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 Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dear reader,

The ITU-T Newslog has been migrated to a new platform and can now be found at http://newslog.itu.int/archives/category/standardization.

The archived content of the retired ITU-T Newslog remains accessible here.

Questions or suggestions regarding the new platform are welcome and should be directed to the ITU-T Communications Unit at itu-tcomms@itu.int.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013 11:32:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 16, 2013

ITU members have agreed new international standards (ITU-T Recommendations) outlining security considerations essential to cloud computing and, crucial to the long-term preservation and utility of IP-based resources, a ‘framework for the discovery of identity management information’ to enable interoperability across heterogenous information systems.

Recommendation ITU-T X.1600 “Security framework for cloud computing”, having reached first-stage approval (‘determined’) and now undergoing a final review, describes security threats in the cloud computing environment and, through a framework methodology, matches threats with the security capabilities advised to be specified in mitigating them. ITU-T X.1600 will act as a ‘handbook’ guiding the future standardization of identified threat-mitigation techniques; in addition providing an implementation reference for systems-level cloud security.

Recommendation ITU-T X.1255 “Framework for the discovery of identity management information”, approved and soon to be freely available on ITU’s website, details an open architecture framework in which identity management (IdM) information – identifying ‘digital objects’ and enabling information sharing among entities including subscribers, users, networks, network elements, software applications, services and devices – can be discovered, accessed and represented by heterogenous IdM systems representing IdM information in different ways, supported by a variety of trust frameworks and employing different metadata schemas.

ITU-T X.1255 lays out a framework that enables discovery of identity-related information and its provenance; identity-related information attributes, including but not limited to visual logos and human-readable site names; and attributes and functionality of applications. The framework, in addition, describes a data model and protocol to enable meta-level interoperability in the management of this information across heterogeneous IdM environments.

The Recommendation is a first step towards the Digital Object Architecture (DOA) advocated by the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), which is intended to achieve the “universal information access” possible with uniquely identifiable digital objects structured so as to ensure their machine and platform independence.

For a succinct description of the history, motivation and promise of the DOA, see Peter J. Denning & Robert E. Kahn, “The Long Quest for Universal Information Access”, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 53 No. 12, Pages 34-36.

The new Recommendations were agreed at a meeting of ITU-T Study Group 17 (Security) in Geneva, 26 August to 04 September, which also saw the establishment of three new work items, on:

  • high-speed Abstract Syntax Notation (ASN.1) Octet Encoding Rules (OER) needed by the financial services sector to gain milliseconds on the trading floor;
  • updating the Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) to eliminate all obsolete ASN.1 features in the interests of making the CMS usable with all ASN.1 standardized encoding rules; and,
  • new challenges for Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI) standardization presented by mobile networks, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, cloud computing and smart grid.

More information on the work of ITU-T Study Group 17 can be found here.

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Monday, September 16, 2013 2:00:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU regrets to announce the death of Col. Richard ‘Dick’ C. Brackney (Ret.).

Dick was a well-known and respected authority on international cybersercurity and had contributed greatly to ITU’s work in the field over a period of more than ten years.

In August he sent a message to his colleagues: "Dear colleagues at MS and International Standards Community: I have enjoyed my work in the Standards community over the years. But, the time has come for it to end. I've learned over this summer that time is VERY precious and my time has ended. Thank you all for your support! ---Dick".

Dick had a wide and varied career including 35 years at the US National Security Agency. He served in combat during Desert Shield/Desert Storm and was the recipient of numerous service decorations including two National Defense Service Medals, and a Meritorious Service Medal.

He will be sadly missed by all including ITU staff, delegates of Study Groups 13 and 17 and the standards and cybersecurity communities at large.

A viewing/memorial service will take place on September 17th (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. EDT at the following location: Howell Funeral Home 10220 Guilford Road Jessup, Maryland 20794. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Dick to the American Heart Association at http://honor.americanheart.org/site/TR/Events/General?pxfid=260931&fr_id=1030&pg=fund.

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Monday, September 16, 2013 1:49:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest post to the ITU blog by María Paula Sartori, Green ICT Services Expert at Telefónica, asks if it is possible to achieve high levels of efficiency in a ‘Smart City’, and to what extent a city can become both ‘Smart’ and ‘Sustainable’.

Smart Sustainable Cities are a central topic at the 3rd ITU Green Standards Week in Madrid, Spain, 16-20 September.

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Monday, September 16, 2013 1:32:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 04, 2013

In the run-up to the Telefónica-hosted 3rd ITU Green Standards Week in Madrid, 16-20 September, a post to the ITU blog penned by Maya Ormazabal, Head of Environment at Telefónica Corporation, frames the debate around electrical and electronic waste (‘e-waste’) and how its proliferation – today cause for concern – could in the future lead to new, sustainable business opportunities in reuse and recycling.

Read the full blog post here

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Wednesday, September 04, 2013 3:30:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 30, 2013

The first meeting of the ITU-T Study Group 13 Regional Group for Africa (SG13 RG-AFR), the group to coordinate African contributions to the standardization work of ITU-T Study Group 13 (Future networks), will be preceded by a one-day workshop – free of charge and open to all – on “Standardization on IMT, M2M, IoT, Cloud Computing and SDN”. The workshop will, in addition, be followed by a meeting of the SG13 ‘Rapporteur Group’ tasked with developing international standards (ITU-T Recommendations) under Question 5/13 “Applying IMS and IMT in developing country mobile telecom networks”.

The events are being organized by ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and hosted by Algeria’s Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications (ARPT) in Algiers, Algeria, 8-12 September; as follows:

ITU Workshop on “Standardization on IMT, M2M, IoT, Cloud Computing and SDN”, 8 September:

The workshop will provide an overview of ITU-T and, in particular, SG13 work in these areas as well as an opportunity for discussion and knowledge-sharing around regional developments on these topics. It will also feature an introduction to the objectives of SG13RG-AFR, which is expected to prioritize the study of cloud computing and future networks.

Rapporteur Group meeting on Question 5/13 “Applying IMS and IMT in developing country mobile telecom networks”, 9 September:

The ‘Rapporteur Group’ or task team responsible for Question 5/13 will progress its standardization work on the scenarios and requirements of developing-country implementations of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT-2000 or ‘3G’; IMT-Advanced or ‘4G’), the systems of radiocommunication standards developed and maintained by ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) that enable global mobile telecommunications and high-speed mobile broadband. ITU-T, through SG13, produces complementary standards detailing networking aspects of IMT.

First meeting of the ITU-T Study Group 13 Regional Group for Africa (SG13RG-AFR), 10-12 September:

Within ITU-T Study Groups, Regional Groups aim to ensure that ITU-T Recommendations address the needs of all the world’s regions. As such, Regional Groups play a key role in ITU’s work to ‘bridge the standardization gap’ between developed and developing countries by fostering an inclusive environment where all possess equal opportunity to contribute to and influence the standardization process. SG13RG-AFR will consolidate African regional contributions to the work of SG13, and its first meeting will determine the group’s guiding Action Plan, working procedures and work programme, as well as the schedule of work to be undertaken in preparation for the next meeting of SG13 in Kampala, Uganda, 4-15 November 2013

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Friday, August 30, 2013 4:49:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 26, 2013

ITU will host a High Level Workshop to review developments in International Mobile Roaming services (IMRs), 23-24 September in Geneva.

The event will bring together senior representatives of relevant ministries, regulatory bodies and operators to review developments in IMRs, by examining the economic and regulatory steps which have been taken to reduce prices and improve competition.

Results of a new ITU Report on “International mobile roaming services: Facilitating competition and protecting users ” will be presented during the Workshop. The paper analyses initiatives to address high prices for international mobile roaming services as well as measures to improve protection for users. Providing analysis of a number of policy and regulatory initiatives and changes in the roaming business model and marketplace, the paper examines developments and discusses best practices and recommendations to develop more efficient markets for international mobile roaming services.

Roaming was a hot topic at the recent World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) with Article 4 of the International Telecommunication Regulations on International Telecommunication Services stating:

4.4 Member States shall foster measures to ensure that authorized operating agencies provide free-of-charge, transparent, up-to-date and accurate information to end users on international  telecommunication services, including international roaming prices and the associated relevant conditions, in a timely manner.

4.5 Member States shall foster measures to ensure that telecommunication services in international roaming of satisfactory quality are provided to visiting users.

4.6 Member States should foster cooperation among authorized operating agencies in order to avoid and mitigate inadvertent roaming charges in border zones.

4.7 Member States shall endeavour to promote competition in the provision of international roaming services and are encouraged to develop policies that foster competitive roaming prices for the benefit of end users.

The text within the international treaty followed agreement by ITU Members from the public and private sectors on measures to reduce ‘bill-shock’ whereby consumers are faced with unexpected and excessive charges for mobile roaming. In September 2012 they approved Recommendation ITU-T D.98, which includes a number of measures to empower consumers and encourage operators to lower tariffs. These measures  represented the first truly international agreement taking steps towards lowering roaming costs.

Participants at the High Level Workshop will be given the opportunity to discuss this Resolution and Recommendation as well as other Recommendations, best practices and initiatives which have led or could lead to lower prices, facilitating more competition and protecting users.

The event is free of charge and open to all ITU Members, mandatory registration is via this webpage. All the information about this High Level Workshop is available on the website: www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Regulatory-Market/Pages/Events2013/GE_Roaming/home.aspx.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 12:26:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Living in a converged world – impossible without standards? That’s the question posed as the title of the sixth ITU Kaleidoscope academic conference. Kaleidoscope 2014 will be hosted by Bonch-Bruevich Saint-Petersburg State University of Telecommunications (SPbSUT), Russian Federation, 3-5 June 2014.

Kaleidoscope events are peer-reviewed academic conferences that increase dialogue between academics and experts working on ICT standardization.

Kaleidoscope 2014 is calling for academic papers offering innovative approaches to research on the role of ICT standardization in today’s global economy characterized by accelerating convergence of industry sectors and technologies.

The conference will uncover ideas to leverage this convergence in service of the public interest. It will highlight areas where ICT standards will improve energy efficiency and ease the introduction of new services in fields spanning healthcare, education, transport, banking, energy and more. The event will also explore means to enhance the inclusivity of the Information Society; addressing the demands of people with disabilities, and the need for standards to be accessible to people of different countries and languages.

Kaleidoscope 2014 is being organized by ITU with the technical co-sponsorship of the IEEE ComSoc, the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers (IEICE) of Japan and the Popov Society of the Russian Federation. Partners in the organization of 2014’s event are the Ministry of Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation; Waseda University; the Institute of Image Electronics Engineers of Japan (I.I.E.E.J.); the European Academy for Standardization (EURAS); the University of the Basque Country; and Tampere University of Technology.

A Call for Papers has been issued and invites submissions until 25 November 2013. A prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers. Selected papers will be published in the conference’s proceedings and in IEEE Xplore. The best papers will be evaluated for potential publication in IEEE Communications Magazine. In addition, selected papers will be considered for publication in the International Journal of Technology Marketing or the International Journal of IT Standards & Standardization Research. Young authors presenting a paper at the conference will receive Young Author Recognition certificates.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact the ITU-T Kaleidoscope secretariat at kaleidoscope@itu.int.

For additional information, please see Kaleidoscope 2014’s webpage here.

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013 4:57:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 02, 2013

The 3rd ITU Green Standards Week is set to tackle an agenda featuring ‘Smart Sustainable Cities’, e-waste, mobile device eco-rating schemes, and climate monitoring and disaster warning using submarine communications networks.

The 2013 event is being organized by ITU and hosted by Telefónica at its headquarters in Madrid, Spain, 16-20 September 2013, with partners comprising the Basel Convention,CEDARE, UNEP, UNESCO-IOC, the United Nations University, WMO and sponsors such as Huawei and Fujitsu.

Cities are the hubs of innovation that drive economic development, but, particularly in the early years of a city’s growth, urbanization can have adverse effects on the health of the environment and, consequently, that of citizens.

Governments, businesses and technologists are devising ways to encourage a 21st-century brand of urbanization that leverages ICTs to match technological and economic progress with improvements in environmental sustainability and social wellbeing. Standardization is a means through which to ensure that smart-city breakthroughs become accessible to all cities around the world, expanding the number of people to benefit from smarter ways of living and putting more minds to the task of building more environmentally responsible cities.

Green Standards Week’s agenda includes a High Level Segment on Smart Sustainable Cities, the second meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities, 17 September, as well as the prize-giving for the Telefónica-supported 3rd ITU Green ICT Application Challenge, 18 September. The week’s discussions will take shape as follows:

  • 16 September 2013: ITU, UNEP, UNU, CEDARE Forum on e-Waste
  • 17 September 2013 (morning): Forum on Greening Mobile Devices: Building Eco-Rating Schemes
  • 17 September 2013 (afternoon): 2nd Meeting of the Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities
  • 18 September 2013: High Level Segment on Smart Sustainable Cities
  • 19-20 September 2013 (morning): 3rd ITU/WMO/UNESCO-IOC Workshop on Propelling a Pilot Project on Green Cables
  • 20 September 2013 (afternoon): Closed Meeting of the ITU/WMO/UNESCO-IOC Joint Task Force on Submarine Communications Networks For Climate Monitoring and Disaster Warning

The event is free of charge and open to all interested parties, also offering online ‘remote participation’.

Interested stakeholders are invited to take up a sponsorship at ITU Green Standards Week 2013.

Green Standards Week will offer exceptional opportunities to reach highly influential audiences, both broad and targeted.

For more information on the programme and sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Find more information, including practical information on hotels and visas and details of how to register as an onsite or online participant, here.

Find more information on ITU-T, the Environment and Climate Change here.

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Friday, August 02, 2013 1:43:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 01, 2013

What do you expect from ITU in the future and where should we be directing our efforts to best serve everyone? What do you see as future challenges? We want to hear your thoughts for our strategy and priorities in the coming years: http://www.itu.int/PublicConsultations

Thursday, August 01, 2013 2:54:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 29, 2013

ITU-T events in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso have strengthened African regional positions on standardization to enhance environmental responsibility and quality of service (QoS); calling for harmonized regional policy on imports of ICT equipment and the management of e-waste, and sharing knowledge of national experiences in maintaining adequate QoS for Africa’s rapidly expanding communications networks.

Organized by ITU and hosted by Burkina Faso’s Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP), two capacity-building workshops – free of charge and open to all – accompanied meetings of the African ‘Regional Groups’ tasked with coordinating African contributions to the standardization work of ITU-T Study Groups 5 (Environment and climate change) and 12 (Performance, QoS and QoE).

A workshop on "Building a Sustainable Future through Green ICT Standards", 15-16 July, introduced participants to the activities of SG5 and its Regional Group for Africa (SG5 RG-AFR). It discussed the role of ICT in tackling climate change in Africa and challenges and opportunities associated with e-waste, also offering a technical tutorial on Green ICT standards. A session sought to refine the priorities of SG5 RG-AFR to fuel the discussions of the Regional Group meeting, 16-17 July, which subsequently reached significant conclusions:

  • Emphasis was placed on the need for a Green ICT Roadmap for the African region.
  • Recognizing that local ICT players are predominantly importers, rather than manufacturers, of ICT equipment, participants stressed the need for countries to harmonize their relevant trade policies accordingly; a move which would strengthen their collective bargaining position.
  • Participants noted the need for a regional e-Waste Roadmap and support was expressed for the multi-stakeholder approach to e-waste management recommended by the East Africa Communications Organisation (EACO).

A second workshop on “Benchmarking QoS Evaluation of Multimedia Networks”, 18 July, fulfilled a similar function to the ‘Green ICT’ workshop by providing an opportunity for high-level discussion and information exchange in the run-up to the meeting of the SG12 Regional Group for Africa (SG12 RG-AFR) on 19 July.

Ensuring QoS in today’s converged, increasingly IP-based, communications ecosystem is a complex challenge, and even more so for African countries experiencing an unrelenting surge in demand for communications services and consequent network performance concerns.

The workshop and meeting of SG12 RG-AFR attracted regulators as well as operators, with discussions around ‘Mobile QoS’ highlighting the importance of the topic to the region. Participants discussed the draft new Recommendation ITU-T E.MQoS on mobile QoS parameters, a methodology which looks at mobile QoS parameters from a user’s perspective, and Morocco presented its national experience in mobile Internet QoS evaluation. ‘Broadband Internet QoS’ followed, introducing the country cases of Burkina Faso, Mauritius and Rwanda, and discussing QoS contractual parameters (with reference to Recommendation ITU-T E.803) and the way to harmonize non-standardized parameters with standards.

More information on ITU-T, the Environment and Climate Change is available here.

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Monday, July 29, 2013 10:00:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 19, 2013

Following the recent ITU/UNECE workshop on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) (see previous newslog), ITU interviewed Russ Shields, Chairman of ITU’s Collaboration on Intelligent Transport Systems (CITS).

Shields provides a definition of ITS and explains why the technology is equally as important in developing countries as it is in the developed world.

http://youtu.be/W176lZaPN1k

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Friday, July 19, 2013 7:33:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 16, 2013

G.fast, a new ITU broadband standard, that promises up to 1 Gbit/s over existing copper telephone wires, is one step closer following a meeting of ITU-T Study Group 15 this week. G.fast is designed to deliver superfast downloads up to a distance of 250 meters, thereby eliminating the expense of installing fibre between the distribution point and people’s homes.

The Geneva meeting saw first stage approval of ITU standard, Recommendation ITU-T G.9700, that specifies methods to minimize the risk of G.fast equipment interfering with broadcast services such as FM radio, paving the way for G.fast to be approved in early 2014.

G.fast is expected to be deployed by service providers wanting to provide fibre to the home (FTTH) like services, which will enable flexible upstream and downstream speeds to support bandwidth-intensive applications such as streaming Ultra-HDTV movies, uploading high-resolution video and photo libraries to cloud-based storage, and communicating via HD video.

Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “Since the early days of the World Wide Web, people around the world have accessed the vast resource that has become the Internet via ITU standards. I applaud our membership for continuing to show great leadership in the development of these specifications that bring broadband into our homes at ever increasing speeds and at ever greater efficiencies.”

Full press release 

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013 8:50:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 12, 2013

ITU workshops in Durban, South Africa have underlined Africa’s commitment to countering spam and ensuring the eco-friendly management of e-waste, the subjects of new provisions of the revised International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs).

The events were hosted by South Africa’s Department of Communications at the International Convention Centre in Durban. Two full-day ITU workshops – free of charge and open to all – discussed “Countering and Combating Spam”, 8 July 2013, and “Environmentally Sound Management of e-Waste”, 9 July 2013.

The workshops considered questions of particular relevance to African countries. Spam is said to account for 60-80 per cent of emails in Africa and the continent has become the world’s most prominent importer of used electronic goods.

The spam workshop opened with presentations on the nature and dimensions of the spam challenge, followed by interactive tracks on the roles of policy and standards in combating spam and the associated contributions of government and industry. Targeted sessions presented the outcomes of WTSA-12 and WCIT-12 as they related to spam, with another giving an overview of the standards developed by ITU-T Study Group 17 (Security) under its study of “Countering spam by technical means”.

The workshop’s outcomes, detailed here, propose that the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) partners with the African Union to develop a model law for spam (including SMS spam) and to craft a model programme for cooperation between governments and industry in combatting spam, with components such as mechanisms for inter-agency cooperation to detect and eliminate ‘botnets’. ATU was also invited to collaborate with the African Union, ITU and the Internet Society (ISOC) in creating a programme helping African ISPs to implement effective anti-spam tools and to educate end-users on the safe identification and handling of suspicious messages.

The e-waste workshop highlighted the complexity of the e-waste challenge, hearing the views of government, industry and consumer representatives in analyzing lessons learnt from Africa’s fast-growing volume of experience in managing e-waste. Presentations covered existing policy frameworks and standards relevant to eco-friendly e-waste management, spurring discussions on future e-waste actions in Africa with an emphasis on the establishment of requisite legal and regulatory environments.

The workshop’s outcomes, detailed here, set the tone for African countries to develop and implement e-waste policies, regulations and best practices, pursuant to Article 11 of the ITRs. ATU was encouraged to partner with the African Union, Regional Economic Committees, ITU and other relevant organizations to assist African countries in developing national e-waste regulation. It was in addition asked to work with the African Union to develop a model programme for cooperation between government and industry in managing e-waste through the implementation of international standards (ITU-T Recommendations). Outcomes also called for collaboration between ATU and ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change) in exploring the possibility of an ITU project to assist in the establishment of processing and refining/recycling facilities in the region, and SG5 was invited to carry out a survey on the existing e-waste legislation of ITU Member States.

More information on ITU-T, the Environment and Climate Change is available here.

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Friday, July 12, 2013 9:05:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 04, 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, July 04, 2013 1:07:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Stefano Galli, ITU-T’s lead expert on smart grid communications, is one of 2013’s recipients of the prestigious IEEE Donald G. Fink Award in recognition of his contribution to the field of power line communications (PLC) and the technology’s application in the development of smart grid.

Galli leads ITU-T’s smart-grid standardization work in his role as Rapporteur for Question 15: Communications for Smart Grid, a task team of ITU-T Study Group 15 (Networks, Technologies and Infrastructures for Transport, Access and Home). He is, in addition, a Co-convener of ITU-T’s Joint Coordination Activity on Smart Grid and Home Networking (JCA-SG&HN), the group coordinating smart-grid and home-networking standardization work across ITU and acting as the first point of contact for organizations interested in contributing to this work.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) established the IEEE Donald G. Fink Award in 1979 to reward excellence in the authoring of surveys, reviews or tutorial papers published in the IEEE Transactions, Journals, Magazines, or in the Proceedings of the IEEE. The award is named in honour of Donald G. Fink: a distinguished editor and author, past President of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE), and the first General Manager and Executive Director of IEEE.

Galli earned the award for his role played in authoring a paper titled, “For the Grid and Through the Grid: The Role of Power Line Communications in the Smart Grid”, published in the Proceedings of the IEEE (vol. 99, no. 6, pp. 998–1027). IEEE notes that the paper “is considered the most complete review of power line communications (PLC) technology published to date,” and that it “has quickly become a key reference document for the application of PLC technology in smart grids.” The paper offers a detailed breakdown of the role played by communications technologies in smart grid, familiarizing readers with the history of PLC methods and the latest advances in work to leverage PLC in the smart-grid functions for which the technology is best suited.

The paper was co-authored by Galli, an IEEE Fellow and Director of Technology Strategy with ASSIA, Inc. (Redwood City, CA, USA); Dr. Anna Scaglione, an IEEE Fellow and professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California (Davis, CA, USA); and Dr. Zhifang Wang, an IEEE Member and assistant professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA, USA).

In December 2011 – representing the culmination of a standards effort in which Galli played an integral role – ITU members approved Recommendations ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956, a family of international narrowband powerline communications (NB-PLC) standards that will enable cost-effective smart grid applications such as distribution automation, diagnostic and fault location, smart metering, demand response, energy management, smart appliances, grid-to-home communications and advanced recharging systems for electric vehicles.

The next-generation NB-PLC transceivers defined in the ITU standards family are optimized for the various topologies and characteristics of power grids around the world, and the family’s support for Ethernet, IPv4 and IPv6 ensures that smart grid networks can easily be integrated with IP-based networks. The standards contain the physical layer (PHY) and the data link layer (DLL) specifications, respectively, for NB-PLC transceivers based on OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing).

Read more on ITU’s family of NB-PLC standards in a press release issued upon its approval.

Subsequent to the standards' approval in 2011, September 2012 saw ITU-T Study Group 15 experts agreeing to the repackaging of Recommendations ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956 into four Recommendations (G.9901, G.9902, G.9903 and G.9904), a move designed to increase the clarity of this important family of standards and thereby stimulate industry adoption. Read the newslog article reporting this decision here.  

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013 3:46:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Participants in a workshop jointly organized by ITU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) have agreed an Action Plan to guide and strengthen the two organizations’ collaboration in leveraging intelligent transport systems (ITS) to enhance road safety in emerging markets.

Each year road accidents claim the lives of 1.2 million people and leave another 20-50 million injured. Developing countries are by far the hardest hit, and the global financial toll of these accidents is estimated at an annual half a trillion US Dollars. Technologies have long contributed to making roads safer through, for example, anti-lock braking systems and airbags. ITS and vehicle communications have the potential to springboard very significant leaps forward in vehicle safety.

The ITU-UNECE workshop, “Intelligent transport systems in emerging markets – drivers for safe and sustainable growth”, was held at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 27 June 2013. The event took place during the eighth meeting of the Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards at the same venue, on 26 and 28 June 2013; also drawing a number of its participants from attendees of a meeting of UNECE’s Working Party 29 on Vehicle Regulations in the Palais des Nations, 25-28 June 2013.

The workshop opened with welcoming remarks from Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, followed by a keynote presentation from Eva Molnar, Director of the UNECE Transport Division. Alongside experts from the ITS and ICT communities, the car industry was well represented by the likes of FIA, Volvo and BMW.

The workshop’s first session offered a “Global ITS update”, looking at ITS technologies’ deployment status in different regions of the world, regulatory frameworks, radiofrequency issues and standards. The second session focused on “ITS in emerging markets” by discussing case studies from India and South Africa, and by pinpointing the key challenges and opportunities.

The workshop’s afternoon sessions took aim at road safety, first discussing the use of “ITS to increase road safety in emerging markets”, followed by an in-depth analysis of means of “Tackling the [driver] distraction challenge”.

The workshop concluded with an Action Plan which directs ITU and UNECE to collaborate with governments, policy makers, regulators, standards development organizations (SDOs), industry, civil society and relevant international and regional organizations, to:

  • Lead with vision in fostering the adoption of best practices and effective policies for using ITS and vehicle communications as means to increase road safety and reduce the number of road traffic accidents worldwide.
  • Standardize, adopt and promote globally harmonized ITS-related vehicle and infrastructure regulation, communication standards and radio spectrum, and accelerate the development and adoption of standards that address the growing dangers of technology-caused driver distraction.
  • Share knowledge, raise awareness and provide education to promote ITS information and education resources suitable for all communities, stakeholders, governments and academia; raising awareness for the crucial role of vehicle communications to increase road safety globally.
  • Shape the agenda, boost partnerships and mobilize expertise in the areas of ITS, vehicle communications, road safety and driver distraction.

The workshop and Action Plan follow the spirit of the 2013 World Telecommunication/Information Society Day held on 17 May and themed ICTs and Improving Road Safety.

The full text of the Action Plan is available here.

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013 3:39:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Les TIC vertes et la qualité de service sont le thème de réunions organisées au Burkina Faso

La ville de Ouagadougou, au Burkina Faso, sera l'hôte de réunions de l'UIT consacrées aux TIC et aux changements climatiques, ainsi qu'à la qualité de service et à la qualité d'expérience, du 15 au 19 juillet 2013.

Ces réunions seront organisées avec la collaboration de l'Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes (ARCEP) du Burkina Faso.

La participation à la première de ces réunions, un atelier intitulé "Bâtir un avenir durable par l'adoption de normes sur les TIC vertes", est gratuite et ouverte à tous. Cet atelier aura pour objet de sensibiliser à l'importance de l'utilisation de normes TIC dans l'édification d'une économie verte. Les séances, qui mettront plus particulièrement l'accent sur la région Afrique, porteront, entre autres, sur le rôle des TIC dans la lutte contre les effets des changements climatiques, sur les opportunités offertes par les TIC vertes et sur les enjeux qu'elles représentent, sur les déchets d'équipements électriques et électroniques et sur la formation à l'utilisation de normes relatives aux TIC vertes.

Après cet atelier qui durera un jour et demi, le Groupe régional pour l'Afrique de la Commission d'études 5 (CE 5 RG-AFR) de l'UIT-T tiendra sa première réunion les 16 et 17 juillet. Cette réunion sera ouverte aux seuls Membres de l'UIT-T. La Commission d'études 5 est la Commission d'études de l'UIT-T qui étudie les interactions entre les TIC et les changements climatiques. Elle examine aussi les questions de compatibilité électromagnétique, qui est une préoccupation majeure dans les pays en développement.

Un atelier sur le thème "Etablir des critères de référence pour l'évaluation de la qualité de service des réseaux multimédias" aura lieu le 18 juillet. La participation à cet atelier sera, là aussi, gratuite et ouverte à tous. Cet atelier facilitera les discussions du Groupe régional de la CE 12 sur la qualité de service pour la région Afrique (CE 12 RG-AFR); il donnera en effet des informations sur l'établissement de critères pour l'évaluation de la qualité de service des réseaux multimédias. Le lendemain, le 19 juillet, le Groupe CE 12 RG-AFR tiendra sa première réunion, à laquelle ne pourront participer que les Membres de l'UIT. La Commission d'études 12, qui axe ses travaux sur les normes de qualité de fonctionnement et de qualité de service, joue un rôle de plus en plus important du fait de la mise en service des réseaux commerciaux VoIP et des réseaux à commutation par paquets.

Cliquer ici pour en savoir plus sur la Commission d'études 5.

Cliquer ici pour en  savoir plus sur la Commission d'études 12.

Cliquer ici pour en savoir plus sur les travaux de l'UIT-T concernant l'environnement et les changements climatiques.

 

Burkina Faso events focus on Green ICT and Quality of Service

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso will play host to ITU events focussing on ICT and climate change as well as quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) from 15 to 19 July 2013.

The events will be held in collaboration with the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP) of Burkina Faso.

The first event, Building a Sustainable Future Through Green ICT Standards, is free and open to all and will serve as a platform to raise awareness of the importance of using ICT standards to build a green economy. With special focus on the African region, sessions will include the role of ICTs in tackling climate change, green ICT opportunities and challenges, e-waste and training on green ICT standards.

Following that one and a half day event, the first meeting of the ITU-T Study Group 5 Regional Group for Africa (SG5  RG-AFR) will take place between 16 and 17 July. This event is open only to ITU-T Members. Study Group 5 is the ITU-T Study Group responsible for studies on the interplay between ICTs and climate change. Also under its mandate is electromagentic compatibility (EMC), a major concern in developing countries.

July 18 will see a workshop on Benchmarking QoS Evaluation of Multimedia Networks. This event, also free and open, will facilitate the meeting of the Regional Group of Study Group 12 on QoS for the Africa Region (SG12 RG-AFR) by providing information on benchmarking of QoS evaluation of multimedia networks. The first meeting of SG12 RG-AFR will follow on July 19, this event is for ITU Members only. Study Group 12 focuses on standards for performance and QoS, a role that is increasingly important with the advent of commercial VoIP and packet-based networks.

Find more about Study Group 5 here.

Find more about Study Group 12 here.

Find out more on ITU-T's work on the environment and climate change here.

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013 2:38:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Celebramos en Latinoamérica talleres sobre campos electromagnéticos y residuos electrónicos

El próximo mes de agosto se celebrarán en Quito (Ecuador) dos talleres gratuitos que reunirán a expertos de Latinoamérica y del mundo, del ámbito de las nuevas tecnologías y el medio ambiente, la política, los negocios y la regulación, para discutir sobre un adecuado reciclaje de desechos eléctricos y la exposición a los campos electromagnéticos (CEM) creados por las comunicaciones inalámbricas.

La industria de las TIC sigue creciendo e innovando a un ritmo inigualable con otras industrias. La velocidad de la expansión de la industria y la rapidez a la que sus productos y servicios evolucionan nos colocan frente a importantes desafíos en la gestión de los desechos electrónicos, así como la resistencia de las comunidades a la construcción de antenas e instalaciones TIC en su entorno.

Los residuos eléctricos se están convirtiendo, en especial, en un reto ambiental importante. La Universidad de Naciones Unidas (UNU) estima que en 2013 se han producido hasta la fecha 53 millones de toneladas de desechos electrónicos, una cifra cuantificada mejor a través de otra estimación y es que se han introducido 67 millones de toneladas de nuevos aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos en el mercado durante este período de tiempo.

Teniendo en cuenta esta situación, la UIT y Telefónica están organizando dos talleres de forma conjunta en Quito. El próximo 13 de agosto tendrá lugar el primer de ellos, sobre el manejo ambientalmente responsable de los desechos electrónicos en América Latina, mientras que el próximo 14 de agosto, el taller se centrará en la exposición a los campos electromagnéticos (CEM).

El taller de desechos electrónicos reunirá a los principales expertos, con el fin de identificar los medios de mejorar la gestión de estos desechos a través de la cooperación regional, de unos marcos regulatorios eficientes y de asociaciones público-privadas capaces de aprovechar este reto, para crear nuevas oportunidades de trabajo sostenible en el reciclaje de aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos.El taller sobre campos electromagnéticos responde a la resolución de la UIT No. 72 AMNT-12 sobre "Problemas de medición relativos a la exposición humana a los campos electromagnéticos". El evento ofrecerá una visión general de las políticas y normas que informan sobre la responsabilidad de los campos electromagnéticos emitidos por las instalaciones TIC, su regulación y otros temas importantes dentro de la agenda sobre seguridad en las comunicaciones inalámbricas.

Estos eventos forman parte del programa de asociación UIT-T/Telefónica para reducir la brecha de normalización y promover normas TIC ecológicas en América Latina.

Más información sobre los talleres se puede encontrar aquí.

Más información sobre las actividades del UIT-T sobre las TIC, medio ambiente y cambio climático se puede encontrar aquí.

Más información sobre las actividades del UIT-T sobre la exposición humana a los campos electromagnéticos (CEM) se puede encontrar aquí.

Workshops in Latin America on e-waste and electromagnetic fields

Quito, Ecuador will, in August, see two free of charge, open-to-all workshops bringing together the region’s ICT and environmental experts, from the policy, business and standardization spheres, to discuss the environmentally sound management of e-waste and the responsible consideration of human exposure to the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that underpin wireless communications.

The ICT industry continues to grow and innovate at a pace matched by few, if any, other industry sectors. The speed of the industry’s expansion and the rate at which its products and services evolve gives rise to significant challenges in the management of e-waste as well as in communities’ resistance to the scaled-up construction of ICT installations in their surrounds.

e-Waste in particular is growing into a challenge of considerable weight. The United Nations University (UNU) estimates that 2013 has so far produced 53 million tons of e-waste, a figure best quantified through a comparison with UNU’s estimate that 67 million tons of new electrical and electronic goods have been introduced to the market in the same timeframe.

A workshop jointly organized by ITU and Telefónica on the “Environmentally Sound Management of e-Waste in Latin America”, 13 August 2013, will be followed by an ITU workshop on “Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields”, 14 August 2013, with both workshops kindly hosted by Telefónica in Quito, Ecuador.

The e-waste workshop will bring together key stakeholders in the region to identify means of improving the management of e-waste through regional cooperation, efficient regulatory frameworks, and public-private partnerships capable of leveraging the e-waste challenge to create new, sustainable job opportunities in the disposal and recycling of electrical and electronic goods.

The EMF workshop responds to WTSA-12 Resolution 72, “Measurement concerns related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields”. The event will provide an overview of the policies and standards that inform the responsible consideration of EMFs emitted by ICT installations, giving regulators and other stakeholders insight into central tenets of safety in wireless communications.

These events are part of the ITU-T/Telefónica partnership programme to bridge the standardization gap and promote green ICT standards in Latin America.

More information on the workshops can be found here

More information on ITU-T activities on ICTs, Environment and Climate Change can be found here

More information on ITU-T activities on Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) can be found here

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013 2:29:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 28, 2013

Standardization work on software-defined networking (SDN), a key priority for ITU-T in 2013, is progressing well in ITU-T’s Study Group 11 (SG11) with a number of important specifications nearing maturity following a meeting of two specialized groups in June.

SG11 is tasked with developing the signalling requirements and protocols on SDN. The work will align with the functional requirements and architectures developed by ITU-T’s Study Group 13. In addition a Joint Coordination Activity on SDN was recently established to coordinate the work.

Matt Lopez, NEC Corporation and Rapporteur on Question 4/11 Signalling requirements and protocols for Bearer and Resource control in emerging telecommunication environments: “ITU-T’s consensus-based standards process provides an opportunity for the industry to agree common objectives for the emerging SDN environment, and resulting standards will do much to unify industry players in their work to introduce SDN on a large scale.” 

Draft Recommendations in progress include a document specifying the scenarios and signalling requirements using SDN technologies in Broadband Access Network (BAN). A software-defined BAN (SBAN) simplifies network configuration, making deployment of new services easier and improving broadband service provision. Working document is available here (members only).

Another document provides a gap analysis of SDN work going on across ITU and other standardization bodies as well as a framework, requirements and architecture for signalling in SDN. Working document is available here (members only).

In addition SG 11 experts are working on a Recommendation that describes the scenarios and signalling requirements for a unified intelligent programmable interface for IPv6 service deployment. This working document is available here.

The next physical meetings of the groups focusing on SDN will take place November 2013 in Uganda. For updated information see ITU-T Study Group 11 homepage.

See previous story published after ITU-T SG11 meeting in February 2013 here and a report of a workshop focusing on the topic here.

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Friday, June 28, 2013 5:13:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU regrets to announce the death of Marie-Thérèse Alajouanine (1950-2013).  

Marie-Thérèse was a valued and prolific contributor to the work of ITU and as such a familiar face, will be sadly missed by the many colleagues and delegates of the various ITU groups that she led with vision and energy. 

Read the full text of the obituary and offer condolences to her family here.

Friday, June 28, 2013 3:16:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 27, 2013

ITU Headquarters in Geneva will in July host back-to-back meetings of ITU-T Study Group 15 and IEEE 802, two of the world’s foremost expert groups in the development of the international standards that give shape to global optical transport networks and the array of wireless, optical and copper-based access technologies through which end-users connect.

The meeting of ITU-T Study Group 15 (Networks, Technologies and Infrastructures for Transport, Access and Home), 1-12 July, will be followed by the 14-17 July Plenary Session of IEEE  802, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) expert group renowned for its influential stable of Ethernet and WiFi specifications. In parallel on 13 July, a free of charge, open to all workshop jointly organized by ITU/IEEE-SA will gather experts from ITU-T SG 15 and IEEE 802.1 (Higher Layer LAN Protocols Working Group) to present and discuss their work on Ethernet protection and packet synchronization. The event is a continuation of ITU-T Study Group 15 and the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee's effort to ensure the efficient coordination of their work.

ITU-T Study Group 15 develops international standards (ITU-T Recommendations) that define technologies and architectures of optical transport networks enabling long-haul global information exchange; fibre- or copper-based access networks through which subscribers connect; home networks connecting in-premises devices and interfacing with the outside world and smart grid technologies.

Meeting in July, the group will continue working towards the completion of key standards set for approval in 2013, including 40-Gigabit-capable passive optical networks (NG-PON2) and the full series of Recommendations in the ITU-T G.989 series describing the time and wavelength division multiplexed (TWDM) PON system.

Also planned for approval in 2013, under the working name ‘G.epon’, are standards on Ethernet PON using optical network terminal (ONT) management and control interface (OMCI), as well as standards under ‘G.multi’ to specify control aspects of multiple wavelength PONs. Study Group 15 also expects to reach first-stage approval (‘consent’) of ‘G.fast’ before the close of 2013. The new specification promises to enable fibre-optic data speeds up to of 1 Gbit/s over “last-mile” copper connections from fibre termination points to customers’ homes.

IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee develops and maintains networking standards and recommended practices for a range of networks including local, metropolitan and other area networks; applying an open, internationally accredited standards process and advocating for the implementation of its standards on a global basis.

IEEE 802 standards having gained widespread adoption include those for Ethernet, Bridging and Virtual Bridged LANs, Wireless LAN, Wireless PAN, Wireless MAN, Wireless Coexistence, Media Independent Handover Services, and Wireless RAN.

The upcoming IEEE 802 Plenary Session in Geneva will see participation from the full range of IEEE 802’s Working Groups: 802.1 (Higher Layer LAN Protocols); 802.3 (Ethernet); 802.11 (Wireless LAN); 802.15 (Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN)); 802.16 (Broadband Wireless Access); 802.18 (Radio Regulatory TAG); 802.19 (Wireless Coexistence); 802.21 (Media Independent Handover Services); 802.22 (Wireless Regional Area Networks); 802.24 (Smart Grid TAG); and the  OmniRAN EC Study Group.

Read more on ITU standards for Transport, Access and Home on the ITU-T Study Group 15 at a Glance page.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013 1:45:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In the latest ITU blog post, Scott Pennock, Chairman of the now-terminated Focus Group on Driver Distraction, writes on how the automotive and ICT communities are working towards a convergence of automobiles and ICTs that prioritizes drivers' safety. More...

Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:49:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 25, 2013

In the latest post to the ITU blog, ITU-T Study Group 2 Chairman, Sherif Guinena, describes the upsurge in numbering fraud and what SG2 is doing to counter it. More...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 8:21:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 24, 2013

Frederica Scott Vollrath (Germany) has clinched first prize in the 2013 World Standards Day poster competition, receiving the lion’s share of the deciding vote with a poster depicting manufacturing blueprints as an illustration of 2013’s World Standards Day theme: International standards ensure positive change.

Frederica wins 1, 500 Swiss francs courtesy of IEC, ISO and ITU, the three international standards developing organizations (SDOs) comprising the World Standards Cooperation (WSC). Her poster will provide the visual identity to this year’s World Standards Day, 14 October, appearing worldwide in the promotion and celebration of this international day of observance.

Motivating the conceptual basis for her poster design, Frederica explains that as a “sustainable product designer,” she has been “trained to capture complex 3D design ideas as 2D technical drawings in the interest of providing simple plans for manufacturers to follow.” Conveying how standards simplify otherwise complex industrial processes, Frederica centred her poster around a designer’s working drawings of blueprints, which she notes can be “both intriguing and visually appealing; almost works of art in themselves.”

The poster competition in addition awarded cash prizes of 500 Swiss francs to each of the three runners-up: Seuwandi Yapa and Samith Roshan (Sri Lanka); Taylor Marquis (Canada); and Dimitri Monnois (France).

See the posters designed by the winner and three runners-up here

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Monday, June 24, 2013 12:46:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Today it is estimated that 65 per cent of the world’s population live in cities, with the number set to grow as 1.3 million people move into urban areas every week. This migration has contributed to the rise of megacities, of which there were only three in 1975, now 21 and rising. Experts predict that by 2050 more than 6 billion people will live in urban areas.

To face the challenge of this growing population and meet the rising demand of resources and services, cities need to move towards a path of sustainable growth and development, while remaining respectful of the environment. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be the driver for such solutions.

And here is where you come in...

Now in its third year, ITU and Telefónica are delighted to again present their Green ICT Application Challenge, inviting developers to submit the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT application to help build Smart Sustainable Cities and achieve environmental sustainability in urban areas.

Ideas for topic areas are:

  • Energy management
  • Water management and sanitation
  • Waste management
  • Transport and mobility
  • Urban planning, including smart buildings
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Smart societies, community engagement and environmental education

The challenge is open to individuals from ITU Member States, and the author of the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT Application will be awarded a 5,000 USD cash prize in Madrid, Spain on 18 September 2013 during the 3rd ITU Green Standards Week.

But hurry… submission ends on 15 July 2013 at 12:00 PM CET.

For more information please click here

Learn more about ITU-T’s work on ICTs, the environment and climate change here.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013 8:38:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 17, 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, June 17, 2013 12:00:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 14, 2013

An upcoming Joint ATU-ITU Seminar on the outcomes of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) and the World Conference on International Telecommunications ( WCIT-12) will offer Africa’s ICT executives and policy makers an insight into the meaning and significance of these conference’s outcomes with a view to ensuring their effective implementation. The event will be preceded by two workshops geared towards key directives issued by WTSA-12 and WCIT-12, that of countering spam and ensuring the eco-friendly management of e-waste. The two full-day workshops are free of charge and open to all interested parties, including non-members of ITU.

The three events will be hosted by South Africa’s Department of Communications at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa:

The 2012 meeting of ITU-T’s main decision-making body, WTSA, adopted the first-ever Resolutions on e-health, software-defined networking and e-waste. ITU-T also saw its mandate re-emphasized and strengthened in crucial areas such as accessibility, climate change, and conformity and interoperability, along with encouragement for the greater participation of academia.

WCIT-12’s revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) was especially relevant to ITU-T, with the new treaty requiring Member States to encourage the application of relevant ITU-T Recommendations in areas including Quality of Service (QoS), numbering, international calling line identification, international roaming, emergency communications, countering spam, energy-efficiency, e-waste and accessibility. WCIT-12 also called on ITU-T to study the regulatory, technical and economic issues which need to be addressed in the transition from dedicated phone and data networks to converged IP-based networks.

The workshop on “Countering and Combating Spam” responds to Article 7 of the new ITRs on “unsolicited bulk electronic communications” which encourages Member States to cooperate in taking necessary measures to prevent the propagation of spam and minimize its impact on international telecommunication services.

The workshop on the “Environmentally Sound Management of e-Waste” responds to Article 8 of the new ITRs which encourages Member States to adopt energy-efficiency and e-waste best practices, taking into account relevant ITU-T Recommendations. WTSA-12 offered another boost to ITU’s mandate in this arena by agreeing a new Resolution on e-waste; giving further impetus to ITU’s standardization work on the subject and requesting ITU’s standardization and development sectors, ITU-T and ITU-D, to assist Member States in instituting policy frameworks that limit e-waste’s negative environmental effects. It also instructs ITU-T Study Group 5 to develop Recommendations, methodologies and other publications relating to handling and controlling e-waste as well as methods of treating it.

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Friday, June 14, 2013 9:16:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The latest ITU-T Technology Watch report charts the rise of mobile money, illustrating the importance of global standards in supporting recent advances in mobile payments enabled by near field communication (NFC) and in fortifying mobile money’s inroads into enhancing financial inclusion in developing countries.

Just 15 years ago the mobile phone was used almost exclusively to make calls, send texts and play simple games. Mobile phones today access the Internet, make video calls, take photos, find your location on a map, purchase tickets for public transport, and provide electronic banking services. Innovation in financial services, mobile technology and NFC continues to expand these applications and our ever-present mobile devices are fast evolving into substitutes for wallets and bank accounts, transforming the way we transfer money and pay for goods and services.

The report is published in two parts, the first focused on NFC-enabled mobile payments and the second on mobile money’s game-changing impacts in developing countries. Read or download the full report here.

Part 1 analyses innovations in ‘tap and go’ NFC mobile payments and their likely impact on future standardization activities. A mobile device’s electronic account or “mobile wallet” serves to replace deposit accounts, credit accounts, loyalty accounts, merchant accounts, gift cards and coupons. In developed countries the mobile wallet is also playing a role as a container for different currencies and bank accounts.

Part 2 considers the innovations driving mobile money transfer apps in developing countries. Globally, more than 2.5 billion adults do not have access to a formal bank account and mobile money is thus seen as a crucial means through which to tackle the low levels of financial inclusion that continue to pose a barrier to socio-economic development in emerging economies. In keeping with mobile money’s importance in the transfer of money between migrant labourers and their dependents, the report also reviews the technical standards working behind the scenes to ensure the security of mobile money transfer services. 

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013 7:29:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 10, 2013

The recent meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has seen the launch of a new Focus Group to hasten standards development in the key area of Smart Water Management.

The formation of the Focus Group on Smart Water Management (FG-SWM) responds to the Luxor Call to Action emanating from a workshop held in Luxor, Egypt, 14-15 April 2013.

The event highlighted the necessity of a multi-stakeholder approach to the development of ‘smart’ water-management systems; one that incorporates the views of irrigation, agriculture, environment and communications ministries as well as those of the ICT industry and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

FG-SWM is expected to carry out the following specific tasks:

  • Collect and document information on national, regional and international smart water management initiatives; reporting on current activities and technical specifications.
  • Specify the roles to be played by ICTs in smart water management.
  • Develop a list mapping key stakeholders involved in the area of ICTs and smart water management.
  • Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to assess the impact achieved through the use of ICTs in water-management systems.
  • Develop a set of methodologies for estimating the impact of ICTs on water conservation.
  • Identify water-management ICT applications and services with the potential to ensure interoperability and the benefits of economies of scale.
  • Draft technical reports that address standardization gaps and identify new standardization work items to be taken up by its parent group, ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change).

The new Focus Group will work in close collaboration with the Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (FG-SSC) established in February 2013 (read an earlier newslog article on the formation of FG-SSC here).

Learn more about ITU-T’s work on ICTs, the environment and climate change here.

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Monday, June 10, 2013 11:32:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The highly-anticipated video coding standard, ITU-T H.265 ‘High Efficiency Video Coding’ (HEVC), is now available free of charge on the ITU website here.

Recommendation ITU-T H.265 is a technically-aligned twin text with International Standard ISO/IEC 23008-2. The standard was developed within the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC), a mechanism underscoring the longstanding collaboration of the ITU Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

ITU-T H.265 will need only half the bit rate of its predecessor, ITU-T H.264 | MPEG-4 Part 10 ‘Advanced Video Coding’ (AVC), which remains the most deployed video compression standard worldwide. The new standard is designed to take account of advancing screen resolutions and is expected to be phased in as high-end products and services outgrow the limits of current network and display technology.

The development of ITU-T H.265 was led by ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia) and the standard was approved by ITU members on 13 April 2013 (detailed in a press release here).

April also saw the approval of the latest edition of HEVC's predecessor, ITU-T H.264. Ten years old this year, ITU-T H.264 is now in its eighth edition and is available free of charge on the ITU website here. The latest edition contains an additional profile for multiview video coding with depth information (the Multiview and Depth profile) as well as additional colourimetry identifiers and improvements to supplemental enhancement information (SEI) messages.

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Monday, June 10, 2013 11:21:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU IPv6 IPTV Global Testbed has undergone a significant expansion with the connection of South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

CSIR's Meraka Institute is the country’s leading national ICT research institute and the main hub of SANReN (South African National Research Network), a large-scale government project that provides network connectivity between organizations specialized in higher education and research.

The international ITU IPv6 IPTV Global Testbed was established by ITU-T in collaboration with Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Hokkaido Television Broadcasting (HTB) and OKI. The backbone to this international IPTV experiment is established through extended connectivity between SANReN and NICT’s IPv6 research network, JGN-X (Japan Gigabit Network-eXtreme).

Core ITU standards underpinning the experiment include Recommendation ITU-T H.721’s IPTV terminal for Video on Demand (VoD) and Linear TV, ITU-T H.762’s Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment (LIME) for interactive IPTV services, and ITU-T H.264’s video encoding. High-definition IPTV content encoded in H.264 is being delivered over IPv6 between CSIR and other testbed locations, interactively controlled by H.762 on H.721-compliant terminals.

The news marks the first-ever IPTV testbed in Africa. Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, will be the next location to join the project with preparations already underway between ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia) and Rwanda’s proposed host of the testbed.

The ongoing expansion of ITU’s Global Testbed capitalizes on the success of a series of transcontinental IPTV experiments held over the past two years. For the second year running, ITU-standardized IPTV technologies were deployed in an international IPTV experiment held in conjunction with the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, 5-11 February 2013. Run over ITU’s IPTV IPv6 Global Testbed, the experiment was successful in its ambitious attempt to employ ten software-defined networks (SDNs) simultaneously.

IPTV services were used to live-stream scenes from Sapporo and to provide supporting Video on Demand (VoD) segments, accompanied by integrated social media tools and a remotely-provided captioning service. A particularly notable achievement was the use of RISE (Research Infrastructure for large-Scale network Experiments), a next-generation Internet based on OpenFlow, to deliver IPTV content to Singapore where IPv4 and IPv6 were combined virtually (Read the full story on the Sapporo experiment in an earlier newslog article here).

For more on ITU-T’s work on IPTV, please see ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative.

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Monday, June 10, 2013 11:14:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 06, 2013

A free of charge workshop titled, “Intelligent transport systems in emerging markets – drivers for safe and sustainable growth,” will be held at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 27 June 2013, to discuss recent advances in intelligent transport systems (ITS) with emphasis on improving road safety in developing countries.

The workshop is jointly organized by ITU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and will draw a number of its participants from attendees of a meeting of UNECE’s Working Party 29 on Vehicle Regulations taking place in the Palais des Nations that same week.

The upcoming workshop will gather industry executives, policy makers, regulators and standardization experts from the automotive and ICT sectors to review movements in the ITS space in respect of its underlying technologies and applications as well as its emerging regulatory frameworks and standards. The event will discuss barriers to ITS adoption, explore how current obstacles might be overcome and focus on the benefits that ITS will afford emerging economies in improving road safety.

The event will be held during the eighth meeting of the Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards being held on 26 and 28 June 2013 at ITU Headquarters in Geneva. The Collaboration is providing a global forum for the creation of an internationally harmonized set of ITS communication standards to enable the deployment of fully interoperable ITS products and services in the global marketplace. The group expects that a first ‘release’ of ITS communication standards will be up for approval as ITU-T and ITU-R Recommendations in early 2015.

The ITU-UNECE workshop is the latest in a series of 2013 milestones in ITU’s work to improve the relationship between ICTs and road safety.

The Focus Group on Driver Distraction concluded its work in March 2013, producing five technical reports being taken up by the two groups leading ITU-T’s standardization work on driver distraction, ITU-T Study Group 12 (Performance, QoS and QoE) and Study Group 16 (Multimedia coding, systems and applications). News on the technical reports can be found here.

In addition, “ICTs and improving road safety” was the theme of the 2013 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) celebrated at ITU Headquarters in Geneva on 17 May.

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Thursday, June 06, 2013 12:00:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU members have approved a new set of algorithmic models to monitor the quality of streamed audiovisual media. The model algorithms set out in the new ITU-T P.1200 series provide objective models for non-intrusive monitoring of the quality of User Datagram Protocol (UDP)-based video services, addressing both lower and higher resolution applications such as mobile TV and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV).

A major challenge in the management of IP-based networks is the provision of adequate Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS) for new multimedia services and applications such as IPTV, 3D video, and Internet media including over-the-top (OTT) video.

ITU-T Study Group 12 (Performance, QoS and QoE) is the expert group responsible for the ITU-T P.1200 series which offers tools to assess video quality in a scalable manner; proposing quality estimation models which operate by analysing packet-header and bitstream information as available from respective packet-trace data.The ITU-T P.1200 models are ‘no-reference’ or ‘non-intrusive’ in that their primary quality prediction does not require prior knowledge of the audiovisual stream being transported, being based solely on information as it is available on the network or inside terminals.

Recommendation ITU-T P.1201 “Parametric non-intrusive assessment of audiovisual media streaming quality” provides an overview of algorithmic models for non-intrusive monitoring of the audio, video and audiovisual quality of IP-based video services based on packet-header information. ITU-T P.1201.1 and ITU-T P.1201.2 specify model algorithms for lower and higher resolution application areas, respectively.

Recommendation ITU-T P.1202 “Parametric non-intrusive bitstream assessment of video media streaming quality” complements ITU-T P.1201 with an overview of bitstream-based algorithmic models for non-intrusive monitoring of video quality based on packet-header and bitstream information. ITU-T P.1202.1 and ITU-T P.1202.2 specify model algorithms for lower and higher resolution application areas, respectively.

The ITU-T P.1201 models cover audio, video and audiovisual quality estimates while the ITU-T P.1202 models focus on video quality, but the key difference between the two Recommendations is that ITU-T P.1201 models are restricted to the use of packet-header information whereas ITU-T P.1202 models exploit further bitstream information such as coding-related information.

Consequently, ITU-T P.1202 models can be more accurate in their quality predictions but in turn require non-encrypted streams to enable access to payload information. In addition, ITU-T P.1202 models are more complex and thus demand more computational power.

The model algorithms specified by the ITU-T P.1200 series provide individual estimates of audio, video and audiovisual quality in terms of the 5-point absolute category rating (ACR) mean opinion score (MOS) scale (described in Recommendation ITU-T P.910). The models are also capable of producing diagnostic information on the causes of quality degradations, as different types of performance parameters are derived during model calculations.

The series will in the future be extended to include transmission control protocol (TCP) and OTT video (considering both adaptive and non-adaptive streaming), and another natural progression of this work will be towards the monitoring of the video and audiovisual quality of 3D video.

More information on the work of ITU-T Study Group 12 can be found here.

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Thursday, June 06, 2013 11:49:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 23, 2013

The European Patent Office explains why its relationship with standards makers is so crucial in a new post on the ITU blog.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 7:38:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The ITU-T L.1410 and L.1420 Recommendations to assess the environmental impacts of ICTs are among 10 international methodologies to have been pilot-tested in Europe’s bid to establish and converge around a common international framework to assess the energy and emission footprint of the ICT sector.

Recommendation ITU-T L.1410 “Methodology for environmental impacts of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) goods, networks and services” provides a standardized way to assess the direct environmental impact of ICT goods, networks and services, as well as their indirect impact on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of non-ICT industry sectors. It is based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology standardized in ISO 14040 and ISO 14044.

ITU-T L. 1420 “Methodology for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions impact assessment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in organizations” standardizes the requirements with which an organization should comply when assessing energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is based on ISO 14064-1.

In a study led by the European Commission, 27 leading ICT companies and associations engaged in a 10-month trial of measurement methodologies developed by entities including international standards development organizations (SDOs) such as ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), ISO, IEC, ETSI and the GHG Protocol.

The study was commissioned by the European Commission’s DG CONNECT as part of its ICT Footprint initiative which aims to test the workability and compatibility of ‘footprinting’ methodologies in the ICT sector, with the overarching goal of building consensus and engendering convergence around a “common methodological framework for the measurement of the energy consumption and carbon emissions arising from the production, transport and selling processes of ICT goods, networks and services.”

The results of the study are detailed in a report titled “ICT Footprint: Pilot testing on methodologies for energy consumption and caron footprint of the ICT-sector”.

The pilots recognized Recommendation ITU-T L.1420 as the only available international reporting methodology to assess ICT-related energy consumption and/or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in ICT organizations as well as ICT-related activities within non-ICT organizations.

As regards products, networks and services, similarities were found between Recommendation ITU-T L.1410 and ETSI TS 103 199 "Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of ICT equipment, networks and services: General methodology and common requirements with the goal to develop a common ITU-T/ETSI Methodology for ICT products, networks and services".

The report concludes by recommending actions through which policy makers, SDOs and industry can accelerate the drive towards a common international ICT-footprinting framework. The pilot-testing has proven that the work performed by ITU-T is resulting in robust deliverables and should be leveraged as a basis for future enhancements.

Acting on suggestions from the pilot-testing report, ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change) and the ETSI Technical Committee on Environmental Engineering (ETSI TC EE) are collaborating on the revision of their respective standards, Recommendation ITU-T L. 1410 and ETSI TS 103 199.

A first meeting between the two expert groups will discuss a roadmap for this collaboration. Kindly hosted by ETSI, the meeting will be held in Sophia Antipolis, France, 27-31 May 2013. Details can be found here.

Read more on ITU-T Study Group 5 here

Read more on ITU-T and climate change here

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013 7:29:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 16, 2013

An ITU workshop on software-defined networking (SDN) will gather a global selection of standardization experts to progress SDN standards-development with one aim to establish efficient coordination  of future work.

SDN is a promising route towards the introduction and realization of network virtualization, a major shift in networking technology which will give network operators the ability to establish and manage new virtualized resources and networks without deploying new hardware technologies. ICT market players see SDN and network virtualization as critical to countering the increases in network complexity, management and operational costs traditionally associated with the introduction of new services or technologies.

SDN proposes to decouple the control and data planes by way of a centralized, programmable control-plane and data-plane abstraction. This abstraction will usher in greater speed and flexibility in routing instructions and the security and energy management of network equipment such as routers and switches.

The upcoming workshop responds to Resolution 77 - Standardization work in ITU-T for software defined networking agreed by the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai, UAE, 20-29 November 2012. SDN was emphasized as a strategic priority for ITU-T by the meeting of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Group, 18 November 2012 (The 2012 CTO Meeting Communiqué can be found here). The Global Standards Symposium (GSS-12) held the day preceding WTSA-12, 19 November 2012, acted on the recommendations of the CTO Group by taking SDN as one of its points of focus and feeding the conclusions of its SDN discussion into WTSA-12.

The workshop will take place at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 4 June 2013, within the annual meeting of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG), 4-7 June 2013. It will be co-chaired by Wei Feng, Huawei, China, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 11 (Signalling requirements, protocols and test specifications); and Chae-Sub Lee, Kaist, Republic of Korea, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 13 (Future networks including cloud computing, mobile and NGN). Confirmed speakers include representatives of ITU-T Study Groups 11 and 13; the University of Tokyo, Japan; MIIT/CATR, China; Cisco Systems; the ETSI Industry Specification Group on Network Function Virtualization (ISG NFV); and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

More information on the workshop can be found here.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013 4:00:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cooperation between ITU and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has produced a new metadata standard to enable rights information interoperability in IPTV services. The standard provides a framework for communicating data such as that accompanying material under copyright, to ensure that multimedia content can be shared legally across different platforms.

Recommendation ITU-T H.751 “Metadata for rights information interoperability in IPTV services” is technically aligned with IEC 62698 “Multimedia home server systems – Rights information interoperability for IPTV”. The parallel standard is the product of collaboration  between experts from IEC Technical Committee 100 (Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment) and ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia coding, systems and applications).

“Metadata” refers to data describing aspects of other data, or information about information presented in the form of “structured, encoded data that describe characteristics of information-bearing entities to aid in the identification, discovery, assessment and management of the described entities” (Recommendation ITU-T Y.1901).

IPTV metadata is information on multimedia services and content which provides a descriptive and structural framework for managing IPTV services spanning television, audio, video, text, graphics and data. “Rights information metadata” in particular refers to information on the rights granted to end-users of multimedia content, stipulating pre-defined ‘utilization functions’  including permissions to view/hear, copy, modify, record, excerpt, sample, store or distribute content; restrictions on times or hours content can be played, viewed or heard; and obligations such as payment.

To date, a lack of interoperability in rights information metadata has meant that consumers are at risk of being locked into solutions offered by a single service provider. A user’s purchased rights to multimedia content are dependent on and bound to the rights held by the service provider. In addition, service providers employ different technologies and systems in the management of digital content and associated rights information.

ITU-T H.751 | IEC 62698 provides clear mechanisms or rules for flexible digital distribution that allows for simple exchanges of content, enabling service providers to implement common interpretation and integration of rights information. The standard targets interoperability to ensure that service providers and device manufacturers can easily exchange rights information across their current content management systems. It gives the high-level specification of the metadata for rights information interoperability (RII), defining the common semantics and core elements on RII. In other words, it finds the greatest common denominators in rights expressions (syntactic embodiments of rights) to encourage the mutual use of rights information.

The standard also specifies rights-related information – such as ‘content ID’, ‘permission issuer ID’ and ‘permission receiver ID’ – used to bridge between rights-related metadata. The rights information covered by ITU-T H.751 | IEC 62698 includes rights- and security-related metadata described in Recommendation ITU T H.750 High-level specification of metadata for IPTV services.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:28:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 15, 2013

ITU announced the winners of its ICT Innovation Application Challenge during the 2013 WSIS Forum on 15 May. The challenge is part of ITU’s efforts to tap the power and interoperability of ICTs in promoting sustainable prosperity and business in emerging economies. The winner of the $5000 prize for the best app from an individual was MMSSign from Prof Mohamed Jemni, University of Tunis. The corporate app category was awarded to Senmobile Ltd for the application Defarlou which is a mobile order management system for entrepreneurs. Prizes for the application challenge were sponsored by Nokia Siemens Networks.

Making mobile phones accessible is still a challenge particularly in developing countries. Videophones are the preferred method of communicating for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, but, they require significant bandwidth and computer processing power to compress and decompress video in real time. The MMSign application converts text messages to a video sequence in sign language. The animations are avatar-based animation obtained by automatic interpretation of text into sign language.

SenMobile Ltd is a technology startup that specializes in innovative mobile solutions targeting the general population. Défarlou is a simple and compact ordering management application designed for entrepreneurs in developing countries. It can record orders and due dates, search for a specific order, keep track of order status and client payments, and send an SMS directly to the client when the order is ready to be delivered or picked-up. Originally designed with business owners of emerging markets in mind and developed in Senegal, défarlou means “order” in Wolof. The app is developed in Java ME and works on Java ME feature phones and smartphones.

More information on the apps can be found here.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 3:06:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 13, 2013

ITU members have affirmed their commitment to the responsible consideration of health effects associated with the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that underpin wireless communications. ITU’s standards-making arm (ITU-T) has long been engaged with the subject of human exposure to ICT-emitted EMFs and an ITU workshop in Turin, Italy, 9 May 2013, has concluded with a Call to Action giving further impetus to this work.

Man-made sources of electromagnetic fields include those generated by ionizing radiation and the electricity provided by the power sockets in our homes. ICTs such as mobile phones and wireless routers emit higher-frequency electromagnetic radiation to transmit information through the air.

The ITU Workshop on human exposure to electromagnetic fields was organized in partnership with the Ministry for Economic Development of Italy , supported by Huawei and hosted by Telecom Italia at its innovation laboratories in Turin.

The Call to Action encourages ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change) to lead cooperation among standards development organizations (SDOs) in the interests of harmonized international EMF standards. In particular it calls on ITU-T to extend its work on human exposure to EMFs by developing and promoting EMF information and education resources accessible to all communities; establishing specialised EMF assessment and accreditation training programs for developing countries; and promoting open online compliance and reporting systems as well as the development of a standardized online system to demonstrate compliance with international EMF standards. Read the full text of the Call to Action here.

The workshop offered policy makers an overview of EMF and also sought to identify further actions through which to respond to WTSA Resolution 72 “Measurement concerns related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields” . First agreed by the 2008 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in Johannesburg (WTSA-08) and revised by 2012’s WTSA in Dubai (WTSA-12), Resolution 72 recognizes the integral role that wireless technologies are playing in bridging the digital divide and responds to developing countries’ concerns with the risks of human exposure to EMF and local communities’ growing resistance to the deployment of radio installations in their surrounds. Specifically, the Resolution stresses the value of ITU-T guides on the use of international EMF-focused standards, with particular emphasis on those relating to measurement methodologies.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: “The rational solution to citizens’ concerns regarding exposure to EMFs is to ensure that the actions of national regulators and network operators are accompanied to the greatest possible extent by transparency and communication with citizens. Compliance with international standards and associated reporting mechanisms assures citizens that regulators and network operators have complied with international best practices in deploying base stations, thereby safeguarding citizens’ health.”

ITU-T Study Group 5 studies health considerations associated with wireless communications under Question 7/5 "Human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) due to radiocommunication systems and mobile equipment" . The resulting ITU-T Recommendations give operators, manufacturers and government agencies the tools required to assess the EMF levels attributable to telecommunication and radiocommunication systems and to verify compliance with World Health Organization (WHO) recommended human-exposure guidelines set out by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the IEEE International Committee Electromagnetic Safety (ICES).

Question 7/5 has produced “EMF Estimator” software that calculates the cumulative radio frequency exposure levels in the vicinity of transmitting antennas. Part of Recommendation K.70 “Mitigation techniques to limit human exposure to EMF’s within vicinity of radiocommunication stations” , EMF Estimator contains a library of transmitting antennas’ radiation patterns for a wide range of radio communication and broadcast services. A typical application for EMF Estimator would be the calculation of EMF levels in a local community from a cellular base station or community broadcast service.

Another key reference for standards implementers is Recommendation ITU-T K.91 “Guidance for assessment, evaluation and monitoring of the human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF)” .ITU-T K.91 provides guidance on methods to assess and monitor human exposure to RF EMF in areas with surrounding radiocommunication installations; based on existing exposure and compliance standards in the frequency range of 9 kHz to 300 GHz. While existing standards are product or service-oriented, the K.91 guide is intended for the examination of areas accessible to people in the real environment of currently operated services with many different sources of RF EMF.

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Monday, May 13, 2013 6:59:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 09, 2013

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have a crucial role to play in tackling the developmental challenges facing the cities that are becoming our primary choice of habitation in the 21st century, concluded participants attending the 8th ITU Symposium on ICT and Environment Change, held in Turin, 6-7 May.

An estimated 65% of the world’s population now lives in cities. With an additional 1.3 million people moving from rural to urban areas every week, by 2050 more than six billion people will be living in urban agglomerations. In addition, the size of conurbations continues to grow, with the number of mega-cities of over 10 million inhabitants growing from just two in 1950 to 22 by 2015, 17 of which will be located in the developing world.

The symposium highlighted the importance of a globally coordinated approach and internationally standardized technologies in the creation of new ‘smart sustainable cities’. Greater integration of ICTs into urban planning will greatly facilitate opportunities for economic growth and social well-being, from better access to education and healthcare through to improved prospects of employment and living standards. The symposium concluded by issuing a call for stronger advocacy at the international level and for ICT policies to be integrated into the ongoing dialogues on urban development within the UN and other organizations.

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, ITU, “Rapid urbanization and high-density populations foment innovation and economic growth but also give rise to social, economic and environmental challenges, as cities’ infrastructures develop slower than the influx of new inhabitants. ICTs can make our cities safer, cleaner, and more convenient places to live.”

Full press release

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Thursday, May 09, 2013 2:32:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Microsoft, a long-standing member of ITU, has put forward a voluntary contribution of $40,000 to the Bridging the Standardization Gap (BSG) Fund maintained by ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).

The $40,000 is Microsoft’s most recent contribution to the BSG Fund, which owes its health to Canada, Cisco Systems, Korea Communications Commission, Microsoft and Nokia Siemens Networks.

David A. Heiner, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation: “The participation of developing countries in ITU-T standardization work is crucial in harnessing the full potential of international standards to enhance cooperation, trade and economic development. Microsoft is pleased to support this initiative that seeks to enhance the inclusiveness of ITU-T's international standardization programs.”

The BSG Fund provides invaluable financial assistance in carrying out the work programme outlined by Resolution 44 of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly. Resolution 44 was adopted in Johannesburg in 2008 (WTSA-08) and revised in Dubai in 2012 (WTSA-12) and aims to, inter alia:

  • Facilitate the participation of developing countries in the ICT standards development process
  • Allow developing countries to profit from access to new technology development
  • Ensure that the requirements of developing countries are taken into account in the development of international standards (ITU-T Recommendations)

Fulfilling the objectives of Resolution 44 demands considerable commitments of ITU-T resources and contributions to the BSG Fund make an appreciable impact in this regard.

The use of contributions for specific purposes is undertaken only with the agreement of the sponsor. Parties interested in contributing to the BSG Fund are encouraged to contact the BSG secretariat at bsg@itu.int

More information on ITU-T activities to Bridge the Standardization Gap can be found here

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:00:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mihoko Sakurai and Jiro Kokuryo (Keio University, Japan); Richard Watson (University of Georgia, USA); and Chon Abraham (College of William and Mary, USA) took home 1st prize of 5,000 USD at the recent ITU Kaleidoscope conference: Building Sustainable Communities.

The winning paper is titled “Sustaining life during the early stages of disaster relief with a Frugal Information System: Learning from the Great East Japan Earthquake”. It advocates for the use of cell phones and the mobile Internet as the standard platform in creating information systems which prioritize resilience over robustness. Greater resilience is said to be achieved by deploying resources as frugally as possible and thereby limiting the number of resources exposed to damage in the event of a disaster.

Cybersecurity, climate change, future networks, cloud computing, optical wireless networks, and the resilience of telecoms infrastructure to natural disasters were just some the topics addressed by academic papers presented at the 2013 Kaleidoscope conference: Building Sustainable Communities.

Hosted by Kyoto University, Japan, 22-24 April – and informed to a great extent by lessons learnt from the Great East Japan Earthquake – Kaleidoscope 2013 sought to identify emerging ICT developments able to effect the change needed for communities to meet challenges posed by the new millennium.

Kaleidoscope 2013 was organized by ITU and technically co-sponsored by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers of Japan (IEICE) and was held at the invitation of Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).

Additional support was provided by NICT, NTT, OKI, KDDI, NEC, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, Huawei Japan, Telkom South Africa, Blackberry, TTC, Waseda University (Japan), the Institute of Image Electronics Engineers of Japan (IIEEJ), the ITU Association of Japan, and the European Academy for Standardization (EURAS).

The event attracted over 180 delegates from 25 countries. 99 papers were submitted for review, 30 of which were presented at the conference by virtue of their being accepted for publication in the Kaleidoscope Proceedings and IEEE XPlore.

The other authors of award-winning papers sharing a prize fund of 10,000 USD were:

  • 2nd prize (3,000 USD): “Telebiometric Information Security and Safety Management.” Phillip H Griffin (Booz Allen Hamilton, USA).
  • 3rd prize (2,000 USD): “Innovation Management of Electrical Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Standards in the Sino-European Context” Martina Gerst, Xudong Gao (Tsinghua University, P.R. China).

The winning papers all share a close connection with on-going ITU-T standardization work. The first-prize submission will feed into the work of the ITU-T Focus Group on Disaster Relief Systems, Network Resilience and Recovery (FG-DR&NRR); the second-prize paper is of interest to ITU-T Study Group 17 (Security); and the third-prize winner ties in with the work of ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change).

In addition, Dr Akihiro Nakao from University of Tokyo, Japan delivered a keynote address entitled “Deeply Programmable Network; Emerging Technologies for Network Virtualization and Software Defined Network (SDN)”. SDN was recently made a strategic priority for ITU-T by the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai, UAE, 20-29 November 2012.

ITU Kaleidoscope conferences are peer reviewed academic events with a Steering Committee, and a 140-member Technical Programme Committee responsible for evaluating the submitted papers through a double-blind peer-review process.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 9:54:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 19, 2013

The ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction has presented its final deliverables in the form of five technical reports to form the basis for ITU-T’s accelerating standardization work in the driver distraction arena.

Established in February 2011, the Focus Group has been instrumental in raising awareness around ITU-T activity on driver distraction and the scale of this workload, as well as in providing clear direction to ITU-T’s driver-distraction work plan. The group has also been successful in opening lines of communication with key organizations and drawing new expertise into the ITU-T standardization process.

The Focus Group’s five technical reports describe user interface requirements for automotive applications; system capabilities for improving the safety of driver interaction with applications and services; and approaches being used to enable external applications to communicate with a vehicle. The reports are freely available here.

The conclusions put forward by the reports are being taken up by the two groups leading ITU-T’s standardization work on driver distraction, Study Group 12 (Performance, QoS and QoE) and Study Group 16 (Multimedia coding, systems and applications). New related work items calling for external coordination and collaboration may also be addressed by the Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards.

ITU’s engagement with driver distraction originated with Resolution 1318 - ITU's role in ICTs and improving Road Safety adopted in April 2010 by ITU’s governing body, ITU Council. The Resolution was made in response to the fact that, as stated in Resolution 1318, “driver distraction and road-user behavior, which includes among many examples ‘texting’, ‘text messaging’, interfacing with in-vehicle navigation or communication systems, are among the leading contributors to road traffic fatalities and injuries.”

An ITU-T Technology Watch report entitled "Decreasing Driver Distraction" was published in August 2010, playing a role in kick-starting the work of the Focus Group. The report is a succinct overview of the relationship between ICTs and driver distraction and also discusses the core issues at play when viewed from a standardization perspective.

Looking ahead, this year’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on 17 May is themed, “ICTs and improving road safety”. A highlight of the event will be ITU’s presenting the annual World Telecommunication and Information Society Award to eminent personalities in recognition of their leadership and dedication to the field.

In addition, an upcoming workshop hosted by ITU and UNECE at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 27 June 2013, will address “Intelligent transport systems in emerging markets – drivers for safe and sustainable growth”. This workshop includes a session dedicated to driver distraction which will host Scott Pennock (BlackBerry), former Chairman of the now terminated Focus Group, to present the outcomes outlined by the group’s technical reports and to discuss the likely course of corresponding ITU-T standardization work.

Scott Pennock’s recent article on the QNX Auto Blog provides the rationale for tackling driver distraction in ITU-T and also summarizes the use cases and user scenarios targeted by forthcoming ITU-T Recommendations.

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Friday, April 19, 2013 1:04:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 18, 2013

Participants in an ITU workshop held for the benefit of government and private-sector technology leaders in the Nile River Basin have agreed a Call to Action which charges ITU with mobilizing its global membership to enable ‘smart’ water management.

The ‘smart’ integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in water networks adds communication, monitoring, analysis and control capabilities, increasing efficiency and reliability in water supply, improving delivery of water to crucial sectors like agriculture and health, and reducing water consumption and waste.

The ITU workshop ‘ICT as an enabler for smart water management’, was held in Luxor, Egypt, from 14-15 April 2013, hosted by Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. The event was the first of its kind, and reflects the growing importance and acceleration of smart-water standardization work in ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “The importance of sufficient supplies of good quality water is recognized in the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of which is to halve the number of people without safe access to water by 2015. One of the many ways in which ICT will be central to the post-2015 development agenda is through supporting greater agility and efficiency in water management frameworks.”

Full press release

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Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:54:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 17, 2013

“Smart Sustainable Cities” is the theme of the 8th ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change to be held in Turin, Italy, 6-7 May 2013. The free of charge event is open to all and will bring together a global selection of specialists in the field – from top policy makers to thought leaders in business, engineering, standardization and research – to critique recent efforts in the development of smart cities and to determine the best path forward in the task of leveraging ICTs to enhance cities’ environmental sustainability.

The 2013 Symposium is organized by ITU in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and will be hosted by Telecom Italia at its innovation laboratories in Turin. The event builds on the success of previous Symposia held from 2008 to 2012 in Kyoto, London, Quito, Seoul, Cairo, Accra and Montreal.

The upcoming Turin Symposium will address challenges and opportunities associated with the transition to a greener, more resource-efficient global economy through mitigation and adaptation to climate change; tackling e-waste; disaster preparedness; methodologies to assess the environmental impacts of ICTs; and cost-effective ICTs to empower smart cities and societies. Items on the Symposium’s agenda include:

  • Energy efficiency, clean power and the smart grid as engines for urban sustainable growth
  • Assessing environmental impacts in cities 
  • Integrated ICT solutions for smart sustainable cities and empowered citizens
  • Tackling e-waste and solid waste issues in cities
  • ICTs to monitor the climateClimate change adaptation and emergency telecommunications in urban areas
  • Smart sustainable cities

The Symposium will be held in conjunction with the first meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities, 8 May 2013, and a Workshop on Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields, 9 May 2013.

Find more information on the Symposium including details of how to register here.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 3:54:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The 2013 World Standards Day poster competition will award a cash prize of 1,500 Swiss francs to the creator of the poster that best illustrates the theme: "International standards ensure positive change".

The winning poster will provide the visual identity to World Standards Day, 14 October 2013, an international day of observance recognized worldwide since 1970. In addition to the first prize of 1,500 Swiss francs, the poster competition’s three runners-up will each receive a cash prize of 500 Swiss francs.

Coordinated by IEC, ISO and ITU, World Standards Day celebrates the collaborative efforts of the thousands of public and private-sector experts that volunteer their time and expertise in the development of international technical standards.

International standards represent the consensus view of the world’s leading experts in industry sectors ranging from energy utilities and energy efficiency to transportation, management systems, climate change, healthcare, safety, and information and communication technology (ICT). Contributing their knowledge in service of the public interest, experts in these and many other subjects come together to create standards that share innovation with all the world’s countries and so provide business, government and society with a solid platform for positive change.

The deadline for submissions to the poster competition is 10 June 2013. Designers are welcome to submit more than one entry to the competition.

The competition’s Facebook page will provide interactive guidance to potential entrants throughout the course the competition. The winning poster will be decided by a public vote wherein all interested parties will vote for their favourite poster.

The competition’s Twitter account will announce key dates and point followers to relevant supporting information.

See the themes and winning posters of previous World Standards Days here and more on this year's competition here.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013 8:30:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The 2013 World Standards Cooperation (WSC) Academic Day  will be held in Sophia Antipolis, France, 14 June 2013. This year's theme is: Education in standardization for future managers – Needs and prospects.

The World Standards Cooperation (WSC) was established in 2001 by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in order to strengthen and advance the voluntary consensus-based international standards systems of IEC, ISO and ITU.

WSC Academic Day promotes dialogue between universities and the international standards community, raising awareness and fostering cooperation and joint initiatives. The event will trigger the launch of new initiatives including exchanges of material, new courses on standardization, contributions of industry experts to university courses, and new or strengthened partnerships between standards bodies and academia.

At the same venue and during the two days before the WSC event, the 8th conference of the International Cooperation on Education about Standardization (ICES) will take place. 12 April is the deadline for the submission of academic papers to be considered at the event.

The Call for Presentations welcomes theoretical or empirical papers as well as case studies on education about standardization, in particular those that address the theme of 2013’s conference: Industry needs standards. What does industry expect from standards education?

The 8th ICES conference is hosted by the European Telecommunication Standardization Institute (ETSI) and supported by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC).

Industry needs for standardization education is the core theme of 2013’s conference, addressing what more standards bodies and academia can do to aid industry’s engagement in the standardization process and thereby strengthen standards’ marketplace implementations.

For more information, visit the ICES and WSC Academic Day homepage here

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013 8:25:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 05, 2013

“It is with the deepest regret that I announce the death of my colleague and close friend, Dr. Cynthia Waddell, a lifelong advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and a world-renowned expert in disability rights law, public policy and electronic and information technology.

The improving accessibility of technologies, the built environment and the job market owes an incredible amount to Cynthia’s achievements over a lifetime dedicated to enhancing social inclusion for the roughly 650 million people across the world living with some form of disability.

Cynthia was held in the highest esteem by all those fortunate enough to have worked with her. She will be sorely missed by her colleagues, friends and the millions of people around the globe to have benefited from her tireless advocacy and activism.”*

*This is an extract from a blog piece in tribute to Cynthia Waddell. Entitled “Accessibility Loses a Great Champion”, the article is authored by Andrea Saks, Convener of ITU’s Joint Coordination Activity on Accessibility and Human Factors (JCA-AHF) and Coordinator of the Internet Governance Forum’s Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD).

Read the full blog piece here

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Friday, April 05, 2013 4:00:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Geneva, 3 April 2013 – Representatives of Central American governments, private companies, universities and non-governmental organizations have agreed on a 20-point Agenda aiming to promote advances in the handling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or ”e-waste”) in the region. Key will be the application and identification of business models that leverage recycling opportunities and create new employment.

The new Agenda was agreed by the 86 participants in the ITU/UNEP Workshop for Capacity Building on Environmentally Responsible Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), organized in San Salvador, March 19-21 with the support of ITU Sector Member Telefónica.

The Agenda emphasizes increased collaboration between all parties, as well as the development of online learning programmes and workshops aimed at policy-makers. It calls on ITU and UNEP/PACE to assist Central America and the Caribbean in the development of regulations, legislation and international standards to mitigate e-waste’s potentially damaging effects on the environment and the health of local populations.

Full press release

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013 1:52:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 02, 2013

ITU-T member EXFO took the opportunity at the recent meeting of Study Group 12 to demonstrate a new product based on Recommendation ITU-T Y.1564.

ITU-T Y.1564 defines a test methodology to assess and troubleshoot the proper configuration and performance of an Ethernet network to deliver Ethernet-based services. The standard has already gained momentum in the test and measurement industry.

With multiclass Ethernet services being deployed globally, products built according to the standard can aid the deployment of Ethernet services and assist the validation of service-level agreements.

Bruno Giguère, of EXFO was on hand to demonstrate a product from the company’s range of Ethernet field-testing instruments (FTB-200 chassis with an FTB-8130NGE test module). Giguère was the editor of the Recommendation and played a key role in its development. He says that his company’s particpation in the standards process is an important way of showing leadership and demonstrating that it is not waiting for standards but playing an active role in actually producing them.

“Fully adapted to today’s mobile backhaul, commercial and wholesale services, the new ITU-T Y.1564 standard is truly beneficial for our customers to optimize the quality of service and reduce operational costs”, said Étienne Gagnon, EXFO’s Vice-President, Wireline Division and Corporate Marketing.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013 8:58:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 28, 2013

An upcoming ITU workshop on ICT as an Enabler for Smart Water Management will be held in Luxor, Egypt on 14-15 April 2013.

Economic growth, seasonal climatic conditions and rising population are all affecting availability of water resources. Moreover, a number of effects linked to climate change, such as lengthy droughts and extreme weather events, are worsening the situation. Water shortages are at the core of many of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of which is to reduce by half the number of people without safe access to water by 2015. According to the UN World Water Development Report, by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of freshwater.

ICT provides a unique opportunity for water stakeholders to obtain information in near real-time about a number of physical and environmental variables such as temperature, soil moisture levels and rainfall through web enabled sensors and communication networks. Smart metering technologies can also provide individuals, businesses and water companies with information about their own water use, thus raising awareness about usage, locating leakages and having better control over water demand.

Organized by ITU at the kind invitation of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Egypt this first ITU workshop to address this serious topic will address a number of issues including: weather forecasting; technological solutions and standards; smart metering; climate smart agriculture; water governance, institutions and regulations; stakeholder engagement; and planning water resources and land use.

It will result in a Call For Action for countries in the Nile River Basin area to implement best practices for smart water management in agriculture, consumption in cities, river flow forecasting to prevent calamities such as flooding and identification of leakages in the water distribution network.

More.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013 3:43:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany, an ITU-T academic member, made a significant contribution to the current meeting of ITU-T Study Group 12, on a method of video quality of experience (QoE) monitoring which drills deep into network performance, identifying service degradation by precisely calculating video stalling and rebuffering times.

Progressive download video services, such as YouTube, are responsible for a major part of the data volume in the telecommunication networks. Streaming video quality depends on sustainable throughput during transmission. To ensure acceptable video quality, the customer's perceived quality (QoE) needs to be monitored.

Experts have been calling for algorithms that provide measurement results that can give insight to end user QoE, that can in turn be used for network planning and traffic engineering. The Chemnitz University contribution was timely as a separate contribution to the same meeting called for exactly such a method to be developed.

The contribution proposes a network-based parameter-extraction applicable to video QoE estimation that allows for transparent monitoring without the need to install tools at end-user devices or on the server.

Study Group 12 has considered the contribution as part of a new international standard (ITU-T Recommendation). Consequently the two authors, Thomas Knoll and Marcus Eckert, will have their contribution recognised internationally.

Knoll and Eckert chose to supplement their formal presentation to Study Group 12 with an implementation and online demonstration, which according to the study group Chairman, Kwame Baah-Acheamfuor, was a first that gave delegates an unprecedented opportunity to see exactly how the contribution could be applied.

Participation of academics in the work of ITU-T provides invaluable networking opportunities and the chance to gain an understanding of the requirements of the industry.

More details can be found in the contributions (ITU members only) here and here. Alternatively here or for contribution details and publications.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:41:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 21-22 March 2013, the TSB Director’s Ad Hoc Group on IPR (IPR AHG) has continued making headway in its bid to ensure protection of the integrity of the standards-development process by clarifying aspects of ITU’s Patent Policy and related Guidelines– the Union’s main tool to manage the challenges associated with the incorporation of patents in standards (ITU-T Recommendations).

The licensing of standards-essential patents (SEPs) on reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) terms is a cornerstone of the standards-development process. The incorporation of SEPs on a RAND basis incentivizes the inclusion of cutting-edge patented technology in technical standards, while also ensuring that the holder of a SEP cannot abuse the dominant market position it gains from widespread adoption of a voluntary technical standard.

The IPR AHG has been active for over fiften years, providing a forum for experts to exchange views on IPR matters and offer advice on the best approach to the patent-standard relationship.

In recent months, certain stakeholders as well as competition authorities have raised concerns regarding the increase in standards-related patent litigation as well as the possible use of SEPs to exclude competitors from a market. American and European regulators have in addition expressed concerns with the possible use of SEPs to pressure standards implementers into accepting higher royalties in bi-lateral licensing negotiations – also referred to as patent hold-ups – an act which undermines the aims of RAND to the disadvantage of standards implementers, hurting the consumers ultimately shouldering these higher costs.

Against this backdrop, ITU held a high-profile Patent Roundtable in October 2012 which assembled all the key private-sector and regulatory players to unravel the source of SEP-related litigation and to plot the course to an appropriate remedy.

Acting on the conclusions of this Roundtable, the IPR AHG is currently undertaking an accelerated series of meetings, targeting two specific questions:

the conditions under which companies that have made RAND commitments should or should not be allowed to seek injunctions; and the clarification of the meaning of the word "reasonable" in the RAND context.

The next meeting of the IPR AHG will take place at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 25-26 April 2013.

A video message from the TSB Director to the IPR AHG can be viewed here.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013 2:10:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 20, 2013

ITU members have agreed new standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on cloud computing, ‘smart’ ubiquitous networks and security requirements for the interconnection of emergency telecoms services.

The standards were agreed at a recent meeting of ITU-T Study Group 13 – Future Networks including cloud computing, mobile and next-generation networks. The meeting also agreed the publication of three new technical papers:

  • Migration scenarios from legacy networks to NGN in developing countries
  • How to increase QoS/QoE of IP-based Platform
  • Mobility Management in ITU-T: Its Current development and Next Steps Heading Towards Future Networks

The SG13 meeting finalized the approval of Recommendation ITU-T Y.2705, Minimum Security Requirements for Interconnection of Emergency Telecommunications Service (ETS), and reached first-stage approval (consent) of the first ITU standards on cloud computing:

  • Recommendation ITU-T Y.3501, Cloud computing framework and high-level requirements
  • Recommendation ITU-T Y.3510, Cloud Computing Infrastructure Requirements
  • Recommendation ITU-T Y.3520, Cloud computing framework for end to end resource management

Other noteworthy standards reaching first-stage approval include two new recommendations on smart ubiquitous networks, a central force in the evolution towards more human-centric ICTs:

  • Recommendation ITU-T Y.3041, Smart Ubiquitous Networks – Overview
  • Recommendation ITU-T Y.3042, Smart Ubiquitous Networks – Smart Traffic Control and Resource Management Functions

Following the adoption of a Resolution on Software Defined Networking (SDN) at last November’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai, much discussion was also dedicated to planning the course of ITU’s standardization work on this important work area. In addition, ITU-T Study Group 17 participants were invited to discuss the division of work between the two groups as it relates to standards for security in cloud computing.

More information on ITU-T Study Group 13 is available here

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013 9:54:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 14, 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, March 14, 2013 10:22:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ITU-T’s latest Technology Watch report covers Seoul’s emergence as a “smart city” applying information and communication technologies (ICTs) as basic infrastructure to improve service delivery, citizen happiness, and economic and environmental sustainability. Read or download the full report here.

The report will feed into the work of the recently established ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (news on the formation of the Focus Group here). With the new activities ITU aims to better facilitate collaboration among national regulators, mayor’s networks, citizens, standards bodies, equipment manufacturers, civil society and other smart-city stakeholders.

Authored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, with support from ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), “Seoul – a case study” offers an overview of the conceptual underpinnings of Seoul’s smart-technology agenda as well as descriptions of a number of the smart services available to citizens.

Seoul, the Republic of Korea’s capital city, is just one of many cities across the world to embrace ICTs as tools to boost economic and environmental efficiency, enhance government transparency and improve social welfare.

Rapid urbanization and high-density populations are powerful engines of innovation but also give rise to social, economic and environmental challenges as cities’ infrastructures develop comparatively slower than influxes of city inhabitants.

Cities today account for more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 60-80% of global energy consumption and it is estimated that, by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be urban. Smarter, cleaner, more efficient cities are thus imperative to sustainable growth strategies and will also be crucial to boosting cities’ competitiveness and attractiveness as players in our global economy.

All published ITU-T Technology Watch reports are available free of charge here

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013 9:40:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 08, 2013

Meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, ITU-T Study Group 11 – Protocols and test specifications – received 72 participants from 22 countries, representing a 53 per cent increase over the participation numbers recorded for its previous meeting in June 2012.

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

OpenGeoSMS is a standard maintained by OGC, originally developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). Study Group 11 continues to collaborate with OGC with a view to formalizing OpenGeoSMS as an international standard (ITU-T Recommendation). The standard uses Short Message Service (SMS) to exchange location-based information and is considered particularly important in providing relief to individuals affected by natural disasters.

Expanding and accelerating standardization work on software-defined networking (SDN) was one of the key directives issued by ITU’s membership at last November’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai.

In the interests of greater speed and flexibility in routing instructions, security and energy management of network equipment such as routers and switches, SDN proposes to decouple the control and data planes and allow for programmable interfaces to these planes; letting software do the job traditionally performed by the control plane.

ITU’s standardization work on SDN started in ITU-T Study Group 13 – Future networks including cloud computing, mobile and next-generation networks. SG 13 standardizes SDN’s functional requirements and architectures, and SG 11 thus works closely with SG 13 as it builds on this work by developing SDN’s signaling requirements and protocols.

SG 11’s recent meeting in Geneva received contributions calling for new SDN work items, including:

  • Scenarios and signaling requirements for software-defined BAN (SBAN)
  • Framework of signalling for SDN
  • Scenarios and signalling requirements of unified intelligent programmable interface for IPv6

The next meeting of SG 11 is scheduled to take place in Uganda, 6-15 November 2013, in collocation with the next meeting of SG 13 to strengthen the collaboration between these groups.

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

More information on ITU-T Study Group 13 is available here

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Friday, March 08, 2013 4:38:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 26, 2013

San Salvador, El Salvador will host a “Central American Workshop for Capacity Building on Environmentally Sound Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)”, 19-21 March 2013. The workshop will provide training on the application of global best practices in environmentally responsible e-waste management, covering e-waste’s collection, repair, refurbishment, recycling and disposal.
 
Electrical and electronic waste (known as ‘WEEE’ or ‘e-waste’) is the world’s fastest-growing source of waste. Eco-friendly disposal and recycling mechanisms will mitigate e-waste’s negative environmental and health effects, but will also create new employment opportunities while recycling critical raw materials and decreasing resource-dependency.  
 
The upcoming workshop is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Secretariat of the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions (SBSR), a body administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The event is organized in partnership with the Basel Convention Regional Center for Central America and Mexico (BCRC-CAM); the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD); the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of El Salvador (MARN); the Central American Regional Technical Commission on Telecommunications (COMTELCA); the Salvadoran General Superintendency for Electricity and Telecommunications (SIGET); and the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE) established under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
 
The workshop is the first joint training activity undertaken by ITU and SBSR, and participation is free of charge.
 
The event will outline e-waste management methods detailed by ITU’s international standards (ITU-T Recommendations) and ITU’s Toolkit on End of Life Management for ICT Equipment.
 
The workshop will also present PACE’s Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) Criteria Recommendations; its Guideline on Environmentally Sound Testing, Refurbishment and Repair of Used Computing Equipment; its Guideline on Environmentally Sound Material Recovery/Recycling of End-of-Life Computing Equipment; and its Guidance on Transboundary Movement (TBM) of Used and End-of-Life Computing Equipment.
 
Other sessions will discuss the role that standards and policies play in tackling e-waste by encouraging the application of global environmental best practices and by underscoring the implementation of national and regional e-waste management strategies.
 
The workshop will conclude with a session inviting equipment manufacturers, government representatives and leading e-waste recycling specialists to discuss the development of Central America’s sub-regional systems for e-waste’s repair, refurbishment, recycling and disposal.
 
The workshop will be conducted in English and Spanish.
 
More information on the workshop, including a provisional programme and an online registration form, can be found here
 
More information on ITU-T activities on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change can be found here

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:41:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 12, 2013

ITU-T has established a new Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities to assess the standardization requirements of cities aiming to boost their social, economic and environmental sustainability through the integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their infrastructures and operations.

ITU-T Study Group 5 – Environment and climate change – agreed the formation of the new Focus Group at its meeting in Geneva, 29 January to 7 February 2013.

The creation of the Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities answers a Call to Action on “Smart Sustainable Cities” proposed in September 2012 at ITU’s 2nd Green Standards Week in Paris. “Smart Sustainable Cities’’ is also the theme of ITU’s 3rd Green ICT Application Challenge.

Cities are powerful engines of economic growth, fuelled by intensive interpersonal communication and high concentrations of specialized skills. Urbanization’s advantages are however mirrored by significant sustainability challenges, with cities today accounting for over 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 60-80 per cent of global energy consumption.

Given that an estimated 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, sustainable urbanization has become a key policy point to administrations across the world. Here ICTs have a crucial role to play by increasing environmental efficiency across industry sectors and enabling such innovations as intelligent transport systems (ITS) and "smart" water, energy and waste management.

The Focus Group will act as an open platform for smart-city stakeholders – such as municipalities; academic and research institutes; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and ICT organizations, industry forums and consortia – to exchange knowledge in the interests of identifying the standardized frameworks needed to support the integration of ICT services in smart cities.

 

Focus Group leadership team:

Chairman 
   -    Silvia Guzman, Telefónica

Vice-Chairmen 
   -    Pablo Bilbao, Federation Argentina de Municipios

   -    Flavio Cucchietti, Telecom Italia

   -    Sekhar Kondepudi, National University of Singapore

   -    Nasser Saleh Al Marzouqi, UAE

   -    Franz Zichy, USA

   -    Ziqin Sang, Fiberhome Technologies Group


Specific tasks and deliverables of the Focus Group include:

   - Defining the role of ICTs in environmentally sustainable smart cities, and identifying the ICT systems necessary to the development of a Smart Sustainable City.

   - Collecting and documenting information on existing smart city initiatives and technical specifications, focusing in particular on the identification of standardization gaps.

   - Identifying or developing a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to gauge the success of smart-city ICT deployments.

   - Establishing relationships and liaison mechanisms with other bodies engaged in smart-city studies and development.

   - Identifying future smart-city standardization projects to be undertaken by its parent group, ITU-T Study Group 5.

   - Developing a roadmap for the ICT sector’s contribution to Smart Sustainable Cities, providing cohesion to the development and application of technologies and standards.

 

The meeting also agreed first-stage approval (consent) of the latest addition to ITU-T’s L.1400 series of standardized methodologies to assess the environmental impact of ICTs. The consent adds “ICT projects” to the list of ICT deployment scenarios covered by ITU-T’s environmental impact assessment methodologies. The new methodology (ITU-T L.1430) provides a framework to measure reductions in GHG emissions and energy consumption resulting from implementations of ICT projects including smart buildings, smart transport, and telepresence or videoconferencing services.

More information on ITU-T, Environment and Climate Change here

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 2:54:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

For the second year running, ITU-standardized IPTV technologies have been deployed in an international IPTV experiment held in conjunction with the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, 5-11 February 2013. The experiment ran over ITU’s IPTV IPv6 Global Testbed and was successful in its ambitious attempt to employ ten software-defined networks (SDNs) simultaneously.

ITU headquarters in Geneva received high-definition IPTV content from the head-end server in Japan via a native end-to-end IPv6 connection, participating alongside broadcasters, government agencies, network operators, manufacturers and research institutes from Japan, Singapore and the Philippines.

IPTV services were used to live-stream scenes from Sapporo and to provide supporting Video on Demand (VoD) segments, accompanied by integrated social media tools and a remotely-provided captioning service. A particular achievement was the use of RISE, a next-generation Internet based on OpenFlow, to deliver IPTV content to Singapore where IPv4 and IPv6 were combined virtually (more on ITU and IPv6 here).

Core ITU standards underpinning the experiment included Recommendation ITU-T H.721’s IPTV terminal for Video on Demand (VoD) and Linear TV, and ITU-T H.762’s Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment (LIME) for interactive IPTV services.

Building on the success of similar events in 2012, Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Hokkaido Television Broadcasting (HTB) and OKI continue to provide the infrastructure underlying what has become known as ITU’s IPTV IPv6 Global Testbed.

The experiment was organized by NICT and conducted over its IPv6 research network, Japan Gigabit Network-eXtreme (JGN-X). Other participating organizations included ASTEM, MediaEdge, NTT, NTT Communications, NTT Electronics and Sumitomo Electric Networks from Japan; the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) from Singapore; Ateneo de Manila University, Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) and the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST ICTO) from the Philippines; and Swisscom from Switzerland.

Such experiments – together with ITU IPTV Interoperability events – are important steps towards broadening the IPTV market through globally-interoperable services. Standardized IPTV will lead to a whole new market for innovation, and ITU standards will ensure this market remains open, competitive and accessible to all.

ITU-T Study Group 16 is producing the standards required to drive widespread adoption of IPTV. Global standards will lower the costs of these services for vendors and consumers, avoiding costly ‘format wars’ and enabling rollouts of the technology to a scale not achievable with proprietary solutions.

For more on ITU-T’s work on IPTV, please see ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 10:14:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 08, 2013

ITU headquarters in Geneva has hosted a showcase of ITU-standardized multimedia solutions targeting a better quality of life through innovations in high-definition content delivery, interactive entertainment, e-health services, and the accessibility of audiovisual media to persons with disabilities.

The demonstrations were given by prominent market players and research institutes for the benefit of delegates attending meetings of ITU-T Study 16 (Multimedia) and Study Group 9 (Broadband cable and TV); the expert groups responsible for IPTV and Smart Cable TV standardization, respectively.

IPTV demonstrations included ASTEM’s (Japan) remotely-provided subtitling and captioning solution for IPTV services; a mobile IPTV service from South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; and selected applications from ITU’s 2nd IPTV Application Challenge: "A better quality of life".

The 2nd IPTV Application Challenge booth showcased an IPTV e-health application using Continua Health Alliance-compliant e-health devices integrated with ITU-T IPTV services, developed by the Institute for Infocomm Research (Singapore) and the NTT Service Integration Lab (Japan). The booth also featured an accessibility-oriented application from Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) designed to teach its user how to communicate using sign language.

Core ITU standards underlying the IPTV showcase included Recommendation ITU-T H.721’s IPTV terminal for Video on Demand (VoD) and Linear TV, and ITU-T H.762’s Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment (LIME) for IPTV services. The IPTV equipment was provided by OKI and Sumitomo Electric Networks.

On the Smart Cable TV front, KDDI demonstrated an implementation of Recommendation ITU-T J.296’s integrated broadcast cable set-top boxes. The demo highlighted advanced smart cable features to undergo future standardization – a project currently being discussed by ITU-T’s Focus Group on Smart Cable TV (FG SmartCable) which has approved an intensive action plan aimed at finalizing its deliverables by October 2013. The group has scheduled three physical meetings for 2013: in April, Cambridge (UK); June, Atlanta (USA); and September, Tokyo (Japan).

In addition, an ETRI demo gave experts a view of the enhanced quality of images compressed using a hardware implementation of the newly consented ITU-T H.265 | ISO/IEC 23008-2 high efficiency video coding (HEVC). HEVC is the successor to the Primetime Emmy award winning ITU-T H.264 video compression codec. The new standard ITU-T H.265 will need only half the bit rate of its predecessor and this doubling of compression efficiency will be essential to the provision of high-quality video in mobile applications and ultra-high definition TV (UHDTV).

ITU-T Study Group 16 and Study Group 9 are producing the standards required to drive widespread global adoption of innovative multimedia solutions such as IPTV and Smart Cable TV. Global standards will lower the costs of these services for vendors and consumers, avoiding costly ‘format wars’ and enabling rollouts of the technology to a scale not achievable with proprietary solutions.

For more on ITU-T’s work on Smart Cable TV, please see ITU-T’s Focus Group on Smart Cable TV.

For more on ITU-T’s work on IPTV, please see ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative.

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Friday, February 08, 2013 4:13:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 05, 2013

An upcoming workshop on the Fully Networked Car, the eighth event in the series, will host an international selection of experts to discuss the latest developments in the intelligent transport space with a view to building consensus on the best path towards global standards for a safer, cleaner and far more connected driving experience. Responding to rapid progression in the sophistication of intelligent transport systems (ITS), the workshop’s discussions will conclude by setting the standardization agenda and industry priorities for the coming year.
 
Organized by IEC, ISO and ITU under the banner of the World Standards Cooperation, the “Fully Networked Car 2013 – The Future of Vehicles” is being held 6 March 2013 at Palexpo in Geneva. It will take place within the Geneva International Motor Show. With 6 March being the final press day of the Motor Show, workshop participants will gain exclusive insight into car manufacturers’ latest products as well as their visions of what consumers can expect in the future.
 
Fully Networked Car 2013 will be moderated for the second consecutive year by Richard Parry-Jones, a former executive at Ford Motor Company, and it will analyze developments in the automotive sphere with a particular focus on the ICT standardization needed to support recent advances in automotive ICTs. The workshop will assemble industry-leading minds from both the automotive and ICT communities; moving towards better collaboration by these industry sectors and thus more efficient development and adoption of the global standards needed to drive large-scale rollouts of ITS.
 
So-called “cooperative ITS” – in which vehicles communicate with each other and with the infrastructure around them – has the potential to enable more efficient traffic management, less congestion, fewer accidents and lower volumes of greenhouse gas emissions. Standards for cooperative ITS will thus be a central topic at March’s workshop, as will energy efficiency and standardization work concerning electric vehicles and smart grids.
 
Other key topics will be standardization to minimize driver distraction and enhance vehicle safety as the use and inclusion of ICTs in automobiles increases, as will comparisons of the tremendously different ITS challenges and opportunities encountered by developing and developed countries.
 
Registration to attend the event closes 22 February 2013.
 
More information is available here…
 
To drive the creation of an internationally accepted, globally harmonized set of ITS communication standards, ITU and other organizations with ITS activities have established an open collaboration group that next meets 21-22 March 2013 in Beijing, China.


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Tuesday, February 05, 2013 10:18:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 01, 2013

The submission deadline for the 3rd Green ICT Application Challenge has been extended from 30 April to 30 June 2013. The Challenge has also welcomed new supporters in the United Nations University (UNU), Solving the e-Waste Problem (StEP) and BlueVia.
 
Organized by ITU in partnership with Telefónica, the Challenge will award a prize of 5,000 USD to the creator of the app that best promotes Smart Sustainable Cities and environmental sustainability in urban areas.
 
Developers can submit concepts individually or as part of a team. Submissions must be original and should deal with one of the following subjects: transport and mobility; management of energy, water, health services or waste; adaptation to climate change; town planning, including smart buildings; and smart sustainable societies, community participation and environmental education.
 
The winner will be selected according to criteria including impact, scalability, the degree of innovation, feasibility, the quality of the implementation plan and the business model. In addition, priority will be given to applications that can help developing countries to solve environmental problems in an urban context.
 
The Challenge launched 20 December 2012. Full Press Release here

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Friday, February 01, 2013 12:06:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 31, 2013


Attendees of the fourth meeting of ITU’s Focus Group on Disaster Relief, Network Resilience and Recovery (FG-DR&NRR) will participate in a one-day technical tour of Sendai city, the area hardest hit by 2011’s Great East Japan Earthquake, visiting affected telecommunication installations and R&D sites specialized in the study of network resilience and recovery.

Organized by ITU-T and hosted by Japan’s Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications (MIC) and National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), the fourth meeting of FG-DR&NRR will take place in Tokyo, Japan, 5-8 February 2013.

The meeting is preceded by an ITU workshop on “e-Health services in low-resource settings: Requirements and ITU role”, 4-5 February 2013, at the same venue. FG-DR&NRR participants are encouraged to attend this workshop, and particularly the afternoon sessions on the 5th where e-health applications related to disaster relief will be on show.

ITU-T Focus Groups are tasked with initiating work on new standardization challenges as input to the ITU-T Study Groups. Focus groups have a great deal of flexibility to decide their structure and working methods and participation is free of charge and open to non-members of ITU.

FG-DR&NRR was established in January 2012 at a meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). The group coordinates ITU-T’s current work in the disaster relief field, and is expanding this work into two important new areas: (1) disaster relief for individuals (to notify relatives, friends or employers of a victim’s situation) and (2) disaster relief guidance (to show victims the routes to evacuation shelters, home, etc.).

Read more on FG-DR&NRR and its upcoming meeting here

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:30:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 28, 2013

Successor to award-winning standard to unleash new innovation
Geneva, 25 January 2013 – A new video coding standard building on the PrimeTime Emmy award winning ITU-T H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC was agreed by ITU members today.

The new codec will considerably ease the burden on global networks where, by some estimates, video accounts for more than half of bandwidth use. The new standard, known informally as ‘High Efficiency Video Coding’ (HEVC) will need only half the bit rate of its predecessor, ITU-T H.264 / MPEG-4 Part 10 ‘Advanced Video Coding’ (AVC), which currently accounts for over 80 per cent of all web video. HEVC will unleash a new phase of innovation in video production spanning the whole ICT spectrum, from mobile devices through to Ultra-High Definition TV.

ITU-T’s Study Group 16 has agreed first-stage approval (consent) of the much-anticipated standard known formally as Recommendation ITU-T H.265 or ISO/IEC 23008-2. It is the product of collaboration between the ITU Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

Full Press release

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Monday, January 28, 2013 11:27:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The registration deadline for ITU’s ICT Innovation Application Challenge has been extended from 22 January 2013 to 12 February 2013.

Launched in November 2012, the Challenge aims to promote sustainable, equitable economic growth in emerging economies by unearthing apps targeting the social and economic inclusion of traditionally underserved communities.

Winning apps will be those that improve the quality of life experienced by citizens of developing countries, especially for communities at the financial or geographic margins of society. Suggested areas of focus include mobile health, mobile money, e-learning, e-government and intelligent transport systems.

The best app submitted by an individual or small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) will be awarded USD 5,000, courtesy of Nokia Siemens Networks. Winners will receive their awards at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum in Geneva, 13-17 May 2013.

Register here as a Challenge entrant, by 12 February 2013.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:07:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 21, 2012

An ITU workshop "e-Health services in low-resource settings: Requirements and ITU role" will take place in Tokyo, Japan, 4-5 February 2013, at the kind invitation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan.

The workshop is a follow-up to the Joint ITU-WHO workshop on e-health Standards and Interoperability held in Geneva, April 2012. It aims at facilitating information sharing between e-health experts and to increase the understanding between developed and developing countries of what are the common threads, the different priorities and the challenges for the implementation of e-health services in low-resource settings.

The overarching goal is to identify a comprehensive roadmap for ITU activities towards implementation of e-health services in low-resource settings that includes the necessary standardization and interoperability studies. In addition, the results of this workshop will feed into the work of the relevant ITU-D and ITU-T Study Groups as well as the ITU-T Focus Group on Machine to Machine (M2M) Service Layer.

The workshop is open to interested participants and experts from the Asia-Pacific region, ITU Member States, Sector Members, ITU-D and ITU-T Study Group Associates, including representatives from regional and international organizations.

More information can be found here.

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Friday, December 21, 2012 11:31:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The 50 Resolutions and one Opinion approved by the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA12) are now online together with the modified ITU-T A-Series Recommendations that guide the work of ITU-T.
WTSA-12 which took place from 20 to 29 November 2012 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, defined the next study period for ITU-T.

Please note that the Editorial Committee will meet 9-10 January 2013 in Geneva for its final meeting, so there may still be editorial changes to the texts. WTSA-12 also appointed the leadership of the ten ITU-T study groups, the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG), regional groups and the Standardization Committee for Vocabulary and the Review Committee (see http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/wtsa12/Pages/wtsa12-results-chairmen.aspx).

The Plenary reports are available here.

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Friday, December 21, 2012 4:07:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2012
Call for applications to focus on Smarter Cities

Geneva, 20 December, 2012 – ITU together with Telefónica will today launch the 3rd Green ICT Application Challenge. A prize of 5,000 US dollars will be awarded to the application that best helps to promote Smart Sustainable Cities and environmental sustainability in urban areas.

The impact of urban areas on natural resources necessitates a path of sustainable growth and development for the expansion of cities. It is expected that 70 per cent of the world population will be urban by 2050, and that most of this growth will occur in less developed countries. Cities currently emit 71 per cent of total greenhouse gases and consume between 60 and 80 per cent of the world’s energy. Innovative use of ICTs can drive solutions to make cities more efficient and sustainable.

Full press release

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Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:25:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, December 01, 2012

Adopting six new Resolutions, ITU’s membership has called on ITU-T to expand its work on e-health, software-defined networking (SDN) and e-waste. In addition, members have called for the establishment of a Review Committee to ensure that ITU-T’s structure continues to meet the needs of the continually evolving and convergent ICT landscape, particularly as collaboration with vertical markets increases. This will help to enable such innovations as e-health, intelligent transport systems, smart grid, mobile money and e-learning.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA 12

Full release

 

Saturday, December 01, 2012 3:12:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 29, 2012

WTSA-12 has adopted a Resolution inviting ITU Member States to refrain from taking any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede another Member State from accessing public Internet sites and using resources, within the spirit of Article 1 of the Constitution and the WSIS principles.

Noting the global and open nature of the Internet as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms and that discrimination regarding access to the Internet could greatly affect developing countries; Resolution 69, “Non-discriminatory access and use of Internet resources,” invites affected ITU Member States to report to ITU on any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede another Member State from accessing public Internet sites and using resources, within the spirit of Article 1 of the Constitution and the WSIS principles.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
full release

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Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:24:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Plenary at WTSA-12 today appointed the leadership of all ten ITU-T study groups and the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG).

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
full release

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Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:22:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 28, 2012

These representatives of Korea Communications Commission used the buzz of WTSA-12 to introduce delegates to Busan, host city of ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014.

Busan is located on the south-eastern tip of the Korean Peninsula. The country’s second largest city is known for its seafood, beautiful beaches, hot springs and scenic mountains.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:16:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A weekend full of concentrated work in ad-hoc and drafting groups has resulted in the adoption of new Resolutions, the latest targeting Software-defined Networking (see earlier article on an e-waste Resolution).

Pending WTSA-12 Plenary approval, the new Resolution on Software-defined Networking (SDN) instructs ITU-T Study Group 13 (Future Networks including mobile and NGN) to expand and accelerate its work in the SDN domain.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
full release

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:15:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Committee 4 has agreed a new Resolution on e-waste, charging ITU to strengthen its activities in this arena and to assist ITU Member States in instituting policy frameworks that limit e-waste’s negative environmental effects.

The Resolution arrives against a backdrop of a rapidly progressing ICT industry, increasing consumption of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and a marked increase in e-waste, which, as a result of global mismanagement, has led to negative environmental and health effects, particularly in developing countries.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
full release

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012 1:04:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 26, 2012

ITU-T Study Group 15 Chairman, Yoichi Maeda, today presented a compromise proposal developed by several delegations which cleared the way for approval of Recommendation ITU-T G.9980. The standard defines requirements for service providers’ remote management of networked devices in customers’ homes.

The compromise was achieved after including a statement in the scope of the Recommendation which reminds implementers and users to comply with all applicable national and regional laws, regulations and policies.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Monday, November 26, 2012 11:34:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, November 24, 2012

An upcoming workshop entitled “Bridging the Standardization Gap: Sustainable Rural Communications” is set to discuss information and communication technologies (ICTs) as enabling elements of socio-economic development in emerging markets. The event will focus on sustainable business models to extend telecommunications and broadband access to people living in rural or remote areas.
 
Taking place in Bangalore, India, 17-18 December 2012, the event is hosted by the Global ICT Standardization Forum for India (GISFI) together with ITU. It is supported by Huawei India, and will be followed by the Eleventh GISFI Standardization Series meetings, 19-20 December 2012.
 
Participants will discuss the difficult task of increasing access to ICTs in remote areas by providing sustainable incentives for network operators to extend high-cost infrastructures to currently low-revenue markets. How ICT standards might encourage such infrastructure investment will be a key topic of discussion, as will ICT innovations and emerging technologies in this arena.
 
Also of key relevance will be discussions around the need to aid developing countries in the establishment of national standardization secretariats that can help to define a country’s standardization requirements and channel participation in regional and international standardization work.
 
“Bridging the Standardization Gap” is one of the core objectives of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T). Expanding the standardization capacities of developing countries will lead to international standards that truly reflect the needs of all the world’s countries. It will enable standards-savvy policy makers and private-sector executives to implement standards as best-practice tools in rolling-out broadband infrastructure and driving homegrown ICT innovation.
 
More information on the workshop here...

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Saturday, November 24, 2012 4:04:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 23, 2012

e-health, the use of ICTs in healthcare, has been a strong feature of this Assembly. The extensive discussion in GSS and a dedicated side event complement the Committee 4 agreement on a new Resolution on e-health.

Pending final WTSA-12 Plenary approval, Information and communication technology applications and standards for improved access to e-health services instructs the Director of TSB, Malcolm Johnson, to collaborate with Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, to prioritize and coordinate work on e-health in the years to come.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
full release

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Friday, November 23, 2012 8:59:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Recent events have clearly demonstrated the need for telecommunications networks to be resilient to natural and human-induced disasters, as they are critical to rescue efforts and restoring normality in the wake of disasters.

The third and last side event – 23 November, 18h00, Room E – will review aspects of network resilience and telecoms infrastructure recovery following disasters and how these requirements can be reflected in ICT standardization. In addition, the panel will showcase ICTs supporting disaster relief for individuals (e.g., to enable victims to notify next of kin) and disaster relief guidance (e.g., to guide those affected to evacuation shelters or hospitals).

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Friday, November 23, 2012 8:44:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 22, 2012

A cash prize of USD 5,000 is offered to the winner of a new ITU Application Challenge seeking to uncover apps extending the reach of mobile health, mobile money, e-learning, e-government and intelligent transport systems.

The ICT Innovation Application Challenge was launched tonight at the ICT Innovations side event. The challenge aims to promote sustainable, equitable economic growth in emerging economies by unearthing apps targeting the social and economic inclusion of traditionally underserved communities.

More at http://www.itu.int/go/challenges/ictinnovation.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Thursday, November 22, 2012 4:09:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The second of the three WTSA side events will take place at 18h00 on Thursday 22 November in Room E, here at the Dubai World Trade Center.
 
Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, will open the event and four invited speakers will share their experience on ICT Innovations in emerging economies.
 
Ajay Ranjan Mishra is the Chairman of ITU-T Focus Group bridging the gap: from innovation to standards and will moderate the side event. He will also give a talk about the objectives of the Focus Group, and  on the progress made so far.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Thursday, November 22, 2012 11:59:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
WTSA-12's opening session under the Chairmanship of Mohammed Gheyath (Executive Director, Policies & Programs/Information & E-Government Sector, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, UAE) saw the approval of committees' structure and leadership.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Thursday, November 22, 2012 9:28:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At an event dedicated to academia at WTSA-12, academic members of ITU-T have expressed their belief that ITU-T membership represents a valuable opportunity for academics to bring their research to life through standardization, exchange ideas with other experts,  and raise the profiles of their institutions.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Thursday, November 22, 2012 9:25:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Behind the scenes, The Assembly met with Heidi Thomas. Heidi works for Caption First, a captioning service provider.

A realtime text stream from WTSA-12 is available at http://www.streamtext.net/player?event=CFI-WTSA.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 3:08:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Despite the remarkable potential of e-health as an agent for improvement in quality, safety, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of healthcare, adoption has been slow. While more and more countries adopt e-health solutions, lack of interoperability is a barrier to adoption and scalability.

The first of three WTSA side events will take place at 18h00 this evening in Room B, here at the Dubai World Trade Center.

Four invited speakers will share their experience in the e-health domain and address challenges faced in the adoption of ICT-enabled healthcare services and applications.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:55:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Participants at WTSA-12 have approved key standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on a technology for multiprotocol label switching – transport profile (MPLS-TP) required by telecoms operators to increase network efficiency while also reducing capex and opex costs.
 
Recommendation ITU-T G.8113.1, “Operations, Administration and Maintenance mechanism for MPLS-TP in Packet Transport Network (PTN),” is an extension to the IETF’s MPLS protocol developed in cooperation with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). MPLS can carry packets of different types, allowing telecom operators to offer private connections as well as IP services. Many network operators expect MPLS-TP to work under the same principles as longstanding ITU transport network technologies like SDH and OTN. MPLS-TP provides network operators with a reliable packet-based technology, the operation of which aligns with current organizational processes and large-scale work procedures. Its deployment may reduce the need for layer 3 routing in an operator’s network.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:53:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Participants at WTSA-12 have approved key standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on a technology for multiprotocol label switching – transport profile (MPLS-TP) required by telecoms operators to increase network efficiency while also reducing capex and opex costs.
 
Recommendation ITU-T G.8113.1, “Operations, Administration and Maintenance mechanism for MPLS-TP in Packet Transport Network (PTN),” is an extension to the IETF’s MPLS protocol developed in cooperation with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). MPLS can carry packets of different types, allowing telecom operators to offer private connections as well as IP services. Many network operators expect MPLS-TP to work under the same principles as longstanding ITU transport network technologies like SDH and OTN. MPLS-TP provides network operators with a reliable packet-based technology, the operation of which aligns with current organizational processes and large-scale work procedures. Its deployment may reduce the need for layer 3 routing in an operator’s network.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:53:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Speaking to delegates at WTSA-12, Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, has presented a summary of ITU-T’s major achievements over 2009-2012, taking stock of work over ITU-T’s last study period as WTSA-12 participants prepare to agree priorities for the next.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
on wtsa12.wordpress.com

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:51:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The 2012 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly was officially inaugurated yesterday morning.
 
Representing the host of the Assembly, H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), United Arab Emirates, welcomed participants to Dubai for the first-ever WTSA in the Middle East. The decision to host the Assembly, WCIT and, earlier this year, ITU Telecom World, reflects the strong belief of the UAE Government in the importance of information and communication technologies.
 
In his opening remarks ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré praised the host country as a success story in harnessing ICT as driving force of economic growth, social development and modernization. Standardization and interoperability are at the core of WTSA and ITU and permit hundreds of million citizens around the world to connect. Dr Touré expressed confidence that the decisions and resolutions formulated at this WTSA will be directed by the needs of the global community and steered by ITU’s mission to Connect the World.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
on wtsa12.wordpress.com

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:50:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
WTSA-12 is showcasing live video streams deploying ITU-standardized IPTV technologies and running over ITU’s IPTV Global IPv6 Testbed. The transcontinental test is demonstrating the maturity of both IPv6 technology and ITU-T’s suite of IPTV standards; particularly Recommendations ITU-T H.721’s IPTV set-top boxes, ITU-T H.761‘s Ginga/NCL and ITU-T H.762‘s Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment (LIME) for IPTV services. Applications being showcased include ‘e-health’ using Continua Health Alliance compliant devices to demonstrate how new services can be integrated to provide users with better services and service providers with new revenue streams.
 
The test runs 20-21 November at WTSA-12 in Dubai, receiving live video from ITU’s headquarters in Geneva and from Hokkaido Television Broadcasting (HTB) in Hokkaido, Japan.
 
Other ITU-T IPTV standards also formed part of the infrastructure: H.770 IPTV Service discovery, H.721 IPTV terminal for VoD and Linear TV, H.701 IPTV Error correction, H.750 IPTV Metadata, and the Primetime Emmy Award winning H.264 Video compression codec. The experiments also used Openflow, PCE/VNTM and sa46t.
 
For more on ITU’s IPTV standardization work, please see ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative here.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
on wtsa12.wordpress.com

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:47:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Video in all six official languages of the Union and realtime captioning in English are available at http://www.itu.int/ibs/ITU-T/wtsa12/.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
on wtsa12.wordpress.com

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:44:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Yesterday’s Global Standards Symposium (GSS) resulted in the adoption of a set of key conclusions (available here) providing guidance and food for thought for ITU-T’s decision-making World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, set to start today.
 
Three expert panels focused on innovation in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and its impact on standardization; the opportunities and enabling effects of ICT in other economic sectors, such as transportation and healthcare – and the challenges that come with it; and the status of collaboration between national, regional and international standards organizations, forums and consortiums.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12
full release

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:41:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Some 20 high-level industry executives exchanged their views with the senior management of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau in advance of WTSA.
 
Topics under discussion included: the landscape of standards development organizations, software-defined networks (SDN), machine-to-machine communications (M2M), smartphone security, conformity and interoperability. A communiqué will be released shortly.
 
More pictures of the event are available on the ITU-T Flickr stream.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:37:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 20, 2012

WTSA-12 assembles government and industry leaders

Dubai, 20 November 2012 — Meeting at yesterday’s Global Standards Symposium (GSS-12, 19 November) government ministers, private-sector executives and the standardization community urged ITU to create standardization mechanisms to serve the needs of ‘vertical markets’ that are becoming increasingly dependent on information and communication technologies (ICTs). In addition, participants encouraged ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) to provide leadership in driving standards education and ICT innovation in developing countries.

Full press release

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:23:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, November 18, 2012

ITU is piloting mobile optimised web pages for the upcoming World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) and World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) in Dubai, UAE.

The apps will feature meeting agendas, the composition of committees and their contributions, and mechanisms to establish email contact with other event participants. Also crucially allowing for the retrieval of the latest meeting documents in real time, the apps are designed to engage delegates in a way that enables more informed participation and consequently more productive events.

The apps are available here:

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Sunday, November 18, 2012 11:46:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 09, 2012

In the run-up to WTSA-12, The Assembly discusses the importance of WTSA with Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH3HFlDCh0M&feature=share&list=PL61A87AA21E1C14E4

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Friday, November 09, 2012 11:45:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

WTSA-12 will host three side events to feature e-health standards,innovation and network resilience. In addition a “showcasing event” will exhibit state-of-the-art products meeting ITU-T standards.

“e-Health”, 21 November, will build on ITU-T’s new collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) in advancing the rollout of international e-health and telemedicine standards to overcome current interoperability concerns.

“ICT Innovations”, 22 November, will draw on the findings of ITU-T’s Focus Group on “Bridging the Gap: from Innovation to Standards” (FG Innovation), discussing the reciprocal relationship between innovation and standardization, and means for international standards to capture the best of innovations rooted in developing countries.

“Disaster Relief Systems, Network Resilience and Recovery”, 23 November, will offer expert opinion on measures to bolster the resilience of critical communications infrastructures in the face of natural disasters. The event will contribute its findings to ITU-T’s Focus Group on “Disaster Relief Systems, Network Resilience and Recovery” (FG-DR&NRR), a group established primarily to distill lessons learnt from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

More information on these events and an online registration form here

In addition the opening day of WTSA-12 will feature an interactive workshop introducing activities undertaken by the ITU-T, its membership and secretariat to engage with universities and research institutes. A registration form for this event can be found here

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Friday, November 09, 2012 10:29:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Assembly will report live on the events and outcomes of WTSA-12 in Dubai, UAE, 20-29 November. Updated daily with highlights from Dubai, the Assembly will keep WTSA-12’s participants and those not able to attend in tune with the progress of the conference.

The blog is up and running, introducing WTSA-12 in an interview with Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB). Also featured are key facts and figures, the Global StandardsSymposium (GSS-12), and four side events to discuss academia’s participation in ITU-T; e-Health; ICT Innovations, and Disaster Relief Systems, Network Resilience and Recovery.

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Friday, November 09, 2012 10:25:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 08, 2012
The opening day of WTSA-12 will feature an interactive workshop introducing activities undertaken by the ITU-T, its membership and secretariat to engage with universities and research institutes.
 
The academic event will highlight the importance of standards and participation of academics in ICT standardization. Related initiatives including academia membership, ITU’s academic conference Kaleidoscope and  standards education campaigns will be presented and discussed. Some ITU academic members will showcase how they engage in the ITU standards making process.
 
ITU members and non-members, in particular representatives of universities and R&D labs are invited to participate in the event.
 
The event will take place from 12:00 to 14:00 on 20 November 2012. A registration form is available here.

This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12

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Thursday, November 08, 2012 9:47:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Global Standards Symposium (GSS) will take place one day prior to WTSA-12, on 19 November 2012 – in the same venue. The GSS is a one-day event where ministers, regulators, heads of other international, regional and major national standards bodies, and industry from the different regions of the world will discuss global ICT standards challenges.
 
GSS 2012, the second of its kind, will  focus on the intersection of the ICT sector with other sectors such as healthcare, utilities, and transport. A detailed draft programme is now posted on the GSS website.
 
The GSS Chairman, H.E. Mr Nasser Bin Abood Al Falasi (Chief Government Relations & Communications Officer, Etisalat Group) will present the symposium’s conclusions to the first Plenary meeting of the WTSA.
 
The event is open to the interested public – register here.

"This post originally from The Assembly a blog covering WTSA12"

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Thursday, November 08, 2012 9:36:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 22, 2012

A two-day tutorial in Gyeonggi, Korea, 30-31 October, will arm ICT experts in the region with the skills necessary to perform the roles of Rapporteur or Editor in the standardization work of ITU-T.
 
The event is sponsored by the Korean government and ITU-T and will be hosted by the Korea ITU Committee. The tutorial will be delivered by Gary Fishman, former Chair of the ITU-T Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). Watch a video interview with him here.

Rapporteurs are responsible for coordinating standardization work undertaken within a particular “Question” of an ITU-T Study Group. A “Question” refers to a specific area of study and a Rapporteur will oversee work on multiple standards within that subject area, while at the same time liaising with other Questions and Study Groups to ensure that suites of complementary standards are produced in a coordinated manner. An Editor coordinates the construction of particular standard (ITU-T Recommendation); incorporating and consolidating contributions to a standard, and liaising with other Editors, Questions and Study Groups as appropriate.
 
The upcoming tutorial is part of ITU-T’s ongoing efforts to increase the efficiency and harmonization of the work performed by ITU-T Study Groups. The tutorialwill address, inter alia:

  • Leadership within working groups;
  • Role, authority and responsibility of Rapporteurs and Editors;
  • ITU basic texts as they relate to Rapporteurs and Editors;
  • Approval procedures for Recommendations, annexes, handbooks, etc.

Visit the event’s webpage here

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Monday, October 22, 2012 1:59:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ITU members have agreed first-stage approval (consent) of a new Universal Power Adapter standard for devices such as modems, set-top boxes, home networking equipment and fixed telephones.

ITU-T Study Group 5 – Environment and climate change – consented the new draft Recommendation ITU-T L.1001 standardizing the requirements of “External universal power adapter (UPA) solutions for ICT equipment for stationary use”.

The standard will complement ITU’s very successful Universal Charging Solution for mobile devices (Recommendation ITU-T L.1000); enacting further energy savings, reductions in e-waste and heightened consumer convenience by expanding the concept’s application to the vast majority of ICT devices.

As with ITU-T L.1000, ITU-T L.1001 will also work to the benefit of countries not equipped with reliable AC grids as it will be compatible with standalone AC produced by renewable energy sources including the 5V and 12V power interfaces of small photovoltaic systems (solar energy).

Recommendation ITU-T L.1001 will reduce the number of power adapters manufactured by widening the range of compatible devices, facilitating their reuse and recycling, and increasing their build-quality and resilience to overvoltages in such a way that UPAs will enjoy a lifespan of no less than 10 years. By serving more ICT devices, over an increased lifespan, the standardized adapters will drive substantial reductions in energy consumption, limit device duplication, reduce strain on raw materials and enable enormous reductions in e-waste.

A study carried out by the University of Genoa, commissioned by ITU and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)  estimates that the widespread adoption of an energy-efficient UPA solution will eliminate an estimated 300,000 tonnes of e-waste annually.  In addition, the study shows it could reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of external power supplies by between 25 and 50 per cent. The report outlining the findings of the study is available here

The new standard includes basic configurations and general requirements of UPAs and their interfaces: cable; connectors; voltage; current; ripple; noise; energy efficiency; safety; electromagnetic compatibility; resistibility and eco-environmental specifications. The UPAs are designed for ICT devices in people’s homes, and provide a low-voltage input to a device by converting the AC mains voltage to a low-voltage DC output.
Future capabilities of the standard could include compatibility with a DC interface from renewable energy systems or power sockets found in transportation systems (boats, trains, planes, buses, etc.).

For more on the work of ITU-T Study Group 5, please see the group’s webpage here

More on ITU-T’s activities on ICTs, the environment and climate change here

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012 8:11:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In a bid to find a globally agreed solution to concerns that patent hold-ups may reduce innovation and competition, ITU hosted a roundtable on 11 October.

Standards essential patents (SEPs) relate to technology essential for the implementation of a standard in which it is
incorporated, and require the patent holder to make a commitment to license the patent under RAND (Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) terms.

The high-level roundtable was attended by representatives of Apple, Nokia, Ericsson, Microsoft, Samsung, Research in
Motion, Motorola Mobility and several other key industry players, as well as regulators, patent offices, government
representatives, and experts in intellectual property law. 

Many of the participants attended a meeting of the TSB Director’s Ad Hoc Group during the following two days. This meeting
agreed a roadmap to address the main concerns in particular: the conditions under which companies that have made RAND
commitments should be allowed to seek injunctions; and clarification of the meaning of the word "reasonable" in RAND.

The next meetings of the group will be 24-25 January 2013.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012 7:52:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 11, 2012

A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report entitled “Standards for Technology-enabled Learning” investigates the technologies and services quickly emerging as viable tools to breed more dynamic, more affordable and far more inclusive approaches to education and training.

With the potential to overcome challenges posed by distance or levels of economic and infrastructural development, information and communication technologies (ICTs) role in education policy in both developed and developing nations is sure to strengthen.

The report distinguishes between purpose-built learning devices and all-purpose ICTs, and notes a trend in the shift from specialized educational devices towards developing educational apps running on existing all-purpose devices; contributing to the increasing scalability and sustainability of “ICT-in-education” initiatives. The report also explores the content of educational resources as well as the strategies through which they are distributed; highlighting, for example, the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement gaining support from a number of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, and some of the many “classroom-management” tools today available to teachers and their students.

By identifying emerging innovations in the tech-learning field, the report aims to highlight the characteristics common to the most successful “ICT-in-education” models. Noting no shortage of research, development or examples of successful implementations, the report concludes that standards will have a key role to play in addressing the current disparity between the development and implementation of tech-learning products and services. In this regard, the report provides an overview of the standardization work already underway in this field, and additionally recommends the coupling of technical standards with supplementary best-practice guidelines on the rollout and maintenance of tech-rich education systems.

The report and additional resources are available at http://itu.int/en/ITU-T/techwatch/Pages/learning-standards.aspx.

Experts from industry or academic and research institutes are invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts for future reports in the ITU-T Technology Watch series. Interested experts are encouraged to contact the TechWatch team at tsbtechwatch@itu.int.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:25:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 08, 2012

In conjunction with ITS World Congress 2012, ITU is hosting meetings to chart the way forward for the global communications standards needed to enable widespread, interoperable Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). The events will discuss ITSs’ requisite standardization frameworks, means of facilitating essential cross-sector collaboration, and the creation of standards able to reduce driver distraction attributed to information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Hosted by the Telecommunications Research Centre (FTW) at Tech Gate Vienna, the sixth meeting of the ITU Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards will take place 28 October, followed by the seventh meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction, 29-30 October. The meetings are open to any individual from an ITU Member State, free of charge, with the opportunity to ‘participate remotely’ from one’s home country.

The Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards will continue to pursue its aim of enacting an internationally-accepted, globally-harmonized set of ITS communication standards to enable the rapid deployment of interoperable ITS products and services. In addition, the ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction will progress its work deliverables addressing the safe use of installed, connected and nomadic ICT devices, networks and applications accessed by drivers of all types of road vehicles.

Directions to the venue are available here. Register for on-site or remote participation in the meeting of ITU’s Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards here, and for the meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction here.

For more information, please contact Martin Adolph.

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Monday, October 08, 2012 1:58:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Standards Education Workshop, hosted by Aalborg University, 8-9 October, will outline ICT standardization courses currently on offer, discussing their approach to the interdisciplinary nature of ICT standardization and determining means of increasing the weight assigned to standardization in universities’ ICT curricula. Ideas generated by the workshop will feed into the work of the TSB Director’s Ad Hoc Group on Standards Education, a group currently under formation, intending to support academia in its efforts to produce standards-minded graduates.
 
The event is jointly organized by ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T), the Global ICT Standardization Forum for India (GISFI), Dansk Standard (DS) and Aalborg University’s Center for TeleInFrastruktur (CTIF).
 
Items on the agenda include:

- Technical presentations by academic institutions on their experiences with standards education
- The merits of Problem-Based Learning
- “Brainstorming” regarding how best to structure academic courses on ICT standardization
 
The event builds on the success of a previous ITU Webinar on Standards Education, 30 April 2012, and is part of ITU-T’s ongoing efforts to better understand and serve the needs of ITU-T’s academic membership.
 
Specifically, in discussing the aims and methodologies of different universities’ standards courses, October’s workshop will aid in the development of an ITU repository of standards courses offered across the globe – providing a resource to individuals interested in the study of ICT standards, and to universities deciding on the content of courses as they develop them.
 
The event will host panelists and participants from a broad cross-section of the standards-development community, including academic institutions, research centres and laboratories; national and regional administrations; national and international standards development organizations (SDOs); industry associations; private companies; and entrepreneurs interested in international standards’ ability to grant innovations access to global markets.
 
Remote Participation will be provided, and details on how to participate from one’s home country are available on the workshop’s webpage. The event’s page also provides all details relevant to participation in Aalborg, such as the workshop’s programme and practical information (hotels, visas, etc.).
 
Visit the workshop’s webpage here...

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Thursday, October 04, 2012 2:12:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The programme of the ITU event examining the patent wars dogging the ICT industry has been announced with all key players registered to attend.

Representatives from Apple, Nokia, Ericsson, Microsoft, Samsung, Research in Motion, Motorola Mobility and several other key industry players will join regulators, government representatives and experts in intellectual property law to discuss how to avoid harm to the industry from litigation stemming from the use of standards essential patents.

The full day event will kick-off with a welcome address from ITU Secretary General, Hamadoun I. Touré, followed by a keynote speech from a high-level expert and then perspectives from different competition authorities.

The second part of the day will ask key stakeholders to present views unique totheir different perspectives in a “360 view” format, meaning that speakers are allowed 360 seconds to present their ideas. The sectors represented are standards development organizations (SDOs); industry players; patent offices; and academic institutions.

After lunch, participants will engage in a World Café environment allowing all participants an opportunity to exchange ideas in an interactive format. Results from this session will be fed into the final roundtable discussions moderated by a key expert in the field, Robert Barr, Berkeley University.

The two morning sessions of the ITU Patent Roundtable will be broadcast online to accredited journalists. In order to create an atmosphere conducive to fruitful negotiations, the two afternoon sessions of the Roundtable will not be webcast, recorded or accessible to the press. The Roundtable’s attendees will be permitted to report the results of discussions through their various channels, providing they adhere to the Chatham House Rule (see below).

Conclusions and closing remarks will be given by Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU.

Journalists wishing to learn the results of the discussions and negotiations are welcome to attend the ITU press conference, either in person or remotely, at the close of the event. For details of press participation please contact toby.johnson@itu.int.

Participants in the ITU Patent Roundtable, as well as non-participants, are invited and encouraged to submit written contributions to ITU concerning the issue of SEP litigation and RAND licensing commitments. Contributions should be submitted to the ITU no later than October 5, 2012 at tsbworkshops@itu.int. These contributions will be communicated to the participants and made available to the public on the ITU’s website, but will not be presented during the meeting.

Chatham house rule:

When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.


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Wednesday, October 03, 2012 7:59:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 28, 2012

ITU-T Study Group 15 – Transport and Access – has modified its standards on narrowband powerline communications (NB-PLC) following requests from administrations and utilities to accelerate deployments of Smart Grid. The group also advanced its “G.fast” project which promises to enable fibre-optic data speeds over “last-mile” copper connections from fibre termination points to customers’ homes.

Meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 10-21 September, SG 15 hosted 370 delegates from 38 countries and received 439 contributions to its work on access network transport, optical technology and optical transport systems.

The meeting agreed the repackaging of Recommendations ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956, on NB-PLC, into four Recommendations, a move designed to increase the clarity of this important family of standards and thereby stimulate industry adoption. G.9955 and G.9956, detailed in an ITU press release here, will enable cost-effective smart grid applications such as distribution automation, diagnostic and fault location, smart metering, demand response, energy management, smart appliances, grid-to-home communications and advanced recharging systems for electric vehicles. Standardizing next-generation NB-PLC transceivers, the Recommendations are optimized for the various topologies and characteristics of power grids around the world, and will provide a 'smart' link between electricity and communications networks through their support of the use of power lines as a communications medium.

“G.fast for FTTdp (Fibre-to-the-Distribution Point)” is the working title of a project seeking to combine the high-bit rates of FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home) and the customer self-installation ease of ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line). The G.fast project will offer a broadband access solution taking fibre to a distribution point very near a customer’s home, leaving a maximum of 250 metres of copper for the “last-mile” connection to a transceiver in a customer’s home. Many of the copper loop lengths are expected to be short enough to support aggregate bitrates exceeding 500 Mb/s on a single pair; enabling the provision of next-generation IPTV services as well as super-fast broadband access for small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). SG 15’s September meeting addressed 37 contributions to the G.fast project which is on course to meeting its target of consent by July 2013 and approval as an ITU-T Recommendation by March 2014.

For more on the work of ITU-T Study Group 15, please see the group’s webpage here…

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Friday, September 28, 2012 2:21:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paris Declaration urges ITU to take lead in global green ICT strategies

Geneva, 24 September 2012 – Industry leaders outlined their commitment to a green agenda with a Declaration issued at the end of ITU’s Green Standards Week which was organized together with TechAmerica Europe and hosted by Microsoft in Paris. Agreed by over 150 participants from the private and public sectors, the document includes carbon commitments from leading ICT companies including:  Alcatel-Lucent; AT&T; Cisco; Dell; Fujitsu; Hewlett Packard; Huawei; Infosys; Intel; KPN; Microsoft; Nokia Siemens Networks; Orange, Telecom Italia and Telefónica.

Full press release

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012 2:03:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 20, 2012

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

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

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

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

The case of Ghana represents a successful model to be replicated in other developing countries to build resilience against climate change using ICTs.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:17:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In support of the “International Year for Sustainable Energy for All”, ITU together with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and the University of Genoa has issued a new report, “Boosting energy efficiency through Smart Grids”. This report, which was officially launched at the second ITU Green Standards Week held in Paris, France  on 17-21 September, details how information and communication technologies (ICT) help mitigate climate change by making energy management more efficient.

ICTs represent the pillars for the development of a “smarter” electric grid, which can help meet the challenge of delivering electricity more efficiently and reliably in our societies and extending the reach of electrical services to worldwide regions that are still excluded.

“This report gives a brief understanding about the possible path toward “green” ICT, which is the implementation of power-aware and conscious devices for communication and information management”, say Franco Davoli, Matteo Repetto, University of Genoa, Italy; Carlo Tornelli, Gianluigi Proserpio, RSE, Milan, Italy and Flavio Cucchietti, Telecom Italia, authors of the report.

Smart grids also represent an opportunity for developing countries in the deployment of new electricity infrastructure by enabling more efficient operation and lower costs, allowing them to manage peak demand and to prevent electricity theft.

ITU–T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change) is encouraged to take the lead and work in cooperation with the major standardization bodies in the ICT and electrical fields to provide standardized directives on design and power-saving requirements for next-generation ICT devices and installations.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:13:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU together with the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ association (ETNO) has launched a new report giving Guidance on Green ICT Procurement.

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

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

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

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

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

A structured mapping and step-by-step application of standardized procurementprocesses analysis can enable ICT organizations to simplify their procedures, meet the goals of the organization and assess the environmental impact through the inclusion of energy, environment and carbon criteria in their purchasing activities.

This report shows ICT companies a way to incorporate green thinking considerations in every step of their procurement process.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:09:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

Based on this study, areas that eco-rating schemes should consider as best practice are identified. To drive further improvements, ITU-T Study Group 5 is encouraged to take the lead on integrating the best elements of each scheme into a single scheme to simplify the process for consumers, mobile operators and manufacturers.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:05:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU together with the United Nations University (UNU) has launched a report containing results of a Survey on Conflict Minerals Due Diligence Initiatives.

The report Greening ICT Supply Chains – Survey on Conflict Minerals Due Diligence Initiatives was launched during the forum on Greening ICT Supply Chain, which took place on 18 September 2012 in Paris, France as part of the second ITU GreenStandards Week.
 
International concern has been raised about the so-called Conflict Minerals issue,referring to minerals (namely tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold) mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses.

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

While the conflict and human rights aspect of ICT supply chains originating from the African Great Lakes Region garners much of the current international attention, the environmental aspect has been overlooked.

This survey details existing initiatives (national and international legislation, as well as industry-, government- and multi-stakeholder led activities) aimed at providing the ICT sector with guidance to conduct due diligence on their supply chains to ensure that their sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold does not contribute to conflict and human rights violations and does not harm the environment.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:01:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

External power supply standards to enable truckloads of efficiency gains Geneva

18 September 2012 - A new ITU-Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) report reveals that standards for the manufacture of external power supplies (EPS) could enhance their reliability and extend their lifecycle while decreasing their average weight by up to 30 per cent. This could eliminate 300,000 tonnes of e-waste annually, the report estimates. Putting this in context, this amount of waste, equivalent to sixty per cent of current annual EPS e-waste, would form a 300km truck-jam, every year.

Full press release

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:47:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 19, 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, September 19, 2012 7:55:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In order to help overcome a short-term backlog of editorial work, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) is inviting applications to work remotely as a Technical Editing Assistant on a temporary consultancy basis.

Applicants should ideally have experience in editing ITU texts through previous involvement with ITU-T Study Groups. The work would involve editing the publications of ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) particularly ITU-T Recommendations; verifying technical consistency and validity, and taking measures to improve the quality in line with ITU-T guidelines and in consultation with relevant experts when appropriate. Remuneration is offered at 4000 CHF a month on the basis of a minimum 400 pages a month depending on the complexity of the text.
 
Applicants should have at least eight years of experience in technical or editorial work, including at least two years editing technical texts in English.
 
For more information or to apply, please contact tsbadmin@itu.int.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:11:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 17, 2012

Unified action by ITU members to reduce "bill shock" for consumers

Geneva, 14 September 2012 – ITU members from the public and private sectors have agreed on measures to reduce ‘bill-shock’ whereby consumers are faced with unexpected and excessive charges for mobile roaming. They have approved a number of measures to empower consumers and encourage operators to lower tariffs. These measures (Recommendation ITU-T D.98) will represent the first truly international agreement taking steps towards lowering roaming costs.

Full press release

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Monday, September 17, 2012 8:43:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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

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

For further information please refer to Circular 1025

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012 2:07:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 07, 2012

ITU is inviting applications for the post of Study Group Advisor, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

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

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

Expertise on service definition, numbering, naming, addressing requirements and resource assignment including criteria and procedures for reservation and assignment would be an advantage. In addition knowledge of tariff and accounting matters (including costing methodologies) for international telecommunication services and related telecommunication economic, accounting and policy issues would be an advantage.

Standards from the ITU are at the heart of modern information and communications technologies (ICTs). For more information see: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/info.

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

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

The closing date for applications is 5 November 2012.

A detailed vacancy notice and application form, including remuneration, can be downloaded here. Applications using the form must be sent to recruitment@itu.int or by post to ITU Human Resources Administration Division, Place des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland. Applications must reach ITU by the closing date.

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Friday, September 07, 2012 11:58:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 06, 2012

The high-level segment of ITU’s second Green Standards Week will take place on 19 September and will feature a host of ICT key players and ministers.

Among those speaking are Jean-Philippe Courtois, President, Microsoft International; H.E. Mr. Tryphon Kin-Kiey Mulumba, Ministre des Postes, Télécommunications et Nouvelles Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication, République Démocratique du Congo and H.E. Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications, Ghana. The full list can be found here.

The High-Level Segment (HLS) will provide ministers and senior representatives from the ICT industry with an opportunity to exchange views on the role of global standards in spreading access to green ICT, as well the development of new standards that reflect the interdependence of industry sectors.

Green Standards Week (GSW) will take place from 17 to 21 September in Paris France. GSW is a cluster of workshops, hosted by Microsoft and supported by Huawei, Orange, Fujitsu and Telefonica, which will focus on raising awareness of the importance of using ICT standards to build a green economy and combat climate change. Remote participation will be made possible with video, streamed audio and the ability to send questions via a moderator (instructions will be provided to those who opt for remote participation on the online registration form).

GSW will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. It is open to participation by the press, and journalists wishing to attend should email Toby Johnson at toby.johnson@itu.int.


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Thursday, September 06, 2012 1:33:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The submission deadline for Kaleidoscope academic papers has been extended to 24 September. Kaleidoscope 2013 will be held at Kyoto University, Japan, 22-24 April, and a prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers, which will also be considered for publication in a special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine.
 
Kaleidoscope events are peer-reviewed academic conferences with the aim of increasing dialogue between academics and experts working on the standardization of ICTs. Kaleidoscope 2013, the 5th event in the Kaleidoscope series, will discuss ICT’s role as an essential tool in “Building Sustainable Communities” by identifying emerging ICT developments able to effect the socio-economic change needed for communities to meet the challenges posed by the new millennium.
 
In addition to an exhibition of local universities’ curricula, the presence of high-level keynote speakers, and the presentation of invited papers, Kaleidoscope 2013 will host the third Jules Verne’s Corner, a space giving air to the ideas of futurists and science fiction writers.
 
Following Kaleidoscope 2013, a one-day Workshop on ITU and Academia, 25 April 2013, will provide information on ITU’s Academia membership category and will present and discuss the standards-focused activities of ITU’s academic members.
 
See sponsorship opportunities, the list of confirmed K-2013 partners, or contact the ITU-T Kaleidoscope secretariat at kaleidoscope@itu.int.
 
For additional information, see the event’s webpage at: http://itu-kaleidoscope.org/2013.
 

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012 2:18:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 27, 2012

ITU regrets to announce the death of Professor John Larmouth (1941-2012), a great contributor to the work of ITU-T and a lifelong proponent of the virtues of international standardization.

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

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

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

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

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

John is survived by wife, Carol, and twins, Sarah-Jayne and James.

John will be sorely missed by all those who have had the pleasure of working with him. Those who wish to offer their condolences to John’s family are encouraged to do so in this Condolence Book.


Monday, August 27, 2012 9:48:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Innovation-stifling use of intellectual property to be tackled

Geneva, 6 July 2012 – In light of recent patent disputes that have caused shipments of goods to be impounded at docks and the worldwide increase in standard essential patent (SEP) litigation, ITU will host a high-level roundtable discussion between standards organizations, key industry players and government officials at ITU headquarters in Geneva, on 10 October 2012.

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

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

Read full press release

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 3:26:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Paris meeting to accelerate work on ‘green ICT’ policies and standards
Geneva, 01 August 2012 – ITU’s second annual ‘Green Standards Week’ (GSW), to be held in Paris from 17-21 September, will stimulate the creation of international ‘green ICT’ standards with a view to further expanding the capabilities of information and communication technologies to boost environmental efficiency across all industry sectors.

Organized by ITU and TechAmerica Europe and hosted by Microsoft, it will gather policy makers, regulators, private sector entities, research institutes and standards development organizations (SDOs) to discuss the standardization of ICT from an environmental perspective. A High-Level Segment featuring key industry and government figures will discuss the role of global standards in spreading access to green ICT, as well the development of new standards that reflect the interdependence of industry sectors.

Read full press release

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 3:23:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 13, 2012

ITU Council has endorsed “ICTs and improving road safety” as the theme for 2013’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day acknowledging that information and communication technology (ICT) standards have the potential to significantly reduce driver distraction and road accidents.
 
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) aims to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. It takes place on 17 May every year, which is the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.

Given the critical need to filter the provision of information in such a way that it does not distract drivers’, ITU-T’s Focus Group on Driver Distraction (FG Driver Distraction) has been bringing together experts from government agencies; standards development organisations; academic and research institutes; and the automotive, telecommunications and consumer electronics sectors since the beginning of 2011.
 
Open to participation by all interested parties, including non-members of ITU, the group is essentially undertaking the groundwork required to launch ITU-T standardization activity in the field of driver distraction.
 
Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau: “Intelligent transport systems will enable vehicles to communicate to optimize the flow of traffic, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, increase safety, and significantly improve the driving experience. With the advent of the Internet of Things there is the potential of a ‘fully-networked car’ that can save millions of lives.”
 
ITU standards will fight driver distraction in two complementary ways:
 
Standards will define a communications interface to the vehicle allowing drivers to interact with external devices and applications through the vehicle’s user interface. In this scenario, all driver interaction with ICTs is channelled through a centralized point of control able to manage the degree of distraction experienced by the driver.
 
ITU's international standards will also aid application developers, network providers, device manufacturers and Driver Vehicle Interface (DVI) designers in building systems that minimize the distraction and cognitive workload demanded by in-vehicle ICTs. Such standards will provide guidance on ergonomic design principles and requirements for safe interaction with applications, and will define the functional requirements of systems managing distraction and cognitive workload.
 
For more information on FG Driver Distraction, please consult the group’s webpage here...

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Monday, August 13, 2012 8:36:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A recent ITU workshop in Lao PDR has offered a number of actionable suggestions to extend ITU’s efforts to bridge the standardization gap. Notably participants called on ITU to assist governments of developing Asian countries in establishing national and regional “standardization secretariats” to oversee the development of countries’ standardization capabilities and to ensure all regions an equitable representation in international standardization processes.

Held in Vientiane, 30-31 July, the workshop was ITU’s first event in Lao PDR and attracted over seventy participants, including representatives of Lao’s key trade partners such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. The event was organized in association with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Lao PDR and the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of the Republic of Korea, with the generous support of the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).

ITU was urged to assist countries in their establishment of standardization secretariats, to aid in the development of policy and regulatory frameworks conducive to the rollout of broadband and Next-generation Networks (NGN), and to offer guidance in the spectrum planning required to support mobile broadband and the shift from analogue to digital television.

Environmental protection and sustainable development also featured prominently in the workshop’s discussions and, to address these concerns, the region’s countries were encouraged to form an Asia Pacific ‘regional group’ within ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change).

Specifically, the regional group will highlight e-waste as a major concern to the naturally-rich region, and will play a role in the development of guidelines to developing nations on the implementation of ITU-T’s ‘green ICT’ standards.

The regional group will also respond to the region’s rapidly growing use of mobile telephony,  requesting ITU guidance on the regulatory aspects of human exposure to the radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RFEMF) produced by mobile-telephony installations. This concern is one common to a number of developing countries, and is addressed by the new Recommendation ITU-T K.91 - Guidance for assessment, evaluation and monitoring of the human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields.

More information on ITU’s Bridging the Standardization Gap programme here.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2012 1:56:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Recent ITU meetings addressed the challenges facing African countries in the measurement of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience (QoE) parameters for voice, 3G and Internet mobile networks – nearing completion of guidelines for a QoS regulatory framework for ICT services. The meetings also addressed environmental concerns associated with ICT development, such as the growing e-waste challenge, the measurement of human exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (RF EMF), and the need to develop a sustainable means of extending telecoms-network coverage to the rural areas of developing countries.

The four ITU events were held in Cotonou, Benin, 16-20 July, hosted by Benin’s Autorité Transitoire de Régulation des Postes et Télécommunications (ATRPT):

Workshop on practical measurement of QoS/QoE parameters for regulatory compliance; and Meeting of Africa Regional Group within ITU-T Study Group 12 (Performance, QoS and QoE)

The workshop was attended by over 80 participants from 21 African countries, gathering representatives of ministries, regulators, operators and vendors to discuss QoS/QoE aspects of Africa’s expanding mobile networks.

The Africa regional group within ITU-T Study Group 12 (SG 12) advanced its draft guidelines for a QoS regulatory framework for ICT services, which are intended to supplement existing ITU-T recommendations on QoS. Nearing this task’s completion, the group indicated that it will now direct its attention to ‘QoE web browsing’ under Question 13/12, and the ‘Roadmap for Interconnection of Packet-based Networks’ under Question 12/12.

Workshop on Tackling Climate Change and SAR Measurement; and Meeting of Africa Regional Group within ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change)

The workshop was attended by over 70 participants from 21 African countries, discussing the application of ITU-T’s ‘green ICT’ standards and the measurement of the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of RF EMF produced by mobile-telephony base stations and devices.

The Africa regional group within ITU-T Study Group 5 (SG 5) highlighted energy efficiency, e-waste reduction and issues related to climate change as its priorities for 2013. The meeting also reviewed its advanced-stage work on a number of guidelines under preparation:

  • Information guide on human exposure to RF EMF   
  • Methodology for the measurement of GSM Base Station compliance with RF EMF exposure limits
  • Technical requirements and management methodology of a fund to facilitate a sustainable e-waste management system in developing countries
  • A sustainable solution to extend the coverage of telecommunications networks to rural areas in developing countries

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Tuesday, August 07, 2012 1:48:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A new group has been established to investigate academia’s approach to ICT standardization, with a view to increasing the weight assigned to the subject in academic curricula. It will also aim to identify ITU-T action to aid its academic membership in this endeavour. Comments are welcome on the Draft Terms of Reference for the TSB Director's Ad Hoc Group on Standards Education, available here. Proposed revisions should be sent to tsbtsag@itu.int by Wednesday 15 August.

The Ad Hoc Group will include representatives of ITU-T, academia and other standards development organizations (SDOs) interested in collaborating to advance standards education worldwide. Participation is open to all interested parties, including non-members of ITU, free of charge.

In this context, “standards education” relates not to technology-focused topics, but rather to education on the importance of standards to the ICT sector, and by extension, to the operation of businesses and economies at large. ICT today underpins almost all commercial activity and it is essential that we familiarize students with ICT standards development processes, standard strategy planning, and business case studies demonstrating the importance of international standards to industry.

A tentative work plan for the group includes; performing a “gap analysis” regarding ICT standardization courses currently offered by universities; gathering information on standards education programs from relevant external groups; developing course or curricula “templates” to be used by academia in constructing standards-education offerings; and identifying strategies to facilitate the adoption of credit-eligible courses in undergraduate and graduate programmes.

The group’s first meeting will take place during the Joint ITU-GISFI-DS-CTIF Standards Education Workshop, 8-9 October 2012, Aalborg University, Denmark.

For more information, please see the Ad Hoc Group’s webpage here.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012 8:27:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 30, 2012

All interested parties are invited to participate in the second meeting of ITU-T’s Focus Group on Smart Cable Television (FG SmartCable) in Boulder, USA, 20-21 September 2012, hosted by Cisco Systems. The deadline for contributions to this meeting is 13 September. The meeting is open to participation by all interested parties, including non-members of ITU, free of charge.

 

FG SmartCable is on course to mapping Smart Cable TV’s standardization landscape; gathering experts from government, industry and the standardization community to determine the field’s interoperability shortfalls and standardization gaps, and thereby provide the basis for future ITU-T standardization work in this regard.

 

At the same venue, 17-19 September, Cisco Systems will host a number of “rapporteur group meetings” for participants in the work of FG SmartCable’s parent group, ITU-T Study Group 9 (Broadband cable and TV).

 

FG SmartCable’s first meeting in June, well attended in Geneva and remotely, decided the group’s management team and initial work plan.

 

In broad terms, the group will examine: the use cases and requirements of Smart Cable TV applications, advanced transport technologies including cable-related aspects of Machine to Machine communications (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT), secure content and application delivery, user interfaces and accessibility, and multi-screen and mobile device applications.

 

For more information on FG SmartCable’s structure and working methods, please visit the group’s webpage here.

 

To participate in the group’s work, please contact ITU-T’s FG SmartCable Secretariat at tsbfgsmartcable@itu.int.

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Monday, July 30, 2012 5:19:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 26, 2012

The ITU, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC) have published three new reports analyzing the potential use of submarine communications cables to monitor the environment and provide disaster warnings. The reports provide an examination of the project’s engineering and legal considerations, and offer a “strategy and roadmap” to move the agenda forward.

 

The reports are freely available on ITU’s website...

 

Equipping ‘repeaters’– instruments amplifying optical signals, placed an average of 100 km apart on a submarine communications cable – with climate-monitoring sensors could make the telecommunications network part of a real-time global ocean-observation network.

 

An Engineering Feasibility Study (Peter Phibbs and Stephen Lentz, Mallin Consultants Ltd.) investigates the technical feasibility of the project, outlining the requirements of a “green repeater” equipped with scientific sensors to provide decades-long time series of the rate and degree of climatic change. Concluding that it is possible to equip repeaters with a modest number of low-power scientific instruments, the report finds that the project’s principal engineering challenge remains the construction of green repeaters with a reliability and longevity equal to that of robust communications cables.

 

Opportunities and Legal Challenges (Kent Bressie, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP.) analyzes the project’s legal considerations; noting that commercial telecommunications and scientific applications of submarine fibre-optic cables have traditionally operated independently of one another, and that the convergence of these applications presents a scenario not easily fitting within the jurisdictional categories established by international law.

 

Finally, a Strategy and Roadmap (Rhett Butler, University of Hawaii) takes into account the scientific, business, engineering and legal considerations of this ambitious project; offering a United Nations “strategy and roadmap” to advance the agenda led by ITU, WMO and UNESCO-IOC.

 

The reports’ conclusions will provide fuel to discussions at an upcoming workshop on the subject, 20-21 September, hosted by ITU, WMO and UNESCO-IOC. The workshop is part of the second ITU Green Standards Week in Paris, 17-21 September, an event gathering players from all industry sectors to determine how ‘green ICT’ standards can effect economy-wide improvements in environmental sustainability.

 

More information on the 2nd ITU Green Standards Week

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:10:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

10 September 2012 is the submission deadline for academic papers discussing ICT’s role as an essential tool in “Building Sustainable Communities”. Kaleidoscope 2013 will be held at Kyoto University, Japan, 22-24 April, and a prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers, which will also be considered for publication in a special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine.

 

Kaleidoscope events are peer-reviewed academic conferences with the aim of increasing dialogue between academics and experts working on the standardization of ICTs.

 

Kaleidoscope 2013 is being organized by ITU with the technical co-sponsorship of IEEE ComSoc and the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers (IEICE) of Japan; with financial support from Telkom SA; and in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan, Waseda University, the Institute of Image Electronics Engineers of Japan (I.I.E.E.J.), and the European Academy for Standardization (EURAS).

 

Additionally, Kaleidoscope 2013 recently announced the membership of its Technical Programme Committee, and has attracted two new partners from Japan: the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT), and the Telecommunications Technology Committee (TTC). Research in Motion (RIM) has also offered its support for the event, donating two Blackberry Playbooks as awards for the best papers produced by those eligible for Young Author Recognition Certificates (presented to authors under 30 years old).

 

The aim of the event, detailed in April’s announcement of Kaleidoscope 2013’s theme, is to identify emerging ICT developments able to effect the socio-economic change needed for communities to meet the challenges posed by the new millennium. Sustainable communities will be those that prepare as well as they can for future challenges, and this will require a careful balance of human-centric technology and sound ethical values.

 

ICT standards will be key to enabling the co-evolution of technology and sustainable communities. Developing these standards will require concerted global efforts by stakeholders across industry sectors. Kaleidoscope 2013 therefore promotes collaboration in this regard and will highlight the multidisciplinary nature of future ICTs.

 

Visit the event’s webpage here...

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 9:28:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 04, 2012

ITU-T Study Group 13 – Future Networks including Cloud Computing and NGN – has approved new standards offering a definition of the Internet of Things (IoT), characterizing the emerging IoT environment, and outlining the functional requirements of machine-oriented communication applications in an NGN context:
 
- Recommendation ITU-T Y.2060 “Overview of the Internet of Things”
- Recommendation ITU-T Y.2061 “Requirements for support of machine-oriented communication applications in the NGN environment”

ITU-T Y.2060 marks ITU members’ approval of a definition of IoT, terming it: “A global infrastructure for the Information Society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on, existing and evolving, interoperable information and communication technologies.”

Recommendation ITU-T Y.2060 provides an overview of the Internet of Things (IoT), clarifying the concept and scope of IoT, identifying its fundamental characteristics and high-level requirements, and offering adetailed description of the IoT reference model. Additionally, the standardpresents an informative appendix discussing the IoT ecosystem and the business models of which it will be composed.
 
The definition is accompanied by a qualification which notes that, from a broad perspective, IoT can be perceived as a vision with technological and societal implications; which will, through the exploitation of identification, data capture, processing and communication capabilities, make full use of "Things" to offer services to all kinds of applications, whilst ensuring that security and privacy requirements are fulfilled.
 
Recommendation ITU-T Y.2061 provides an overview of machine-oriented communication (MOC) applications in next-generation network (NGN) environments; covering the NGN extensions, additions and device capabilities required to support MOC applications. Additionally, the standard’s appendices describe the actors in an MOC ecosystem and the roles they are to play, as well as a number of use cases relevant to the study of MOC applications in an NGN environment. 
 
 SG 13 has also approved Recommendation ITU-T Y.2080, Functional architecture of distributed service networking, and  has consented the approval of another fourteen new standards, the most noteworthy being Recommendations ITU-T Y.2069, Terms and definitions of the Internet of Things; Y.2705, Minimum Security Requirements for Interconnection of Emergency Telecommunications Service (ETS); Y.2027, Functional Architecture of Multi-connection; and Y.2063, Framework of Web of Things.
 
For more information, please consult Study Group 13’s webpage here.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2012 11:00:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Andreas Kamilaris, a PhD student at the University of Cyprus, has been awarded first prize in the second ITU Green ICT Application Challenge for his “Social Electricity” proposal. The Facebook application lends a competitive edge to smart-meter readings by enabling users to compare their energy consumption with that of friends and family, or with neighborhood, state and national averages.
 
Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), ITU, and Silvia Guzmán Araña, Telefónica’s Global Sustainablity and Reputation Director, will present Andreas first prize of USD 3,000 at an award ceremony to be held on the 19th of September in Paris, at the ITU Green Standards Week. Telefónica co-organized the competition together with ITU.
 
Kamilaris’ motivation for the application was to create a means of better quantifying the energy-consumption data produced by smart meters. The Challenge’s panel of judges – representing ITU, Telefónica, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the European Commission – deemed his socially-powered concept the best to satisfy the Challenge’s theme of“Sustainable Energy for All”. The development of the app is almost complete and, at Green Standards Week, Kamilaris will showcase its use and operation as well as any preliminary results garnered from the “Social Electricity” pilot soon to be launched across Cyprus. Electricity-related measurements will beprovided by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, which supports this project.
 
Honourable Mentions were awarded to another four promising apps, all similarly targeting ICT-enabled energy management.
 
New Delhi’s Gauri Dutt Sharma proposed an application termed a “Standby Monitor for Home Appliances”, a living-room monitor signaling which appliances are idle and which are consuming electricity by way of sensors attached to these appliances’ power cables.
 
Gopal Tiwari, from India’s Sagar Institute of Technology and Management, produced “Electrosoft” which details an electricity-supply scheduling system of use to both households and businesses. The app regulates the electricity supply to certain energy-intensive processes, scheduling energy-consuming operations in such a way that it minimizes the energy wasted as result of human error.
 
Andy Bäcker from Spain, CEO and founder of Sustainable Reference, proposed an app entitled “SURE!” which offers a point-scoring system whereby commercial activities, at all levels of the value chain, are awarded pointsbased on the degree of their operations’ environmental sustainability.
 
Dr. Tohru Asami of the University of Tokyo proposed “An Energy Proportional Power Supply Control for Rural ICT Systems” which presents a methodology to power rural ICT systems using the surplus power produced by photovoltaic (solar) power generation units designed to serve mobile-phone base stations.
 
More information on the 2nd ITU Green ICT Application Challenge is available here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:40:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Alexander Ntoko has taken up a new role in the ITU as Chief of the TSB’s Operations and Planning Department, a post of critical importance in crafting and executing the strategic movements of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).
 
Ntoko relinquishes the post he held for five years as Chief of ITU’s Corporate Strategy Division (CSD) where his responsibilities included ensuring organization-wide consensus and support for the development, implementation and evaluation of the ITU Strategic Plan. He has also assisted and advised the Secretary-General in policy and strategic decisions and was responsible for the coordination of ITU’s inter-sectoral activities in many areas, perhaps most notably regarding the Internet and Cybersecurity.

He has been a member of ITU’s staff for more than 20 years; playing a key role in the introduction of Internet and Cybersecurity to ITU’s work plan in the ’90s, and leading the implementation of projects related to the Internet, ICT applications (e.g., e-health, e-government, e-agriculture, e-education, e-payment and e-business) and cybersecurity solutions involving advanced security technologies such as biometric authentication and Public Key Infrastructure.

Ntoko’s appointment follows a rigourous application process receiving 250 individual applications and interviewing 12 candidates in a first-round of interviews as well as another 4 in a second.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), ITU: “Alex Ntoko will add great value to the activities of ITU-T, and we are very pleased to have filled this important position with someone of his caliber. Drawing from his extensive experience in the ICT field, Alex won’t hesitate to effect the changes needed to improve our services, and we are privileged to count him a member of ITU-T’s strategic management team.”

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Tuesday, July 03, 2012 1:54:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 19, 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, June 19, 2012 9:55:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 14, 2012

An online database of mobile country codes (MCCs) and mobile network codes (MNCs), defined by Recommendation ITU-T E.212: The international identification plan for public networks and subscriptions, is the latest addition to ITU-T’s International Numbering Resources (INR database).
 
MCCs are used to identify mobile telephony installations in wireless telephone networks and are used in combination with MNCs to uniquely identify network operators. The new database also provides listings of shared international mobile telephony codes, and MCC+MNC configurations used extra-territorially (MCC+MNC assigned to an operator in one country, but used in another through the establishment of a foreign base station by that operator).
 
Slaheddine Maaref, Tunisie Telecom: “In the past, authoritative MCC+MNC information was available only through ITU-T’s Operational Bulletin. The online database is thus a welcome addition to ITU-T’s services; offering me information of a quality and accuracy comparable to that of the Bulletin, but with the added benefits of real-time updates to its content and an ability to select and export only the information I am looking for.”
 
Access to the database is a membership benefit available only to ITU Member States and ITU-T Sector Members.
 
The database is navigable through such search criteria as codes, countries/regions or network operators. Search results can be exported to MS Word or Excel files, and can be bookmarked as favourites in one’s Internet browser.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:20:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eco-design to reduce e-waste and enabling policies highlighted
  
Geneva, 5 June 2012 – Participants at the 7th ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change have issued a Declaration that encourages ICT manufacturers to make their products more easily upgradable without need for replacing the entire device. The call to promote a life cycle approach in the design of ICTs (eco-design) also means better taking into account how components in a device can be recycled. Reducing e-waste and providing incentives and encouragement for e-waste take back schemes were just some of the issues included in the Declaration issued at the end of the event on Friday, 31 May.

The Declaration adopted by the approximately 150 participants at the event also called for enabling policies to encourage investment in smart technologies and ICT based clean technologies (cleantech) as a way of promoting green growth and sustainable development. In addition the support of ITU methodologies to measure the impact of ICT and a recommendation to ramp up research and development on the use of ICTs for monitoring, mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change are mentioned.

Full press release

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012 8:10:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 11, 2012

ITU is organizing a roundtable on the effectiveness of RAND-based (reasonable and non-discriminatory) patent policies, 10 October 2012.

The ITU Patent Roundtable is being held in light of the recent worldwide increase in patent litigation, and possible lack of adherence to standards bodies’ existing IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) policies.

The event, which will be run using a World Café methodology, will provide a neutral venue for industry, standards bodies and regulators to exchange ideas that will guide future discussions on whether current patent policies and existing industry practices adequately respond to the needs of the various stakeholders. It will bring together standards bodies, industry players and government representatives from around the world aiming to find solutions to the key issues today affecting the ICT industry’s engagement with patents and standards.
 
More here.

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Monday, June 11, 2012 8:14:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meeting in Geneva, 30 April to 11 May, ITU-T Study Group 16 – ITU’s lead study group on multimedia coding, systems and applications – in collaboration with the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC29 Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) - agreed to the development of 3D extensions to the Primetime Emmy award winning H.264 and the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. Further, building on the HEVC collaboration under the JCT-VC (see previous story), SG 16 also agreed to a Call for Proposals for Scalability Coding Extension to the new video codec.

In addition SG16 has approved the first ITU-T Recommendation on digital signage: ITU-T H.780, Digital signage: Service requirements and IPTV-based architecture. It is the first in a series of ITU-T standards aiming to stimulate the roll-out of digital signage technologies. Centrally-managed, large-scale networks of high-definition digital displays are of key value to companies in targeting and engaging with consumers, as well to municipalities and governments in communicating vital information to the public. The proprietary nature of current digital signage solutions not only restricts the integration of applications across different networks and vendors, but also makes solutions more expensive and can be prohibitive for small and medium enterprises. ITU International standards are therefore required as the common platform to unlock the industry’s multi-billion dollar potential.

The meeting also saw various new and updated voice and image coding standards entering the approval process. The complete list of results can be found here.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012 8:37:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 18, 2012

ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization and Development Sectors (ITU-T and ITU-D) are organizing an ITU Forum on Conformance and Interoperability for the Americas and Caribbean Region in Brasilia (Brazil), 12-15 June; aiming to assist the region in its development of ICT conformance and interoperability programmes.

It is particularly important to instill a culture of conformance and interoperability testing in developing countries, as the wide-spread adoption of international standards can quickly translate into marked interoperability improvements and rapid expansions of regional ICT markets.

Conformance with ITU’s international standards maximizes the probability that an ICT vendor’s products will interoperate with those of other vendors. ITU’s Conformance and Interoperability (C&I) programme targets the increased adoption of ITU standards, and thus increased ICT interoperability, through the application of four key pillars:

  • Conformity assessment, evaluating products’ degree of compliance with ITU’s standards
  • Interoperability events, analyzing the ability of different vendors’ products to interoperate
  • Capacity building events, educating policy-makers and businesses on the importance of conformance and interoperability testing
  • Creation of conformance and interoperability testing centres in different regions of the world

The ITU Forum in Brasilia will show the progress of the ITU Conformity and Interoperability programme and assist the Americas and Caribbean region in its implementation of the four pillars. Conformity assessment, accreditation and certification are key to increase the probability of interoperability. They are also key elements towards achieving the desired level of connectivity and ‘usability’ of services for end-users and to comply with the mission of ITU to connect the world. Capacity building refers to education on the essentiality of conformity assessment, certification and accreditation based on international standards, adoption of test suites and will mobilize the political will necessary to implement them effectively. Furthermore, regional conformance assessment testing centres will form part of a global network of such centres, mandating the strictest adherence to best-practice guidelines on their construction.

For more on the upcoming ITU C&I Forum, including a draft program, see the event’s homepage here.

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Friday, May 18, 2012 8:16:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T has established a new Focus Group on Smart Cable Television (FG SmartCable). FG SmartCable
aims to map the Smart Cable Television landscape and thereby provide the foundations for ITU-T’s future standardization work in this regard.

Information and communication technology (ICT) is enabling the provision of innovative audiovisual experiences over cable networks; from ultra-high definition and 3D television to cable-based video
communication and telepresence, interactive home environment control/monitoring, and improvements to broadcasting technology itself.

The group will in particular analyse the system requirements and capabilities to support Smart Cable Television, and identify study areas to support the development of Smart Cable Television standards development in ITU-T.

The first meeting of FG SmartCable will be at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 19-21 June 2012. The deadline for submission of input documents is 11 June 2012, and the meeting is open to all interested
parties from ITU Member States. Remote participation will be provided and registration for both on-site and remote participation is available at http://www.itu.int/reg/tsg/3000409.

ITU-T Study Group 9
– Television and sound transmission and integrated broadband cable networks – is the parent group to FG SmartCable.
The group will cooperate and collaborate with other ITU Study Groups, and other standardization communities active in the field including universities, research institutes.

For more information on FG SmartCable, please see the group’s webpage
here , or contact the group’s secretariat at tsbfgsmartcable@itu.int

 

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Friday, May 18, 2012 8:01:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 14, 2012

The ITU Standardization Sector’s alliance with Academia Session will be held on 16 May 2012 (13h30 – 14h00) and will provide an overview of ITU-T initiatives to engage universities and research institutions in the development of international ICT standards.

This session will focus on the new membership category as well as other initiatives to engage academia including Kaleidoscope academic conferences, international events bringing together universities, industry and research institutions to share knowledge and identify emerging ICT developments.
By welcoming academia to its meetings as fully-fledged members or by consulting with universities on future trends in standardization, ITU has acknowledged the important role of academia in the development of ICTs.

ITU’s membership of 193 member states and over 700 private-sector entities represents an extraordinary opportunity for academics to bring their ideas to life through standardization, raise the profiles of their institutions and uncover potential sources of future funding. Since introducing an “Academia” membership category in ITU at the start of this year, 40 academic institutions have joined. By participating academia can gain global recognition and play a formative role in determining how their innovations are reflected in standards and public policy.

WSIS Forum 2012, jointly organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP, is a platform for key global players in the field of ICTs to network, discuss and exchange on future ICT developments and applications, as well as to engage in new partnerships. Hosted in Geneva by ITU from 14 to 18 May 2012, the forum will offer participants a series of high-level panels, a ministerial round table, facilitation meetings, thematic workshops and knowledge exchanges, as well as an exhibition. The celebration of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day will take place during the Forum, on 16 May 2012, the same day of the ITU and Academia Briefing Session. The draft agenda is available at: http://groups.itu.int/wsis-forum2012/Agenda/DraftAgenda.aspx
 

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Monday, May 14, 2012 11:10:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


ITU has established a new Joint Coordination Activity on Child Online Protection (JCA-COP) to coordinate the COP work across ITU’s sectors and Study Groups as well as cooperate with outside stakeholders engaged in COP. ITU-T Study Group 17 is the parent group to JCA-COP, and will leverage its well-developed network of ICT security stakeholders to harmonize these different elements to ensure a unified approach to the creation of global COP standards.
 
JCA-COP is chaired by Ashley Heineman of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), USA.
 
In keeping with its Terms of Reference, JCA-COP will coordinate the COP work already underway within ITU-T (particularly that of SGs 2, 9, 13, 15, 16 and 17), and will liaise with ITU-R, ITU-D and ITU’s Council Working Group on COP.
 
JCA-COP seeks to study and understand the composition of the COP ecosystem as it relates to the most relevant stakeholders, and technical, legal or regulatory questions. It will act as the first point of contact for any organization interested in ITU-T’s work on COP, and will also actively pursue means of collaborating with external bodies working in the field.
 
JCA-COP’s internal coordination mandate is thus accompanied by an external research and outreach capacity; to be carried out in a globally-inclusive manner. Cooperation and collaboration with external bodies is always crucial to ITU-T’s standardization work, and it will ensure that ITU’s forthcoming COP standards are agreed, and consequently implemented, on an international basis.
 
More information:

   •   SG 17’s homepage
   •   The brand-new JCA-COP homepage
   •   ITU's Child Online Protection (COP) initiative, the ITU Secretariat framework for COP activities across ITU-T, ITU-R and ITU-D.

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Monday, May 14, 2012 8:09:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 10, 2012
ITU is inviting applications for the post of Study Group Engineer, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The successful candidate should have at least five years of experience in the field of telecommunication technologies and services, including at least two at the international level.  Expertise on service definition, numbering, naming, addressing requirements and resource assignment including criteria and procedures for reservation and assignment would be an advantage. In addition knowledge of tariff and accounting matters (including costing methodologies) for international telecommunication services and study of related telecommunication economic, accounting and policy issues would be an advantage.

Standards from the ITU are at the heart of modern information and communications technologies (ICTs). For more information see: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/info.
 
The Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) provides essential logistical support to ITU-T’s 10 Study Groups including electronic working facilities and meeting management. It also manages promotion, workshops, membership, documents, finance, the website etc. It is the body responsible for providing cohesion to ITU-T’s standards making process.
 
An attractive package of salary (approximately 115,509.- USD - 154,159.- USD without dependants or 123,747.- USD - 165,818.- USD with dependants  [Net of Tax]) plus international allowances and benefits is offered (subject to eligibility).
 
The closing date for applications is 9 July 2012.
 
A detailed vacancy notice and application form including remuneration can be downloaded here. Applications using the form must be sent to recruitment@itu.int or by post to ITU Human Resources Administration Division, Place des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland. Applications must reach ITU by the closing date.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012 3:25:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A joint ITU-WHO workshop on “e-Health standards and Interoperability” at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 26-27 April, gathered experts from the healthcare and ICT communities to discuss means of leveraging today’s advanced communications capabilities to achieve more efficient, cost-effective and equitable health services worldwide.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) opening the event: "With a growing, ageing, population in the 21st century, it is clear that one of the areas where ICTs can help make the greatest difference is in the provision and delivery of healthcare. ICTs are now understood to play a pivotal role in increasing efficiency and quality in delivery of health care, and reducing risk and suffering, particularly among the most vulnerable communities in developing countries. However, in e-health unfortunately standardized solutions are rare. Interoperability is a key determinant of e-Health’s efficient and equitable rollout. This is not an area where we can afford to have costly squabbles over proprietary technologies. International standards will bring down costs, increase access, and improve efficiencies."
 
The workshop showcased innovative healthcare technologies and policy frameworks already in force, and pointed to areas where interoperable ICT standards could further stimulate such innovations’ development and implementation.
 
The workshop hosted a lively exchange of ideas and brought healthcare and ICT experts together to form the relationships certain to underpin the development of next-generation healthcare services. The workshop’s closing session focused on the future of e-Health standardization which, judging by the volume of input received from attendees, represents the beginnings of what is sure to be a very fruitful collaboration between ITU and WHO. It was suggested at the event that ITU and WHO provide a platform to lead these discussions, with the participation of the key e-health stakeholders.
 
At the event, the following actions were suggested to the various stakeholders:
 
Suggested ITU-WHO actions:

- Joint policy brief on the essentiality of standards and interoperability to the exchange of medical data, as well as outreach activities to educate policy-makers and business leaders on the relevance and application of e-health standards
- Creation of an e-health Working Group to advise ITU and WHO on steps to be taken in the future
- Collaborate with other Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) to create an information portal detailing all available healthcare standards and best practices in their application
 
SDO actions:

- Coordinate with the new HL7 initiative on mobile e-health
- ITU and HL7 to develop a specification for the use of ITU-T X.1303 CAP specification within HL7 to deliver health warning messages
- Consider effective cost models for e-health standards licensing
- Collaborate in the development of a common e-health standards roadmap; ensuring no work is duplicated, and encouraging a converged view on the structure of data and information in the e-health context
 
Points of relevance to the technical community (drawn from ICT and healthcare sectors):

- Address interoperability challenges impeding the development of an open, global infrastructure to enable the exchange of health information
- Begin development of an e-health standards ecosystem by addressing the required functional features of e-health technologies, while at the same time allowing these systems enough flexibility to evolve in line with the development of new technologies or best practices
- The imperative to e-health that is Quality of Service (QoS)
 
More information on the Workshop’s objectives: here
The Workshop’s programme (with speakers’ biographies and presentations  attached): here.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012 9:40:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 27, 2012

A meeting of European network operators last week (covered in this press release), concluded with a strong set of messages from industry ahead of the forthcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).
 
The meeting, convened by ITU and the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) drew a positive focus on the possibility of the new treaty strengthening ICT sector development.
 
Concluding, Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, noted the following points had been made:

  • The new treaty should address the current disconnect between sources of revenue and source of cost to ensure a win-win for all players.
  • It should facilitate the benefits of Internet being brought to all the peoples of the world in particular by encouraging broadband roll-out and investment.
  • It should focus on telecom issues without involving the geopolitical agenda, in particular Internet governance, and emphasise the importance of liberalization and privatisation, and should recognize the role of the private sector and market based solutions.
  • Should remain high level principles providing light touch regulation that encourages investment and innovation and that any economic aspects should have a stringent impact analysis taking account of the different levels of development in countries around the world. It should be flexible recognising that tomorrow’s world will be very different to today’s.
  • Should foster the right conditions to allow markets to flourish within a long term vision backed by sustainable business models.
  • That WCIT will be an opportunity to address many of the concerns of industry and so industry should be active in the preparatory process, in particular an input on behalf of ETNOs membership would be very welcome.
  • That ITU should organise an information session after all the regional groups have concluded their preparations possibly in September.

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Friday, April 27, 2012 5:44:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 26, 2012

At its most recent meeting, 11-19 April, ITU-T Study Group 5 – ITU’s lead Study Group on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic effects – consented Recommendation ITU-T K.91: Guidance for assessment, evaluation and monitoring of the human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF).

Recognizing that a significant part of the infrastructure needed to bridge the digital divide involves wireless technologies, the K.91 guide was created in response to developing nation concerns with the risks of human exposure to RF EMF and local communities’ growing resistance to the deployment of radio installations in their surrounds.

The new Recommendation responds to Resolution 72 of the 2008 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in Johannesburg (WTSA-08) which called upon ITU-T, and in particular Study Group 5, to expand and accelerate its work in this domain.

Specifically, SG 5 was urged to regularly update its guides on the use of ITU-T publications to achieve EMC and safety, with particular emphasis on those relating to measurement methodologies.

Recommendation ITU-T K.91 acknowledges that a variety of methods exist to assess human exposure to RF EMF, that each carry different advantages and disadvantages, and that the choice of a method depends on the needs and circumstances of its user. K.91 therefore provides guidance on methods to assess and monitor human exposure to RF EMF in areas with surrounding radiocommunication installations; based on existing exposure and compliance standards in the frequency range of 9 kHz to 300 GHz. This includes procedures to evaluate exposure levels and to demonstrate compliance with exposure limits.

While existing standards are product or service-oriented, K.91 is intended for the examination of areas accessible to people in the real environment of currently operated services with many different sources of RF EMF. It does however also make reference to standards and recommendations related to EMF compliance of products. For more on the work of SG 5, see the group’s webpage here.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012 4:03:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Building Sustainable Communities, the fifth ITU Kaleidoscope conference, will be hosted by the University of Kyoto, Japan, 22-24 April 2013. Kaleidoscope-13 is being organized by ITU with the technical co-sponsorship of IEEE ComSoc and the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers (IEICE) of Japan, with financial support from Telkom SA, and in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan, Waseda University, the Institute of Image Electronics Engineers of Japan (I.I.E.E.J.), and the European Academy for Standardization (EURAS).

Kaleidoscope events are peer-reviewed academic conferences with the aim of increasing dialogue between academics and experts working on the standardization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

A call for papers has been issued and invites submissions by 10 September 2012. A prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers, which will also be featured in a special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine. Additionally, young authors presenting their papers at Kaleidoscope-13 will receive Young Author Recognition certificates and all the papers presented will be archived in the IEEE Xplore online catalogue.

Kaleidoscope-13 aims to identify emerging ICT developments able to effect the socio-economic change needed for communities to meet the challenges posed by the new millennium. Sustainable communities will be those that prepare as well as they can for future challenges, and this will require a careful balance of human-centric technology and sound ethical values.

ICT standards will be key to enabling the co-evolution of technology and sustainable communities. Developing these standards will require concerted global efforts by stakeholders across industry sectors. Kaleidoscope-13 therefore promotes collaboration in this regard and will highlight the multidisciplinary nature of future ICTs.

In addition to an exhibition of local universities’ curricula, the presence of high-level keynote speakers, and the presentation of invited papers, Kaleidoscope-13 will host the third Jules Verne’s Corner, a space giving air to the ideas of futurists and science fiction writers.

Following Kaleidoscope-13, a one-day Workshop on ITU and Academia, 25 April 2013, will provide information on ITU’s Academia membership category and will present and discuss the standards-focused activities of ITU’s academic members.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact the ITU-T Kaleidoscope secretariat at kaleidoscope@itu.int

For additional information, see the event’s webpage at: http://itu-kaleidoscope.org/2013.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012 3:20:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 24, 2012

At its recent meeting at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 11-19 April, ITU-T Study Group 5 – ITU’s Study Group on environment and climate change – consented two new ITU-T standards (Recommendations) targeting increased energy efficiency of ICT equipment.

The first Recommendation provides a specification of the direct current (DC) interface between power-feeding systems and connected ICT equipment, and the second defines energy efficiency metrics and measurement methods to assess the energy efficiency of telecommunication equipment.

Recommendation ITU-T L.1200 specifies a DC current interface able to operate using a power source of up to 400 Volts, which allows higher energy efficiency and reliability than can be achieved using lower-voltage power feeding solutions. The Recommendation standardizes a power feeding system applicable to all ICT equipment defined in a location using these power sources such as: telecommunication centres; radio base stations; data centres; and customer premises. Additionally, the DC interface will simplify the use of renewable energy sources producing DC output such as photovoltaic generators and fuel cell systems.

Recommendation ITU-T L.1310 defines energy efficiency metrics and measurement methods for telecommunication equipment including: wired as well as wireless broadband access; optical transport technologies; routers; switches; mobile core network equipment; and small networking equipment used in homes and small enterprises. L.1310 defines metrics which evaluate ICT equipment’s energy efficiency through a comparison between its technical performance and its energy consumption. The Recommendation also details measurement methodologies to verify energy efficiency figures produced in accordance with L.1300.

For more on the work of SG 5, please see the group’s webpage here.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 1:59:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 23, 2012

The latest ITU-T Technology Watch report discusses the privacy concerns associated with cloud computing, the role privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) could play in alleviating them and the standardization activities currently engaged with the topic.
 
Cloud computing represents a major change in the way information is managed, especially as it relates to personal data. Cloud is expected to positively impact users’ IT budgets and costs of ownership, but could also threaten the relevance of traditional security, trust and privacy mechanisms.
 
The rollout of cloud services has introduced a number of questions related to information privacy and security:

  • Who are the stakeholders in the cloud computing market?
  • What are their roles and responsibilities?
  • Where is the data stored?
  • How is the data replicated?
  • Which legal frameworks are applied to data processing in a cloud environment?
  • How will service providers meet expected levels of security and privacy?

The adoption of privacy-enhancing technologies will depend on the existence of uniform ways to handle personal data, which must be agreed at the international level. Developing technical standards in this regard is a means to achieve international consensus on such issues, and compliance with these standards will aid in demonstrating countries’ and businesses’ adherence to the associated legal and regulatory frameworks.
 
Authored by Stéphane Guilloteau, France Télécom Orange, France and Venkatesen Mauree of ITU, the report, as well as additional information on cloud-computing privacy, is available at http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/techwatch/Pages/cloud-computing-privacy.aspx.
 
Experts from industry, academia and research communities are invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts for future reports in the Technology Watch series. For more details, please contact the Technology Watch team at tsbtechwatch@itu.int.


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Monday, April 23, 2012 9:31:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, April 21, 2012

The first meeting of ITU-T’s new Focus Group on M2M service layer (FG M2M), 17-18 April, attracted a large number of experts from the healthcare and ICT fields to discuss the M2M standardization requirements of vertical healthcare markets.
 
The open meeting was well-attended in Geneva and via remote participation, receiving 57 delegates from 17 countries; representing members and non-members of ITU, and composed of four government representatives, twenty-six from the private sector and nine from academic and research institutions. Among the delegates were seven representatives of healthcare organizations including World Health Organization (WHO) and Continua Health Alliance.
 
The Focus Group’s structure and working methods were central topics in this foundational meeting, as was its work plan laying out the group’s objectives and deliverables. The FG will focus on M2M in the healthcare context and was divided into three Working Groups; the first looking at M2M use cases and service models, and the second at determining the requirements and architectural framework of the M2M service layer. The third deals with M2M Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and protocols and will begin its work when sufficient progress has been made by the first two Working Groups.
 
Also of note was the appointment of the group’s Chairman and Vice-Chairmen:
 
Chairman:
Heyuan Xu, CATR (China)
 
Vice-Chairmen:
Marc Berrebi, eDevice (France)
Marco Carugi, ZTE (China)
Robert Istepanian, Kingston University (UK)
Hyoung Jun Kim, ETRI (Korea)
Monique Morrow, Cisco Systems (USA)
 
The next meeting of FG M2M will take place in Beijing, 26-28 June 2012, hosted by CCSA/CATR. The deadline for contributions to this meeting is 18 June. Provisional dates for the third meeting in Geneva are 29-31 August, and the fourth will take place in November, in the USA (TBC).
 
To follow the activities of FG M2M, see the group’s webpage here.


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Saturday, April 21, 2012 11:00:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 20, 2012

European telcos propose constructive input to global ICT treaty

Geneva, 20 April 2012 - European operators meeting at a joint International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and European Telecommunications Network Operators’ (ETNO) event have agreed that upcoming revisions to the treaty that governs international telecommunications should act as a positive catalyst for the future development of ICT, to benefit all countries.

Meeting in Brussels this week to discuss preparation for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) which will be held in Dubai, 3-14 December, ITU representatives described the mechanisms for input into the WCIT process and some of the emerging themes. An open discussion allowed industry to present its views.

All participants agreed that revisions to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) should foster the right conditions to allow markets to flourish within a long term vision backed by sustainable business models.

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Friday, April 20, 2012 1:19:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 18, 2012

ITU-T will host a two-hour webinar on Standards Education at 14h00 (CET), 30 April 2012, with the objective of exploring standardization curricula currently offered by different academic institutions. In addition it will examine means to develop such curricula and ways to encourage other institutions to integrate similar courses in the programs on offer to their students.

The event  begins with an overview of Aalborg University’s standardization curriculum, introducing the Masters Program on “Innovative Communication Technologies and Entrepreneurship” (ICTE) offered by the university’s Center for TeleInFrastruktur (CTIF); specifically detailing its course on "Standardization, IPR, Patenting and Technology Transfer". This will be followed by the presentations of other ITU academia members, sharing their experiences with standardization courses and suggesting areas in need of improvement. 

Additionally – for the benefit of ITU academia members seeking a better understanding of the purpose and potential of standards education – ITU will share its perspective on the motivations underlying the creation of its new academia membership category, and will also outline the ways in which academic institutions can best make use of ITU’s standardization expertise when developing standards education curricula.

Building on the outcomes of this virtual event, a Workshop on Standards Education, jointly organized by ITU and the Global ICT Standardization Forum for India (GISFI), will take place at Aalborg University,  8-9 October 2012. At this event, ITU academia members will be invited to share details of their standardization curricula and thereby aid in the development of an ITU repository of standards courses currently on offer. The repository will provide a useful resource to individuals interested in the study of ICT standards and to institutions deciding on the content of standards courses as they develop them.

For more information, please consult the webinar’s webpage here.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012 10:03:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 16, 2012

Geneva, 12 April 2012 – The seventh ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change aims to advance the ‘green ICT’ agenda by raising awareness of the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to aid in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Organized by ITU and the government of Canada, and hosted by Prompt, an R&D partnership developer, the symposium will explore the many ways in which advanced technologies can play a role in improving the environmental sustainability of the ICT sector itself, how ICTs can help countries better manage the effects of climate change, and new strategies to help tackle e-waste.

With ICTs now an intrinsic element of every economic sector, the need to integrate ICT-based solutions into the climate change actions of each industry has become essential. The symposium will explore ways of achieving this integration, and will help plot the course of ITU’s future work in the field – whether it be using radiocommunications to monitor and analyze shifting climate patterns, developing new technical standards detailing best-practice application of green ICTs. The event will also form part of ITU’s activities in the lead up to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), highlighting the key role played by ICTs as enablers in environmentally-sustainable economic development.

Full press release


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Monday, April 16, 2012 9:12:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 13, 2012
European operators will discuss upcoming revisions to the treaty that governs international telecommunications at a joint ITU and ETNO event in Brussels next week.
 
The meeting will discuss preparation for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) which will be held in Dubai, 3-14 December.
 
ITU representatives will describe the mechanisms for input into the WCIT process and some of the emerging themes. An open discussion will follow to allow industry to present its views.
 
WCIT-12 will review the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), the international treaty which is widely credited for creating the basis of today's connected world, thus the international regulatory framework governing all ICT technologies. The ITRs opened the door in the 1990s for mobile and the Internet.
 
WCIT-12 will express the common will of ITU's major stakeholders - its government and private sector membership - including many of ETNO's membership. Meetings such as this, as well as ITU's formal Council Working Group and the other regional preparatory meetings are part of an ongoing process to ask for input and feedback from all stakeholders.
 
Some of the proposals currently being discussed by ITU membership, governments and private sector companies from around the world, include the right to communicate; security in the use of ICTs and the protection of national resources; taxation, roaming; misuse and hijacking of international numbers and interoperability.
 
Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: "a lot has changed since the ITRs were adopted in 1988. I think we can all agree that this conference comes at a time when the technology is having a major impact on economic and social development. WCIT represents an opportunity for all stakeholders to work together to extend the benefits of ICTs to all the worlds citizens".
 
For more information on the event - Revising the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) - Preparations for WCIT 2012 - and registration details see here.

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Friday, April 13, 2012 10:43:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 29, 2012

A competition open to all has been launched to design a poster for World Standards Day, 14 October, on the theme, “Less waste, better results – Standards increase efficiency”.

The competition is being held by the World Standards Cooperation (WSC), which comprises the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The designer(s) of the best poster will win 1 500 Swiss francs, with the three runners-up receiving 500 Swiss francs each.

To compete, designers should send their entries in .jpg or .png format to the following e-mail address: wsdposter@worldstandardscooperation.org. Submissions will be accepted until 30 April.

IEC, ISO and ITU representatives will choose the finalists. The shortlisted entries will be published on the WSC Website. The general public will choose the winning designs.
 
People can follow the World Standards Day poster competition on Twitter and Facebook.

To help prospective World Standards Day poster artists, the WSC Website includes a number of resources:

•    A text explaining this year’s World Standards Day theme
•    Examples of previous World Standards Day posters, including last year’s winning entry
•    Specifications for the 2012 poster.

Any questions about the competition should be sent to: wsdposter@worldstandardscooperation.org, Twitter or Facebook.

The World Standards Cooperation was set up in 2001 in order to strengthen and advance the voluntary consensus-based international standards systems of IEC, ISO and ITU. Each year on 14 October, the members of the IEC, ISO and ITU celebrate World Standards Day, which is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards.


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Thursday, March 29, 2012 8:13:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


ITU’s new Focus Group on the Machine-to-Machine service layer (FG M2M) will meet for the first time at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 17-18 April 2012. M2M service layer standards will act as important catalysts for the market’s growth, and an earlier newslog announcement of FG M2M’s formation has attracted the interest of an array of M2M-focused organizations, both within and outside ITU’s membership. See FG M2M’s homepage here.

The M2M market is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years and, as part of the more broadly-defined Internet of Things (see ITU’s JCA-IoT), will encompass a wide variety of industry sectors. Some forecasts predict that 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020.

Considering the wide range of M2M’s possible applications – enabling services across vertical markets including healthcare, logistics, transport, utilities and countless others – this prediction may hold true; but certainly not without the interoperability enabled by global ICT standards. A common M2M service layer, agreed at the international level by stakeholders in the M2M and relevant vertical markets, will provide a cost-efficient platform able to be easily deployed in hardware and software, in a multi-vendor environment, across industry sectors.

FG M2M will identify a minimum set of requirements common to vertical markets, and thereby create the knowledge-base needed to begin the development of open, international ITU standards. In analyzing the requirements of vertical markets, the group will initially focus on the healthcare market by investigating application programming interfaces (APIs) and protocols supporting e-health applications and services.

The deadline for submission of input documents is 10 April, and the meeting is open to all interested parties from ITU Member States. Registration for both on-site and remote participation is available at http://www.itu.int/reg/tsg/3000361.
   

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Thursday, March 29, 2012 8:11:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 28, 2012

ITU will hold an Information and Training Session on ITU Methodologies for Assessing the Environmental Impact of ICT at ITU headquarters, Geneva, 12 April.

The event will provide a tutorial on the content and application of ITU-T's new L.1400 series of Recommendations which detail standardized methodologies to assess the life-cycle environmental impact of ICTs, both in terms of their own emissions and the emissions-savings created through ICT applications in other industry sectors.

ICTs can play a key role in improving the environmental sustainability of all industry sectors, particularly in those most harmful to the environment; such as energy generation, transportation, building construction and waste disposal.

The new standard methodologies will generate figures upon which businesses can model future revenues, costs and efficiency gains provided by green ICTs; and figures enabling governments and regulators to identify the gains in social and economic welfare that green ICTs can achieve.

The workshop, for which remote participation is available, will cover the first three* Recommendations of the L.1400 series:
Recommendation ITU-T L.1400: Overview and general principles of methodologies for assessing the environmental impact of ICT
Recommendation ITU-T L.1410: Methodology for the environmental impact of ICT goods, networks and services
- Recommendation ITU-T L.1420: Methodology for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions impact assessment of ICT in organizations

*final two parts of the L.1400 series, ICT in Cities and ICT in Countries or Groups of Countries, are under development by experts working on Question 18 in ITU-T Study Group 5


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Wednesday, March 28, 2012 8:35:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 19, 2012

A workshop on ICT Innovations, embedded within the first meeting of ITU's new Focus Group on ''Bridging the Gap: from Innovation to Standards", takes place at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 20-21 March. The goal of this workshop is to showcase ICT innovations of both developed and developing countries, with a view to determining which will demand future standardization.

The workshop runs from  9h30 until 12h30 on Tuesday the 20th, and 9h30 till 13h00 on Wednesday the 21st. To participate remotely, enter the room as a ‘guest’ by providing your full name, organization and country here: http://itu.adobeconnect.com/fg-innovation/


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Monday, March 19, 2012 9:23:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 16, 2012

Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ITU and the four standardisation bodies of China, Japan and Korea (CJK) last year, see press release here Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, led a delegation from the ITU Secretariat to the eleventh CJK Meeting (CJK-11) 14-16 March at the Seagaia Convention Centre in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. The Indian standards body GISFI also attended the meeting as an observer as it has requested to join the MoU.

The meeting addressed global ICT standardization questions of common interest to the region’s key standards bodies: ARIB, CCSA, TTA and TTC.

In his opening speech Johnson noted that CJK governments together account for 15 per cent of the total financial contributions received by ITU from Member States, and private entities from these nations account for 20 per cent of the contributions ITU-T receives from the private sector. Moreover, CJK makes a significant number contribution to ITU meetings: 38 percent more contributions in 2011 than in 2009.

Full speech can be seen here.

CJK meetings seek to maintain and improve the commitment to mutual understanding and cooperation, and recognise the imperative of coordinated international standards for the sound progression of each of the countries’ ICT industries.  The meeting identified the following topics as candidates for collaboration under the MoU: M2M and Dynamic Spectrum Access; Future IMT; smart grid; cloud computing and security; and the work on environment and climate change.

The Deputy Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, Fabio Leite, also participated in the meeting stressing the importance of collaboration with ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), in particular on M2M access networks where there is a clear need for interoperability between radio-based systems.

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Friday, March 16, 2012 9:00:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ITU-T’s Focus Group on Cloud Computing has completed its preliminary study into cloud computing’s standardization ecosystem and has released its FG Cloud Technical Report (Parts 1 to 7)  . The reports signal the conclusion of the Focus Group’s study period and its findings come to form input for the cloud computing work taking place across the ITU-T under the leadership of Study Group 13 (Future Networks), overseen by the Joint Coordination Activity on Cloud Computing.
 
Clear industry demand for the technology and the promise of new revenues to ICT players has led to great market optimism, with one forecast predicting that global cloud IP traffic will account for more than one-third of total data center traffic by 2015. Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2010–2015.
 
International standards will be key to ensuring a competitive market for cloud service provision, one where services are affordable and the clouds offered by different vendors interoperate. FG Cloud’s Technical Reports provide a detailed overview of cloud computing standardization and benefits from telecommunication and ICT perspectives. Two new cloud services categories are identified, communication and network as a service (CaaS and NaaS). In addition, cloud ecosystems and a first ICT cloud reference architecture are defined. These outputs will form a strong reference base for the ITU-T Study Groups engaged with cloud standards development.
 
Technical Reports - seven separate but complementary reports:

1)            Introduction to the cloud ecosystem: definitions, taxonomies, use cases and high-level requirements
2)            Functional requirements and reference architecture
3)            Requirements and framework architecture of cloud infrastructure
4)            Cloud resource management gap analysis
5)            Cloud security
6)            Overview of SDOs involved in cloud computing
7)            Cloud computing benefits from telecommunication and ICT perspectives
 
The interest sparked by ITU’s cloud computing work has resulted in several new memberships. For more on our cloud activities, please see the ITU Joint Coordination Activity on Cloud Computing, ITU-T Study Group 13  (Future networks) and other Study Groups 17, 2, 5.

 

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012 9:19:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Asier Arranz from Spain has been awarded $3000 and a Nokia Lumia mobile phone as first prize in the Green ICT Hackathon, an event organized by ITU and Telefónica and run in parallel to last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Arranz’ proposed ‘Bicing Gamification’ application aims to encourage users of Bicing, the community bicycle program in Barcelona, to deposit bicycles at underserved Bicing stations. Currently, bicycle-moving vans are necessary to maintain an optimal distribution of bicycles around the city. The application therefore makes use of a geo-location system to notify Bicing users of the stations in need of more bicycles. To encourage users to deposit their bicycles at these underserved stations, Arranz suggests micropayments be made those who do, possibly in the form of deductions to their annual Bicing subscription fees.

“The aim of the ‘Bicing Gamification’ application,” says Arranz, “is to reduce costs and CO2 emissions and ‘gamify’ (turn into a game) this green transport system to encourage its use and make cities more sustainable.”

Second prize, $2000 and Nokia Lumia, was awarded to Dirceu Dirs from Brazil for an application targeting drivers of electric vehicles and petroleum-fueled cars alike. The “Easy Refuel” application was developed on the Arduino electronics platform and points drivers towards the nearest, cheapest fuel stations when their vehicles require refueling or recharging. 

Third prize, a Nokia Lumia, went to Aaron Franco from the USA for his “Jatrobot” application which aims to harness social interaction to encourage a widespread production of biodiesel. The name stems from the “Jatropha Curcas” tree, the seeds of which can be pressed to yield an oil used to produce biodiesel. The Jatrobot app allows users to signal their approval of an environmentally-friendly product by way of a ‘like’ button, an action which triggers the planting of Jatropha tree seeds by a web-connected robot.

The aim of the Green ICT Hackathon was to encourage the development of applications promoting “Sustainable Energy for All”. Of further importance to ITU and Telefónica is the Hackathon’s contribution to the creation of a global network of ‘green’ ICT developers, one promoting the use of ICT to improve energy efficiency and technology transfer; two key goals to be addressed at Rio+20.

ITU and Telefónica thank their partners in this initiative; Nokia, SAP and the Joint Research Center of the European Commission and WMO. ITU also wishes to thank Telefónica and, specifically, Telefónica’s Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and BlueVia Movistar Spain (Telefónica Digital).

In addition to the Hackathon, ITU and Telefonica are organizing the 2nd Green ICT Application Challenge to find the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT application to help promote “Sustainable Energy for All”.  Send us your Concept Paper by 13 April 2012. More information about the Hackathon and Challenge can be found at: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/climatechange/greenict/201206/index.html or by contacting us at greenstandard@itu.int.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012 11:40:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 23, 2012

Organizations developing e-health standards, and a variety of other stakeholders, have been invited to an ITU/WHO workshop to define the current state of the e-health industry, discuss barriers to e-health technology adoption and to establish an ITU/WHO roadmap signposting the industry’s future course. The workshop will take place at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 26-27 April 2012, and is open to ITU members and WHO Member States.

Ageing societies and the world’s growing population are exerting progressively greater pressures on healthcare infrastructures. Providing equitable, affordable healthcare services to the world’s citizens is a challenge overwhelming traditional healthcare systems. e-Health is thus soon expected to form part of mainstream healthcare systems, but also to become the centerpiece of many national administrations’ healthcare offerings in years to come.

To encourage widespread deployment of e-health applications, particularly in developing countries, it is essential to achieve interoperability among systems and to reduce the cost of devices through economies of scale. Open, global, interoperable standards are the tools to achieve this, and will also be key to ensuring an open, competitive market for e-health innovation in the future.

Much work has been conducted on the development of e-health standards and frameworks for interoperability, but these efforts have not been followed by proportional standard implementation or e-health service deployment. April’s workshop will address this disparity by clearly identifying the necessary future standardisation work, in particular to ensure interoperability, as well as the roles to be played by different stakeholders in progressing this work. In addition, meeting participants will discuss the creation of an e-health policy and strategic framework to guide the development of a sustainable e-health industry.

For more information on the workshop’s content, venue or participants, please consult the workshop's webpage.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:03:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Momentum towards greater interoperability between cloud services has been achieved with the announcement of new work in ITU.

ITU-T’s Study Group 13 (SG 13) has created a new Working Party (WP) on cloud computing, tasked with progressing the Technical Reports that were the output of a previous Focus Group on Cloud Computing (FG Cloud) towards formalization as ITU-T Recommendations.

Cloud computing is an industry expected to grow at an annual growth rate of roughly 30 per cent, consequently more than quadrupling in size between 2010 and 2015 to become an industry worth approximately $120 billion. However, concerns with the  portability – freedom to transfer data between the clouds of different providers - and the interoperability of cloud solutions has led to calls for standardization to fuel further industry growth (see ITU-T Techwatch Report, “Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids and Clouds”).

Jamil Chawki of France Telecom Orange was appointed Chair of the WP, which will take responsibility for existing SG 13 work on cloud computing as well as three new Questions:

 • Cloud computing ecosystem, inter-cloud and general requirements; Chaired by Kangchan Lee (ETRI, Korea)
 • Cloud functional architecture, infrastructure and networking; Chaired by Mingdong Li (ZTE, China)
 • Cloud computing resource management and virtualization; Chaired by Richard C. Brackney (Microsoft, USA)

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), ZTE Corporation and Microsoft are all very active within both ITU and the cloud computing field, and ITU is pleased to see these Questions placed in such capable hands.

In addition, SG 13 has appointed Monique Morrow of Cisco Systems as convener of the recently-established Joint Coordination Activity (JCA) on Cloud Computing [see newslog]. The JCA will coordinate the multi-dimensional study of cloud computing within the ITU, and will act as a point of contact for other organizations seeking to contribute to this work.

ITU’s cloud computing work has already attracted a great deal of interest resulting in several new memberships.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012 4:20:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An international experiment deploying ITU-standardized IPTV technologies has taken place 6-8 February 2012. IPTV services were used to live-stream scenes from the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan and to provide supporting Video-on-Demand (VoD) segments.

ITU Headquarters in Geneva received the stream from the head-end server in Japan, participating alongside organizations from Japan, Singapore and Thailand in what is the first transcontinental broadcast of a live event using IPTV technology standardized end-to-end by ITU. The connection uses native IPv6 from ITU Headquarters to Japan.

Proprietary IPTV services have hampered the growth of this exciting new market, and such experiments - together with ITU IPTV Interoperability events – are important steps towards broadening the IPTV market through globally-interoperable services. Standardized IPTV will lead to a whole new market for innovation, and ITU standards will ensure this market remains open, competitive and accessible to all.

First approved in 2009, Recommendation ITU-T H.762, a “Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment” (LIME) for IPTV services, is the standard with which Sapporo’s live-stream IPTV application complies. Hokkaido Television Broadcasting (HTB) developed this application, and is one of many broadcasters, manufacturers and research institutes involved in the IPTV experiments. The experiments have been organized by Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications (NICT) and are being conducted over its IPv6 research network, Japan Gigabit Network-eXtreme (JGN-X).

Other ITU-T IPTV standards also formed part of the infrastructure: H.770 IPTV Service discovery, H.721 IPTV terminal for VoD and Linear TV, H.701 IPTV Error correction, H.750 IPTV Metadata and the Primetime Emmy Award winning H.264 Video compression codec. The experiments also used Openflow, PCE/VNTM and sa46t.

For more on ITU’s IPTV standardization work, please see ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative here.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012 2:54:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 03, 2012

The January meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on Disaster Relief Systems, Network Resilience and Recovery (FG-DR&NRR).

A spate of recent natural disasters has underlined the need for preemptive disaster-response planning. ICT networks must be resilient enough to withstand disasters, but have also proven to be pivotal in providing relief to the people affected by major climatic fluctuations.

The Focus Group will coordinate ITU-T’s current work in this field, and will expand this work into two important new areas: (1) disaster relief for individuals (to notify relatives, friends or employers of a victim’s situation) and (2) disaster relief guidance (to show victims the routes to evacuation shelters, home, etc.).

 For these types of standardized emergency communications to exist, ICT network resilience and recovery capabilities need to be such that networks can resume normal service quickly after disaster strikes. TSAG has thus directed the Focus Group to identify all the standardization requirements of network resilience and recovery; a study which may extend beyond current ITU work in this field.

The Focus Group’s scope is as follows:

  • identify requirements for disaster relief and network resilience and familiarize the ITU-T and standardization communities with those requirements;
  • identify existing standards and existing work related to the requirements mentioned above;
  • identify any additional standards that may need to be developed and identify future work items for specific ITU-T Study groups and related actions;
  • encourage collaboration among ITU-T Study Groups, in particular SG2, SG5, SG13, SG15, and SG17, ITU-R, ITU-D and relevant organizations and communities, including the PCP/TDR.

The Focus Group will collaborate with worldwide relevant communities (e.g., research institutes, forums, academia) including other SDOs and consortia.

Comments invited by 10 February 2012

The group’s Terms of Reference are subject to consultation. The Membership is therefore invited to send comments to bruce.gracie@ic.gc.ca (TSAG Chairman), with copy to tsbtsag@itu.int or to t09tsagall@lists.itu.int (TSAG general mailing list), by no later than Friday, 10 February 2012.

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Friday, February 03, 2012 9:03:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 02, 2012

ITU and Telefónica co-host 2012 app-development contests

Geneva, 1 February 2012 - ITU and Telefónica have announced two challenges to uncover innovative ICT approaches to support the 2012 UN-declared ‘International Year for Sustainable Energy for All’.

The Green ICT Hackathon will take place on 28-29 February during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, while the 2nd Green ICT Application Challenge is now open for the submission of Concept Papers until 13 April, 2012.

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “Sustainable energy for all is crucial to the future of modern civilization. ITU is committed to stimulating the creation of innovative ICT apps founded on new modes of thinking; ideas to effect the change needed to achieve a sustainable future.”

Alberto Andreu Pinillos, Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer at Telefónica: “The Green ICT Hackathon is part of the joint activities of Telefónica’s Global Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Office, Movistar Spain and Bluevia, Telefónica’s global developer platform. These initiatives have a double objective – first, to support developers with great ideas, and second, to foster green ICT applications for energy efficiency and sustainable development.”

Full press release

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Thursday, February 02, 2012 8:38:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 30, 2012

The two latest reports from ITU-T’s Policy and Technology Watch Division – on video games and digital signage - feature prominently in the January issue of ITU News. Published in all six official ITU languages, the issue provides a snapshot of today’s ICT ecosystem and the global ITU activities and events which aid in giving it shape.

Video games today entertain a broad cross-section of consumers and represent an extremely profitable and still rapidly growing industry. September 2011’s Technology Watch Report on “Trends in Video Games and Gaming” brings light to the major gaming terminals and platforms, game forms and genres, and how the advent of social media and mobile gaming are augmenting an already highly-networked gaming culture.

Digital signage is poised to become a very large industry, in a very short space of time. Standardization is key to the development and accessibility of digital signage technologies, and a December 2011 workshop in Tokyo, organized by ITU and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, aimed to share ideas and insight on advanced digital signage service features and requirements, current best practices and existing standardization activities of key players. The event addressed digital signage technologies and the related standardization work being undertaken in ITU-T Study Group 16. For an in-depth view of digital signage and its market, see November 2011’s Technology Watch Report, “Digital Signage: the right information in all the right places.”

Experts from industry, research institutions and academia are invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts for future reports in the Technology Watch series. Please contact tsbtechwatch@itu.int for details and guidelines.

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Monday, January 30, 2012 3:07:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 20, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012 2:12:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 19, 2012

The January meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on Bridging the Gap: From Innovation to Standards (ItS). Standardization converts innovations into internationally-accessible tools to aid the growth of new markets and bridge the digital divide. The Focus Group will seek to reduce the lag between innovation and standardization; an action to ensure key innovations spread as fast as possible in the global ICT market.

Of particular importance to the group will be the identification of ICT innovation in the developing world, and the task of ensuring such innovation achieves international recognition through its inclusion in the standards produced by ITU-T.

The group will carry out the following specific actions:

  • In cooperation with ITU-D, document case studies of successful examples of ICT innovations, including those that have emerged in developing countries, and identify relevant standardization gaps.  Particular focus should be on the socio-economic impact of ICT innovation emerging in developing countries;
  • Analyze the innovations that may be standardized and identify best practices facilitating the implementation of such innovations in other parts of the world;
  • Identify case studies which developing countries can adopt to enhance their ICT innovation and standardization capabilities and associated socio-economic welfare;
  • Identify the difficulties faced by developing countries in bringing their ICT innovation to ITU-T.
  • Suggest future ITU-T study items and related actions;
  • Examine how other Standards Development Organizations, forums and consortia address ICT innovation and its integration into standardization activities;
  • Promote its activity at the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) meeting in November 2012.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012 4:08:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January’s meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a Joint Coordination Activity on cloud computing (JCA-Cloud). The work of the ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing (FG Cloud) will now be progressed through a number of ITU Study Groups with the JCA acting as a mechanism to coordinate the many dimensions of the study of cloud computing.

FG Cloud was formed following a request by leading CTOs to investigate the standardization landscape in the cloud computing market and pursue standards to lead to further commoditization and interoperability of clouds. The end goal is a cloud computing ecosystem where interoperability facilitates secure information exchange across platforms. With its work now complete, FG Cloud, in operation since May 2010, has mapped this landscape, established official liaisons with other standards developers and, as one of its deliverables, produced a technical report providing the first comprehensive view of the end-to-end architecture of a cloud computing system.

The burgeoning cloud computing market has evolved into service-oriented business models that offer physical and virtual resources on a pay-as-you-go basis – offering an alternative to in-house data centers and stringent license agreements.

The primary objectives of JCA-Cloud will be to allocate FG Cloud’s deliverables to study groups with associated domains of competence, and to ensure that the ITU-T standardization work on cloud computing progresses in a well-coordinated manner across all the relevant study groups. TSAG decided that ITU-T Study Group 13 be designated the lead study group on cloud computing.

Alongside this internal coordination role, JCA-Cloud will also take up an external collaboration role. It will analyze the cloud computing work taking place in regional and national standards development organizations (SDOs), consortia and fora, and will act as a point of contact for external bodies seeking to coordinate or collate their cloud computing standardization work with that of ITU-T. In carrying out this external collaboration role, representatives from national and regional organizations, consortia and fora may be invited to join JCA-Cloud.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012 2:05:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 16, 2012

The January meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Service Layer.

M2M refers to the ability of a machine to sense and measure certain variables, and communicate this information to other machines in a network. Included under the larger umbrella of the “Internet of Things” (IoT), M2M technologies have applications in a number of industries – e-health, fleet management, sales and payment, security and surveillance, intelligent transport systems (ITS) etc.

The group will study and evaluate the M2M landscape and M2M work currently being undertaken by regional and national standards development organizations (SDOs), with a view to identifying a common set of requirements.

The Focus Group will initially focus on the APIs and protocols to support e-health applications and services, and develop technical reports in these areas. It is suggested that the Focus Group establish three sub-working groups: “M2M use cases and service models”, “M2M service layer requirements” and “M2M APIs and protocols.” Strong collaboration with stakeholders such as Continua Health Alliance and World Health Organization (WHO) is foreseen.The Focus Group concept allows for greater operational flexibility and crucially allows non ITU members and other interested organisations to participate.

The group is expected to carry out the following specific tasks:

  • Research, collect and analyze the vertical market M2M service layer needs, initially focusing on e-health.
  • Identify a minimum common set of M2M service layer requirements and capabilities, initially focusing on e-health applications and services.
  • Study APIs and relevant protocols that satisfy the above requirements and capabilities to support the communications between the M2M applications and the telecom networks.
  • Develop technical reports to address the identified gaps and propose future standardization work for ITU-T developments on M2M.
  • Support global harmonization and consolidation by inputting its final deliverables to the parent Study Group and other relevant Study Groups as appropriate.

These terms of reference are subject to consultation of the next four-weeks.The Focus Group will work closely with all ITU-T Study Groups, especially Study Groups 13 and 16, with the other ITU sectors (ITU-R, ITU-D) and with other relevant UN agencies, SDOs, forums/consortia, regulators, policy makers, industry and academia. Within the ITU, the group will work particularly closely with the Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI).

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Monday, January 16, 2012 11:13:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 09, 2012

TSAG, the group that acts as the steering group for all ITU-T Study Groups will trial a cutting-edge remote participation platform that will allow ITU-T members to join meetings remotely and collaborate in the six official ITU languages, with full simultaneous interpretation.

Participants simply need log on using a standard web browser to join the meeting from any location that has a good quality high-speed connection. To profit from interpreted audio feeds participants will also have to dial-in via a standard telephone line.

Logging onto the system will take participants into a ‘virtual meeting room’, where they can see a list of participants, interact with others via online chat and video links, and view meeting documents. ITU interpretation services mean verbal interventions can be made in any of the supported languages.

The new platform will greatly enrich the quality of discussions, further narrowing the ‘standardization gap’ which tends to favour participants from wealthier nations, and allowing many more people from different countries and cultures to join the discussion.

The platform is based around the Adobe Connect software suite, with compatible pods provided by Refined Data Solutions Inc. in partnership with ZipDX (multilingual functionality) and Caption First (captioning).

The innovation also represents a significant milestone in ITU’s efforts to become carbon neutral, reducing the need for delegates to travel to and from meetings.

Pre-registration is necessary in order to use the new platform. For more information, see TSAG TD 311 and http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/tsag/remote-participation.html for details.

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Monday, January 09, 2012 10:15:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 16, 2011

A new Standards Q&A Forum will promote more interactive discussion between the experts creating ICT standards and those applying them. The pilot project has been launched to enable the submission of queries on all aspects of ITU-T Recommendations, in particular from developing countries.
 
Alongside the transfer of knowledge to developing nations, industry members in the developed world gain an opportunity to tap into new markets; making their products and services known to rapidly growing markets in developing nations.
 
The open, moderated forum will focus on the standardization work of ITU and offers participants a unique opportunity to engage with the experts that develop the standards underpinning ICT. An FAQ section introduces strangers to standardization and the ITU-T, covering all manner of questions from, “Why do we need international standards?,” to, “How does the ITU-T decide what needs standardization?” The forum is then organized into the major themes or questions being dealt with by ITU-T study groups.
 

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Friday, September 16, 2011 9:06:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The 2012 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award is being presented to Gisle Bjontegaard, of Tandberg Telecom (now Cisco Systems Norway); Gary Sullivan, of Microsoft Corporation; and Thomas Wiegand, of the Berlin University of Technology, "for leadership and technical contributions to the development of the globally deployed video coding standard ITU-T H.264/MPEG4-AVC." These three innovators – who are also lead experts in ITU video coding work – will receive their award at the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE). Held annually in conjunction with the International Consumer Electronics Show, the conference will take place in Las Vegas, 13-16 January 2012.

Sponsored by Sony Corporation, this award recognises outstanding contributions in the field of consumer electronics technology, and is yet more recognition of the enormous success enjoyed by the H.264 codec. Already the recipient of a Primetime Emmy award, the codec continues to receive the praise and support of the ICT community.

ITU-T's Study Group 16 and ISO/IEC's Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) have formed the Joint Collaborative Team on video coding (JCT-VC) to work on the successor to H.264 (also standardized as ISO/IEC 14496-10, or MPEG-4 AVC). This successor – working title HEVC – is currently being formulated with approval expected in early 2013.

HEVC is likely to have native 3D capability, ensuring that this fast-paced industry can profit from standardized solutions. To many consumers, 3D TV is quickly becoming a very attractive, attainable product – and standards-based solutions will only add to a more vibrant set of offerings.

 

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011 4:39:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 12, 2011

ITU is organizing a Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap for the CIS Region on 7th October in Chisinau, Moldova back to back with the ITU Cross Regional Seminar on Broadband. The workshop and is being organized by ITU in cooperation with the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications of the Republic of Moldova.

Taking part in the standardization process for new technologies will accelerate the deployment of new networks and services bringing connectivity to cities and towns as well as remote areas. With next generation broadband technologies for example, standards work is lowering the capital cost of deployment in the network core. The main objective of this workshop is to examine key standardization activities on emerging technologies and actions that countries can take to bridge the standardization gap. Participation in standardization activities offers the opportunity for developing countries to jump several generations of technology. ITU will take into account the needs of these countries in producing its standards, and will seek to provide assistance in implementing them.

 

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Monday, September 12, 2011 1:45:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The first ITU Green Standards Week closed Friday with a call on international bodies, NGOs, standards bodies, governments, regulators, industry and academia to collaborate more closely on the application and development of information and communication technologies (ICT) standards to help combat climate change. Particular emphasis was placed on a globalized methodology to assess the environmental impact of ICTs, reducing e-waste, and the use of submarine cables for climate monitoring and disaster warning.

ITU has been working with industry and government members aiming to achieve agreement on an internationally recognized set of methodologies to be approved by the end of the year. Included is a methodology which ICT companies can use to measure their own carbon footprint, as well as a way to estimate the considerable savings in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy that can be achieved in other sectors through the use of ICTs.

Full press release

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Monday, September 12, 2011 10:27:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 01, 2011

Launched in July 2011, ITU’s IPTV Application Challenge is a ground-breaking stimulus to innovation in this exciting new field of ICT.

Highlighting the rapidly expanding range of the IPTV ecosystem, this unique competition - the first of its kind and worldwide in its scope - presents an opportunity to develop IPTV applications running over either ITU-T H.761 Ginga-NCL or ITU-T H.762 LIME. Both platforms are open, flexible, easily deployed, and ensure high quality IPTV products.

In today’s global economy, innovative applications compliant with ITU’s IPTV standards represent an unparalleled commercial opportunity. However, no great idea would see the light of day without startup capital, and the best app submitted by an individual or small and medium enterprise (SME)* will thus be awarded USD10,000, courtesy of platinum sponsors; Sumitomo Electric Networks Inc., and Dentsu Inc. Winners will receive their awards in October, at the ITU Telecom World 2011 in Geneva, where a range of innovative applications will be showcased.

Before submitting an application, participants are required to register before 30 September 2011. An entry ID and application number will be assigned to participants on registration, and must be included in competition submission(s). Applications must be submitted by 5 October 2011 (Deadline extended).

* As defined in the rules

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Thursday, September 01, 2011 4:47:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The application “Smart Recycling” has been awarded the winner of the first ITU Green ICT Application Challenge. The global competition was organized by ITU and supported by Telefónica and Research In Motion to identify innovative applications that can help improve energy efficiency and combat climate change. Designed by Lis Lugo Colls, from Spain, the application aims to help mobile users locate recycling and garbage bins within their area, and provide advice generally on recycling. The application will benefit citizens, government recycling programs and private recycling companies by creating a more sustainable and resource-efficient future through community engagement and eco-design.

Four special mentions were made by the jury to the applications “Make Me Green – Delivering Context-Specific Suggestions for a Green Lifestyle”, by Stephen Reiter and Simone Ferlin (Germany), “Effi-e Play Green”, presented by Maria Dolores Rodriguez De Azero (Spain), “Mobile App to Use a Vehicle to its Fullest Capacity”, by Praneel Raja (India) and “A Community-Based System for Biodiversity Degradation”, by Euphraith Muthoni Masinde (Kenya).

These applications touch upon related issues such as raising awareness of the impact that lifestyles have on the environment, monitoring energy and water consumption in hotels, promoting car sharing and sharing traditional and indigenous knowledge on biodiversity and conservation.

The winner of the competition - Lis Lugo Colls - will present their application during the upcoming ITU Green Standards Week, to be held in Rome (Italy) from 5 to 9 September 2011. As winner Lis Colls will receive a cash prize of USD 10,000 to further develop the application.

ITU would like to thank all developers for their interest and participation in this first App challenge. Overall 54 applications were received covering topics such as monitoring climate change, measurement of GHG emissions, adaptation and mitigation to climate change, and community engagement.

Click here for further information on the competition. More information on ITU’s activities on climate change is available at www.itu.int/climate

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Thursday, September 01, 2011 2:53:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ITU-T is to host two webinars in September – kick starting a new programme of standalone virtual events that will augment the traditional workshops programme.

The first event on 15 September will focus on Optical fibres, cables and systems and is based on the ITU-T handbook of the same name. The webinar will provide a basic overview of the handbook which offers a functional grouping of ITU standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on optical technology e.g. optical fibres and cables, physical optical interfaces, optical fibres terrestrial and submarine cable systems.

Speakers are leading experts in the field from industry and either participated in the writing of the handbook or contributed to the development of the referenced standards. The event is aimed at engineers, technicians, technologists, mid-level management and regulators active in the implementation of optical-fibres-based systems. The online event complements the 2nd ITU Tutorial on Optical Fibres Cables and Systems which will take place at the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City, Mexico from 19 to 30 September 2011.

Find out more here: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/optical-fibre/201109/webinar.html

The second event on 20 September focuses on ITU-T standards for optical transport networks (OTN) which have played a leading role in transforming the Internet’s bandwidth capabilities. This work is led by ITU-T Study Group 15, which has developed a set of standards (ITU-T Recommendations) that define the existing OTN framework. SG 15 is currently developing future technologies such as gigabit-capable and 10-gigabit-capable passive optical networks (GPON and XGPON) to satisfy the unprecedented bandwidth requirements that will soon be demanded by service providers and consumers. This online event is based on the ITU-T manual on Optical Transport Networks from TDM to Packet.

Find out more here: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/otn/201109/index.html

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011 4:36:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 17, 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 tsbiotgsi@itu.int.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:22:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 22, 2011

The 2nd ITU Tutorial on Optical Fibre Cables and Systems will take place at the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City, Mexico from 19 to 30 September 2011.
 
The tutorial is based on the ITU-T handbook “Optical fibres, cables and systems” which offers a functional grouping of ITU standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on optical technology e.g. optical fibres and cables, physical optical interfaces, optical fibre terrestrial and submarine cable systems. The tutors are leading experts in the field from industry and either participated in the writing of the handbook or contributed to the development of the referenced standards. The event is aimed at engineers, technicians, technologists, mid-level management and regulators active in the implementation of optical-fibre-based systems.

The programme will provide an in-depth insight into the ITU-T Recommendations that have shaped the optical transport networks of the world. Some aspects of wireless communication will also be addressed in cooperation with the Development Sector of the ITU (ITU-D). Participants will gain a insight into how to design and implement projects choosing the most appropriate state-of-the-art equipment. In addition they will learn how to evaluate a power budget and the fundamental parameters to be taken into account in the preparation of technical and administrative specifications for a supply contract.

On Saturday, 24th September, a “crash” course on Optical fibres, cables and systems will also be held at the same venue.  The target audience will be university students and/or specialized schools from Mexico and other Latin American countries. It is intended to provide participants a general overview of optical fibre standardization. In addition a supporting webinar will take place in the week starting 12 September – details to follow.

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Friday, July 22, 2011 8:41:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU is organizing a two-day Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap for the Arab Region on 26 September 2011, followed by an Interactive Training Session on a simulated study group meeting on 27 September 2011 and a half day ITU Academia Seminar on 28th September 2011.

The workshop is designed to provide concrete advice and best practices on participation by developing countries in global standards development and building nation standards readiness. It will also examine standards work on key new technologies. The Interactive Training Session will provide an interactive learning experience through a simulated Study Group meeting. It will be of greatest interest to those who will be, or who have begun, participating in international meetings and those who have some international experience with plans to move into leadership roles. The ITU Academia Seminar will present ITU’s relationship with Academia and the benefit of ITU membership for academic and research institutions.

All events are held at the kind invitation of the Autorité de Régulation de la Poste et des Télécommunications (ARPT). 

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Friday, July 22, 2011 8:39:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ITU is organizing the first Green Standards Week from 5 to 9 September in Rome, Italy. The cluster of workshops, hosted by Telecom Italia and supported by Huawei, RIM, Alcatel Lucent and Microsoft, will focus on raising awareness of the importance of using ICT standards to build a green economy and combat climate change. Full remote participation will be made possible with video, streamed audio and the ability to send questions via a moderator.

A High-Level Segment (HLS) will provide Ministers and senior representatives from the ICT industry with an opportunity to exchange views on how ICTs can help in the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the run-up to Durban (COP-17) and in preparation for the Earth Summit Rio +20 to be held in 2012. The HLS will aim to set transparent policy objectives and targets to measure and improve government green ICT strategies and standards, including ICT-enabled applications across the economy.

During the event the winner of the Green ICT Applications Challenge will be announced and be given the opportunity to present their concept for an app to combat climate change.

The first workshop will focus on methodologies for environmental impact assessment of ICT and will examine work underway to measure the impact of ICTs on climate change and how to standardize the way to calculate the reduction of GHG that ICTs have. This workshop will be jointly organized with the European Commission.

A second workshop will look at moving to a green economy through ICT standards will explore how ICTs can help to address climate change and build a green economy, shedding light on standards, policies and best practices. This workshop will be jointly organized with Telecom Italia.

The last day will see a workshop on using submarine communications networks to monitor the climate and will aim to encourage the development of new technologies and standards and will explore business opportunities for telecommunication companies to become active players in monitoring climate change. This workshop will be jointly organized by ITU, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Green Standards Week will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners,
government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. It is open to participation by the press.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:18:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 15, 2011

Geneva, 14 July, 2011 - ITU is pleased to announce that the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan, has today been assigned the international dialling code 211, following the country’s formal recognition as a UN Member State.

The fledgling South Sudan Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services welcomed the new code, which has particular resonance for South Sudan’s citizens as representing the year in which South Sudan gained independence (2011), the date of its referendum (which took place in the first day of the first month of 2011), and a symbol of good fortune. The number had been specifically requested following a special Council of Ministers Resolution.

Full press release

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Friday, July 15, 2011 2:16:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ITU’s message to global climate change conference

Geneva, 13 July, 2011 - Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-17) in Durban, South Africa, attendees at the ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change in Ghana have renewed calls for global leaders to recognize the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

An outcome document asks that ITU, as the UN specialized agency for ICTs, lead a coalition urging COP-17 delegates to look to the enormous potential of ICT solutions to cut emissions across all sectors. The document calls for the adoption of a ‘closed loop’ approach to manufacturing and recycling which will reduce the need to extract and process raw materials. It also asks for recognition of the value of ICTs in monitoring deforestation, crop patterns and other environmental phenomena.

Full press release

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 1:49:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU is calling for contributions to a workshop on relay services for persons with disabilities. The event will take place at ITU Headquarters, Geneva on 25 November 2011.

Relay services allow people with disabilities to communicate with standard telephone users. Communication may be made by speech, text, video or any combination. Video connections are particularly important for those who wish to use sign language. Modern relay services are making increasing use of the Internet, which permits a much wider range of communication terminals for users with disabilities. Smartphones, laptops, tablets and normal desktop PCs have all been used and more devices will appear in the future.

Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) promotes the use of ICTs to enable full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life, on an equal basis with others. It requires governments to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to communications and information technology. The increasing number of countries adopting the UNCRPD will need advice on the provision of relay services and this workshop aims to meet that need. ITU-T Question 26/16 is currently studying relay services with an aim to advise in those areas through ITU-T Technical Papers and Recommendations. In this context, the workshop is intended as a forum where ideas, problems and good practices can be shared. Existing and future relay service suppliers will be able to share experiences with governments, regulators, standards makers, user groups and users; the outcomes will be fed into the Q26/16 studies.

This workshop will address the following topics:

  • Experience with operation of relay services, both positive and negative
  • User requirements
  • Performance parameters
  • Innovation in the design or implementation of relay services
  • The use of relay services to access emergency services
  • Regulatory aspects
  • Funding of relay services
  • User experiences that have improved the lives of persons with disabilities
  • Good practices on improving awareness of relay services.

Anyone wishing to make a presentation during the event should contact the organiser, Bill Pechey, (bpechey@computency.co.uk, +44 1491 681236) by 31 August 2011 at the latest. Requests will be honoured based on speaking slot availability and thematic consistency.  Contributions on other topics relevant to the theme may be accepted.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 8:39:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 08, 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, July 08, 2011 8:54:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 07, 2011

Geneva, 7 July, 2011 - ITU’s latest global Application Challenge encourages developers around the world to create innovative IPTV apps running over ITU standards.

Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about the IPTV platform and the opportunities it offers. The best app submitted by an individual or SME* will be awarded USD10,000, thanks to platinum sponsors Sumitomo Electric Networks, Inc. and Dentsu Inc. There is a separate category for corporate entries, and winners will receive their awards at a special event at the ITU Telecom World 2011 show in Geneva in October.

While highlighting the rapidly expanding range of the IPTV ecosystem, this latest ITU App Challenge is designed to stimulate ground-breaking ideas from all corners of the globe.

“ITU has pioneered a raft of standards for IPTV, which are set to transform global viewing habits. Global standards such as these will be key to take-up,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU. “With this technology we have all the advantages of traditional ‘linear’ TV combined with the flexibility that the Internet offers. This challenge offers a fantastic opportunity for people to be creative, and I hope we can inspire some truly innovative thinking.”

Full press release

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Thursday, July 07, 2011 1:45:14 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)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 23, 2011
Green application developers were inspired to contribute to ITU’s Green ICT Application Challenge following a visit to the Guardian’s Activate event last week.

Participants in a 'Hacktivate' session were asked to develop and showcase apps that aim to improve lives through intelligent use of data and technology.

ITU and challenge sponsor Telefonica were given the opportunity to promote their Green ICT Application Challenge at the event inspiring some of the developers to incorporate green thinking into their apps.

High-speed internet connection, free APIs, expert advice, drinks and snacks were the ingredients used by more than 50 developers to put together apps including an app to help find your vegetable peelings a home; apps to give environmental credentials on products you might be interested in purchasing; an app to help you recycle unwanted items around your home and a climate quiz. More details can be found here.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011 8:17:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 20, 2011
A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report provides an overview of emerging trends in optical networking and progression towards the all optical computer. The report also surveys current and forthcoming standardization work in the field of optical technologies.

Today, the most widely used optical technology is optical fibre for high-speed interconnections, such as in server racks, connecting offices, buildings, metropolitan networks, in computers for data transfer and even continents via submarine cables. However, none of these devices is fully optical; all rely to some extent on conventional electronic circuits and components.

In the past, high costs have prevented optical components from finding their way into computers. But as optical technology matures, prices drop and the limits of miniaturization appear to have been reached, optical alternatives are finding their place in computer systems. The use of all types of optical technologies in communication networks and computers, because they consume less power, is seen as a major saving on operational costs for service providers, while at the same time helping to reduce the carbon footprint. The gradual incorporation of optical technology into the world of traditional electronics is paving the way for the era of the optical world.

Without optical technologies and optical networking related standards, the Internet as we know it today would not be feasible. Optical technologies have been the driving force behind the bandwidth growth of the Internet and enabled the emergence of bandwidth hungry applications for video and new business models such as YouTube which allows users to share video clips. According to the annual Cisco Visual Networking Index, the estimated global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic was 176 exabytes (x1018) in 2009 and  is projected to increase more than fourfold to reach 767 exabytes by 2014. This growth will be driven mainly by video, due to improvements in bandwidth capacity and the increasing popularity of high-definition and 3D television.

ITU-T standards in optical transport networks (OTN)  have played a leading role in transforming the Internet’s bandwidth capabilities. This work is led by ITU-T Study Group 15, which has developed a set of Recommendations that defines the existing OTN framework, and is currently developing future technologies such as gigabit-capable and 10-gigabit-capable passive optical networks (GPON and XGPON) to satisfy the unprecedented bandwidth requirements that will soon be demanded by service providers and consumers.

Major breakthroughs are expected in the areas of optical networking, silicon photonics, nanotechnologies and non-linear optics which could lead to major changes in the way computers, networks and data centres are designed.

A dedicated website provides additional sources of information and an overview of ITU-T Study Groups with work items related to optical technologies.

Download Report                   Go to Optical World Website

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Monday, June 20, 2011 8:44:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 09, 2011
The World Standards Cooperation (WSC) has announced the results of the poster competition for World Standards Day 2011, which attracted 45 entries and 2,000 votes.

Open to all, the competition was to design a poster for World Standards Day, 14 October, on the theme, “International Standards – Creating confidence globally”. The competition’s organizer, the WSC, comprises the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

First prize and winner of 1,500 Swiss francs goes to Caterina Fiorani, (Italy).




Runners up receiving 500 Swiss francs each are:

  • The team of Alexandra Schoenitz, Eurydice Avoine, Cornell Gorgas and Thibaud Cerdan (France/Germany)
  • Teguh Pribadi Adi Nugroho (Indonesia)
  • Eva Kohl (Germany).

The winner, Caterina Fiorani, is a young architect, working as an independent architecture and planning professional in Rome. This is how she explains the inspiration for her poster: “There are some gestures that have universal value: one of them is the open hand, which may indicate greeting, welcome, the reassurance of a peaceful attitude, a deep confidence in human skills.

“Two open hands in contact suggest honesty, and the helpfulness of man towards other human beings, which makes it possible to cooperate for a common purpose. Moreover, two hands recall the concept of work which is the principal tool through which man can achieve quality in his production, with the essential aid of International Standards, a necessary and powerful help to reach excellence.

“The whole world is represented through dots, a standardized graphic sign which symbolizes the hope for equal dignity for human beings all around the globe.  The use of colour emphasizes local differences as an added value that must never be forgotten.”

The competition was promoted via social media (Twitter, Facebook) and voting held online. It proved so popular that the deadline had to be extended to late May. The final competing entries were chosen by the WSC and displayed for voting on its Website.

The World Standards Cooperation was set up in 2001 in order to strengthen and advance the voluntary consensus-based international standards systems of IEC, ISO and ITU. Each year on 14 October, the members of the IEC, ISO and ITU celebrate World Standards Day, which is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards. In addition to the poster, the three partners will be producing a World Standards Day message.

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Thursday, June 09, 2011 1:59:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The dynamic growth in information technologies since the late 1970s — including computing, telephony, networks, and enterprise systems — has highlighted the vital importance of interoperability and standardization between these systems.
The latest newsletter from the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) explores interoperability in the health, building construction, telecom and electric power sectors and how it can result in lower costs, increased operating efficiency, improved reliability and security and new services through competitive innovation.

Read it here.
Sign up for future issues here.

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Thursday, June 09, 2011 1:49:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Four ITU-T G.hn chipset manufacturers converged on Geneva this week to test interoperability between their products. The advanced interoperability demonstrated highlights the maturity of the various vendors' designs and the completeness of the G.hn standard. Experts expect products on the market before the end of the year.
 
Hosted by ITU, the event was a joint effort of HomeGrid Forum and the Broadband Forum, and the first major opportunity for silicon vendors to test the interoperability of their products for the G.hn home networking standard. The event was facilitated by the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL).
 
ITU-T G.hn is the first global home networking standard, created to unify home networking services and devices over any wire, including coaxial cable, phone lines or power lines. Lantiq, Marvell, Metanoia, and Sigma Designs participated in the week-long event that covered interoperation in the physical layer.
 
In parallel, experts met at a workshop designed to ensure that the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) concerns are taken into account in the rollout of the new technology.
 
“Interoperability is key to the success of any new technology,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “These events give vendors a unique opportunity to prove to service providers that their products are ready for market. And products conforming to the G.hn specification comply with the most rigorous EMC requirements that ensure they cause no interference to radio services.”

HomeGrid is poised to launch a formal Compliance and Interoperability program, bringing HomeGrid certified products to the market this year and giving the industry a new benchmark of technology excellence for wired home networking. Another interoperability event is planned later in the year.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011 8:13:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 06, 2011
ITU is organizing a Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap for the Asia-Pacific Region on 4-5 July 2011 and an Interactive Training Session and Standardization Tutorial on 6th July 2011. The event will be hosted by the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) with the kind support of the Telecommunications Technology Association of the Republic of Korea (TTA) and the Korea Communications Commission, Republic of Korea. The Workshop and Interactive Training Session will be held back-to-back with the 4th APT Policy and Regulation Forum for Pacific from 6 to 8 July 2011.

The workshop is intended to provide concrete advice and best practices on participation by developing countries in global standards development and building national standards readiness. It will also examine standards work on key new technologies.

The Interactive Training Session and Standardization Tutorial on the second day will provide an interactive learning experience through a simulated Study Group meeting. It will be of greatest interest to those who will be, or who have begun, participating in international meetings and those who have some international experience with plans to move into leadership roles.

The event is intended for ICT standardization experts from the region, ICT companies, service providers, vendors, manufacturers, ICT regulators, national standards bodies and test labs.

For more information about the event see here.

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Monday, June 06, 2011 1:54:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 03, 2011
Geneva, 02 June, 2011 – Concerns that home networking products using power line transmission (PLT) technology may cause interference with radio services led to a Forum last week in Geneva to address the issue. ITU’s own home networking standard ITU-T G.hn was considered to have electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)  and mitigation techniques that go well beyond those considered essential for protecting radio services.

Given the variety of electronic devices in our homes, strict EMC requirements are imperative. Over-the-air broadcast services in particular could be subject to interference from PLT systems.

Full press release

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Friday, June 03, 2011 9:56:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The kick off meeting of the Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility (FG AVA) took place on 26 May 2011 and was a great success.
 
There was wide participation from key stakeholders, both physically and virtually using remote participation tools. Those participating included universities and research centres, organizations representing persons with disabilities, AV media companies, network and service providers, vendors, organizations representing consumer electronics manufacturers, WIPO, government and regulatory bodies. The aim of this first meeting was to define the scope of the Group’s work – interpret the objectives, define core terms and agree on procedures.
 
The Focus Group addressed the need to mainstream audiovisual media accessibility focusing on making digital media accessible for all, in particular for the elderly and persons with disabilities.
 
It was decided to organize the work within the following areas:
  • Captioning
  • Audio/Video description and spoken captions
  • Visual signing and sign language
  • Emerging access services
  • Electronic Programming Guides and on-air promotion
  • Participation and digital media
  • Digital Broadcast Television
  • IPTV
  • Mobile and handheld devices
  • Key Performance Indicators for the accessibility of broadcast television, IPTV and metadata, mobile and hand-held devices        
 
Eight deliverables were agreed, one of which covers guidelines on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. During the 18-month life of the Focus Group, participants will collect issues and problems related to implementation of the Convention as well as real-world problems from persons with disabilities and persons with age-related functional impairments. In addition it will collect examples of good practice through case studies and other means, and prepare guidelines for the inclusion of access services in all new digital AV user devices.

The next meeting will take place 15 September 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011 9:24:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 30, 2011
ITU and TechAmerica are organizing the side event “Linking Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) with the Cancun Agreements”. The event will take place on 7 June 2011 from 18.15 to 19.45, in Bonn (Germany) during the June UN climate change talks.

Among topics for discussion will be how ICTs can help adapt and mitigate climate change and what existing ICTs are affordable for developing countries. The event will also provide an opportunity to exchange views on how ICTs can help to implement the Cancun Agreements and will look at the new technologies to  promote green ICTs and innovation.

More information available here.

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Monday, May 30, 2011 3:52:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The first meeting of the Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility will take place in Geneva 26 May.

The group, open to all, will address the need to make audiovisual media accessible for all, but in particular, persons with disabilities. It will encourage the concept of universal design, the development of services taking into account the needs of all users, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Interoperability of devices and features that boost accessibility will also be an area of discussion.

One expected deliverable of the group will be guidelines on the implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Focus Group participants will collect issues and problems related to implementation of the Convention as well as real-world problems from persons with disabilities and persons with age-related functional impairments. In addition it will collect examples of good practice through case studies and other means, and prepare guidelines for the inclusion of access services in all new digital AV user devices.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 3:30:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 19, 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 tsbiotgsi@itu.int.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011 3:53:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2011
ITU will host an event to test the interoperability of products incorporating its ITU-T G.hn home networking standard, 23-27 May.

Facilitated by the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry, the event is a joint effort by the HomeGrid Forum and the Broadband Forum.

Members of the Broadband Forum and HomeGrid Forum will be able to submit their chipsets for interoperability testing with other chipsets. Results will further strengthen the test suite and will serve as the proving ground for future events and certification efforts. The intent is to provide a structured approach to multi-vendor interoperability testing.
 
ITU-T G.hn is the first global home networking standard, created to unify home networking services and devices over any wire, including coaxial cable, phone lines or power lines. The event is driven by vendor interest and the industry’s desire to test early silicon and demonstrate G.hn technology’s market potential. Multiple G.hn chipset vendors are expected to participate.
 
Specifically, the goals of this first G.hn Interop event are to launch the organizations’ formal test program, validate what is being defined in the test suite, and perform early tests for interoperability and compliance of chipsets from a number of vendors. Performance results will be recorded providing valuable feedback to the participating players prior to market entry. This allows for efficient editing to the test plans and helps ensure that products hitting the market are interoperable.

HomeGrid Forum will also hold additional events, in addition to its Compliance & Interoperability Program public interoperability events, compliance/conformance testing, and will eventually issue certification.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 9:18:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 13, 2011

The fully networked human? − Innovations for future networks and services the fourth ITU Kaleidoscope academic conference has extended the deadline for papers until 29 May 2011.

A prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers. The winning papers will be featured in a future special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine, with all papers available from the IEEE Xplore online catalogue. Organized by ITU-T with IEEE ComSoc as Technical Co-Sponsor, Kaleidoscope 2011 will take place at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, 12-14 December.

For additional information see the event webpage at: http://itu-kaleidoscope.org/2011.


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Friday, May 13, 2011 5:05:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Geneva, 6 May 2011 — ITU and the EPO (European Patent Office) have signed an agreement in recognition of the need for standards makers to share information to help improve the quality of patents.

Standards are essential for the wide adoption of new technologies in the marketplace. However, there is potential for conflict between patents and standards when the implementation of the standard requires the use of technology protected by one or more patents.

The newly signed agreement will help create the right balance between the interests of all relevant stakeholders, including patent holders, implementers of the standards, and end-users while seeking to enable solutions to market-driven needs on a global basis.

Full press release

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Friday, May 13, 2011 4:16:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2011
ITU will hold a Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap for the Americas Region in Guatemala on 6 June. It will be followed by an Interactive Training Session and Standardization Tutorial on 7 June. The event will be hosted by the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones de Guatemala.

The workshop is intended to provide concrete advice and best practices on participation by developing countries in global standards development and building national standards readiness. It will also examine standards work on key new technologies.

The Interactive Training Session and Standardization Tutorial on the second day will provide an interactive learning experience through a simulated Study Group meeting. It will be of greatest interest to those who will be, or who have begun, participating in international meetings and those who have some international experience with plans to move into leadership roles.

The event is intended for administrations and public institutions, ICT companies, service providers, vendors, manufacturers, ICT regulators, national standards bodies, test labs, certifiers, organizations from developing countries and civil society.
For more information about the event see here.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 8:13:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Geneva, 9 May 2011 – ITU’s one-size fits all universal charging solution has been further improved to maximize the benefits for end users by extending its use to a wider variety of devices and making it even more energy efficient.

A detachable cable with standardized end connectors will allow connection to devices including all mobile phones and other hand-held devices (including MP3/MP4 players, tablet computers, cameras, wireless headphones, GPS devices etc). This also means that it can be used for data transfer, avoiding an unnecessary duplicate cable and thus further reducing costs and e-waste.

Full press release

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011 8:28:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 06, 2011
ITU’s Sixth Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change will take place 7-8 July in Ghana. The event will be hosted by the Ministry of Communications (MOC) of Ghana.

The main purpose of the event is to move forward the agenda on using ICTs to monitor climate change, mitigate and adapt to its effects and, identify future requirements for ITU’s related work.

The symposium will also focus on the issue of ICTs, the environment and climate change in Africa and the needs of developing countries. Topics to be discussed will include mitigation and adaptation to climate change, e-waste, disaster planning, cost-effective ICT technologies, methodologies for the environmental impact assessment of ICTs, challenges and opportunities in the transition to a green and resource efficient economy.

The symposium will identify possible goals, commitments and modalities for the ICT sector to be developed in the process leading to the forthcoming 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17-CMP7), to be held in Durban, South Africa in November 2011. The event will also develop a set of recommendations for action in relation to ICTs, the environment and climate change towards a green economy, as a contribution to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD 2012 or Rio+20).

The event follows successful symposia between 2008 and 2010 in Kyoto, London, Quito, Seoul and Cairo. It will be preceded by a Training Seminar on Conformity and Interoperability for Africa that will be held from 4 to 6 July. It will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others.

For more information on the symposium see here.

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Friday, May 06, 2011 3:46:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Bilel Jamoussi, Chief, Study Groups Department (ITU-T) will be speaking at the Abu Dhabi Telecoms CEO Summit on Tuesday 17 May.

Jamoussi’s presentation entitled  ITU Standards are key for International Expansion will form part of Session 3  on International Expansion Strategies.

ITU will also host an ITU stand at the Exhibition from Monday 16 to Wednesday 18 May, booth number 34. Please come and visit us.



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Wednesday, May 04, 2011 9:56:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 03, 2011
ITU has adopted a suite of global technical standards that provide a common framework for  exchanging information on cybersecurity. The suite is known as CYBEX and provides for enhancing protection for all kinds of ICT systems, equipment, and software.

CYBEX focuses on the structured exchange of cybersecurity information and provides coherent common specifications allowing different operators, systems, and security communities to communicate vital cybersecurity information to each other, enhance protection, and identify and understand attacks . CYBEX is an important element in ITU’s array of standards improving confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

The first three standards of this suite of standards (known as ITU-T X.1500 Recommendations) consist of: (1) an overview of the model for trusted exchange of cybersecurity information; (2) the exchange of vulnerability information; and (3) "weighing" of vulnerabilities.  

ITU’s security study group (ITU-T Study Group 17) has started new work entitled continuous security monitoring using CYBEX techniques. The work will focus on the use of CYBEX standards by enterprises and network operators to enhance their individual and collective cybersecurity and reduce their risks. Experts say the complexity of existing network infrastructures, equipment, software, and services renders enterprises constantly vulnerable and subject to compromise. The work may also be applicable to cloud computing, virtualization and Smart Grid electrical power management environments.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011 3:28:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 21, 2011
The fourth ITU Kaleidoscope academic conference - Kaleidoscope 2011 - will also host the second Jules Verne’s corner (JVc), its theme: The Chip in the Brain. A call for abstracts has been issued and invites submissions until 10 June 2011.

This year’s Jules Verne’s corner (JVc) invites us to consider challenges related to the insertion of silicon chips into humans. Positive applications, may include lifestyle improvements, establishing wireless brain-machine communication and e-health applications. But there are also complex legal, privacy, responsibility and security issues to be addressed.

JVc is the home for visionaries, science fiction writers, journalists, movie directors and anybody who can develop concepts to make possible the impossible during the second half of the XXI century.

In addition, a third call for papers has been issued for Kaleidoscope 2011 and invites submissions until 15 May 2011. A prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers. The winning papers will be featured in a future special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine, with all papers available from the IEEE Xplore online catalogue.

Kaleidoscope events are peer-reviewed academic conferences that aim at increasing the dialogue between experts working on the standardization of ICTs and academia, and at identifying emerging developments in ICTs at an early stage to generate successful products and services through the development of international standards.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact the ITU-T Kaleidoscope secretariat at kaleidoscope@itu.int.  
For additional information see the event webpage at: http://itu-kaleidoscope.org/2011.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:30:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Geneva, 18 April 2011 – Leading global standards organizations ITU and ISO have announced the creation of a partnership in the burgeoning field of intelligent transport systems (ITS).

Industry experts who gathered for the recent ISO/ITU/IEC Fully Networked Car event at the Geneva Motor Show agreed that the next twenty years will see a huge shift towards ITS. Today’s communications capabilities give the potential for vehicles 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, minimize their carbon emissions and provide multimedia communications.

Full press release

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 1:38:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The first meeting of ITU’s Global Standards Initiative on the Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) will take place 9-13 May in Geneva. 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.

ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and its membership are at the forefront of standards development in the field. The presentation here highlights some of the work so far.

With the benefit of integrated information processing capacity, many products will take on smart capabilities. They may take on electronic identities that can be queried remotely, or be equipped with sensors for detecting physical changes around them. Embedding intelligence in to our environment in this way will stimulate the creation of innovative products and new business opportunities.

The success of the Internet of Things depends on the existence and smooth and interoperability of global standards.

IoT-GSI will provide a single location for information on and development of IoT standards. This new Global Standards Initiative will give greater impetus and coordination to existing work and provide a common working platform by collocating meetings of IoT-related groups to develop the standards necessary for global IoT deployment. Taking into account the work done in other standards development bodies will also be crucial. Indeed this has already been a strong focus of work to date and ITU is actively seeking the participation of these entities in order to work towards a truly global solution.

The following list of topics includes some of the work items to be addressed:
–  Concept, vision and use cases of the Internet of Things
–  Architectural framework of the Internet of Things
–  Identification architecture for the Internet of Things
–  Requirements for IoT identifier
–  IoT Identifier format
–  Identifier resolutions for the Internet of Things
–  Directory service framework for the Internet of Things
–  Middleware architecture for the Internet of Things
–  Security issues for the Internet of Things
–  Privacy protection for the Internet of Things
–  Application interfaces among IoT service entities
–  Management for the things and communication networks for the Internet of Things
–  Location management for the Internet of Things
–  Identity management for the Internet of Things
–  Interoperability standards to incorporate various standards
–  Conformance test standards for IoT protocols

For additional information see www.itu.int/itu-t/gsi/iot or contact tsbiotgsi@itu.int.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 8:29:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 15, 2011
ITU’s Focus Group on Cloud Computing met last week with increased industry support for standards to support worldwide interoperability. Cloud security was also a key topic on the agenda of the group and especially relevant given that subscribing to a cloud model involves complete outsourcing of services and data. The meeting  identified these two topics, intercloud relationships and security, as important study items for ITU-T to take forward.
 
The Focus Group met at the same time as Google vice president, Vint Cerf addressed US National Institute of Standards and Technology's third cloud computing workshop in Gaithersburg, US telling them that cloud interoperability and security remain serious concerns (see here).
 
Industry experts forming the Focus Group have completed a survey of standards organizations focusing  on cloud and begun the process of identifying gaps that can be filled and where that work can be done. The meeting also saw the appointment of a new Vice-chairman: Olivier Colas, Microsoft.
 
Technical Specifications from the Focus Group are expected by end 2011. The group has identified 15 active organisations in Cloud Computing and established official liaisons with other SDOs including ISO, DMTF, CSA, NIST. The Focus Group has identified several work items to be developed within ITU-T including;  the cloud ecosystem; security; cloud architecture; cloud networking; inter-cloud relationships; eco-friendly cloud; accessibility;  cloud terminal and cloud management.

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Friday, April 15, 2011 12:28:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 14, 2011
The next twenty years will see a huge shift towards electric vehicles and integrated intelligent transport systems (ITS) said industry experts gathered for the Fully Networked Car@Geneva Motor Show event. However in order for this transformation to take place globally coordinated standards are needed. In addition experts said that more study is needed on who pays for what. For example who will pay for systems that reduce fatalities and reduce traffic flow; consumers, governments, the car industry or insurance? These business models need to be designed in parallel participants at the ITU, ISO and IEC workshop agreed.

Given the safety implications of integrating these technologies into vehicles, driver distraction was also strong topic for discussion at the event held in parallel to the Geneva Motor Show. It was shown that cognitive distraction can be significantly reduced with greater sound quality. Presentations showed that telcos moving to wideband, thereby offering much greater speech quality, will significantly enhance telephony applications.

ITU has recently convened a Focus Group on Driver Distraction (FG Distraction). The objective the group, comprising experts from the ICT and automotive industries as well as government experts, is to reduce injuries and fatalities by minimizing the cognitive demands associated with both driving and non-driving tasks. It will; propose test methodologies for subjective and objective assessment of cognitive load; investigate optimal information flow between the driver and vehicle; develop design guidelines for integrated applications; propose mechanisms for co-ordination of components, subsystems, and applications to minimize cognitive demands; identify new techniques and technologies that can be used to reduce cognitive load and co-ordinate efforts across the three standards organizations, government/industry forums, companies, academic institutions, and subject matter experts.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011 1:03:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Geneva, 12 April, 2011 – ITU has launched a Green ICT Application Challenge to find the best and most innovative idea for a climate change focused app. The winning concept will be awarded USD10,000, thanks to challenge sponsors Research in Motion (RIM) and Telefónica.

As well as the cash prize, the winner will be invited to present their concept to a prestigious audience at ITU’s Green Standards Week in Italy in September. In addition, the winning app may be developed and showcased during a side event to be held at the COP-17 climate change talks in South Africa in December.

Full press release

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011 1:01:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 04, 2011
A document agreed at a recent ITU meeting gives developing countries tools that will allow them to negotiate better rates for Internet connectivity (IIC). Agreement was reached at a meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 3 and  following an ITU-T Workshop on IP traffic flow measurement.

The agreement was a breakthrough following many years of negotiation (see here for some historical background).

The agreed document is a supplement to Recommendation ITU-T D.50 which recommends how those involved in the provision of international Internet connections negotiate and agree to bilateral commercial arrangements enabling direct international Internet connections that take into account the possible need for compensation between them for the value of elements such as traffic flow, number of routes, geographical coverage and cost of international transmission amongst others.

Specifically the supplement focuses on how IP traffic flows can be measured at different points, including at Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) at interconnect points. The ability to manage this without a change to BGP was one point of contention.  The agreement also acknowledges that that traffic flow can be measured via BGP without any change to that protocol as well as there are a variety of ways that traffic flow can be measured.

The agreement is also considered a step forward in fulfilling the mandate given to ITU in Resolution 101 from last year’s Plenipotentiary conference. The Resolution asks ITU to “…continue the study of international Internet connectivity as an urgent matter, as called for in § 50 d) of the Tunis Agenda, and to call upon ITU-T, in particular Study Group 3 which has responsibility for Recommendation ITU-T D.50, to complete as soon as possible its studies that have been ongoing since WTSA-2000.”

In June 2004 an amendment to ITU-T Recommendation D.50 was made to set out general considerations for parties to negotiate Internet interconnection. These considerations can be used to assist two parties to an interconnection agreement to negotiate in a more harmonized way. The latest agreement builds on this.

The area is a key concern for ITU as it was mandated by WSIS to examine the topic. Paragraph 27 – C of the Tunis Agenda:

“27.  We recommend improvements and innovations in existing financing mechanisms, including:
C      Providing affordable access to ICTs, by the following measures:
i.     Reducing international Internet costs charged by backbone providers, supporting, inter alia, the creation and development of regional ICT  backbones and Internet Exchange Points to reduce interconnection cost and broaden network access;
ii.     Encouraging ITU to continue the study of the question of the International Internet Connectivity (IIC) as an urgent matter to develop appropriate Recommendations.”              
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Monday, April 04, 2011 9:02:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 28, 2011
ITU was, last week, pleased to host a meeting of the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) in parallel with the ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia) meeting. Through MPEG, the ITU and ISO/IEC have formed the Joint Collaborative Team on video coding (JCT-VC) working on the successor to H.264 (also standardized as ISO/IEC 14496-10, or MPEG-4 AVC), the Emmy award winning video coding standard.

There was a demonstration of emerging 3D TV technologies such as autostereoscopic displays (similar to that used in the new Nintendo 3DS but on a larger scale). This new technology allows for 3D viewing without glasses.

Current extensions to the widely used H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec are deployed in Blu-ray 3D discs that provide a stereo 3D experience, and also in the "frame-compatible" stereoscopic 3D video used in emerging broadcast applications.

The successor to H.264 – working title HEVC – is work in progress with approval expected in early 2013. Experts say that at the time H.264 was first approved there was no real market demand for 3D and so 3D support was essentially put into the standard later as a work around – even though it provides excellent levels of quality. Discussions continue on which kind of native support for 3D could eventually be incorporated in HEVC.

This work is complementary to that of ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector which is focusing on a framework for 3D TV broadcasting systems.

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Monday, March 28, 2011 1:15:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 16, 2011
A competition open to all has been launched to design a poster for World Standards Day, 14 October, on the theme, “International Standards – Creating confidence globally”.

The competition is being held by the World Standards Cooperation (WSC), which comprises the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The designer(s) of the best poster will win 1 500 Swiss francs, with the three runners-up receiving 500 Swiss francs each.

To compete, designers should send their entries in .jpg or .png format to the following e-mail address: wsdposter@worldstandardscooperation.org. Submissions will be accepted until 30 April.

IEC, ISO and ITU representatives will choose the finalists. The shortlisted entries will be published on the WSC Website. The general public will choose the winning designs. Each finalist entry will have a Facebook “Like" button. The entries to receive the largest amount of Facebook “likes” will win the competition. Voting will open on 5 April and close on 30 April. IEC, ISO and ITU will announce the winners shortly after. People can follow the World Standards Day poster competition on Twitter and Facebook.

The WSC partners comment, “We hope to see your inspiring creations that will no doubt establish fruitful conversations between individuals, businesses and organizations across the globe about the role of standards in increasing global confidence.”

To help prospective World Standards Day poster artists, the WSC Website includes a number of resources:

•    A text explaining this year’s World Standards Day theme
•    Examples of previous World Standards Day posters
•    Specifications for the 2011 poster.

Any questions about the competition should be sent to: wsdposter@worldstandardscooperation.org, Twitter or Facebook.

The World Standards Cooperation was set up in 2001 in order to strengthen and advance the voluntary consensus-based international standards systems of IEC, ISO and ITU. Each year on 14 October, the members of the IEC, ISO and ITU celebrate World Standards Day, which is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011 2:28:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 14, 2011
With ITU’s recent announcement on an OAM standard for MPLS in transport networks generating claims from the Internet Society that it will jeopardize the Internet, counter claims and much press coverage it seems the right time to set the record straight.

The technology at the heart of the debate is operations and management (OAM) for Transport MPLS. MPLS-TP refers to an adaptation of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)'s MPLS protocol for telecom networks. MPLS can carry packets of different types, allowing telecom operators to offer private connections as well as IP services.

ITU-T Study Group 15 working on MPLS-TP voted 25, February 2011, to proceed with its own OAM solution, rather than only working with the IETF on the development its preferred OAM solution. This step was taken since, despite the agreement between the two organizations to work together, the OAM solution being developed by the IETF does not satisfy the requirements of some members of the ITU.

The text below charts a history of the work T-MPLS/MPLS-TP work in ITU to address a management protocol for telecom-operator networks and seeks to explain the divergence.

History of MPLS-TP

In 2006/2007 the ITU-T developed Recommendations on T-MPLS, a sub-set of MPLS that was targeted specifically for application in the transport network (to offer a more flexible interconnection between routers than SDH or OTN). By January 2008 the ITU-T had 5 approved Recommendation on T-MPLS and one on OAM ready for approval. However, in late 2007 the IETF indicated that T-MPLS may be in conflict with IP/MPLS. The ITU suspended work on T-MPLS and in 2008 agreed to work in cooperation with the IETF on the evolution of MPLS to meet the needs of the transport network. It was anticipated that the five existing Recommendations on MPLS-TP would be replaced by mid 2009 with a Recommendation on OAM following within a year. The IETF RFCs that are necessary to allow replacement of this initial set of Recommendations are not yet available.

One particularly contentious issue has been OAM. A significant segment of the operator community views that the IETF has given insufficient consideration to their needs, concerns, and proposals (documented in Internet drafts). The IETF state that the protocols currently under development will meet the requirements. After over a year of discussion, there has been no quantitative analysis to demonstrate that they satisfy the operational behaviour and procedures utilized in transport networks of these network operators.

One important initial step in the joint work was for the IETF and ITU-T agree on a mechanism to detect OAM packets that conforms to the MPLS architecture. The agreed mechanism uses a new reserved label (13) and a “Protocol Identifier” know as the G-ACh code point to identify specific functions and protocols. More than 64,000 of these code points are available.

The ITU proposed that the OAM for MPLS-TP should be based on Y.1731 (carrier grade Ethernet) which had already been proven to meet the requirements of the transport network. Instead in July 2009 the IETF insisted that the OAM should be based on existing IETF tools to support backwards compatibility. This included developing extensions to an existing tool, Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) for continuity check and connectivity verification (CC/CV).

In October 2009 the IETF disbanded the MPLS interop design team (the MEAD team) claiming that its work had been completed. The MEAD team was established in response to one of the proposals in the JWT report. See below for the relevant text from the JWT report.

Another proposal in the JWT report is that experts from the ITU should directly participate in the work of the IETF. However, since this group of experts are viewed as “newcomers” when considering rough consensus the opinions of these experts are given less weight than the opinions of “long term” IETF participants. This is allowed by the IETF guidelines when judging what it calls “rough consensus”. However, it does not meet the intent of the collaboration between the ITU and the IETF. Since the MEAD team was disbanded the IETF has continued to take decisions on the direction of the work without consulting the ITU, without informing the ITU of these decisions, or requesting confirmation from ITU that the resultant solutions produced by the IETF will meet the needs of all of the membership of the ITU. Several RFCs on MPLS-TP have been approved without receiving consensus support from the ITU.

In May 2010 the MPLS working group adopted the BFD based draft by rough consensus. The WG chair suspended the poll for making this a WG draft since “we are not reaching consensus” (see http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/mpls/current/msg04502.html), a few days later he decided to adopt the document as a WG draft anyway (see http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/mpls/current/msg04512.html). In an attempt to meet some of the requirements of the transport network the BFD draft has evolved. It is no longer backwards compatible with the existing BFD based tools or with any of the existing PW OAM tools. It uses a complex state machine to negotiate the repetition rate of the messages. This state machine is only required to allow routers (that have been optimized for other applications) to negotiate a lower repetition rate for OAM messages since they are unable to sustain the rates required for transport network applications. One of the key requirements of the transport network is that the repetition rate must be set by the network operator and remain fixed at this value. Adding a state machine to negotiate the rate significantly increases the complexity and impacts the scalability of the network. For applications in the transport network, a solution that does not use rate negotiation is technically superior and less complex (and therefore offers a lower cost solution).

The IETF have continually refused to consider the Y.1731 based solution (in draft-bhh-mpls-tp-oam-y1731 and G.tpoam) despite the extensive deployment experience, successful multi vendor interoperability tests and strong support from multiple network operators.

The current approach is dissipating significant resources from both standards organizations without producing tangible results. It is unlikely that these views will be reconciled by further discussion (as shown by the discussions in SG15 meeting in February 2011).

In an attempt to break this deadlock, in July 2010 at the request of several Member States, the ITU-T proposed an enhancement to the model for the interaction with the IETF on OAM. This proposal was based on the model that was used with great success when the IEEE and ITU collaborated on the development of OAM for carrier grade Ethernet. This approach allows both organizations to develop solutions that meet the needs of their constituents within a common architecture and would significantly reduce the amount of time spent by both standards bodies. However, so far the IETF have chosen not to explore this approach.

Due to this lack of progress, and to meet the needs of its members, ITU-T decided to move ahead and document an OAM solution that can co-exist, both in the network and in the Recommendations, with an IETF defined solution. The solution being proposed by the ITU conforms to the MPLS-TP architecture as defined by the IETF. It uses an IETF defined mechanism (the allocation of a unique ACh code point) to ensure that it will not interfere with any IETF defined mechanisms. Further, in the case where networks that run the IETF defined solution must be interconnected with a network that runs the ITU solution, then the IETF solution must be used.

The prime objective at the start of the joint work was to ensure that the extensions required to make MPLS fit for use in a transport network are within the MPLS architecture. The proposals from the ITU conform to the MPLS architecture and complement (rather than contradicts) solutions under definition in IETF to meet the needs for the global industry (including those operators that are not satisfied with the IETF solution). It is the IETF who have chosen to characterize the ITU actions as breaking the agreement despite the fact that they have already ignored the proposals in the JWT report.

JWT report proposal on Future inter-SDO organizational structure (slide 5 of the JWT report):

The JWT report indicates that the inter-SDO structure is intended to support collaborative work:

•  It is proposed that the MPLS interop design team, JWT and ad hoc T-MPLS groups continue as described in SG15     
   TD515/PLEN with the following roles:

      –    Facilitate the rapid exchange of information between the IETF and ITU-T
      –    Ensure that the work is progressing with a consistent set of priorities
      –    Identify gaps/inconsistencies in the solutions under development
      –    Propose solutions for consideration by the appropriate WG/Question
      –    Provide guidance when work on a topic is stalled or technical decision must be mediated

The work of these inter-SDO groups was not completed when the MEAD team was disbanded as the ongoing debate on the OAM solution demonstrates. The IETF did not consult the ITU or even inform the ITU on several critical decisions, for example. The unilateral decision by the IETF to adopt the BFD draft as the solution for CC/CV; the refusal to consider draft-bhh-mpls-tp-oam-y1731; to consider the input from the ITU that two solutions should be standardized; all of these decisions were taken by “rough consensus” over strong objections. This is clearly contrary to the collaborative mode of operation described in the JWT report.

History of MPLS OAM:

Y.1711 defined the first OAM tools for MPLS, this made use of a reserved label (14) as defined in RFC3429: Assignment of the 'OAM Alert Label' for Multiprotocol Label Switching Architecture (MPLS) Operation and Maintenance (OAM) Functions. That was published by the IETF in November 2002 as an Informational RFC.

Subsequently the IETF developed some alternative OAM tools for MPLS LSP, they also developed several different tools for use in PWs.
     It should be noted that in these cases the IETF did not declare that this multiplicity of OAM tools is harmful to the integrity of the Internet.

In 2007 the ITU developed draft Recommendation G.8114 documenting OAM tools for T-MPLS, this toolset was backwards compatible with Y.1711. This draft Recommendation was ready for approval in January 2008 G.8114. However, the IETF stated that the method used to detect the OAM packets “violated the MPLS architecture” and claimed that it would be harmful to the Internet. On the basis of these statements the ITU did not approved G.8114 and agreed to work in cooperation with the IETF to develop a solution that conformed to the MPLS architecture.

Note:  More than 40,000 nodes running draft G.8114 OAM have been deployed without any reports of harm to the Internet.

After waiting three years for the IETF to deliver a solution that will meet the needs of its membership SG15 has now voted in favour of solution which conforms to the MPLS architecture and meets the needs of its membership.

Despite all this effort on the part of ITU to collaborate with IETF it is now falsely claiming that ITU reneged on the JWT agreement.

Comparison of MPLS-TP OAM and Ethernet OAM

The figure below illustrates the OAM frame formats for Ethernet and MPLS-TP

In the case of Ethernet the IEEE and ITU mutually agree on the assignment of the OAM OpCode values to differentiate between OAM PDUs defined by the ITU and IEEE. This allows the ITU-T to develop OAM functions targeted at the transport network without any possibility of a clash with IEEE developed protocols.

The Channel Type could offer the same degree of separation if the IETF assigned a channel type for use by the ITU-T for OAM targeted for application in transport networks.

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Monday, March 14, 2011 10:43:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 04, 2011

The fully networked human? − Innovations for future networks and services is the title of the fourth ITU Kaleidoscope academic conference.

A call for papers has been issued and invites submissions until 15 May 2011. A prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers. The winning papers will be featured in a future special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine, with all papers available from the IEEE Xplore online catalogue. Young authors presenting a paper at the conference will receive Young Author Recognition certificates.

Organized by ITU-T with IEEE ComSoc as Technical Co-Sponsor, Kaleidoscope 2011 has been invited to the University of Cape Town, South Africa, 12-14 December.

Kaleidoscope 2011 will highlight multidisciplinary aspects of future information and communication technologies (ICTs) including future services and applications demand as well as social, economic and policy aspects of human-centric systems. In this environment, the user is placed at the center, and virtualized networks, other IT resources, services and applications are adaptively and automatically configured to support the users in carrying out their everyday life activities.

However, the shift to human-centric ICT also raises social, economic and policy issues, which need to be addressed, including access to ICT, safety, privacy, environmental sustainability, etc.

This year, in addition to an exhibition for local universities and the presence of high-level keynote speakers and invited papers, ITU Kaleidoscope 2011 will host the second Jules Verne’s corner, a special space for science fiction writers and visionaries.

Kaleidoscope events are peer-reviewed academic conferences that aim at increasing the dialogue between experts working on the standardization of ICTs and academia.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact the ITU-T Kaleidoscope secretariat at kaleidoscope@itu.int

For additional information see the event webpage at: http://itu-kaleidoscope.org/2011.

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Friday, March 04, 2011 12:53:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Standardization experts are being asked to examine security-related guidelines/standards on child online protection issues.

The recent Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) meeting invited experts in ITU’s security standardization group (Study Group 17) to examine issues including:

  1. The development of interoperable standards and related recommendations to protect children online. The aim would be to develop a widely shared approach which could be promoted across the whole industry.
  2. Evaluating what options and possibilities exist for real global coordinated and consistent action to protect children online. Attention should be given to the elaboration of those capabilities (e.g. watch and warning and incident management) that would facilitate the gathering of threats and information sharing among different players.
  3. Identifying the commonalities that span the different industry sectors  (broadcasters, Internet, mobile) with the purpose of developing Codes of Conduct, or code of practices to help ITU Member States collaborate more effectively with the private sector/industry.
  4. Establish cooperative arrangements between government and the private sector/industry for sharing information and developing specific capabilities aimed at mitigating the risks and extending the potential of ICT usage by children.

ITU’s Child Online Protection (COP) initiative was launched in November 2008 as a multi-stakeholder effort to bring together partners from all sectors of the global community to ensure a safe online experience for children everywhere.

SG17 is expected to play a major role in technical aspects on COP, given that security, cybersecurity and identity management are already now being recognized as key fields of potential interest. Several SG17 work items (in ITU parlance Questions) are relevant, and experts from membership are encouraged to contribute.

 

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Friday, March 04, 2011 11:57:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 03, 2011

New standards that will enable cost-effective smart grid applications such as distribution automation, smart meters, smart appliances and advanced recharging systems for electric vehicles have entered the final stage of approval at ITU.

The G.hnem standards (ITU-T Recommendations) address several smart grid applications such as distribution automation, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), demand side management (DSM), grid-to-home communications, home/building energy management, home automation, vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-charging station communications.

In a standard power system, generation, delivery and consumption of electricity all take place at the same time. This makes the control of supply and demand uniquely challenging. The new standards provide the crucial link between electricity and communications networks, enabling utilities to exercise a higher level of monitoring and control of the grid.

G.hnem is an ideal platform for smart grid applications because of its support of power lines as a communications medium that is under the direct and complete control of power utilities. Since power line communications (PLC) exploit the existing wired infrastructure, the cost to deploy a communications channel is greatly reduced. In addition, because G.hnem supports popular protocols like Ethernet, IPv4 and IPv6, G.hnem-based smart grid networks can easily be integrated with IP-based networks.

Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General, ITU: “Smart Grid is a dynamic addition to today’s energy networks, which will be capable of delivering customizable services on a massive scale. To ensure an efficient global rollout, global standards are a must.”

Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: “Many national stimulus plans have given smart grid significant backing, with the need for standards also cited as key to the fast rollout of the technology. The G.hnem standards now entering the final stages of approval can be applied globally today, and are ready to give a much needed boost to power line communications technology, making electricity distribution cleaner, leaner and greener.”

The two G.hnem standards ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956 contain the physical layer specification and the data link layer specification, respectively, for narrowband OFDM power line communications transceivers for communications via alternating current and direct current electric power lines over frequencies below 500 kHz. These ITU-T standards support indoor and outdoor communications over low voltage lines, medium voltage lines, through transformer low-voltage to medium-voltage, and through transformer medium-voltage to low-voltage power lines in both urban and long distance rural communications.

 

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Thursday, March 03, 2011 9:07:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 02, 2011

ITU’s recent announcement on an OAM standard for MPLS in transport networks has seen considerable interest, but not always for the right reasons with claims from the Internet Society that it will jeopardize the Internet.

Experts cast doubt on ISOC’s statement: “… ongoing evolution along this path will jeopardize the … Internet”.

They point to the fact that several interoperability tests have been successfully performed with no reported problems. In addition the solution being proposed by ITU conforms to the MPLS-TP architecture as defined by the IETF. When network equipment uses different protocols, interoperability of the functioning of that protocol, in this case OAM, may well be affected. However, since packets for different protocols are identified by pre-assigned different codepoints, protocols running behind these different codepoints will not interfere with each other. This means that the core functionality – in this case Internet traffic – will not be affected. Therefore various protocols can coexist without causing any confusion in the network.

It is also important to understand who has contributed to this standard (draft Recommendation ITU-T G.8113.1) and why. The membership of ITU is made up of representatives from over 700 private sector companies (including most major ICT companies) and 192 Member State governments. In general technical work such as that being discussed here is undertaken by the private sector members. This solution was called for by a majority of the ITU membership in SG15 that has grown frustrated with a lack of progress in the development of a standard which is necessary to meet a market demand. Given that there are over 100,000 MPLS Transport Profile nodes already in transport networks, it is essential that the corresponding OAM toolset is standardized.

As background, in 2006 ITU started work on standards on T-MPLS, which leveraged a sub-set of MPLS that was targeted specifically for application in the transport network. However, in late 2007 the IETF indicated that T-MPLS may be in conflict with IP/MPLS.  The ITU suspended work on T-MPLS and in 2008 agreed to work in cooperation with the IETF on the evolution of MPLS to meet the needs of the transport network. It was anticipated that the five existing Recommendations on T-MPLS would be replaced by mid 2009 with MPLS-TP Recommendations following within a year.

However some of the IETF input (RFCs) required to move forward were not made available and are currently still pending following the unilateral disbanding by the IETF of its group assigned to work with ITU in September 2009.

ITU has issued a formal request for the necessary codepoints from IETF as these codepoints are currently administered by ICANN/IANA and can only be issued by IETF.

ITU collaborates and coordinates, in good faith and on the basis of reciprocity, with other relevant organizations in the development of IP networks to ensure maximum benefits to the global community, in accordance with the decisions of the 2010 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. However, this should not lead to a situation where the ITU fails to deliver on its commitments to its own membership.

 

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011 12:52:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 28, 2011
Geneva, 28 February 2011 – In a big step towards leveraging existing MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) deployment in transport networks, ITU has agreed first stage approval of a key new standard. The ITU-T standard will give network operators the tools necessary to manage large scale deployments of MPLS-based networks. Network operators will now have a choice of OAM (operations, administration and maintenance) tools to best meet their specific transport network requirements. These OAM tools in the hands of network operators will, in particular, allow quick detection of defects and fault isolation.

MPLS is widely embraced in backbone networks as a way to speed up routers. The OAM tools in the ITU-T standard are based on technology proven in carrier grade Ethernet services and legacy transport networks, making it easier for operators to upgrade. In addition to reducing labour costs, network operators will see significantly reduced capital expenditure (CAPEX) costs given that the standard allows for more efficient allocation of bandwidth.

Operators are increasingly looking to MPLS as an end-to-end technology, given its inherent flexibility and support for IP-based applications. The decision was taken together with first stage approval of another standard providing network architecture for MPLS-TP based networks.

Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, said: “ITU collaborates and coordinates, in good faith and on the basis of reciprocity, with other relevant organizations in the development of IP networks to ensure maximum benefits to the global community. This is in accordance with the decisions of the 2010 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. However, this should not lead to a situation where the ITU fails to deliver on its commitments to its own membership. Much effort was made to reach a compromise during last week’s Study Group 15 (SG15) meeting, but the decision was taken very exceptionally by vote, since all attempts at compromise had failed.”

ITU-T SG15 began working on transport profiles for MPLS technology suitable for use in the network layer of transport networks more than three years ago. A joint working team (JWT) was set up to allow Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) and ITU experts to work together to avoid divergent work streams. Specifically, it was expected that this group would provide the necessary protocol extensions for ITU’s specifications to work in an MPLS environment. IETF committed to provide its contribution by the second quarter of 2009. However this crucial technical input was not provided and the IETF’s MPLS-TP Interoperability Design Team (MEAD) was unilaterally disbanded by IETF in October 2009.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: “ITU is a consensus based organization and voting is always a last resort. In this case it was clear that a significant part of our membership could not accept any further delay in pursuing a solution that will give them the ability to address a real market need. Given that there are over 100,000 MPLS-TP nodes already in transport networks, it is essential that the corresponding OAM tool.

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Monday, February 28, 2011 10:59:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The winning papers from ITU's Beyond the Internet? − Innovations for future networks and services academic conference shared a prize fund of USD$10,000 on 15 December 2010.
  • 1st price (5000 USD) Eva Ibarrola (University of the Basque Country, Spain):
    A user-centric approach to QoS regulation in future networks, Eva Ibarrola1, Fidel Liberal1, Armando Ferro1; Jin Xiao2 (1University of the Basque Country, Spain; 2University of Waterloo, Canada)

  • 2nd price (3000 USD) Kideok Cho (Seoul National University, Korea)
    How can an ISP merge with a CDN?, Kideok Cho, Hakyung Jung, Munyoung Lee, Diko Ko, Taekyoung Kwon, Yanghee Choi (Seoul National University, Korea)

  • 3rd price (2000 USD) Masahiko Jinno (NTT, Japan) jinno.masahiko@lab.ntt.co.jp
    Introducing elasticity and adaptation into the optical domain toward more efficient and scalable optical transport networks, Masahiko Jinno, Yoshiaki Sone, Osamu Ishida, Takuya Ohara, Akira Hirano, Masahito Tomizawa (NTT, Japan)
Beyond the Internet? − Innovations for future networks and services was held at the kind invitation of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of India, and hosted by the Sinhgad Technical Education Society, Narhe Campus, Pune, Maharashtra, India. It was organized by ITU with IEEE Communications Society as Technical Co-Sponsor and supported by, Cisco, Nokia Siemens Networks and MYFIRE. The Global ICT Standardization Forum for India (GISFI), the ITU-APT Foundation of India, and the CMAI Association of India supported ITU in promoting the event throughout India.

The conference brought together over 435 participants of 26 countries. Among them, the best academic minds from around the world presented their future visions on innovative technologies to challenge the fundamental networking design principles of the Internet. The conference also included an exhibition by local Universities which provided insight into their activities.

In addition to the four invited papers, 37 were presented from the 115 papers submitted, and the best three awarded prizes. The winning papers will also be featured in a future special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine. The consolidated Proceedings of the conference will be soon available at the event’s webpage (http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/uni/kaleidoscope/2010/index.html) and all papers will be downloadable from IEEE Xplore online catalogue shortly.

In addition to the prize pool, ten entrants - Kideok Cho, Rakesh Jha, Pranoti Bansode, Pankaj Chand, Klemen Peternel, Labonnah F. Rahman, Mohammadmajid Hormati, Arnupharp Viratanapanu, Rahamatullah Khondoker, and Muzahid Hussain - received a Young Author Recognition Certificate.

For the first time, this year’s Kaleidoscope event saw a new feature; Jules Verne's corner. The session is dedicated to visionaries, science fiction writers, journalists, movie directors and anybody else who is able to imagine an unpredictable future, putting forward inspiring, revolutionary ideas. Structured as a panel session the speakers were: Eduard Babulak, European Commission; Mitsuji Matsumoto, Waseda University, Japan; Rahul Sinha, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA; Daniele Trinchero, Politecnico di Torino, Italy and Simao Campos of ITU. Topics covered included future internet networks; the mapping of signals in a dense wireless four-dimensional space-time domain; the detection of information from the brain by analyzing activities of neurons and facing their “time-variable” characteristics and a “Rigorous Pseudo Scientific Demonstration” of time machines.

For more information and presentations from Kaleidoscope 2010, see the event's web page.

Building on the success of the first, second and third Kaleidoscope events, a fourth conference is planned for end 2011. A call for papers has already been issued for The fully networked human? − Innovations for future networks and services. Through implanted sensors, e-health applications will support senior citizens communicating automatically their medical data to care providers… but what if the information falls into the wrong hands? Modern heating systems at home would be programmed, via hands-free devices, while driving to work… but what happens if this is done via a text message distracting the driver? How can we make increasingly complex devices user-friendly? A call for abstracts for 2011’s Jules Verne’s corner has also been issued under the title The Chip in the Brain.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011 10:38:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 20, 2011
A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report envisions the future of eHealth. eHealth systems use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the delivery of healthcare services and information hold great promise for improving global access to healthcare services and health information, particularly in the developing world. Delivering on this promise requires more universal eHealth interoperability standards, overcoming technical infrastructure barriers, and addressing privacy, security, and other legal requirements. These and other issues are addressed by experts of ITU-T Study Groups 16, 17 and in other standardization bodies.

In December 2010, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré joined the World Health Organisation Commission on women’s and children’s health, in which he serves as co-Vice Chair, alongside WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. Dr Touré contributes his expertise in the field of ICTs as tools to advance and improve healthcare.

The report, by Dr Laura DeNardis of Yale University, presents a snapshot of the current eHealth standardization landscape, describes some obstacles that must be overcome, and identifies the emerging standardization opportunities and activities within the ITU that will contribute to the global deployment of efficient and secure eHealth systems. 

It can be downloaded from a dedicated website which provides additional sources of information and links to ITU activities related to eHealth.

Go to report

Go to dedicated website

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 5:49:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 10, 2011
A meeting of ITU-T’s Security Study Group (Study Group 17) at the end of 2010 saw several new standards (ITU-T Recommendations) approved and progress in several important areas. Immediately prior to the main Study Group meeting a workshop, Addressing security challenges on a global scale, open to members and non-members alike attracted 115 participants from 29 countries. Also open to external experts an Identity Summit succeeded as a new tool to add value to technical discussions in SG17.

Some of the new ITU-T Recommendations facilitate the interconnection of security and management systems and to exchange cyber security information, such as of security events and of security attack incidents. The standards specify how this information can be shared across organizations for enhanced security preparedness and broader and better risk mitigation against vulnerabilities, to allow vulnerability databases and other capabilities to be linked together, and to facilitate the comparison of security tools and service.

In detail, Recommendation ITU-T X.1209 identifies real-life scenarios where cybersecurity information can be exchanged across organizations. The standard specifies the principal technical and organizational capabilities necessary for systems in terms of cyber security information exchange. Related new work includes draft Recommendation  ITU-T X.1500 which surveys the various candidate techniques for cyber information exchange, and draft Recommendation ITU-T X.1520 which identifies the high-level requirements for enumerating common vulnerabilities.

Also during December meeting two new Recommendations were approved (X.1243 and X.1245) that counter spam and other unsolicited communications though an interactive gateway system. In addition the use and application of the extended validation certificates as put forward in new draft Recommendation ITU-T X.1261 will provide enhanced and superior security to users on the Internet with a trustworthy confirmation of the identity of the entity that controls the website or other services that the users are accessing.

Two new draft Recommendations have been matured (X.1311 and X.1312) that address the security aspects of “ubiquitous sensors in networks” – an emerging area of smart internetworked sensors and devices that are expected to increasingly permeate daily life. The new Recommendations identify the specific and typical security threats and specify appropriate security requirements. Draft Recommendation ITU-T X.1312 follows one promising approach where various security functions and security mechanisms are aggregated within a common middleware component of those sensors. Radio frequency identification (RFID) enabled devices are an early incarnation of such ubiquitous sensors where new Recommendation ITU-T X.1275 gives guidelines to vendors and service providers of RFID enabled devices how to protect the privacy of the users his/her specific personally identifiable information (PII).

Study Group 17 also saw new and ongoing security and identity management standardization work in the area of cloud computing and virtual service platforms where challenging security problems remain to be solved and standardized. Another new interesting area of standardization work seeks to define an information security management reference model for small and medium telecommunication organizations.

A series of tutorials were given at the SG17 meeting and presentations can be downloaded here. Topics included:  An update on ICANN activities relating to Security, Stability and Resiliency; Open Identity Trust Frameworks: A Market Solution to Online Identity Trust; Creating a Multilingual Communication Standard for Cross-Border ODR; X.500/LDAP as resolution system and as support provider for RFID; Cybersecurity Information Exchange techniques and their importance for emerging networks.

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Monday, January 10, 2011 5:22:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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)  #     |