) have been consented as internationally recognised ITU-T Recommendations. The announcement is the first result of the formal relationship between the standardization sector of ITU and OASIS.

The standards (ITU-T Recommendations X.1141 (SAML) and X.1142 (XACML)) address the concern of how to allow safe single sign-on, a system that enables a user to authenticate once and gain access to the resources of multiple software systems. While solutions existed in this space, all were proprietary, and therefore not addressing the problem on a global level.

SAML and XACML are designed to control access to devices and applications on a network. The need for standards in this area has become more of an issue as business networks increasingly use the public Internet.

SAML addresses authentication and provides a mechanism for transferring authentication and authorization decisions between cooperating entities, XACML leverages this information to determine access to resources by focusing on the mechanism for arriving at those authorization decisions.

An additional feature of SAML is that it allows organizations to communicate information without any change to their own internal security architectures.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 8:44:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 27, 2006

Work in the video coding space progressed, following meetings taking place in Geneva in April.

Also, the beginning of the month saw the Japan launch of a new mobile terrestrial digital audio/video broadcasting service using H.264 and called "1seg".  The video compression standard (full name ITU-T Rec. H.264 or MPEG-4 pt.10/ AVC) jointly developed by ITU-T SG16 and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is now being deployed in products from companies including Apple, Sony, BT, France Telecom, Intel, Motorola, Nokia, Polycom, Samsung, Tandberg and Toshiba and in services such as over-the-air broadcast television, the new HD DVD and Blu Ray disc formats, and a large number of deployments of direct-broadcast satellite-based television services.

In Geneva, a new Recommendation was consented that will allow the use of a ‘back channel’ to convey the level of loss or corruption in video messages and if necessary apply measures to compensate for that. So, for example, at the content delivery end, an encoder, upon determining that a message is not getting through properly, may decide to reduce the message to its bare essentials resulting in a lower fidelity for the end user. Alternatively, the encoder and decoder can deploy intelligent recovery mechanisms. This will better support Recommendation H.264’s use in environments that may be more susceptible to error, for example in mobile telephony and IP-based video conferencing.

The new Recommendation has been drafted in such a way that it can be applied to existing (e.g. H.262, H.263, H,264) and future video coding standards. 

The work took place during co-located meetings of the Joint Video Team (JVT) and ITU-T Study Group 16, home of media coding work in the ITU. Over 90 documents were considered by the JVT group, which is the ITU-T and ISO/IEC joint project to enhance standard video coding performance, and is home to H.264/AVC.

An amendment to H.264 added support of new extended-gamut colour spaces, which are recently-specified enhanced methods of measuring and representing the brightness and color of the objects in video pictures. Also, in relation to H.264, work continued on developing new profiles supporting H.264’s use in high-end studio applications that use the 4:4:4 color sampling system and on developing scalable video coding (SVC) extensions of the standard as well.


Thursday, April 27, 2006 8:27:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 05, 2006
ITU will take the lead in international standardization for IPTV with the announcement that it is to form a Focus Group on IPTV (IPTV FG).

The announcement, while acknowledging that standards work is ongoing in many different places, including ITU, is a reaction to an industry call for ITU to push forward and coordinate global standardization effort in the field.

IPTV is a system where a digital television service is delivered to consumers using the Internet protocol over a broadband connection. It will help pave the way for players, many of whom are already moving to IP-based NGN infrastructure, to offer a triple-play of video, voice and data.

Standards are necessary in order to give service providers, whether traditional broadcasters, ISPs or telecoms service providers, control over their platforms and their offerings. Standards here will encourage innovation, help mask the complexity of services, guarantee QoS, ensure interoperability and ultimately help players remain competitive.

The mission of IPTV FG is to coordinate and promote the development of global IPTV standards taking into account the existing work of the ITU study groups as well as SDOs, fora and consortia.

The group was launched following a decision taken at a public consultation meeting attended by around 120 experts from the world’s ICT companies. Attendees agreed that all players in the IPTV value chain will benefit from worldwide standards, that there is a lot of work to be done and that rapid progress is necessary in order to avoid market fragmentation. The Focus Group mechanism was seen as the most effective way of addressing this. Inputs to the meeting as well as a webcast can be found here.

Houlin Zhao, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau of ITU: “We have seen a desire to expedite and accelerate a global focus on standards for IPTV. There has been extraordinary consensus that ITU must lead this work and I am pleased that – again - ITU is seen as the right place to develop and harmonize this international standardization work, as well as identify and help fill gaps where there is still a standardization need.”

Bilel Jamoussi, Director Strategic Standards, Nortel, said: “Industry applauds ITU’s initiative to create this Focus Group and will contribute to its success.”

The FG will build upon existing work. Its scope will include architecture and requirements, QoS, security, network and control aspects, end system aspects – terminals etc., interoperability, middleware and application platforms.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 7:02:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 20, 2006

John McDonald, a member of the ITU team that created the new VDSL 2 standard, will take part in an upcoming Webinar on this topic, Monday, April 03. The Webinar hosted by Light Reading will look at this development and explore the significance and implications of the new standard for both operators and the enormous installed base of DSL subscribers.

ITU’s new VDSL 2 (Very High-Speed DSL 2) standard (ITU-T Recommendation G.993.2) delivers up to 100 Mbit/s both up and downstream, a tenfold increase over ADSL (Asymmetric DSL). By doing so, it provides for so-called fiber-extension, bringing fiber-like bandwidth to premises not directly connected to the fiber optic segment of a telecom company’s network.

VDSL 2 will allow operators to compete with cable and satellite providers by offering services such as high-definition TV (HDTV), video-on-demand, videoconferencing, high-speed Internet access, and advanced voice services, over a standard copper telephone cable.

As well as addressing fast-growing consumer demand for high-speed multimedia services, VDSL 2 offers carriers a solution that is interoperable with the DSL equipment many already have in place, expediting migration of customers to new VDSL 2-based products. In addition, VDSL 2 will work with both legacy ATM networks and next generation IP-based networks.

Register to take part in this online event here.

Monday, March 20, 2006 10:27:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 09, 2006

ITU and UNESCO will hold a Global Symposium on Promoting the Multilingual Internet in Geneva from 9 - 11 May 2006.

Participation is open to any organization or individual from a country which is a member of ITU or UNESCO, and is free of charge. Written contributions are invited on the themes of the event and should be sent to multilingual@itu.int before than Tuesday 25 April 2006.

The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, adopted at the Tunis Phase of WSIS, highlights the importance of multilingualism for bridging the digital divide. It identifies ITU as taking the lead role in the implementation of information and communication infrastructure (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C2), ITU/UNESCO for access to information and knowledge (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C3), and UNESCO for cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C8).

The symposium will examine issues highlighted in paragraph 53 of the WSIS Tunis Agenda, including:

1    Options for advancing the process for the introduction of multilingualism in a number of areas including domain names, email addresses and keyword look-up;

2    Options for implementing programmes, also in cooperation with other appropriate organizations, that allow for the presence of multilingual domain names and content on the internet and the use of various software models in order to fight against the linguistic digital divide and ensure the participation of all in the emerging new society;

3    Options for strengthening cooperation between relevant bodies for the further development of technical standards and to foster their global deployment;

In addition the event will review technical solutions and current experiences, identify open issues and discuss a roadmap for further steps in the direction of promoting multilingualism in the internet.

The draft agenda of the Symposium, logistic details, background information and updates relating to the event including the programme, presentations as well as details and practical information will be available on the website at the following address: http://itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/multilingual/. Contributions will be electronically available from the Symposium website in the language received, for discussion at the meeting.

Thursday, March 09, 2006 9:28:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 02, 2006

ITU-T together with the US Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) is holding a free workshop Next Generation Network Technology and Standardization at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre in Las Vegas, USA, 19-20 March 2006 during the TelecomNEXT event.

This workshop will: 

  • Examine the status of NGN standards 
  • Identify standards work needed to support ongoing viable businesses for all parties as NGN becomes reality, and 
  • Enhance and extend standardization community cooperation to further coordinate NGN work

A particular emphasis of the event will be next generation network (NGN) requirements and standards objectives from a North American perspective and how these can be best taken into account in global NGN standardization by the ITU-T.

Register here. ITU’s convening letter
here.

 

Thursday, March 02, 2006 11:43:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), Houlin Zhao, has convened a meeting 4-5 April 2006 in Geneva to explore standardization in Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).

IPTV rollout is expected to grow at a brisk pace in the coming years. 

Many of the world's major telecommunications providers are exploring IPTV as a new service. It is increasingly seen by operators as an important part of a triple play package of voice, video and data services. Standardization is key if service providers are to offer good quality, and provide the value-adds such as video on demand services which will inevitably drive the market. 

Zhao is convinced that standardization in the field is an urgent need. “IPTV is becoming an increasingly important service in the market, and more and more ITU-T Members have said that they are facing challenges from technical as well as regulatory issues,” said Zhao. “We have received a number of proposals to strengthen our work on IPTV standardization in order to meet the needs of market players and users. I encourage ITU members and ITU partners to provide contributions and to participate at the meeting. I am confident that this will be a very productive and successful meeting.”

The meeting will examine; the situation and challenges of IPTV service at the national level; the situation and challenges of IPTV service at the regional/global levels; the actions and development of IPTV-related service by SDOs; technical and regulatory challenges and the ITU’s role and expected actions in IPTV standardization.

More and online registration here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 11:41:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 17, 2006
International standards that enable interoperability and security in the field of home networking are seen as key to bringing value and versatility to consumers, making possible the use of diverse products, services and sources, and therefore accelerating market development. This was the key conclusion of a successful World Standards Cooperation (WSC) workshop bringing together some 100 experts from industry, the academic community and standards developing organizations, in Geneva, Switzerland, on 2 and 3 February 2006.

Household connectivity is growing rapidly with more and more electronic devices and networks within the home distributing and using digital information and media. In addition, remote control of lighting, heating, appliance-use and security systems attached to the home are making the "digital home" a reality.

The Geneva event provided an overview of these technologies as well as an examination of standards that address access, services, performance, quality of service (QoS), electromagnetic interference, digital rights management (DRM), security issues and overall networking.

Representatives from more than 15 leading industry groups, such as DNLA, DSL Forum and Zigbee, called for closer cooperation between the WSC partners, standards developing organizations (SDOs) and industry consortia. They also agreed that similar events designed to allow for the open exchange of ideas should be held in the future, in view of improving coordination and avoiding duplication of work.  

ITU-T's Joint Co-ordination Activity on Home Networking JCA-HN was recognized by participants as an important vehicle for coordination. The JCA-HN was set up to harmonize work going on across ITU-T Study Groups and to identify what exactly needs to be standardized in the field aiming to produce a roadmap outlining this activity.

Houlin Zhao, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), ITU, wrapped up the workshop by reminding delegates of the history of successful cooperation between IEC, ITU and ISO. The three organizations, he said, are committed to promoting and harmonizing the international standardization system, strengthening cooperation among themselves and with all partners concerned. He encouraged the members of the three organizations to support efforts at the international level, as well as the national and company level.  

Opening the two-day event, IEC General Secretary Aharon Amit said that the market, innovation, safety and regulation and competition drive international standards. Chief technical officers, he said, were the best-placed people to decide what is needed and when and this allows the IEC to do its work. In short, Mr. Amit said, "we're seeking guidance from you on what we're doing, what we're doing well, what we're not doing well and what we should be doing."   

In his closing remarks, ISO Secretary-General, Alan Bryden indicated that: "At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, convergence of information and communication technologies and services for the benefit of consumers was highlighted as a key development, as well as a manifestation of the knowledge revolution, at the centre of the 'creative imperative'". He added that "International Standards have a major role to play" and - referring to the work of IEC, ITU and ISO - "we, ourselves need to converge".

The two-day workshop reviewed the current state-of-the-art in home digital technology from a standardization perspective.  Representatives from 14 leading electronics manufacturers, 10 leading systems service providers, academics and standards bodies examined the situation and needs for standards in relation to:

· Ways in which digital services are delivered to the home;

· In-home networking;

· How content is managed;

· How equipment is managed;

· Best practices.

Emphasis was placed on trends concerning broadband technologies, the way to ensuring connectivity and interoperability of devices within home networks and on the development of many new application areas - for example, ways in which recent technology can offer non-intrusive monitoring of those with diagnosed medical conditions, or of the elderly.

The World Standards Cooperation (WSC) aims to reinforce, and promote the voluntary consensus based International Standards system of ISO, IEC and ITU.

 

Friday, February 17, 2006 5:00:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

January saw a gathering of hundreds of NGN experts in Geneva for the first NGN-GSI (global standards initiative) event. Good progress was reported in several key areas particularly in the important area of functional architecture and requirements for resource and admission control functions (RACF) in NGNs. The Recommendation covering RACF is said to be stable and is expected to be consented at the July GSI event.

The January event comprised three full Study Group meetings (11, 13 and 19). Experts from various other Study Groups were in attendance for this first meeting of the GSI following its launch in November, 2005.

Study Group 13, the lead for NGN work, alone saw over 250 contributions, many a result of the work of the Focus Group on NGN. SG 13 saw three new Recommendations consented, see separate stories (Y.1731, Y.1452, Y.1453).

Study Group 11 reported that 50 contributions were received and launched work on an NGN Protocol Set. According to SG documents ITU-T NGN-Protocol Set 1 will define protocols for the support of:

· Network to Network Interface (NNI) session control;

· User to network Interface (UNI) session control;

· Resource Control Interfaces;

· Network Attachment Interfaces.

Protocol Set 1 is targeted for completion by the end of 2006.

The chair of Study Group 19 reported good progress in the area of FMC (fixed-mobile convergence).  

It is expected that many other of the outputs of the Focus Group on NGN will be consented at this July meeting. Among them will be a Recommendation dealing with performance, management and measurement, another key area in NGN. See the work programmes for the various Study Groups involved in NGN for a full list.

Friday, February 17, 2006 8:50:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 27, 2006

If you missed the recent ITU-T webinar on NGN you may be interested to know that the whole thing including slides, audio and the question and answer session is available in Light Reading’s archive.

Nearly 400 people attended the live event on 23 January, submitting close to 100 questions to the speakers.

Friday, January 27, 2006 10:27:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 25, 2006

This ICT Security Standards Roadmap has been developed to assist in the development of security standards by bringing together information about existing standards and current standards work in key standards development organizations.

In addition to aiding the process of standards development, the Roadmap will provide information that will help potential users of security standards, and other standards stakeholders, gain an understanding of what standards are available or under development as well as the key organizations that are working on these standards.

The Roadmap is in four parts:

  • Part 1: ICT Standards Development Organizations and Their Work

    Part 1 contains information about the Roadmap structure and about each of the listed standards organizations, their structure and the security standards work being undertaken. In addition it contains information on terminology by providing links to existing security glossaries and vocabularies.

  • Part 2: Approved ICT Security Standards

    Part 2 contains a summary catalogue of approved standards.

  • Part 3: Security standards under development

    Part 3 is structured with the same taxonomy as Part 2 but contains work in progress, rather than standards that have already been approved and published. Part 3 will also contain information on inter-relationships between groups undertaking the work and on potential overlaps between existing projects.

  • Part 4: Future needs and proposed new security standards

    Part 4 is intended to capture possible future areas of security standards work where gaps or needs have been identified as well as areas where proposals have been made for specific new standards work.

It is important to note that the Roadmap is a work-in-progress. It is intended that it be developed and enhanced to include other standards organizations as well as a broader representation of the work from organizations already included. It is hoped that standards organizations whose work is not represented in this version of the Roadmap will provide information to ITU-T about their work so that it may be included in future editions.

In the near future provision will be made to allow each organization to manage its own data within the Roadmap. This will enable more timely updating of the information.

More on the ICT Security Standards Roadmap

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 5:16:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 19, 2006

ITU’s Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) is hosting a workshop 23-24 March in Geneva focusing on the policy and regulatory challenges related to the deployment of IP-enabled NGNs. The draft workshop concept document gives additional details on the objectives of the workshop.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 9:26:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 23, 2005

The ITU’s work on standards for next generation networks (NGNs) promises to have a fundamental impact on tomorrow’s telecom services – by opening hardware and software markets to competition, driving down costs, encouraging innovation, and laying the foundation for the next phase of convergence.

You are invited to find out more about the latest release of the ITU’s NGN standards and their likely impact on the telecom supply chain in a free one-hour-long online seminar, hosted by Light Reading and featuring key players in ITU’s work on NGN on Monday, January 23. 

The event is being held by Light Reading in collaboration with the ITU.  Speakers will be:

  • Keith Dickerson, Representative of the ITU NGN-Global Standards Initiative (GSI)
  • Marco Carugi, Representative of the ITU NGN- GSI
  • Monique Morrow, Representative of the ITU NGN- GSI

The speakers will explain the context of the latest NGN standards and then drill down on some of the key aspects of them, explaining  their importance and likely impact on telecom equipment and service markets.

The Light Reading “SuperWebinar” will comprise a short introduction by Peter Heywood,  Founding Editor of Light Reading, followed by a 45 minute slide presentation given by all three speakers.  There will be a 10-15 minutes Q&A session at the end.

The live event will be staged on Monday, January 23rd at 5:30 PM Central European Time,  4:30 PM London time, 11:30 AM New York time, and 8:30 AM Pacific time. 

To register please click on this link.
Friday, December 23, 2005 4:00:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 22, 2005

ITU-T is hosting a workshop Networked RFID: Systems and Services, in collaboration with ITU’s Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU), Geneva, 14-15 February 2006.

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is the much-touted system that enables data to be transmitted by a tiny portable device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. The development of RFID systems creates new possibilities for the support of object-to-object communications. Analysts predict that RFID will revolutionize areas of industry including supply chain management, security and mobile telecommunication services. Additionally, RFID is expected to play an important role in the realization of the Ubiquitous Network Society. All this will create a yet unquantified demand on telecommunication networks.

Currently, the market for RFID standards is extremely fragmented. Special standards for certain limited fields of applications exist as well as quasi-proprietary or proprietary standards. Many RFID applications still lack global standards for data formats, compatibility, interoperability, interference problems, personal information protection, authentication, key management and others. More.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:34:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An ITU-T workshop - NGN and its Transport Networks - will take place at the International Conference Center Kobe (ICCK), Japan, 20 to 21 April 2006.

NGN Standardization work is now well underway in the ITU-T and other SDOs. Following the success of the NGN Focus Group and the establishment of the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) in ITU-T, this ITU-T workshop will be an opportunity to review the status of the work, identify technology trends, and provide a framework for moving forward standardization work.

This event will provide an overview of the architecture, performance and transport aspects of NGN as well as the market drivers and challenges. Particular emphasis will be given to network technologies, standards that address architecture and the performance aspects of NGN and transport networks aspects to support NGN services. More.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:11:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T together with the US Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) will hold a workshop, Next Generation Network Technology and Standardization at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre in Las Vegas, USA, from 19 to 20 March 2006. This workshop will be held during the TelecomNEXT event.

NGN Standardization work is now well underway in the ITU-T, ATIS and other SDOs. Following the success of the ITU-T’s Focus Group on NGN (FGNGN), the establishment of the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) in ITU-T and the activities within the ATIS NGN Focus Group and Technical committees, this free workshop will be an opportunity to review the status of the work, identify technology trends, and seek to identify areas where the ITU-T and ATIS together with regional experts can further coordinate their standardization work.

ATIS has kindly negotiated registration rates for workshop participants who are also interested in attending TelecomNEXT. For details please see http://www.techthink.org/registration.html

More.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:10:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 21, 2005

The announcement (18 November) that ITU’s Focus Group on NGN (FGNGN) has completed work on the first set of standards for next generation networks (NGN) marks a significant step towards a fundamental reworking of the world’s information and communications technologies networks. With NGN, network operators hope to replicate the level of service and reliability that customers have come to expect in telecommunication systems across all ICT networks.

The milestone reached with the launch of the Release 1 set of specifications has been achieved in a very short time by members of ITU’s Focus Group on NGN (FGNGN). FGNGN is made up of representatives of the world’s telecoms service and network providers, manufacturers and governments.

Telecoms companies around the world are starting to make the move from the traditional circuit switched networks that have essentially been in place since the earliest days of telecommunications to an Internet Protocol (IP) based system that will create cost efficiencies and allow a much greater level of diversity for service providers. Release 1 will serve as an invaluable tool to facilitate this rollout.

Contained within the 900 pages of ‘deliverables’ are some of the high-level architecture and frameworks for NGN. ITU’s next phase of NGN work – to be called the NGN-GSI (for global standards initiative) - will focus on the detailed protocols necessary to offer the wide range of services expected in NGN. It is also expected that the GSI will aim to harmonize different approaches to NGN architecture in different parts of the world.

Houlin Zhao, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU said: “Industry is backing NGN to the tune of billions of dollars. And ITU is very proud that the world’s manufacturers of telecoms equipment, network and service providers and administrations have entrusted us with this work. They understand that global standards will stimulate innovation and superior technology and enable interoperability, protecting current and future investment. ITU is the only body in the world that will be able to offer the necessary convergence between different NGN platforms on a global basis if they emerge.”

Since extending the reliability of telecoms networks into Internet Protocol based systems is key to the success of NGN, quality of service (QoS) specifications have been a strong focus of NGN work. Additionally, security aspects, universal access and the separation of services from the underlying network have been important topics covered.

The NGN-GSI will build on the momentum generated over the past year. The period 2004-2005 has seen meetings and workshops progressing work on NGN around the world. Participation in and contributions to this work are continuing to increase.

The next phase of ITU-T NGN work will see a significant re-organization of work schedules to ensure that experts from different Study Groups are able to meet at the same time. The meeting schedule has also been designed to maintain the brisk pace established during the first phase of the NGN work, and to meet members’ demands.

Monday, November 21, 2005 10:30:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 31, 2005

A workshop on home networking will move standardization work in the area to a crucial new stage according to participants. The event held by ITU in Geneva 13-14 October followed a similar 2004 ITU-T Study Group 9 Tokyo workshop, and closed with agreement on how to move forward in a number of key areas. Meeting concurrently was the Home Networking-Joint Coordination Activity (HN-JCA), a group of ITU-T experts aiming to coordinate standardization effort on home networking across ITU-T Study Groups.

Home networking is the linking of all types of electronic devices for applications such as entertainment, telecommunication, home automation systems and telemetry (remote control and monitoring systems), see below for the official ITU definition. It has become an increasingly important topic for standardizers, partly because of the disparate nature of the items to be networked and partly because of market pressure. US organization CTAM (Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing), estimates that 40 percent of broadband customers want to share audio over the home network and 36 percent want to share video.

One of the key conclusions of the workshop is that there needs to be better collaboration between the various groups involved in the work. Ralph W. Brown, Chief Technology Officer, CableLabs and presenter at the event: “Through better coordination and closer working relationship, we can avoid the proliferation of incompatible standards.” It is critical for ITU to facilitate working relationships and open the door to referencing the specifications of other organizations from international standards it was agreed. To this end, Reinhard Scholl, Deputy to the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau gave a presentation highlighting the various ways that ITU can accommodate the work of other bodies. Participants welcomed the degree of flexibility offered by ITU.

One option outlined by Scholl and discussed as a possible next step is the formation of an ITU-T Focus Group to work on some of the technical issues. The Focus Group concept allows urgent standardization needs that are not addressed within existing ITU‑T structure to be addressed quickly and with the minimum of red-tape. Currently a group, the Home Networking-Joint Coordination Activity (HN-JCA), exists to harmonize work going on across ITU-T Study Groups but its mandate does not extend to technical work. More

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Monday, October 31, 2005 9:48:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 12, 2005
A roadmap identifying NGN management specifications has been published on the ITU-T SG 4 website.

The roadmap will provide an insight into how NGN management will differ from the management of traditional telecommunication. And as specifications are added this picture will become clearer, experts said.

The NGN Management Specification Roadmap is an output of the NGN Management Focus Group, a group sponsored by ITU-T SG 4. The document identifies the various existing, or work-in-progress specifications relevant to NGN management. These specifications are not all ITU-T Recommendations, but also come from other standards making bodies with expertise in defining management interfaces. For example, the roadmap tags the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) specs for mobile telephony relevant to the IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) management. IMS is expected to be a key building block for NGN specifications.

An additional and important feature of the document is that it provides gap analysis, identifying areas where standards are still needed, and also identifies overlapping specifications requiring harmonization.

The aim is for the roadmap to be a living document at this time, which is part of the reason that it hasn’t been turned into an official ITU document – like a Recommendation. Another reason for not giving the document ‘normative’ status is so that non-members can enjoy free access to it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 3:48:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 20, 2005

To further encourage the development of a ubiquitous network society, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, the Italian Ministry of Communications, the Ugo Bordoni Foundation and the Aosta Valley are hosting a Workshop on "Tomorrow's Network Today" that will be held in Saint-Vincent (Aosta), Italy on 7-8 October 2005.

This Workshop will discuss specific measures to help overcome potential challenges and determine possible future actions.

One session will be dedicated to Next Generation Networks (NGN) as a framework to harmonize the worldwide  technical and functional basis needed to extend the use of integrated ICTs to as many users as possible.

During the workshop there will be an Exhibition which will bring together a wide range of leading industry participants as well as high-level representatives from government and regulators.

Click here for more information about the event. 

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 10:39:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 15, 2005

Leaders from the leading national and regional telecommunications and radio standards organizations and a delegation from ITU consisting of both high-level secretariat staff and Study Group chairs met 28 August - 2 September, at The Tenth Global Standards Collaboration meeting (GSC-10).

The mission of the GSC is to exchange information between participating standards organizations to facilitate collaboration and to support the process of global telecommunication standardization in the ITU. The event was hosted by ETSI in Sophia Antipolis, France.

Participants at GSC-10 included the Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF), Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) of Japan, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) from the US, the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), the Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC) of Japan, the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of Korea, the ICT Standards Advisory Council of Canada (ISACC), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Guests and observers included representatives from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and: the Sector Board 4 of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Specific resolutions on the following topics were agreed at the meeting:

  • Next-Generation Networks
  • Mapping Standards for "Systems Beyond IMT 2000"
  • Cybersecurity
  • Home Networking
  • Emergency Communications
  • Broadband Services in Rural and Remote Areas
  • Open Standards
  • Facilitating Liaison in relation to Measurement Methodologies for Assessing Human Exposure to RF Energy
  • Wireless access including RLANs, Ad-Hoc Networking and Broadband Wireless Access
  • Supporting Automotive Crash Notification ("ACN") by Public Wireless Communications Networks
  • Radio Microphones and Cordless Audio Devices
  • RFID Systems, Services and Networking
  • Public Protection & Disaster Relief
  • Ultra Wide Band
  • Intellectual Property Rights Policies
  • User Interest Working Group

 
Other areas discussed were:

  • Location-based Services
  • Internet Protocol over Wireless
  • Software defined radio & Cognitive radio
  • Digital Broadcasting including mobile multimedia applications
  • Satellite services

ITU maintains a repository of documents relating to this and all past GSC meetings.

 

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:01:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Home Networking, the linking of all types of electronic devices for applications such as entertainment, telecommunication, home automation systems and telemetry (remote control and monitoring systems), is attracting a great deal of interest. And given the wide range of previously unrelated technologies involved, standards that allow for interoperability are seen as key to the successful marketing of the concept. However, thus far, despite many initiatives, a lack of standardization has stifled the market. And, many believe that for the new technology to take-off, a consolidation of the various standardization efforts is necessary.

This workshop will bring together experts from all over the world who are pushing forward the frontiers of this fast moving field. It will provide an overview of the technology as well as an examination of standards that address access, services, performance, quality of service (QoS), electromagnetic interference and security issues. The workshop will deal with current technology and future trends to provide a framework for moving forward standardization work.

More details.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005 9:27:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 09, 2005

The recent Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) Symposium on Network Security and SPAM presented background information, detailed the current situation, new developments and steps ahead on network security and fighting spam in the Asia-Pacific region.

TSB presented highlights of ITU-T work on security, also detailing the level of participation of the AP region in Study Group 17, the ITU-T group that looks at security issues. Mr Jianyong Chen (ITU-T SG 17 Vice Chair from China) also attended the event and made a detailed presentation on current SG 17 work. He also chaired two sessions. In addition TSB presented the results of the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity held in Geneva, 28 June – 1 July 2005.

The meeting was organized in three full-day sessions and was attended by some 70 representatives from the Asia-Pacific area. The first day was dedicated to cybersecurity, the second to countering spam, and the third to cooperation initiatives. The complete set of presentations at the meeting can be downloaded here.

The meeting invited AP countries to step-up their capability building initiatives and encouraged APT to increase its collaboration on network security and spam with international organizations working in the area, ITU-T in particular.

 

Friday, September 09, 2005 1:07:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 05, 2005

Please take ten minutes of your time to complete this questionnaire, part of the under the European Commission project, NO-REST.

The main objective of the project is to gain new and more in-depth insight into the economic impact of standards in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT). To this end the organizers are collecting data from participants in the standards setting process.

The results could be beneficial in helping to shape the way that ITU-T works in the future.

 

Monday, September 05, 2005 4:23:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 22, 2005

In conjunction with ISO/IEC’s Joint Picture Experts Group (JPEG), ITU-T’s Study Group 16 hosted a workshop on Video and Image Coding and Applications (VICA) at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 22 to 23 July. 

Key experts joined users to review the development, assessment and application of video and image coding and to discuss and start work on an action plan and a roadmap for VICA standardization.

Introducing the workshop, Houlin Zhao, director of TSB, emphasized the importance of video and image compression not only from a telecommunication perspective, but also for consumers. He highlighted ITU-T’s extensive and constructive partnerships with both MPEG, and ISO/IEC’s Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), which have achieved practical and innovative results. He also highlighted the importance of the work from universities in the field.

The workshop introduced topics including the history and challenges of video and image compression up to the development of ITU-T Recommendation H.264, and of the JPEG-2000 family of standards. It looked at how these standards will be applied to current and future technologies surrounding television, computers, videoconferencing, home networking and mobile phones, and how VICA standards are affected by the evolution of multimedia services and applications.

Presentations also stimulated discussion on how standards work in the field, including how next generation networks (NGN) can support the development of so-called ubiquitous networks – any device, anytime, anywhere. Current work on home network environments was also taken into account.

Following the event, Study Group 16 met from 26 July to 5 August and further discussed the results of the workshop in order to continue to develop standards that will improve the quality of service and ubiquity of telecommunication technologies and facilitate the global dissemination of multimedia content.

Monday, August 22, 2005 8:07:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T hosted the 36th JPEG Meeting, Geneva July 18-22. The Joint Picture Experts Group (JPEG), formed many years ago by both ITU-T Study Group 16 and ISO/IEC JTC1 SG 29, is best known for its JPEG and JPEG-2000 image compression standards. 

In ITU-T, Study Group 16 is home to all media coding work, such as the H-Series of Recommendations, and includes work done together with ISO/IEC's JPEG, and JPEG-2000 groups in image compression, as well as work done with MPEG in developing video compression standards such as H.264. ISO/IEC JTC1 SG 29 is the focal point in ISO/IEC JTC1 for image, video and audio compression standards.

The meeting surveyed the progress of technologies broached in the previous JPEG meeting, held in Lisbon in March 2005, including image security in JPEG-2000 which is being addressed by JPEG’s JPSEC ad hoc group. The group is developing a standard that will enable protected images to retain JPEG-2000 system features, such as scalability. This new feature within JPEG images will allow international distribution of digital images containing encrypted content, while still retaining the ability to adaptively deliver content for a wide variety of devices with varying display capabilities.

The meeting also followed up on JPEG’s Digital Cinema ad hoc group and its advances in developing profiles for JPEG-2000 digital cinema applications. The Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) organization has adopted JPEG-2000 for future distribution of digital movies to theatres. JPEG is working closely with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) to standardize aspects of this future architecture. 

The Video and Image Coding and Applications (VICA) workshop, 22-23 July 2005, which followed the ITU-T-hosted JPEG meeting, aimed to build upon the presence of JPEG and ITU-T SG 16 experts (who met July 26 - August 5 this year). The workshop reviewed existing video and image compression standards, their current applications, and future directions in the field. See related news for more details on the workshop. 

Monday, August 22, 2005 8:05:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 10, 2005

El Centro de Excelencia en América Latina , junto a otras entidades de la industria y del mundo académico, organiza el Postgrado en Tecnología de las Telecomunicaciones que será dictado en línea, a través del Centro de capacitación a distancia de la Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones (ITU eLearningCentre).

El fin de los Centros de Excelencia de la UIT es el de desarrollar y reforzar la capacidad de generar competencias, conocimientos y aprovechar la experiencia de los países para satisfacer las necesidades prioritarias en materia de capacitación y desarrollo del Talento Humano del más alto nivel del Sector de Telecomunicaciones de las Regiones.

El plazo de inscripción se ha extendido hasta el 11 de Agosto. Para más información sobre participación, programa, equipo docente y otros detalles véase Postgrado en Tecnología de las Telecomunicaciones

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 5:42:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 08, 2005

The ITU together with World Standards Cooperation (WSC) partners ISO and IEC are acknowledged as “the most important” of the 49 international standardizing bodies in the World Trade Report 2005, just published by the WTO (the World Trade Organisation), in an analysis of “Trade, Standards and the WTO”.

The report underlines the important benefits that standards can deliver in terms of information for consumers, environmental protection and compatibility of related goods and services.

“International standards help ensure technical compatibility across countries and convey information to consumers about products that have been produced abroad or processes that took place in another country,” the report states, adding, “International standards thus reduce transaction costs and facilitate international trade.”

 

 

Friday, July 08, 2005 2:18:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU members are being asked to complete a questionnaire to assess the global impact of ICT standards. The call comes as part of a project (NO-REST) funded by the European Commission. 

NO-REST aims to provide insight that will enable better standards building in the future. Additionally, it will look at standards setting organizations, such as ITU, to assess whether the developer of a particular standard influences its performance and success. The results will enable NO-REST to develop guidelines, which may assist in choosing the ideal standards setting organization for producing a particular standard.

The results of this survey will be made available at the ITU-hosted SIIT 2005 conference in Geneva, September 21-23. 

Dr. Knut Blind, the co-ordinator of NO-REST, was also responsible for the study - Economic Benefits of Standardization, published by DIN, the German institute of standardization. The project was one of the first attempts to put a monetary value on standardization. It found that Europe's economy and businesses greatly benefit from the application of standards. Blind together with other researchers has recently produced a similar paper for the United Kingdom. The Empirical Economics of Standards was funded and published by the British Department of Trade and Industry.

 

Friday, July 08, 2005 2:15:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The advisory panel for standards cooperation on telecommunications related to motor vehicles (APSC TELEMOV) met recently in Geneva.

The meeting followed up on some of the recommendations of the recent ITU-T workshop The Fully Networked Car - a Workshop on ICT in Motor Vehicles. Specifically this involved the developing of an action plan and a number of agreements for participation in other events as well as increased cooperation with other players in the field.

According to Paul Najarian Director of Telecommunication and Standards, for the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), the advisory panel has already seen much success in terms of enhancing cooperation between ITU, ISO, ETSI, and others.

Importantly, Najarian said the group is already witnessing close cooperation between ITU-T Study Group 12 and ISO/TC22 on vehicles in the area of HMI (human machine interface). This cooperation will lead to the submission of a study Question to SG12. Another study Question on eCall (emergency call notification) will be submitted to an ITU-T study group, although it has not been decided which one. 

Given the similarities between vehicular networks and home networks, the group has agreed to participate and provide speakers for the October 2005 workshop Opportunities and Challenges in Home Networking. It also expects to participate and provide speakers for the 2006 workshop on RFID. Additionally an advisory group representative will speak on ITS and multimedia at the upcoming ITU-T Study Group 16 meeting.

Participants have also agreed to cooperate with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in order to develop a world report on ITS Standards.

 

 

Friday, July 08, 2005 2:06:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 01, 2005

The standardization sector of ITU (ITU-T), together with its development sector (ITU-D) are staging a seminar in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Standardization of the NGN and ICT Services Development, 5-7 July.

The event follows the invitation of the Communications and Information Agency of Uzbekistan which has also collaborated in the organization of the event.

The objectives of the seminar are to discuss the current trends, status and future evolution of next generation network (NGN) standards, as being addressed by the ITU-T. Central to this discussion will be to ask what areas of technology innovation hold the greatest promise for NGNs and what are the most innovative applications and services possible? Issues revolving around NGN architecture, NGN technology and quality of service requirements and evolutions will also be explored.

Friday, July 01, 2005 9:03:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Workshop on "New Horizons for Security Standardization"
Geneva, 3 - 4 October 2005
 
Introduction

An ITU-T workshop - New Horizons for Security Standardization - will take place at ITU Headquarters, in Geneva, 3 - 4 October 2005, prior to a meeting of Study Group 17.

Objectives

The overall objectives of the workshop are to help address information and communications security issues and promote increased cooperation between organizations engaged in security standardization work. Consideration will also be given to issues of adoption and implementation of security standards. In particular, the workshop will:

  • seek to find out from stakeholders (e.g., network operators, system developers, users etc.) what are their primary security concerns/issues?
  • determine where ITU-T and other standards development organizations (SDOs) can most effectively play a role in helping address the issues (i.e., which issues are amenable to a standards solution?);
  • identify which SDOs are working on these issues or are best equipped to do so; and
  • agree on next steps for security standardization.

More

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 8:36:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 21, 2005

ITU Seminar on Standardization of the NGN and ICT Services Development
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 5 - 7 July 2005

Introduction

At the kind invitation of and in close collaboration with the Communications and Information Agency of Uzbekistan, the ITU-D (International Telecommunication Union - Development Sector) and ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union - Standardization Sector), are organizing a Seminar on Standardization of the NGN and ICT Services Development, for CIS and Baltic States. The Seminar will be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 5-7 July 2005.

The objectives of the seminar are two fold: first, to discuss the current trends, status and future evolution of Next Generation Networks standards, as being addressed by the ITU-T. Central to these are: what areas of technology innovation hold the greatest promise for NGNs; what are the most innovative applications and services possible with NGNs? The issues revolving around NGN architecture, NGN technology and quality of service requirements and evolutions will be explored.

More 

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 5:42:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 20, 2005

20-24 June, 2005, Grimstad, Norway

The SDL Forum is held every two years and has become the most important event in the calendar for anyone involved in system design languages and technologies. It is the primary conference event where the evolution of these languages is discussed. The SDL Forum Society that runs the Forum is a non-profit organisation established by language users and tool providers to promote and develop the set of modelling languages recommended by ITU (abstract syntax notation one (ASN.1), message sequence chart (MSC), specification and description language (SDL), extended object definition language (eODL), tree and tabular confined notation (TTCN) and user requirements notation (URN)).

There is a significant convergence between the languages specified by ITU-T and the set of unified modeling language (UML) notations offered by OMG (Object Management Group), which are usually covered in the ACM/IEEE
International Conferences on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems. To take this convergence into account, the scope of the SDL Forum conference has been extended to include the use of precise UML models, combining the strong areas of the ITU languages with the pragmatics of UML to produce profitable code and effective implementations.

The SDL Forum addresses topics related to the modelling and analysis of reactive systems, distributed systems such as telecommunications, automotive, aerospace and web-based applications. The intended audience includes users of modelling techniques (in industrial research and standardization contexts), tool vendors, and language researchers.

For more information about the conference and the ITU-T meeting, please see the web page at:
ikt.hia.no/sdl05 and http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/studygroups/com17/meetings.html, respectively.

 

Monday, June 20, 2005 8:20:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 17, 2005

Inventor of the world wide web (WWW), Tim Berners-Lee highlighted the importance of standards at a recent event held in Sophia Antipolis, France. The ITU sent a representative of its telecommunication standardization bureau (TSB), Paolo Rosa.

 

Berners-Lee speaking at the tenth anniversary in Europe of the world wide web consortium (W3C) said that standards allow different layers such as hardware, operating systems, browsers, connectivity and search services to evolve independently and therefore faster and better.

 

As part of its desire for the more efficient production of international ICT standards and to avoid duplication of work, ITU-T is keen to foster closer relations with W3C, as well as other standards making organizations.

 

Berners-Lee said that businesses often faced two difficult choices: either, pursue standard, commit resources, transition products, work with competitors and then encourage it to all take-off; or continue working in isolation and keep proprietary control of customers. Berners-Lee said that he believes that participation in standards making carries less risk than not doing so. In response to a question by Rosa, of ITU he said that being part of the standards making process enables companies to better respond to market needs.

 

Measuring the cost of not using standards is, he said, difficult. How, for instance, can you measure the cost of the US still using feet and pounds or, of power sockets being different all over Europe? He used the example of the Gopher protocol versus WWW, backed-up by figures, to illustrate how a standardized solution can achieve more success. In the early nineties Gopher and WWW were alternative ways of accessing the Internet. However following the decision of the University of Minnesota to charge a license fee for the use of Gopher, its use stagnated while WWW, which remained free, became the success that we see today.

 

W3C10 Europe, gave attendees the opportunity to reflect on the progress of the web, its role as a unifying force in Europe, and the policies that shape the role of the web in the daily lives of Europeans.

 

Tim Berners-Lee’s presentation is here, use arrow in top right-hand corner for navigation).

 

Among other speakers were Berners-Lee’s CERN colleague Robert Cailliau, Keith Jaffrey who spoke about Grids and the worldwide Web. Also security, privacy and Internet rights were addressed by e-Government expert, Peter Brown (now working for the Austrian government) and Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, Chair of the Internet Rights Forum.

 

Friday, June 17, 2005 8:15:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Following an oversubscribed first course aimed at managers involved in standardization, IEC, ISO and ITU, the three organizations that make up the World Standards Cooperation initiative (WSC), recently staged another event.

The thirty or so people who attended the Standardization Community Management Course, 11-24 April, Geneva hailed from a wide range of backgrounds, sharing just the need to understand more of the standardization process.

With titles like 'What are international standards?', 'Why are international standards essential?' and 'How are international standards used?', plenary sessions focused on the general, with breakout sessions hosted by the individual organizations going into more detail on their working practices.

Other sessions focused on the history of standards, the importance of standardization, legal issues, the working practices of the three organizations and how standards are marketed.

Attendees were taken on a field visit to see 'standards in action' at a close-by Swisscom telephone exchange. Among highlights were a description of what part standards will play in the offering of 'triple-play' (voice, video, data) services.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 11:11:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T will lend its support for a second time to an event on the topic of wideband speech quality in terminals and networks held by ETSI. The last event concluded that there is a lack of speech quality specifications and adequate tools for assessment and planning of wideband speech communication systems. This is a critical issue as wideband systems are to be one of the driving factors in next generation networks (NGN).

To be held 22-23 June, Mainz, Germany, this workshop will provide an overview of developments since last year's event, including the voice quality prediction tool or e-model designed by ITU-T experts (see previous e-Flash story). Additionally the event will examine in technical detail the general aspects of terminal testing and reference points for wideband terminals, and there will be discussion on the requirements for wideband applications that are specific to wireless and VoIP scenarios.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 11:00:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 16, 2005

The joint ITU-T/Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) workshop on next generation networks (NGN), 1 - 2 May, 2005, Geneva, reported in last month's e-Flash has attracted sponsorship from global networking company, Cisco Systems. 

Cisco has agreed - using ITU's voluntary contribution mechanism for donating funds beyond membership fees - to contribute to NGN activities in general, including this and a future workshop.

Jeff Spagnola, VP Worldwide Service Provider Marketing will deliver an address to the workshop outlining the Cisco vision for NGN. Ahead of the event he said: "Cisco is pleased to provide support for this important event, as well as ongoing NGN activity simply because we believe strongly in the value of standardization for NGN and the emerging definitions that will put us on the road to a truly converged ICT world. Cisco has been very active so far in NGN technology, and Cisco will continue to play a key role in this work as we move forward."

Monday, May 16, 2005 3:45:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) will host an interoperability demonstration at June's Supercomm event in Chicago, USA showing how a suite of ITU-T standards will enable data stream services like Ethernet to be effectively transported over existing SONET/SDH and ASON enabled carrier networks.

Additionally the demo will show how Ethernet can be used to link any number of endpoints in a wide area network (WAN), or simply as a service delivery mechanism (see press release).

The event will include testing of data plane interoperability of next generation transport network functions such as generic framing procedure (GFP), virtual concatenation (VCAT) and link capacity adjustment scheme (LCAS), all supporting technologies to SONET/SDH (and all defined in ITU-T G-series Recommendations).

The seven global telecommunication carriers taking part will provide test facilities, engineering staff and network connectivity.

More.

Monday, May 16, 2005 3:35:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Underlining the spirit of cooperation in the standardization world today, Brian Carpenter, newly-elected Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Chairman participated on behalf of his organization in the March meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). 

Carpenter discussed liaison and cooperation issues between ITU-T and IETF with the TSAG group responsible for external cooperation. 

Speaking at the meeting Carpenter emphasised that he wanted to work with ITU-T to ensure fruitful cooperation while avoiding duplication of work.

Monday, May 16, 2005 3:31:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 13, 2005

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), ITU-T will lend its support to a session on the advances and applications in H.264/AVC Video Coding. The session will take place during the SPIE meeting in San Diego, USA, (31 July - 4 August 2005).

H.264/AVC is the leading video codec developed jointly by the Joint Video Team of ITU-T Q.6/SG16 VCEG and ISO/IEC MPEG. It incorporates a dramatically increased compression performance that will enable existing applications like videoconferencing, streaming video over the Internet, and digital television on satellite and cable to offer better quality video at lower cost. It will also allow new video applications such as High-Definition TV on DVD, video on mobile phones, and videoconferencing over low bandwidth connections.

Friday, May 13, 2005 3:57:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T will hold a workshop on NGN together with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), 1 - 2 May, 2005, Geneva. The workshop will also serve as an important meeting point for ITU-T and IETF management.

The overall objectives of the workshop are to explore specific NGN issues that impact both the ITU-T and the IETF to better understand the work underway in the two organizations and to identify areas where actions could be taken between the ITU-T and IETF to further coordinate their work.

Six sessions will each be co-chaired by an ITU representative and a representative from IETF. Topics will include requirements and functional architecture; nomadicity and mobility; QoS, control and signalling capabilities; network management; security capabilities and evolution.

The workshop, the second on NGN in 2005, is an example of the way in which ITU-T is seeking to engage all interested parties in work towards the development of worldwide standards for NGN. In this way, industry demands for the efficient and swift completion of the specifications that will define the way that NGNs work will be met.

Friday, May 13, 2005 3:26:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2005

TSB Director, Houlin Zhao is to address the latest meeting of the Service and Network Operations Group (SNOg) in a pre-recorded video. The meeting is to take place in Melbourne, Australia, 14 February and is hosted by Telstra.

The TSB head sent his apologies for not being able to attend the event in person, and thanked SNOg for its contribution to ITU-T's work, also congratulating the group on reaching its silver jubilee.

SNOg aims to make sure that the operations staff - often at the frontline of any telecommunication service provider - needs are taken into account in the development of standards.

Michael Lawrey, Head of Network Services, Telstra, a keynote speaker at the event described emerging technologies as changing the way networks operate. "Our upcoming meeting will provide us with an opportunity to hear the challenges we face as experts of network operators as well as presenting a great opportunity for all attending delegates to nut out the implementation of network and service management activities.

"The challenges for us are many and come in the form of network convergence, integration of processes, new tool sets required to understand the customer experience, and most importantly, the shift in our mindset from managing technology to managing customer services and their experiences."

For further information on SNOg please contact Morris Flory.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:24:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |