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 Thursday, 04 July 2013

An event jointly organized by ITU and Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) will feature a workshop to advance the ITU conformance and interoperability (C&I) Programme and its activities in the APT region. In addition the event will play host to C&I testing and showcasing in which the region’s ICT players will assess their relative conformance with international standards (ITU-T Recommendations) and the degree to which their products and services interoperate with those of other players.

The ITU/APT C&I event is open to all interested parties, with ITU and APT members invited to attend free of charge and non-members for a fee of USD250. Organizations involved in the C&I testing and showcasing will each be charged a participation fee of USD1,500 to recover the costs incurred by the hosts in providing facilities, Internet connectivity and technical support. The event will be hosted by APT in Bangkok, Thailand, in conjunction with the 22nd APT Standardization Program Forum (ASTAP-22), 11-14 September 2013.

Spanning six days, joint ITU/APT activities will comprise the following:

An ITU workshop, 9-10 September 2013, will discuss the motivations behind the ITU C&I programme and promote its activities in the APT region. In addition, representatives of governments, regulatory bodies, private-sector entities and standards development organizations (SDOs) will identify persistent C&I concerns encountered by APT member countries with a view to providing feedback to ITU study groups.

A C&I testing event, 9-10 September 2013, will assess the interoperability of products and services developed in compliance with ITU-T Recommendations. Manufacturers and service providers will test the interoperability of their current and planned product offerings; sharing the results of interoperability tests on a confidential bilateral basis, using tools such as nondisclosure agreements (NDAs).

C&I showcasing, 9-14 September 2013, will provide demonstrations of manufacturers’ and research institutes’ ICT solutions, shedding light on advanced technologies on the market and under development. Insights gained through the C&I testing and showcasing will be fed into ITU-T’s standardization work in an array of fields, with tests and demos expected to feature innovations in, inter alia:

  • Next-generation networks (NGN),  and particularly VoIP and videoconferencing
  • IPTV including IPTV Multimedia Application Framework (IPTV-MAFR)
  • HTML5
  • Smart TV
  • Software-defined networking (SDN)
  • Optical access

Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) plays an important role in ITU work. The APT Standardization Program (ASTAP)works to build cooperation in the region and assists APT members in their efforts to expand their ICT standardization capacities. In meeting these objectives, ASTAP harmonizes national standards and ensures that the APT region’s needs are taken into account by ITU-T Recommendations.

ITU’s C&I Programme aims to increase compliance with ITU-T Recommendations and thus the likelihood of global interoperability. ITU-T Study Group 11 (Protocols and test specifications) was charged with coordinating the C&I Programme by last November’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai.

Find more information on the upcoming C&I event and the procedure for attendee registration here.

Find more information on the implementation of the ITU C&I Programme in ITU’s C&I Portal.

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Thursday, 04 July 2013 13:07:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 17 June 2013

ITU experts are discussing ways to meet user and operator demand for a standardized methodology for measuring Internet access speeds. The establishment of such a framework would inspire greater consumer confidence in advertised speeds and ensure that accurate comparisons can be made between offerings from different operators.

The experts meeting under the auspices of the ITU-T Joint Coordination Activity on Conformance and Interoperability Testing (JCA-CIT) are discussing how end-to-end testing can be facilitated via remote access to world-class testing facilities.

A meeting of JCA-CIT, 25 April 2013, analyzed the proposal of an independent speed-testing methodology from a variety of perspectives; taking presentations from a national regulator, a national testing laboratory and a manufacturer of testing equipment.

Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) presented its study evaluating the status quo of received Internet access speed as compared to advertised or contracted broadband speeds. The ultimate goal of Germany’s research in this field is to produce fundamental considerations for the development of a quality-measurement methodology accessible to end-users. The study attempts to gain an informed basis on various QoS aspects with regard to Article 20 (Contracts) and Article 22 (Quality of Service) of the “Universal Service Directive” of the European Union, Directive 2002/22/EC on “universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services”.

The testing laboratory of the Central Research Telecommunication Institute (ZNIIS, Russia) presented its implementation plan for the joint ITU-ZNIIS project to establish a ‘virtual laboratory’ granting developing countries remote access to cutting-edge tools for the assessment of network performance, Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE).

A central goal in the ITU-ZNIIS project is the development of a framework for the remote testing of fixed and mobile Internet access speeds. This goal is the subject of a contribution made by the Russian Federation to ITU-T Study Group 11 which proposes a new work item focused on standardizing the framework and protocols needed to enable the testing of end-to-end Internet access speed. The proposal advocates for the independent estimation of the quality of end-user access to the Internet and the interconnection speeds between carrier networks, thereby offering means to aid operators in drafting service-level agreements (SLAs) with their customers and other operators.

The presentations from the Federal Network Agency of Germany and ZNIIS were supported by a manufacturer’s perspective in the form of a presentation on QoS/QoE assessment from a maker of telecom testing equipment, Arcatech (UK).

JCA-CIT enters the 2013-2016 study period with a strengthened mandate, assisting ITU-T Study Group 11 (Protocols and test specifications) in coordinating the implementation of the ITU Conformity and Interoperability (C&I) programme.

Read the report from the most recent meeting of JCA-CIT here (TIES restricted)

More information on the implementation of the ITU C&I Programme is available in the C&I Portal

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Monday, 17 June 2013 12:00:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 14 March 2013

ITU has approved an action plan to drive its Conformance and Interoperability (C&I) Programme and has revamped the Joint Coordination Activity which marshals C&I work undertaken across ITU’s various expert groups.

Conformance with international standards is one of the core principles underlying the global interoperability of ICT networks and devices. The C&I Programme was initiated at the request of ITU’s membership in light of the challenges faced by developing countries in improving interoperability and battling counterfeit goods.

ITU-T Study Group 11 – Protocols and test specifications – was charged with coordinating the C&I Programme by last November’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai.

Meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 25 February to 1 March 2013, SG11 approved a C&I action plan in line with WTSA-12’s revision of Resolution 76 on “Studies related to conformance and interoperability testing, assistance to developing countries, and a possible future ITU Mark programme”.

The SG11 meeting also saw substantial progress made in ITU’s collaboration with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and advanced the group’s ongoing work on software-defined networking (SDN). Read news on these achievements here.

The Joint Coordination Activity on C&I testing (JCA-CIT), which now falls under the leadership of SG11, will support the coordination of the ITU’s C&I activities while also acting as the first point of contact for organizations interested in contributing to this work. SG11 has revised JCA-CIT’s governing Terms of Reference and has appointed a new Convener in Mr. Martin Brand from Telekom Austria, an active SG11 member over the previous study period and appointed an SG11 Vice-chairman by WTSA-12. The next meeting of JCA-CIT will be held electronically, 25 April 2013, and detailed participation instructions will be provided on the JCA-CIT homepage.

Delivering on a central objective of the C&I program, SG11’s meeting reached first-stage approval (consent) of five new testing suites to become international standards (ITU-T Recommendations).

The meeting also hosted a presentation delivered by the Executive Secretary and Chairman of IECEE, the Worldwide System for Conformity Testing and Certification of Electrotechnical Equipment and Components. IECEE presented on its conformance assessment scheme and encouraged ITU to make full use of this platform in carrying out the C&I Programme.

In addition, SG11 produced an initial list of key technologies within its mandate which the group considers suitable for C&I testing. This will remain a living list and it forms input to the first pillar of the four-pillar C&I Programme which delineates C&I work into four separate but interdependent categories:

1) conformance assessment;

2) interoperability events;

3) human resource and capacity building; and

4) assistance in the establishment of test facilities in developing countries.


More information on ITU’s C&I Programme is available here

More information on ITU-T Study Group 11 is available here

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Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:22:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 19 September 2012

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

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

Detailed information on the event is available here

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012 07:55:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 19 June 2012

ITU has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)with the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). The MoU strengthens the three organizations’ commitment to cooperation and collaboration, and will lend further impetus to the development of ITU-T's Conformity and Interoperability (C&I) programme.

ITU international standards (Recommendations) seek above all to enable the interoperability of ICT products and services, allowing people access to the Information Society regardless of their location or chosen ICT device. Conformance with ITU’s international standards increases the probability that an ICT vendor’s products will interoperate with those of other vendors. 

ITU’s C&I program is taking measures to increase the conformance and interoperability of ICT goods. A key part of this initiative lies in the adoption of test suites applicable to ITU international standards, and in the implementation of accredited conformity assessment activities including the establishment of a global network of regional conformance testing centres – tasked with evaluating products’ degree of compliance with ITU’s international standards, and thereby assessing the associated likelihood of interoperability.

Accreditation bodies independently evaluate the compliance of conformity assessment bodies against recognized internationalstandards, verifying their competence and impartiality. Overlaying this assessment role is the peer evaluation of accreditation bodies that in turn provides the foundation for the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) and the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLAs) signed between accreditation bodies around the world. Such agreements encourage consumer confidence in tested products, increase market opportunities,encourage trade and technology transfer, and contribute to the removal of technical barriers to trade.

IAF establishes and manages the MLAs signed by itsglobal membership of peer-evaluated accreditation bodies, in the fields of management systems, products, services, personnel and other similar programmes. ILAC performs a similar function for its global membership of peer-evaluated accreditation bodies in the fields of laboratory (including testing and calibration activities) and inspection accreditation. The two cooperative forums work together in harmonizing accreditation of conformity assessment programmes worldwide.

A conformance certificate from a Certification Body accredited by a signatory to an IAF MLA offers a company a single certification, accepted globally. Similarly, a test or inspection report issued by a laboratory or inspection body accredited by a signatory to an ILAC MRA, supports consumer confidence in the results and provides the opportunity for widespread acceptance.

The signing of the MoU will extend the reach of all three organizations; aiding the ITU’s C&I programme by ensuring that ITU standards translate intointernational ICT interoperability.

For more on ITU’s C&I programme, see ITU’s C&I portal.

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Tuesday, 19 June 2012 09:55:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 04 June 2012
 Wednesday, 26 October 2011

عقدت ورشة العمل الإقليمية للاتحاد بشأن سد الفجوة التقييسية (BSG) في المنطقة العربية وإفريقيا في مدينة الجزائر، في الفترة 28-26 سبتمبر 2011.
وقد نظمت ورشة العمل بالاشتراك مع هيئة تنظيم البريد والاتصالات (ARPT) وحظيت بدعم كريم من شركة شبكات Nokia Siemens وشركة ميكروسوفت.
ويتمثل الهدف الشامل لبرنامج الاتحاد لسد الفجوة التقييسية في تسهيل زيادة مشاركة البلدان النامية في عملية التقييس لضمان تمتع هذه البلدان بالمنافع الاقتصادية للتطور التكنولوجي المصاحب ولإبراز احتياجات هذه البلدان بشكل أفضل فيما يختص بعملية وضع المعايير. ومن بين الأهداف المحددة لهذا المشروع، تكوين فهم للقضايا المتضمنة في عملية وضع المعايير وتنفيذها وقدرات استعمالها في البلدان النامية.
وحضر ورشة العمل نحو 110 مشاركين من المنطقة العربية وإفريقيا. وركز برنامج الورشة على موضوعات من بينها التحديات التي تواجهها بلدان هاتين المنطقتين في تقييس تكنولوجيات المعلومات والاتصالات واستراتيجيات سد الفجوة التقييسية وأفضل الممارسات في مجال تقييم المطابقة وموضوعات التقييس الجاري مناقشتها في لجان دراسات قطاع تقييس الاتصالات.
وفيما يلي النتائج/التوجهات التي خرجت بها ورشة العمل:
● أيد المشاركون من إفريقيا والمنطقة العربية تنفيذ برنامج المطابقة وقابلية التشغيل البيني لقطاع تقييس الاتصالات في هاتين المنطقتين، بما في ذلك استعمال علامة الاتحاد "ITU"؛
● تشجيع البلدان النامية على القيام بدور فعال في رأب الفجوة الرقمية من خلال النهوض بالابتكار في مجال المعايير والتقدم بمساهمات إلى عمليات التقييس العالمية؛
● النظر في إنشاء مراكز إقليمية ودون إقليمية لاختبارات المطابقة وقابلية التشغيل البيني؛
● العمل بنشاط على إشراك أعضاء مؤسسات القطاعين العام والخاص والجامعات ومراكز البحوث في أنشطة التقييس الخاصة بالاتحاد؛
● التماس دعم الاتحاد لإطلاق حملة موجهة لبناء القدرات بشأن توصيات قطاع تقييس الاتصالات (كأن تعقد دورة تدريبية لمدة أسبوعين بشأن توصيات الكبلات والأنظمة البصرية)، وإنشاء معامل إقليمية للقضاء على عمليات التزييف؛
● إنشاء و/أو تحديد معامل اختبار في المنطقة قادرة على إجراء المراجعات الفيزيائية واختبارات الامتثال. وتقوم تونس حالياً بإنشاء معمل اختبار، يمكن استعماله كنموذج لباقي بلدان المنطقة؛
● إبرام اتفاقات تعاون مع شركاء إقليميين من أجل تحديد عدم امتثال التجهيزات في مرحلة مبكرة؛
● إنشاء مركز إقليمي للتقييس في الجزائر، وهو مقترح تقدمت به رئيسة مجلس إدارة هيئة تنظيم البريد والاتصالات (ARPT) في كلمتها الافتتاحية وكرره وزير البريد وتكنولوجيا المعلومات والاتصالات؛
● تشجيع تبادل المعلومات على صعيد إقليمي من خلال إنشاء قاعدة بيانات تتضمن قائمة سوداء بالمنتجات المزيفة؛
● النهوض ببرامج الاعتماد والتوثيق ووضع منهجية اختبار لمناطق إنتاج المواد؛
● التأكد من الوفاء بالمتطلبات التقنية في المنتجات الوطنية، والسماح بطرحها في الأسواق الإقليمية؛
● التأكد من تنفيذ الآليات التشريعية والتنظيمية من أجل الكشف عن مخططات الاحتيال والتزييف وتطبيق عقوبات عند اكتشاف هذه الأنشطة. وينبغي نمذجة هذه الآليات حسب برامج مراقبة الأسواق المتضمنة بالفعل في تشريعات مناطق أخرى، مثل الاتحاد الأوروبي والولايات المتحدة والبرازيل وكندا وغيرها.
جلسة تدريب تفاعلية: 27 سبتمبر 2011
بعد ورشة العمل، عقدت جلسة تدريب تفاعلية لمدة يوم واحد في شكل محاكاة لاجتماع من اجتماعات لجان الدراسات. وتصمم هذه الجلسات لتوفير تقدمة لاجتماعات التقييس الدولية ولكي يألف المشاركون الشكل النموذجي لعملية صنع القرارات. وهذه الجلسات تتعلق بشكل خاص بالدول النامية حيث أنها تشجع على المشاركة في أنشطة الاتحاد وتشرح بوضوح كيف يمكن لهذه الدول أن تقوم بدور عضوي في علمية وضع المعايير. وقد حضر الجلسة نحو 60 مشاركاً وحظيت بتعليقات إيجابية إلى حد كبير.
حلقة الاتحاد الدراسية للهيئات الأكاديمية: 28 سبتمبر 2011
قدمت حلقة العمل هذه فئة العضوية الجديدة بالاتحاد والخاصة بالهيئات الأكاديمية وقدمت أمثلة ملموسة للكيفية التي يمكن أن تفيد بها هذه الهيئات ومراكز البحوث من خلال المشاركة في أنشطة لجان دراسات قطاع تقييس الاتصالات. وعبر أستاذ من الجامعة الأمريكية في بيروت عن الكيفية التي يمكن أن تساهم بها جامعته والجامعات الأخرى في المنطقة في أعمال لجنة الدراسات 17 بقطاع تقييس الاتصالات المعنية بالأمن. وتم تشجيع الهيئات الأكاديمية كذلك إلى تقديم مدخلات إلى تقارير رصد التكنولوجيا الصادرة عن قطاع تقييس الاتصالات.
وكان اهتمام الهيئات الأكاديمية بالانضمام لعضوية الاتحاد واضحاً، حيث أعلنت بعض الجامعات عن عزمها الانضمام إلى الاتحاد. كما عبرت الهيئات الأكاديمية عن رغبة قوية في تلقي الدعم من مكتب تقييس الاتصالات في وضع مناهج متدرجة المستوى في مجال معايير الاتصالات.
ولمزيد من المعلومات، يرجى زيارة موقع الويب الخاص بالاتحاد بشأن سد الفجوة التقييسية على العنوان:

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 10:15:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

L'atelier régional de l'UIT sur la réduction de l'écart en matière de normalisation à l'intention des régions Etats arabes et Afrique s'est déroulé à Alger (Algérie) du 26 au 28 septembre 2011.

Il a été organisé en association avec l'Autorité de Régulation de la Poste et des Télécommunications (ARPT), avec le généreux concours de Nokia Siemens Networks et de Microsoft.

L'objectif général du programme de réduction de l'écart en matière de normalisation est de favoriser la participation accrue des pays en développement au processus d'élaboration des normes, de faire en sorte qu'ils profitent des bienfaits économiques liés au développement technologique et de mieux prendre en considération leurs besoins et leurs intérêts dans l'élaboration des normes. Ce projet a notamment pour but de comprendre les problèmes qui font obstacle à l'élaboration et à l'application des normes, ainsi qu'aux capacités d'utilisation des pays en développement.

Quelque 110 participants des régions Etats arabes et Afrique ont assisté à l'atelier, dont le programme s'articulait autour des thèmes suivants: enjeux de la normalisation des TIC dans les pays de ces régions, stratégies visant à réduire l'écart en matière de normalisation, meilleures pratiques en matière d'évaluation de la conformité, et questions de normalisation en cours d'examen par les commissions d'études de l'UIT-T.

Conclusions et orientations tirées de l'atelier:

•    appui des participants des régions Etats arabes et Afrique à la mise en œuvre du programme de l'UIT-T relatif à la conformité et à l'interopérabilité dans ces régions, y compris à l'utilisation de la marque UIT;

•    inciter les pays en développement à jouer un rôle dynamique dans la réduction de la fracture numérique en favorisant l'innovation dans le domaine de la normalisation et en encourageant la participation de ces pays aux processus d'élaboration des normes mondiales;

•    envisager la création de centres régionaux et sous régionaux pour la réalisation de tests de conformité et d'interopérabilité;

•    faire participer activement le public, les entreprises privées, les universités et les centres de recherche aux activités de normalisation de l'UIT;

•    s'appuyer sur l'UIT pour organiser une campagne ciblée de renforcement des capacités concernant les recommandations UIT-T (par exemple, formation de deux semaines sur les recommandations relatives aux câbles et systèmes à fibres optiques), et mettre en place des laboratoires régionaux afin de lutter contre la contrefaçon;

•    mettre en place et/ou identifier dans la région des laboratoires de tests pouvant réaliser des audits physiques et des tests de conformité. La Tunisie est déjà en train de mettre en place un laboratoire de tests, qui pourrait servir de modèle à la région;

•    élaborer des accords de coopération avec les partenaires régionaux pour identifier de manière précoce la non-conformité des équipements;

•    créer un centre régional de normalisation en Algérie, selon la proposition faite par la Présidente du Conseil de l'ARPT lors de son allocution d'ouverture et réitérée par le Ministre de la Poste et des Technologies de l'information et de la communication;

•    encourager le partage d'informations au niveau régional en constituant une base de données qui répertorie sur une liste noire les produits de contrefaçon;

•    instaurer des systèmes d'accréditation et de certification ainsi qu'une méthodologie des tests applicables aux zones de production de matériel;

•    s'assurer que les produits locaux soient conformes aux prescriptions techniques pour leur permettre d'accéder aux marchés régionaux; et

•    veiller à ce que les mécanismes législatifs et réglementaires soient mis en oeuvre afin de repérer les activités frauduleuses et la contrefaçon, et d'appliquer des sanctions le cas échéant. Ces mécanismes devraient s'inspirer des dispositifs de surveillance du marché déjà en vigueur dans d'autres juridictions comme l'Union européenne, les Etats-Unis, le Brésil, le Canada, etc.

Session de formation interactive: 27 septembre 2011

L'atelier a été suivi d'une session de formation interactive d'une journée sur la simulation d'une réunion de commission d'études. Ces sessions visent à donner un aperçu des réunions internationales de normalisation et à familiariser les participants avec la forme habituelle du processus de prise de décisions. Elles sont particulièrement pertinentes pour les pays en développement puisqu'elles encouragent la participation de ces pays aux activités de l'UIT et expliquent clairement en quoi ils peuvent jouer un rôle constructif dans l'élaboration de normes. Environ 60 participants ont assisté à la session, qui a connu un vif succès.

Séminaire de l'UIT à l'intention des établissements universitaires: 28 septembre 2011

Lors de ce séminaire, la nouvelle catégorie des établissements universitaires a été présentée et des exemples concrets ont été donnés des avantages que les établissements universitaires et les instituts de recherche peuvent retirer de leur participation aux activités des Commissions d'études de l'UIT T. Un professeur de l'Université américaine de Beyrouth a indiqué explicitement comment son institution et d'autres universités de la région pourraient contribuer aux travaux de la Commission d'étude 17 de l'UIT-T sur la sécurité. Les établissements universitaires ont également été encouragés à apporter des contributions aux rapports de veille technologique de l'UIT-T.

L'intérêt des établissements universitaires à devenir membre de l'UIT était évident et certaines universités ont annoncé leur intention d'adhérer à l'Union. Les établissements universitaires ont également indiqué qu'ils souhaitaient vivement que le Bureau de la normalisation des télécommunications (TSB) les aide à élaborer des programmes d'enseignement supérieur dans le domaine de la normalisation des télécommunications.

Pour plus d'information, consulter le site web relatif à la réduction de l'écart en matière de normalisation:

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 08:49:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The ITU Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap (BSG) for Arab and Africa Regions took place in Algiers, Algeria, 26-28 September 2011.

The workshop was organized in association with Autorité de Régulation de la Poste et des Télécommunications (ARPT), and was generously supported by Nokia Siemens Networks and Microsoft.

The overarching goal of ITU’s Bridging the Standardization Gap program is to facilitate increased participation of developing countries in standardization, to ensure that developing countries experience the economic benefits of associated technological development, and to better reflect the requirements and interests of developing countries in the standards-development process. One specific objective of this project is to gain an understanding of the issues inhibiting the standards development, implementation, and usage capacities of developing countries.
Some 110 participants from Arab and African regions attended the workshop.  The program focused on topics including ICT standardization challenges for countries in these regions, strategies for bridging the standardization gap, best practices for conformity assessment, and standardization topics being discussed in ITU-T Study Groups. 

Outcomes/directives produced by the workshop:

      • Participants from the African and Arab regions support the implementation of the ITU-T Conformity and Interoperability program in these regions, including the use of the ITU Mark.

      • Encourage developing countries to play an active role in the reduction of the digital divide by promoting standards-oriented innovation and contributions to global standardization processes;

      • Consider the creation of regional and sub-regional centres for compliance and interoperability tests;

      • Actively involve members of the public, private enterprises, universities and research centres in ITU standardization activities; 

      • Seek ITU support for a targeted capacity-building campaign on ITU-T Recommendations (e.g. the 2-week training on Optical Cables and Systems Recommendations), and establish regional laboratories to eliminate counterfeiting;

      • Establish and/or identify test laboratories in the region able to carry out physical audits and compliance tests. Tunisia is already setting up a test lab, and this could be used as a template for the region;           

      • Establish cooperation agreements with regional partners for the early identification of equipment non-compliance;

      • Establish a Regional Centre for standardization based in Algeria, a proposal made by the President of the Council of the ARPT in her opening speech and reiterated by the Minister of Post and ICT;

      • Encourage the sharing of information at a regional level by establishing a database containing blacklisted counterfeit products;

      • Promote accreditation and certification schemes, and test methodology for the material production areas;

      • Ensure that technical requirements are fulfilled by local products, allowing them access to regional markets; and

      • Ensure that legislative and regulatory mechanisms are implemented to detect fraud and counterfeiting schemes, and to enforce penalties when such activity is discovered.  

These mechanisms should be modelled on market surveillance schemes already established in other jurisdictions, such as the EU, the United States, Brazil, Canada, etc..

Interactive Training Session: 27 September 2011
The workshop was followed by a one-day Interactive Training Session in the form of a simulated Study Group meeting. These sessions are designed to provide an introduction to international standardization meetings, and familiarise participants with the typical format of the decision-making process. They are especially relevant to developing nations as they encourage participation in ITU activities, and clearly explain how these nations may play a formative role in standards creation.   Some 60 participants attended the session, and very positive feedback was received.

ITU Academia Seminar: 28 September 2011
This Seminar introduced ITU’s new membership category for academia, and gave concrete examples of how academic and research institutions can benefit through participation in ITU-T Study Group activity. A professor from the American University of Beirut explicitly outlined how his institution  and other universities in the region could contribute to ITU-T Study Group 17 on Security. Academia was also encouraged to provide input to ITU-T TechWatch reports.

Academia’s interest in membership was evident, with some universities declaring their intention to join ITU. Academia also expressed strong interest in receiving TSB support in developing graduate-level curricula in the field of telecommunication standards.

For more information refer to the ITU Bridging the Standardization Gap website at

French Version 

Arabic Version

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Wednesday, 19 October 2011 07:51:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The second event of ITU’s Global Standards Initiative on the Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) will take place 22-26 August 2011 in Geneva. The parallel meeting of ITU-T Study Group 17 (Security) provides a perfect venue to advance work on IoT-security, given the presence of subject-matter experts.
IoT is the realization of the idea that anything can be connected at anytime from any place. The concept of connecting any kind of object to the Internet may be one of the biggest standardization challenges yet (see previous story).

The development of global IoT standards is the objective of the ITU experts participating in the IoT-GSI. To promote international dialog, as well as harmonization and coordination in the complex worldwide standardization landscape, the ITU has organized a special session on “international IoT standardization”, which is scheduled on 23 August at 9:30h. Rob Steele, ISO Secretary General, will introduce the ISO views, while other interventions from IEC, the ITU-T and the European Commission will complete the panel:

      • ISO – Rob Steele (Secretary General, ISO)
      • IEC – Gabriel Barta (Head of Technical Coordination, IEC)
      • ITU – Bilel Jamoussi (Chief Study Groups Department, ITU-T/TSB)
      • EC – Florent Frederix (Head of Sector, Information Society and Media, EC)

ITU membership is very keen to progress work on IoT standards. This event attracted three times more technical contributions than the inaugural event in May. A draft ITU-T Recommendation “IoT-Overview” is under development and is planned for approval in February 2012, while a very active discussion on how to properly define the IoT is ongoing in a dedicated email reflector established by Study Group 13; its findings too will be discussed at the IoT-GSI event. Finally a work-plan for IoT will be also discussed.

The success of the Internet of Things depends on the development of smoothly interoperable global standards. Hence the special session on “international IoT standardization” is scheduled in the framework of the joint coordination activity on IoT (JCA-IoT), a group of experts aiming at coordinating the standardization in this area since 2006. The JCA-IoT is also to meet in the same week on 22-23 August 2011. This meeting foresees the participation of representatives of various organizations including ETSI, TIA, the GSC M2M standardization task force (MSTF), the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the Global IcT Standardization Forum for India (GISFI), GS1 and various sub-committees of ISO/IEC JTC 1.
For additional information contact

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Wednesday, 17 August 2011 13:22:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 08 July 2011

The ITU Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap (BSG) for Asia Pacific Region closed 5 July 2011 with agreement on the need for adaptable and scalable solutions to address common issues faced by island states in the Pacific. These include conformity assessment and certification; spectrum management best practice for mobile broadband and digital broadcasting, and national spectrum allocation tables and harmonized spectrum use; public protection and disaster relief systems.

In addition delegates agreed on the need for assessment of ICT standardization benefits and ways to prioritize involvement in global standards development activities. To this end a national/regional ICT standardization strategy and roadmap based on conceptual tools such as the standardization development ladder will be adapted for Pacific Island requirements and also applied to the radiocommunication spectrum and standards environment. Also under consideration is a capacity building programme for developing countries in the region focusing on implementation of standards for broadband, wireless and NGN targeting ICT regulatory authorities and operators

The overarching goal of ITU’s Bridging the Standardization Gap program is to facilitate increased participation of developing countries in standardization, to ensure that developing countries experience the economic benefits of associated technological development, and to better reflect the requirements and interests of developing countries in the standards-development process. One specific objective of this project is to understand the primary gaps that must be overcome to improve the standards development, implementation, and usage capacities of developing countries.

A number of measures have already been implemented by ITU to facilitate the participation of developing countries in ITU-T study group meetings. For instance, almost all ITU-T study groups are now using remote participation as part of their regular working methods. The number of Study Group leadership positions during the Study Period 2009-2012 has increased to four Chairmen and 47 Vice Chairmen from developing countries, including five Vice Chairs from least developed countries. In 2010, for the first time, participants from developing countries outnumbered participants from developed countries in study group meetings participation.

The workshop was organized in association with Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) and the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of the Republic of Korea with the generous support of the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), Republic of Korea.

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Friday, 08 July 2011 08:54:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 19 May 2011
The first meeting of ITU’s new Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI) has ended with industry and government participants agreeing on a solid work plan and on the importance of moving quickly forward with the first stages of that plan. GSI-IoT will act as an umbrella for IoT standards development worldwide. Two further meetings have been scheduled for 2011.

IoT is the realization of the idea that anything can be connected at anytime from any place. The concept of connecting any kind of object to the Internet may be one of the biggest standardization challenges yet. See previous story.  

One of the first important steps, as with any new area of standardization, is to agree on the scope of the work and agreed terminology. Thus the initiation of two major work-items are instrumental to the development of a work-plan for IoT standardization. The first work-item IoT Overview is intended to be approved as an ITU-T Recommendation by February 2012, it will clarify the scope of IoT as well as its high level requirements, key features, business models and ecosystem. The second work-item is a draft Recommendation on IoT terminology, that will include a definition of IoT, which is currently seen from two very different viewpoints: IoT as a global information and communication infrastructure or IoT as a philosophy - e.g. a social phenomenon to be considered for developing relevant technologies/specifications in the ICT area.

The group, meeting in Geneva, saw participation from a number of international, national and regional organizations including ISO/IEC JTC1, TIA from USA, and ETSI Europe.  The next IoT-GSI event will take place in Geneva, 22-26 August 2011, alongside a meeting of ITU-T’s Cybersecurity group - SG17, to facilitate the participation of experts in ICT security.

The group’s leadership is encouraging participation from all leading SDOs and the various industry sectors where IoT could be deployed in order that the requirements of those sectors can be taken into account at an early stage… Sectors include e-health; e-government, automotive, geo-information, remote sensing, home networking (home automation), e-business and e-commerce, climate change mitigation. Those interested in making a contribution or participating should contact

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Thursday, 19 May 2011 15:53:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 16 September 2010
2nd ITU Interop Event on IPTV, Singapore, 23-24 and 27 September 2010

Registration Link

See TSB Circular Letter 136 for more information

Conformity and Interoperability

Thursday, 16 September 2010 13:35:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 09 August 2010
Telepresence is broadly speaking next generation videoconferencing that also takes into account users' position, actions and voice to render as close as possible a representation of a real life meeting.

Many products exist today that, although they are based on established protocols including ITU-T H.323, lack interoperability due to proprietary extensions.

Telepresence represents an important evolution of the videoconferencing market. Standards fuelled interoperability between systems is seen as a key way to drive the market. The trend is expected to accelerate, as mainstream video applications begin to offer telepresence features.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, said: "We don't expect each end of a phone call to be dependent on the manufacturer of the phone being the same. The same should be true for telepresence. Anyone who has used a telepresence system will testify to its remarkable quality, it truly is the next best thing to a face to face meeting. However proprietary solutions have stifled the market. ITU's standards initiative will allow us all to profit from this remarkable technology."

Specifically the new work will focus on standardizing full interoperability between telepresence systems, including facilitating the coherent presentation of multiple audio and video streams so that participants show correct eye contact, gestures etc, to give a more real life like experience.

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Monday, 09 August 2010 10:22:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Geneva, 26 July 2010 - Industry sent out a strong message of support for ITU standards for Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) at an event held at ITU headquarters last week. Gathered in Geneva for the first of a new series of ‘ITU Interop’ events, IPTV manufacturers took part in a set of tests to demonstrate seamless global interoperability between their various IPTV devices, which have been manufactured to comply with ITU-developed standards, known as Recommendations.

ITU has been busy pioneering a raft of new standards for the technology, which is set to transform global viewing habits in coming years. Experts agreed that stable global standards will be key to take-up of IPTV, avoiding costly and confusing ‘format wars’ and reduced choice for consumers.

IPTV will deliver all the advantages of traditional ‘linear’ TV in terms of service quality, combined with the many advantages the Internet offers in terms of choice and interactivity. It should not be confused with web streaming, because images are not delivered over the Internet, but rather to homes through a ‘managed network’. That means TV programmes do not have to vie with other traffic on an increasingly busy World Wide Web, which could negatively impact the viewing experience.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau: “Proprietary solutions may offer fast deployment in the short term, but in the medium and longer term buyers will be subject to vendor lock-in, with the risk of costly upgrades and reduced content and hardware choice. Industry consortia-based 'standards' are mostly region-specific with little or no implementation. This event proves that ITU global standards are ready to go, and in fact are already being implemented.”

Many companies are now selling TV and set-top box products based on ITU-T’s IPTV Terminal Standard ITU-T H.721, with products already available in countries including Brazil, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, France, and elsewhere. In China and Japan, services based on ITU IPTV standards are deployed and boast several million subscribers. A test service is being conducted in Singapore, and there is interest in setting up test beds in India and Canada.

Speaking at the event, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré said: “ITU IPTV standards are the result of detailed international discussions which have included many developing countries. These talks take into account various aspects of technologies, including IPRs, maturity, stability and market adoption, leading to standards that provide for high quality and low cost. Since ITU IPTV standards are based on mature technologies, decided by consensus, interoperability is easier to achieve among different vendors.”

David Wood, European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Head of New Technology: “IPTV has been around for some time but it hasn’t been the success that people hoped. The principal reason is that there have been a lot of IPTVs − which means you don’t have the benefits of a large market and the benefits of open markets and competition. What we have now is a common standard which everyone can build equipment to, and this should really make IPTV much more successful in the future.”

Further IPTV ITU Interop events are planned for Singapore, 23-24 and 27 September, and Pune, India 14-17 December 2010.

Photos are available at:

Video footage of the event is available at: (raw footage for Eurovision members) and YouTube: (event highlights)

ITU-T IPTV newsfeed:,category,IPTV.aspx

For more information please contact:

Sarah Parkes                                                                          
Senior Media Relations Officer
Tel: +41 22 730 6135
Mobile: +41 79 599 1439
E-mail: mailto:                                                                             

Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer
Tel: +41 22 730 5877
Mobile: +41 79 249 4868
E-mail: mailto:

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Tuesday, 27 July 2010 18:57:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 15 June 2010
ITU’s first interoperability event on IPTV will be held at ITU headquarters, Geneva, 20 to 23 July 2010. Testing will take place 20 and 21 July, with vendors showcasing interoperability to potential customers 22 and 23 July.  The event will demonstrate the state of maturity and industry adoption of ITU-T standards for IPTV, for example: H.701 (error-recovery), H.721 (IPTV terminal), H.740 (audience measurement), H.750 (metadata), H.761 (ginga-NCL), H.762 (lightweight interactive multimedia), H.770 (service discovery). Many companies - manufacturers of set top boxes, content servers and other equipment - have expressed interest in testing and showcasing their products, including from Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. To register, go to:

IPTV is a major business opportunity for telcos, content providers and existing broadcasters. ITU-T’s IPTV standards are being incorporated in product offerings from vendors and service providers around the world. The standards cover a wide range of topics including interactive services, content location, terminal specifications, metadata and QoS.  Companies from Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, France, and elsewhere have implemented ITU-T's IPTV standards and sell in the open market as TV and set top box products. In China and Japan, ITU-T IPTV is already deployed with several million subscribers. A test service is being conducted in Singapore, and there is interest in having test beds in India and Canada.

ITU-T interoperability events on IPTV seek to address issues of conformance and interoperability.  ITU’s IPTV standards – developed under ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative (IPTV-GSI)  - take into account various aspects of technologies, including IPR, maturity, stability and market adoption. Since ITU-T IPTV is based on mature technologies, decided by consensus, interoperability is easy among different vendors. ITU-T standards include many new features modeled on web technologies, and thus provide the rich interactivity and usability which has become a characteristic of today's ICT service.  

Future IPTV Interop Events are planned for Singapore in September and India in December.  Future Interop events may include: Home Networking; VDSL2 and GPON (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network).

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Tuesday, 15 June 2010 10:30:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 17 May 2010
Assuring worldwide interoperability is critical to reaping benefits

Geneva, 14 May 2010 - ITU has been tasked with progressing standardization in cloud computing by members and leading CTOs in the ICT space.

A new ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing has been formed to enable a global cloud computing ecosystem where interoperability facilitates secure information exchange across platforms. The group will take a global view of standards activity in the field and will define a future path for greatest efficiency, creating new standards where necessary while also taking into account the work of others and proposing them for international standardization.

Cloud computing speeds and streamlines application deployment without upfront capital costs for servers and storage. For this reason, many enterprises, governments and network/service providers are now considering adopting cloud computing to provide more efficient and cost effective network services.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, said: “Cloud is an exciting area of ICTs where there are a lot of protocols to be designed and standards to be adopted that will allow people to best manage their digital assets. Our new Focus Group aims to provide some much needed clarity in the area.”

Cloud computing deployments are being announced on an almost daily basis. But interoperability, say experts, is a problem. Camille Mendler, Vice President of Research at Yankee Group: “Cloud computing is the future of ICTs. It's urgent to address interoperability issues which could stall global diffusion of new services. Collaboration between private and public sectors is required, and ITU is ideally suited to facilitate productive dialogue.”

ITU-T study groups were invited to accelerate their work on cloud at the fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum (Lisbon, 2009) and at an ITU-hosted meeting of CTOs in October 2009. The CTOs highlighted network capabilities as a particular area of concern, where increased services and applications using cloud computing may result in the need for new levels of flexibility in networks to accommodate unforeseen and elastic demands.

Vladimir Belenkovich, Chairman of the ITU Focus Group on Cloud Computing: “The Focus Group will investigate requirements for standardization in cloud computing and suggest future study paths for ITU. Specifically, we will identify potential impacts in standards development in other fields such as NGN, transport layer technologies, ICTs and climate change, and media coding.”

A first brief exploratory phase will determine standardization requirements and suggest how these may be addressed within ITU study groups. Work will then quickly begin on developing the standards necessary to support the global rollout of fully interoperable cloud computing solutions.

A recently published ITU-T Technology Watch Report titled ‘Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids and Clouds’ describes the advent of clouds and grids, the applications they enable, and their potential impact on future standardization.

For further information please contact:

Sarah Parkes                                                                          
Senior Media Relations Officer
Tel: +41 22 730 6135
Mobile: +41 79 599 1439
E-mail: mailto:                                                                              

Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer
Tel: +41 22 730 5877
Mobile: +41 79 249 4868
E-mail: mailto:

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Monday, 17 May 2010 13:53:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 27 April 2010
The recent meeting of ITU’s Council saw a report from Malcolm Johnson the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) on progress made in implementing work on conformity and interoperability testing as requested by Resolution 76 in 2008 (WTSA-08).

In introducing the work Johnson said: “Currently all successful standards development organizations (SDOs) dealing with standards on interoperability have, in addition to the production of paper standards, three additional components: testing specifications; conformance testing to determine compliant products; and interoperability testing amongst various manufacturers’ products implementing the standard(s).

“ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), which is the pre-eminent global telecommunication standards body dealing specifically with global interoperability currently lacks these three additional elements to develop the full range of interoperable standards.

“This prompted a plea for help from developing countries, expressed in WTSA Resolution 76, to redress this problem as an important element of assistance to them in achievement of their desired level of conformity and interoperability nationally and internationally in telecommunications.

“Successful implementation of this programme is therefore crucially important to ITU-T maintaining its status as the pre-eminent global standards development organization in the face of increasing competition from other SDOs, forums and consortia.

“Defining more interfaces where interoperability can be tested increases competition and reduces the chances of being locked in to a single product.”

Johnson went on to define various actions, starting with a pilot version of a conformity database which is under development in line with a proposal put to Council-09 and taking account of advice provided by the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) and ITU-T’s Joint Coordination Activity on Conformance and Interoperability Testing (JCA-CIT). He said that the database would only record information provided by companies on conformity of their products to ITU-T Recommendations. Companies input the data into the database themselves. Following the advice of TSAG, access to the database is password protected (TIES) during the development phase.

The second action detailed by Johnson is the establishment of a calendar of “informal” interoperability events, some in partnership with interested SDOs/forums/consortia. The first such interoperability event is to take place on 20-23 July 2010, in Geneva to test ITU-T’s standards for IPTV.

The third action, Johnson said will be the implementation of human resources capacity building events. He said that ITU-T’s secretariat, the TSB and the secretariat of ITU-D, the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) are preparing a programme of such events. Events are planned for  Quito (Ecuador) and Nairobi (Kenya). Both Bureaux, he added, looked forward to receiving advice in this regard from the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-10), to be held in Hyderabad, India, from 24 May to 4 June 2010.

TSB and BDT are also working together to assist in the establishment of test facilities in developing countries. Discussions with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have already begun and a pilot project has been conducted in Tanzania.

TSB has begun work on the framework of a business plan for the long term implementation of the actions and which will provide the environmental background; the pros and cons of acting on Resolution 76; a road map for the implementation of the actions; a budget; legal aspects; study group actions; and partnerships for taking the work forward.
Following various questions and comments from the floor Johnson emphasized that Resolution 76 addresses both conformity and interoperability. Conformity does not imply interoperability, he said, but the chances of interoperability are definitely higher if equipment has been shown to conform to a standard.

The demand for a conformity database was simple he said: people want a database on the ITU website where they can see what products had been successfully tested to ITU-T Recommendations. To ensure the credibility of the database, tests will be carried out in an accredited laboratory: first, second or third party; or be accepted by an accredited certification body. Companies will voluntarily input the data directly into the database, but the information will only be made publicly available after TSB has received a supplier’s declaration.

Johnson emphasized that TSB is committed to working in consultation with all members and in collaboration with other SDOs, forums and consortia. For example, just within the last couple of weeks TSB had visited ATIS, TIA, ITI and several Sector Members in the USA to discuss Resolution 76. TSB had also visited the Interoperability Testing Lab of the University of New Hampshire, a not-for profit organization that has a formidable reputation in the testing field and which has been invited to the ITU-T Study Group 15 meeting in June.

Johnson concluded by confirming that TSB is committed to consulting and collaborating with all ITU-T membership to ensure the successful implementation of Resolution 76. It is a long and winding road but there is no turning back, he said. The Director of BDT, Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, also expressed appreciation for the positive tone in the Council on this subject and emphasized that TSB and BDT are working closely together on this issue.

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010 09:53:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The ITU-T group working on home networking specifications under the banner has agreed on some specifications for smart grid products. is a next generation wired home networking standard developed by ITU-T, which supports high-speed communication over power lines, phone lines and coaxial cable.


The recent agreement included a ‘low complexity’ profile targeted at smart grid applications. The profile offers a minimum set of parameters and specifications that define a specific system to meet a targeted range of applications.This will allow multiple manufacturers to develop products that deliver the low power consumption, low cost, performance, reliability, and security that is required for Smart Grid and other lower bit rate applications.


Additionally, the low complexity profile also specifies minimum requirements for features such as signal bandwidth, data modulation methods, transmitter linearity requirements, and forward error correction, or “FEC,” while maintaining interoperability with fully-featured products.


Some of the smart grid products that will benefit from specification include:

  • Smart Meters
  • In-Home Displays and smart thermostats
  • Plug-in Electrical Vehicles and Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment
  • Smart household appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems
  • Energy System Interface devices

Smart grid applications that will benefit from include:

  • Utility-based Demand Response programs via broadband internet connections or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems
  • Remote troubleshooting to minimize cost
  • Support for realtime demand response systems that compensate users depending on their usage
  • Flexible control of appliances to reduce power consumption during peak periods

Also agreed was an Appendix to the standard that provides guidelines for using in smart grid applications and on how they work with other consumer devices in the home. The Appendix provides guidance to product developers and users and describes how devices can be used as part of application layer Energy Management System software that resides above the physical layer and data link layer. Additionally, the appendix shows how smart grid devices interface to a service provider's smart grid access network via the Energy Service interface to support secure end-to-end smart grid services between the service provider and home.


In October, HomeGrid Forum, an independent body set up to promote announced that the standard has received approval from the National Institute Standards Technology (NIST) for use in various smart grid applications in the US. Given this announcement, HomeGrid Forum formed a smart grid initiative group, which will help to bring a range of devices to the smart grid market and home energy management applications.

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010 16:48:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 06 November 2009
ITU in collaboration with Broadband Business Forum/EXPO COMM ITALIA 2009 will host a session on ITU studies on NGN, wireless and interoperability, on 25 November 2009, in Rome, Italy.

This session will provide information on work in ITU-T on new technologies such as wireless, NGN and conformance and interoperability.

Broadband Business Forum/EXPO COMM ITALIA 2009’s stated aim is to be a platform to present products and services to a wide range of decision makers, procurement officials, policy planners, and business leaders in Italy and throughout the EMEA Region.

Key topics to be discussed include the latest innovations in ICTs, from Broadband/IP enabled services to mobile and wireless technologies that allow migration to next generation networks. Other topics include infrastructure that enables the convergence of all available technologies to offer a more integrated solution and a more efficient broadband platform for the future.

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Friday, 06 November 2009 09:59:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 03 November 2009
Initiative will boost market confidence in ICT products

Geneva, 3 November, 2009 — ITU will implement measures that will give purchasers of ICT equipment a much clearer picture of that equipment’s ability to interoperate with other ICT devices. A key component of this new conformity and interoperability programme will be a global database that will log products declaring conformity to ITU standards (ITU-T Recommendations).

The programme will support much more informed purchasing decisions for end users – be they companies or consumers - and has the potential to widen markets, increase competition and decrease costs. It will allow purchasers to freely consult a comprehensive global database to check whether a product conforms to ITU standards, or will work with other network elements.

Lack of conformity and interoperability of ICT equipment is a major concern, especially in developing countries. Addressing interoperability is one of the founding principles of the ITU, and the new programme seeks to significantly reduce the problems that have faced service providers and others and bring renewed confidence to the market.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: "A dizzying array of similar products can sometimes make purchasing decisions difficult. Interoperability is at the heart of what ITU does, so we have put in place procedures that will greatly assist those faced with often complex buying decisions. This new programme will significantly reduce the problems telcos, ICT service providers, businesses and consumers face, including unwittingly being locked into proprietary solutions. I believe this initiative is of great significance in our efforts to bridge the digital divide, but will be equally beneficial to those in the developed world."

The new ITU programme will also focus on skills training and the development of regional testing centres for developing countries. It will be voluntary and open to ITU members and non-members alike.

Conformity to ITU-T Recommendations will be declared only via accredited laboratories or certifiers; testing will not carried out by ITU itself. Once accepted and entered into the new database, products will be given a unique identifier which can be referenced by the manufacturing company.

ITU-T Study Groups are actively developing standards for conformity and interoperability testing - for example, test suites for IPTV – which can be used by external certifiers.

As part of the new programme ITU will also organize a series of interoperability events that will allow two or more vendors to get together to verify that their equipment interoperates satisfactorily. An interoperability declaration can then be added to the database. ITU will also hold regional workshops and tutorials on conformity assessment and interoperability.

Research on how to implement a standards conformity and interoperability programme was initiated with the adoption of Resolution 76 at ITU’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08). The recent session of ITU’s governing council (20-30 October, 2009) has now given the formal go-ahead.

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Parkes
ITU Media Relations
+41 22 730 6135
+41 79 599 1439

Toby Johnson
ITU Senior Communications Officer
+41 22 730 5877
+41 79 249 4868

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Tuesday, 03 November 2009 11:20:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 09 October 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, 09 October 2009 15:14:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 08 October 2009
A September meeting of the ITU’s security standards group saw progress in key areas including identity management and a cybersecurity information exchange. The meeting - of ITU-T’s Study Group 17 saw record attendance signalling the importance attached to ITU’s cybersecurity work in the global ICT community.

A key achievement was the establishment of a Cybersecurity Information Exchange which enables a global communications infrastructure for cybersecurity. The framework imports best-of-breed standards from government agencies and industry. Experts say that it promotes better interoperobility including convergence on a common set of open standards.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), ITU: “It is essential that cybersecurity and telecoms infrastructure protection communities worldwide are able to exchange information on network digital forensics and vulnerabilities. The Framework will, for the first time, provide for this exchange globally.”

Without progressing on this Exchange, experts say there is a risk that no coherent common specifications will emerge, with different countries unable to communicate cybersecurity information to each other.

The Cybersecurity Information Exchange focuses on platforms that capture and exchange information about the security state of systems and devices, vulnerabilities, incidents such as cyber attacks, and related knowledge heuristics. It pulls these platforms together to facilitate their global interoperability and use. It does so in a framework that allows for continual evolution to accommodate the significant activities and specification evolution occurring in numerous cybersecurity forums.

Global organization of incident/emergency computer response teams – FIRST contributed its vulnerability enumeration standard to the framework. An agreement was reached to hold joint workshops and ITU and FIRST will work together to implement the first comprehensive web-based directory of cybersecurity organizations and centers worldwide.

The recent meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 17 also saw approval of a core global identity management (IdM) standard – Recommendation ITU-T X.1250. The agreement signals the start of work on implementation protocols for essential capabilities like trust mechanisms and identity assurance interoperability.

Arkadiy Kremer, Chairman of Study Group 17, said: “Global acceptance of identity management solutions is paramount. The agreement that we have reached here signals an important milestone from where the world’s service providers and users can profit from international standards for IdM capabilities. Industry has put significant weight behind this activity and an IdM framework for global interoperability is emerging.”

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.

ITU-T X.1250 gives the ability to enhance exchange and trust in the identities used by telecommunication/ICT networks and services. The definitions and need for identity management trust are highly context dependent and often subject to very different policies and practices in different countries. The trust capabilities include the protection and control of personally identifiable information.

Also agreed was X.1251, a framework for users of digital identity. The standard defines a framework to enhance user control and exchange of their digital identity related information. Two other important Recommendations were progressed to the first stage of approval: X.1252 and X.1275. X.1252 provides a collection of terms and definitions used in identity management (IdM) and it sets the stage for common definition for the whole industry. While, X.1275  provides guidelines and best practices regarding radio frequency identification (RFID) procedures that can be used by service providers to gain the benefits of RFID while attempting to protect personally identifiable information.

Also at the SG 17 meeting new correspondence groups designed to kickstart work in the areas of security for cloud computing, e-health and grid computing were started.

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Thursday, 08 October 2009 10:15:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 29 June 2009
ITU will hold a Consultation meeting to capture the views of all stakeholders with regards to Resolution 76: Studies related to conformance and interoperability testing, assistance to developing countries, and a possible future ITU mark programme.

Participants will learn how conformity assessment can be beneficial to all stakeholders, increasing the probability of interoperability, quality of standards and quality of service. Those wishing to submit contributions to the discussion should send them to by 11 July 2009.

2008’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08) addressed conformance and interoperability testing resulting in the first Resolution on the topic. The aim is to have ITU-T Study Groups more actively involved in developing test suites in key areas of ICTs and to have ITU-T’s secretariat (TSB) assist developing countries in their capacity to conduct tests. This includes the planning and creation of their own test facilities.

More information and registration details here.

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Monday, 29 June 2009 18:19:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 14 May 2009
A two day Forum on Implementation of decisions of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly-08 (WTSA-08) will take place in Accra, Ghana, 16 to 17 June 2009.

The event hosted by the Ministry of Communications, Ghana will review WTSA-08 results from an African perspective and consider how to implement those Resolutions that are of interest to the region. Participants will share experiences in order to identify areas of cooperation and to establish priorities and an action plan to ensure that they gain most benefit from the WTSA-08 Resolutions.

Leading representatives from governments, regulators, industry and academia will join with operators and service providers from the African region. Key topics to be discussed include conformity and interoperability testing, IP-based networks, misappropriation of numbering resources, cybersecurity initiatives, IPv6 and CIRTs. 

Other topics include environment and climate change, accessibility, measurement concerns related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields, and emergency communications.

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Thursday, 14 May 2009 08:51:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 16 April 2009

Over 150 delegates from 25 countries met last week in Colombo, Sri Lanka to discuss standardization and regulatory issues relating to next generation networks (NGN).

The event, jointly-organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), and hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka, constitutes a major step in engaging with industry stakeholders in the region and beyond on NGN standardization issues.

Participants at the event agreed to invite the ITU to establish a web-based NGN Gateway, linking NGN activities in the three ITU sectors (standardization, radiocommunication and development).

The NGN Gateway would act as an NGN information sharing point particularly aimed at developing countries and give resources such as:

  • NGN Tutorials
  • Standardization pointers
  • Governmental issue guidelines
  • Regulatory guidelines
  • Case studies on migration to NGN
  • Conformance and interoperability guidelines

NGNs are packet-based networks able to make use of multiple broadband, transport technologies, and in which service-related functions are independent from underlying transport-related technologies. Networks built on NGN technology have the potential to offer significantly lower service delivery costs, deliver a greater range of services and applications, and at the same time, support seamless and generalised mobility which will allow consistent and ubiquitous provision of services to end-users.

Various operators in the region have started the migration of their networks to NGN, however there is a pressing need to agree on a set of global standards on a range of issues, including interconnection and interoperability between networks, QoS, mobility, and IPv6.

The ITU and CTO joined forces to ensure the widest participation from Asia and beyond. Present at the event were leading operators, regulators and manufacturers including NTT, BT, Ericsson, Motorola, and ZTE.

“This is a historic event. Not only is it the first ITU-T event in Sri Lanka, it is the first joint event between ITU and CTO”, said Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU during his welcome address.

“Sri Lanka was pleased to host this event. We are committed to such collaborative arrangements with the ITU and the CTO, as we see the ICT sector as a driving force of our economy”, Priyantha Kariyapperuma, Director-General of Sri Lanka TRC added.

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Thursday, 16 April 2009 10:56:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |