International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Thursday, December 07, 2006

Study Group 9 recently approved a Recommendation on IP multicast.

IP multicast is seen a promising technology for providing IP-based video distribution because of its bandwidth efficiency while accommodating millions of clients.

Recommendation J.283 provides a set of architectural concepts for constructing and meeting the service quality requirement of a stable IP-based video distribution network. It uses network layer (Layer-3) route diversity between the server edge routers and the client edge routers.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:49:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Three new Recommendations providing architecture for advanced set-top boxes have been approved by Study Group 9.

The Recommendations (J.290-J.292) take into account advances in technologies and architectures for delivery of multiple types of services – including video, voice and data. The three include a core Recommendation along with two adjuncts which provide for a cable solution and a media independent solution. The core document (J.290) describes key functional aspects of the next generation set-top box (STB), such as configurable security including downloadable conditional access, advanced codecs, video over IP, QoS control and extension of these functions to in-home networks.

J.291 describes the cable network architecture component of the next-generation STB. When combined with companion Recommendation J.290 the architecture defines a cost-efficient platform with capacity and flexibility to support growth of on-demand video, high definition digital TV, managed in-home networks connecting a wide range of consumer-provided devices, and future IP multimedia services including IP voice, video telephony, and multiplayer gaming. It reflects key functional aspects of the next generation cable STB, such as a common application platform (globally executable MHP (Multimedia Home Platform), which is the common core among OCAP (OpenCable project), MHP and ARIB (Association of Radio Industries and Businesses), MPEG (Moving Picture Expert Group) transport including advanced compression technology, and downloadable conditional access (configurable security).

J.292 describes a core architecture that is not dependent on transport media for a next generation STB which will allow service providers to offer existing and new advanced services regardless of the transport media. In this Recommendation it is assumed that all contents are transported on IP packets with an adequate QoS controlled mechanism. The Recommendation reflects key functional aspects of the next generation STB, such as network resource adaptability, secure two-way authenticated communication and session resource management and a QoS-control mechanism.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:47:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Three new Recommendations from ITU-T’s Study Group 9 provide the first steps towards the next generation of cable modems. According to SG insiders new cable modems will boost bandwidth, increase security and provide greater flexibility overall for network operators to deploy data services.

Recommendations J.210-J.212 provide a basis for modularizing cable modem termination systems (CMTS) and were designed as an extension to the DOCSIS Recommendations to allow for flexibility and independent scaling of certain CMTS functions.

DOCSIS (data over cable service interface specifications) – defined in Recommendations J.112 and J.122 - specifies transmission systems for interactive cable television services - IP cable modems. It defines the requirements for the two fundamental components that comprise a high-speed data-over-cable system: the cable modem (CM) and the CMTS.

The modular-CMTS (M-CMTS) architecture splits the CMTS function into three fundamental components: the M-CMTS Core, the EQAM (downstream modulator), and the Timing Server. Inasmuch as the modular components may be located on different chassis, and potentially at different physical locations, the new Recommendation J.211 (Timing Interface for CMTS) provides the robust and highly accurate transport of timing signals from the Timing Server to the other components of the M-CMTS network in order to ensure that the system components work in lock-step.

Recommendation J.212 defines the protocol used to tunnel downstream user data across an Ethernet network between the M-CMTS Core and EQAM. Finally, the new Recommendation J.210 defines the downstream physical layer modulator requirements for the EQAM. 

Another new Recommendation in the DOCSIS series, J.213, describes requirements on both CMTSs and CMs in order to implement a Layer-2 Virtual Private Network feature which allows operators to offer a Transparent LAN Service along the lines of Carrier Ethernet.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:46:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU-T’s Study Group 9 has approved an array of Recommendations in several areas including broadband IP multimedia services and next generation digital set top box architectures.

Study Group experts say that the advancements will greatly extend the service capabilities of broadband cable and other networks. The Recommendations were approved by ITU-T Study Group 9, Integrated Broadband Cable Networks and Television and Sound Transmission, during its October meeting in Tokyo.

SG 9’s Recommendations include key work in IPCablecom2, modular CMTS (cable modem termination systems), next generation video set-tops, and architecture for deploying an IP multicast video distribution network using network layer route diversity.

IPCablecom is a project initiated by SG 9 several years ago on time-critical interactive services over cable television networks using IP. It is a suite of Recommendations (J.160-178) which provides for telephony, and J.179 (IPCablecom Multi Media), which creates a bridge that allows for the expansion into a full range of multi-media services. 

IPCablecom2 is contained in a new suite of Recommendations (J.360-363 and J.365-366) and is designed to support the convergence of voice, video, data, and mobility technologies through a modular non-service specific approach. This modular approach allows operators flexibility to deploy network capabilities as required by their specific service offerings, while maintaining interoperability across a variety of devices from multiple suppliers.

These new Recommendations define an architecture and a set of open interfaces that leverage emerging communications technologies, such as the session initiation protocol (SIP), to support the rapid introduction of new IP-based services onto the cable network. IPCablecom2 is also based on Release 6 of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), as developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), which is a SIP-based architecture for providing multimedia services.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:44:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The November meeting of Study Group 16 saw a significant reshaping of the group’s media coding work according to experts.

The wording of the title of the Question – ITU-T’s term for work area – has changed from Video to Visual Coding. This is to incorporate work in the areas of still image, graphics, computer displays
and medical imaging as well as the more traditional video sequences.

The Question is home to video coding spec H.264 and an amendment to that Recommendation was made to give new profiles supporting H.264’s use in high-end studio applications that use the 4:4:4 color sampling system.

From the official wording of Question 6/16: “This Question will focus on the maintenance and extension of existing video and still-image coding Recommendations, and laying the ground for new Recommendations using advanced techniques to significantly improve the trade-offs between bit rate, quality, delay, and algorithm complexity. Video, still-image, and other visual coding standards will be developed with sufficient flexibility to accommodate a diverse number of transport types (Internet, LAN, Mobile, ISDN, GSTN, H.222.0, NGN, etc.).”

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:42:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Study Group 16 will start work in a new area, generic sound activity detection (GSAD).

Voice activity detection (VAD) is widely used in telecommunications networks as a means of differentiating between wanted and unwanted in-band audio signals, for example to obtain trunking efficiency in circuit multiplication equipment; to ensure correct operation of echo control and other signal enhancement devices etc.

The proposal for generic sound activity detection (GSAD) is motivated by two problems.

1.         With rapid changes in the telecommunication network environment, more and more multimedia services are being provided. Although the network is evolving from a voice to a multimedia network, most VAD algorithms are still mainly designed to handle voice signals and can not work properly in the presence of rich audio signals, which include voice, music, background environmental noise, information tones etc.

2.         Historically, VAD algorithms have been developed separately for individual network elements and applications, and there are currently numerous VAD algorithms. However, they are based on different principles, which make it difficult to provide common performance enhancements across all VADs.

Therefore it is seen as beneficial to develop a generic sound (rather than voice) activity detector, which can be applied across a range of applications. The benefits from a standardised GSAD are predicted to be:

·           Enhanced performance to deal with new types of in-band audio signals

·           Reduced development time and cost for new equipment requiring sound activity detection, eg codecs, circuit multiplication equipment, echo control, signal enhancement devices, VoIP gateways, terminal adapters etc.

·         Opportunity for use in existing speech and audio coders which do not include VAD.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:40:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 24, 2006

ITU-T’s Study Group 15 has consented on a revision to a home networking specification that increases data rates over existing home wiring to 320 Megabits per second.

The original standard (ITU-T Recommendation G.9954) is based on input from the HomePNA alliance. The revision adds home networking over existing coax cables to networking over phone wires. The revision also includes new operating spectrums adding VDSL coexistence to the ADSL, POTS and broadcast TV channel spectrum coexistence provided by the original standard.

G.9954 facilitates interoperability and convergence of all networked IP data in the home by creating open, interoperable standards and best practices for a universal home networking market. Telephone service providers have collaborated with residential gateway, set-top box, bridge, consumer electronics (CE) equipment, and ONT manufacturers, as well as their component providers, to meet consumer demand for bundled multimedia home networking.

Home networking bandwidth requirements will steadily increase as operators deliver multi-stream high-definition content, upgrade last-mile access network technologies, and provision future IP-based services. Leveraging existing home wires, service providers can reduce installation, operational expenses and even end-user costs. Experts say that 320 Mbps can accommodate the future bandwidth requirements of service providers as they enhance their offerings with additional features and capabilities.

 

Friday, November 24, 2006 11:10:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 17, 2006

The Focus Group on Security Baseline for Network Operators has issued a survey, results from which will be used in preparation of a new ITU-T Recommendation “Security Baseline for Network Operators”. Participants are asked about their level of preparedness in case of various security threats.

Once approved the Recommendation will show the readiness and ability of operators to collaborate and coordinate counteraction against security threats arising from interconnected networks.

The Security Baseline will allow network operators to assess their network and information security posture in terms of what security standards are available, which of these standards should be used to meet particular requirements, when they should be used, and how they should be applied. It will also identify security Recommendations and standards to support evaluation of operators’ network security and information security. Development of the first draft of the Recommendation will begin towards the end of 2006.

The online survey is aimed at network and service providers a deadline of 24 November 2006 has been set for responses.

 

Friday, November 17, 2006 4:31:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Friday, November 17, 2006 9:15:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 14, 2006
 Monday, November 13, 2006
A major step towards dynamic and reconfigurable ‘smart’ networks has been made with the consent of a new standard.

Operators and manufacturers have pushed the development of the ITU-T Recommendation (G.667) that is the first for adaptive chromatic dispersion compensators.

Chromatic dispersion is a phenomenon that produces pulse broadening in optical fibers, and can limit the overall amount of data transported over them.  In some applications, the chromatic dispersion of the optical path varies with time or optical network re-configuration to such an extent that, to avoid signal degradations at the receiver, an adaptive dispersion compensator is used to dynamically compensate the chromatic dispersion change of the optical link.

The automatic management of chromatic dispersion of the optical path, previously not standardized, means that for operators it will be much simpler to change the path of an optical channel in the optical network while maintaining the desired degree of chromatic dispersion. The standard allows for chromatic dispersion compensation to be controlled automatically in real time rather than operators having to manually change physical devices in the network.

The need for chromatic dispersion compensators is increasingly influenced by bit-rate as optical transmission systems are being upgraded from 10 to 40Gbit/s. Distance is also a factor as optical systems – ultra long-haul - now extend to thousands of kilometers. In such situations the accumulation of chromatic dispersion variation with time or temperature of the optical path can exceed tolerance and therefore adaptive compensation is necessary. Network operation costs and flexibility should be favorably impacted by the ability to have chromatic dispersion compensation achieved automatically within the network. 

Monday, November 13, 2006 3:11:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T's Study Group 15 has fast tracked a standard that significantly reduces costs for operators rolling out fibre to the home (FTTH). The new Recommendation G.657 "Characteristics of a Bending Loss Insensitive Single Mode Optical Fibres and Cables for the Access Network" gives fiber optic cable similarly flexible characteristics to copper meaning that it can be much more easily deployed in the street, in the building and in the home.

This increased flexibility in a fibre optic cable means that operators can follow tighter corners in buildings, can employ less-skilled labor in deploying the cable and can worry less if cables / fibres are laid with a sharp bend. This all makes installation work more engineer friendly leading also to less re-work. Moreover the closures for fibres can be half the size, important where space is at a premium for example in an apartment building.

The new standard, which allows optical fibres to flex and bend more than the previous standardized types has achieved consent nearly a year earlier than was expected. This has been due to a push by operators planning the introduction of FTTH. Operators are keen that manufacturers around the world immediately start producing fibres according to the specification with clear advantages in terms of flexibility of deployment and cost reduction.

Many telcos have plans to roll out FTTH. The number of FTTH users in Japan exceeded 6 million as of mid 2006. According to experts the impetus for the work came from Japan, followed by the USA, but there is now much interest from European operators.

 

Monday, November 13, 2006 10:21:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 09, 2006
ITU-T will hold a Consultation meeting on cooperation between ITU-T and Universities, Geneva, 18 and 19 January 2007, to explore ways to improve cooperation between the ITU standardization sector and universities. Other objectives include discussion of how ITU-T can become better known to students and how to make it easier for academia to participate directly in ITU-T work.

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

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

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

 

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

A new tool that will give a unique overview of ITU-T’s next generation network (NGN) work has gone live. The NGN Project Management Tool, was developed with the support of a voluntary contribution from Siemens.

Since the work towards standards for NGN is taking place across a number of different ITU-T study groups and other standards development organizations (SDOs) the ability to coordinate and view all NGN work in one place will be invaluable to the swift and efficient publication of NGN specifications.

Essentially a repository of information from ITU and other SDOs, the system was asked for by members of the various Study Groups working on NGN. Key will be the ability to keep track of the latest versions of Recommendations and provide detailed information for experts and summaries for management.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 9:25:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Register to take part in this online event here

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 2:14:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 02, 2006

Over seven hundred people voted for the most influential standards work from ITU-T in a recent poll to celebrate 50 years of CCITT/ITU-T.

The work area receiving the most votes was video coding. The task of video coding is to establish efficient formats for storing and transmitting video data. The work of ITU–T in this field was pioneered in joint projects with the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC).

Gary Sullivan Rapporteur of the group that has led video coding work: “It is a great honor to see our video coding work so highly appreciated. Much of the credit should go to my predecessors in leading the ITU-T video coding work, Sakae Okubo, Richard Schaphorst, and Karel Rijkse, and also to my Associate Rapporteur Thomas Wiegand, as well as to all our contributors and our ISO/IEC collaborators. One key technical contributor I would cite in particular is Gisle Bjøntegaard.

Besides the two video standards that were explicitly mentioned in the poll question (H.262/MPEG2-Video and H.264/AVC), there were several others of substantial importance in the standardization of that field. Specifically, that includes H.120, H.261, and H.263.

I think perhaps our edge over SS7 and other such telephony network standards in the voting was really just a matter of our work being more familiar to most people and perhaps fresher in people's minds. The work of the ITU has been at the heart of developing a reliable world-wide telephony network, and that has been hugely important to us all.”

Signalling System number 7 (SS7) received the second highest number of votes. SS7 is a common channel signalling system that separates network resource control from the resources being controlled. This fundamental shift enabled the implementation of highly efficient centralized databases for call control, especially valuable for services that may be accessed from any subscriber line (Intelligent Networks, 800/Freephone, credit card, VPN, etc.), and an integral capability on which today’s ubiquitous mobile phone systems depend. Among other service supporting capabilities, it enables monitoring the status of a line to see if it is busy or idle, alerts that indicate the arrival of a call, and the addressing system that routes calls.

John Visser, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 19: "SS7 is felt by many to be a cornerstone technology of modern telecommunications.” Visser describes the group which developed the SS7 Recommendations and who were recognized by their peers as ‘Knights of SS7’, as “…a camaraderie… who proudly display the certificates awarded to them as part of this recognition of their efforts.”

Voting results can be seen here.

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:52:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU-T Recommendation Y.2111, a new standard emerging from the July NGN-GSI meetings addresses a key area of concern in NGN, the ability to offer end-to-end QoS. Crucially it also addresses the need to be able to differentiate multiple services running over the same network.

The Recommendation deals with resource and admission control functions (RACF) which will help enable operators to guarantee end-to-end quality for multimedia services in NGN, for example VoIP and IPTV. Key to the approach is the ability for an operator to specify rules to specific communication types in order that they can better allocate network resources.

With most IP networks today operating under a best-effort system, network congestion can significantly undermine the quality and reliability of more advanced multimedia applications. RACF meets the demand for more intelligent control of packet-based network infrastructures.

The Recommendation defines the related requirements and functional architecture covering aspects such as resource reservation, admission control and gate control, Network Address Port Translation (NAPT) and firewall control, and Network Address Translator (NAT) traversal.

 

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:50:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Recommendation Y.2012 consented at the July SG 13 meeting describes the functional architecture of the NGN.

The NGN architecture described supports the delivery of services such as multimedia services, conversational services, and content delivery services (eg video streaming and broadcasting).

NGN functional architecture shall incorporate the following principles according to the Rec.:

·          Support for multiple access technologies: The NGN functional architecture shall offer the configuration flexibility needed to support multiple access technologies.

·          Distributed control: This will enable adaptation to the distributed processing nature of packet-based networks and support location transparency for distributed computing.

·          Open control: The network control interface should be open to support service creation, service updating, and incorporation of service logic provision by third parties.

·          Independent service provisioning: The service provisioning process should be separated from transport network operation by using the above-mentioned distributed, open control mechanism. This is intended to promote a competitive environment for NGN development in order to speed up the provision of diversified NGN services.

·          Support for services in a converged network: This is needed to generate flexible, easy-to-use multimedia services, by tapping the technical potential of the converged, fixed-mobile functional architecture of the NGN.

·          Enhanced security and protection: This is the basic principle of an open architecture. It is imperative to protect the network infrastructure by providing mechanisms for security and survivability in the relevant layers.

·          Functional entities should incorporate the following principles:

o         Functional entities may not be distributed over multiple physical units but may have multiple instances.

o         Functional entities have no direct relationship with the layered architecture.  However, similar entities may be located in different logical layers.

 
Along with a new architecture, NGN will bring an additional level of complexity beyond that of existing networks. In particular, support for multiple access technologies and mobility results in the need to support a wide variety of network configurations. Some examples of configurations are provided to provide put in context the architecture description.

Although the scope of the Rec. is primarily NGN architecture, it also takes into account legacy PSTN/ISDN terminals and/or interworking with the PSTN/ISDN which is clearly is an important consideration with respect to NGN deployment. Three additional Recommendations were consented in this area Y.2031, Y.2261 and Y.2271.

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:48:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
One of the most important ITU-T Recommendations emerging from the SG 13 meeting specifies the high level requirements and associated capabilities for NGN. Defining requirements is a fundamental and essential part of the standards making process. The document outlines the basic foundations necessary for NGN work to progress and, in particular, for supporting the service objectives of NGN Release 1.

So, for example: “The NGN transport stratum [Y.2012] shall use the IP protocol for general, ubiquitous, and global public connectivity. The IP protocol may be carried over various underlying transport technologies in the access and core portions of the transport stratum (eg. xDSL, ATM, MPLS, Frame Relay, OTN) according to the operator’s environment.”

Aligned with the general goals and objectives captured in the ITU’s definition of NGN published in Recommendation Y.2001 the proposed Recommendation (Y.2201), as well as other documents finalized in July, is an updated version of an output from the Focus Group on NGN (FG-NGN), November 2005.

Experts say that it is important to note that NGN standards authors will have used the requirements text agreed in November 2004 as a basis for their work. Publication as an ITU-T Recommendation will give legal (normative) status and has enabled some general refinement as well as updating particularly in the area of regulatory requirements.

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:45:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T Study Groups meeting under the auspices of the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI), July, finalized a substantial body of work. Sixteen new standards went into the final stages of the ITU approval process in areas including requirements, architecture, QoS and security. Around 650 documents were considered by the lead SG on NGN, Study Group 13, alone. Study Group management reported high levels of participation and good progress.

Two rather fundamental documents describing requirements for NGN and describing the functional architecture of the NGN will be published as ITU-T Recommendations after formal approval. Also, QoS, a crucial element as networks move to an environment inherently more susceptible to delay, interference etc. was a key focus, one new Recommendation was consented in this field.

Experts also point to the importance of a Recommendation (ITU-T Rec. Y.2021) describing how the IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) as specified by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2) can be used in the NGN context. A Rec. from Study Group 19 on mobility management was also highlighted, see story here.

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:43:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU* together with partners ISO* and IEC*, will hold an event at the Geneva Motor Show, March 2007 to review and examine the implications of the latest developments in the fast-moving market for ICT in motor vehicles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:18:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 21, 2006

ITU-T Study Group 9 will host a demonstration of technologies for emerging broadband services in the home during its next meeting.

The event will take place at the Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo, October 2 (1600-2000) and 3 (0900-1700), with October 3 being open to the public.

Among the technologies represented are the interactive video, video and VoIP enabled by the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) which is embedded in ITU-T Recommendation J.202 and high-speed pre-DOCSIS 3.0 (ITU-T Recommendation J.122). Internet access; home networking of video and data, service management for a cable quad play (video, wireless, voice and data); multiple advanced video applications and a high-speed broadband download video service.

“This will be a very powerful exhibit of technology enabling advanced broadband capabilities as well as some of the latest broadband applications, many of which are deployed by cable companies in markets around the world,” said Study Group 9 Chairman Dr. Richard R. Green, President and CEO of CableLabs.

Eighteen companies from around the world will be part of the demonstration with an emphasis on technologies that support emerging services in consumers’ households. Among the demonstrating companies are: Alticast, Arcwave, ARRIS International Japan, Arroyo, BigBand Networks, Brix, Digital Keystone, Entropic, Gallery IP, Hitron Technologies, Integra5, J:COM, KDDI Labs, NDS, NEC, PerfTech, Sigma Systems and VectroMAX .

SG 9’s meeting will consider new Recommendations for IPCablecom 2.0, DOCSIS 3.0, advanced set-top box for the reception of cable television and other services, and other Internet Protocol services.

 

Thursday, September 21, 2006 9:32:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A new standard that speeds up video calls on 3G devices has been published by ITU-T.

The new standard, Annex K of Recommendation H.324, also known as media oriented negotiation acceleration (MONA) addresses the problem of long set up times for video calls that many perceive as stalling consumer acceptance. H.324 is used in 3G networks to exchange real-time and bi-directional video traffic

Without the new technique a typical video session required each end to send up to ten messages to the other terminal, each time waiting for a message to be received and acknowledged before sending the next one. And, if a message was not received, the sending device had to wait and finally time out before retransmitting. This could introduce delays of up to eight seconds according to experts.

MONA follows in the footsteps of another ITU-T standard – reported here – WNSRP (described in Annex A/H.324), which was a first step towards addressing the problem. WNSRP cut delays down to three seconds, while the techniques deployed in MONA will reduce that to one second or less.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:43:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:42:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The ITU-T Study Group dealing with mobile telecommunication and fixed mobile convergence together with the lead Study Group on NGN has published a standard that describes what is needed to give users the ability to access the same set of services irrespective of change in location.

Mobility is a crucial part of the service capabilities within the next generation network (NGN) concept. The ITU-T Recommendation notes: “… with the massive growth in the number of users and the continuing deployment of heterogeneous systems the demand to provide seamless services to the NGN users gets stronger…”.

The Recommendation - Q.1706 - describes the requirements for providing ‘mobility management’, that is the set of functions used to provide mobility. These functions include authentication, authorization, location updating, paging and download of user information. The aim of this work is to build on the current mechanisms in cellular telephone systems and the internet and to move toward homogeneity in handling mobility across the converging telecommunication and computing environments.

The next step for SG 19 will be a Recommendation describing the framework for achieving mobility management based on these requirements. SG management suggests that this work is progressing well and will probably be achieved in time for the next round of approvals targeted to be initiated at a meeting in April 2007.

SG 19 also consented a Recommendation that charts further detail in the evolution within the IMT-2000 Family member using an ANSI-41 core network with cdma2000 access network. Recommendation Q.1742.5 references 3GPP2 work. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:40:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Study Group 13 will publish a Recommendation that acts as an umbrella to progress work on all aspects of multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) management. 

MPLS is seen as an important way to simplify traffic engineering in NGN. ITU-T Recommendation Y.1714 provides a framework for management and operation administration maintenance (OAM) in MPLS. OAM mechanisms facilitate network operation and troubleshooting. Standards-based OAM features that will allow for interoperability between different vendors are seen as a requirement for carriers adopting MPLS.

Referring to the telecommunication management network (TMN) model developed by ITU-T’s Study Group 4, the Recommendation’s scope is limited to those components and interfaces that interface between network elements (user and control plane), and between network elements and element management system (EMS) and network management system (NMS).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:38:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A new standard from ITU-T will give the ability to multicast in VoIP. The feature could be especially useful in order to provide early warnings in disaster scenarios say experts.

ITU-T Recommendation H.460.21 provides a message broadcast mechanism in H.323 systems, which are widely deployed worldwide for Voice over IP (VoIP) communications. This mechanism is akin to that of Cell Broadcast for mobile systems and can be used by network operators and service providers to deliver early warning messages to a large number of users without causing overload of the underlying network infrastructure.

Since the method utilizes standard Internet multicast procedures, the feature may be used on a wide scale to reach any number of H.323 endpoints throughout the world. Thus, the feature could be used to equal effect as an intercom like function in an enterprise or a notification system to geographically dispersed terminals.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:36:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A webpage with information on work progress on internationalized domain names (IDN) charting achievements and acquired knowledge in the field has been published by ITU-T's Study Group 17.

Study Group 17 (Security, languages and telecommunication software) was instructed by Resolution 48 of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (Florianópolis, 2004) to study IDN. It is considered that implementation of IDN will contribute to easier and greater use of the Internet in those countries where the native or official languages are not represented in IRA (International Reference Alphabet) characters.

To meet this obligation, Study Group 17 developed new Question 16, Internationalized Domain Names tasked in particular to investigate all relevant issues in the field of IDN. Question 16 was approved at the April 2006 Study Group 17 meeting in Jeju, Korea.

At the Jeju meeting, SG17 drafted a questionnaire which was issued by the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau as a Circular letter to Member States, requesting information on their experiences in the use of IDN. The deadline for questionnaire responses is 1 October, 2006.

SG 17 page for Internationalized Domain Names (IDN).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:33:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 19, 2006

ITU-T’s work on IPTV took a significant step forward following a meeting Geneva, July 10-14.

IPTV is being explored by media companies and service providers around the world as a way to add value to their existing offerings, and globally accepted standards are seen as essential in order that – for example – a broadcaster in one part of the world can easily distribute content in another.

The meeting of the IPTV Focus Group (FG IPTV) attracted over 150 delegates from the world’s key ICT companies, over 100 input documents were considered, and the first drafts of various output documents agreed. All documents can be viewed on the group’s webpage.

A key output document drafted at the meeting shows the requirements for standardization in IPTV. Establishing this list is an essential part of the standards making process. Also dealt with by the group, and equally as important is outlining what standards already exist.

The meeting approved the establishment of six working groups:

  • Architecture and Requirements
  • QoS and Performance Aspects
  • Service Security and Contents Protection
  • IPTV Network Control
  • End Systems and Interoperability Aspects
  • Middleware, Application and Content Platforms
The next FG IPTV meeting will take place in Busan, Korea, 16-20 October, 2006.

 

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 10:24:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 17, 2006

Wednesday, 19 July, 17:30 central european time will be your last chance to select one of the standards which you think has best shaped the ICT world of today.

So far, over 600 people have taken the opportunity to vote for the most influential standards work from ITU-T.

The exercise is part of ITU-T's 50 Year Anniversary Celebrations, more information can be found here.

 

 

Monday, July 17, 2006 2:21:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Study Group 3 has started analysis of survey responses into international mobile termination rates.

Previously SG 3 research identified that in some cases mobile termination rates can be five to ten times more than fixed termination rates. Termination rates occur when international calls are terminated in the network of a country other than that from which they have originated.

Given results of analysis and validation of statistics, SG3 will develop guidelines for reducing the gap. See also previous story.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:12:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The high cost for developing countries in accessing the Internet ‘backbone’ was a hot-topic at a recent, Geneva, meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 3, Tariff and accounting principles including related telecommunication economic and policy issues.

SG 3 will submit a paper, outlining its activities and future work plan on international internet connectivity (IIC) to the Internet Governance Forum meeting to be held in Athens, autumn 2006.

It has been claimed that some charging arrangements for IIC disadvantage smaller networks and developing countries. 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 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.”

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:11:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 10, 2006
ITU-T’s Study Group 12 has consented a new Recommendation (Y.1542) that gives the groundwork for service providers to realize end-to-end network performance for services like VoIP and IPTV. The work goes some way to satisfying a key challenge for next generation networks (NGN), which need to provide QoS across multiple network operators, and in some cases, unusual topologies and distances.

The Recommendation points out that compared to the circuit switched environment, networks based on: “…IP pose distinctly different challenges for planning and achieving the end-to-end performance levels necessary to adequately support the wide array of user applications.”

Complementary work was completed previously in the form of Recommendations Y.1540 and Y.1541 which give network performance objectives for IP-based services, and QoS classes with more stringent packet loss performance, needed for example for commercial video applications.  

Using the QoS classes defined in Y.1541, the new Recommendation explores different approaches to realize end-to-end QoS depending on the type of service. Each class is designed to support a group of applications, VoIP, or IPTV for example.

One key area to be addressed is the development of an end-to-end QoS signalling mechanism that will allow the deployment of such classes.
 
The new Recommendation, Y.1542, is a framework towards a methodology for satisfying end-to-end objectives and gives guidance intended to accelerate the planning, deployment and management of networks and systems that can interoperate with a goal of supporting the end-to-end performance objectives detailed in Y.1541.

The guidance provided in Y.1542 should "...facilitate network design and operation capable of nearly always meeting the desired levels of performance". According to experts it will also act as a contribution by SG12 to the ITU-T's Joint Coordination Activity on NGN.

Monday, July 10, 2006 7:26:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 03, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

ITU-T Recommendation M.3343 consented at the Beijing meeting of Study Group 4 outlines the requirements and protocol neutral information model necessary to communicate trouble tickets in a multi-service provider NGN environment.

NGN according to the Recommendation introduces new reporting needs to address new service types expected.

The Recommendation describes a trouble in a communications network as a problem that has an adverse effect on the quality of service perceived by network users. Management of trouble tickets is necessary to ensure that they receive attention and that the trouble is cleared to restore the service.

At the time of a trouble, a network may have been inter-working with another network to provide a service. Therefore a standardized way of exchanging trouble management information between management systems across interfaces is necessary.

Monday, June 19, 2006 8:27:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Study Group 4 saw the consent of a Recommendation (M.3342) which provides the means to document service level agreements (SLA) between a service customer and a service provider.

The Rec. takes into account the fact that NGN demands QoS guarantees for services. SLAs are considered an effective way of solving the problems of QoS guarantee between customers and providers. The Recommendation describes the detailed classification of SLA content, provides guidelines and instructions for the definition and composition of ‘SLA representation templates’ in order to manage QoS and service guarantees more effectively. It also includes instructions on how to complete the templates.

Monday, June 19, 2006 8:23:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

The roadmap can be found here.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Monday, June 05, 2006 8:03:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 25, 2006
Study Group 16 has published an ‘Accessibility Checklist’ for the makers of standards to ensure that they are taking into account the needs of those to whom accessibility to ICTs are restricted, the deaf or hard-of-hearing for example. Experts say that such a list will help to ensure that accessibility needs are taken into account at an early stage, rather than ‘retrofitted’. The list will be published on a new webpage acting as a repository for accessibility in standards information.

Study Group 16’s standardization work in the field of accessibility aims to ensure that all sectors of the global community have equal access to communications and online information. This effort goes back to the 1990s with V.18 (an ITU-T Recommendation on a multi-function text telephone).

The work takes into account the fact that users of ICTs have a varied capability for handling information and the controls for its presentation. The source of this variation lies in cultural and educational backgrounds as well as in age-related functional limitations, in disabilities, and in other natural causes. Everyone can benefit from this accessibility standardization work as anyone can be permanently or temporarily disabled due to physical, environmental (e.g. a phone call in a noisy environment) or cultural (e.g. spoken language diversity) conditions. Moreover, we will all grow old and lose facilities that we take for granted now, thus enlarging the part of the population that benefits from accessible communication.

The most important goal of ITU-T’s accessibility activity is to make sure that newly developed standards contain the necessary elements to make services and features usable for as broad a range of people as possible. Standards describe how equipment should interact and what quality is necessary for media to be usable for all, additionally suitable methods of media delivery for people with disabilities are described.

 

Thursday, May 25, 2006 4:32:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 22, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 11, 2006 8:44:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 09, 2006

SG16 completed work on a new scalable voice codec - G729.1 - that will significantly improve voice quality in VoIP calls by offering wideband quality. Wideband telephony gives more natural sounding voice and greatly improves intelligibility and listening comfort.

G.729.1 extends the ITU-T G.729 speech coding standard widely used in VoIP systems and is fully interoperable with it. It will allow smooth transition from narrow band (300-3400 Hz) "PSTN" quality telephony to high quality wideband (50-7000Hz) telephony over IP and efficient deployment in existing infrastructures.

G.729.1 can operate at 12 bit rates from 32 kbit/s down to 8 kbit/s with wideband quality above 14kbit/s to dynamically provide the optimum voice quality according to service and network constraints: The bit rate can be adjusted "on-the-fly" during a call by simple truncation of the "embedded" bitstream at any point of the communication chain such as gateways or other devices combining multiple data streams. This highly flexible bit rate adaptation will avoid network congestion and the dropping of packets that severely impair the overall quality.

 

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 2:26:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 04, 2006

Study Group 17 meeting in Korea, April, gave final approval to the Question on Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) that provides direction and focus to ongoing work. 

The news comes as ITU makes final preparations for the Global Symposium on Promoting the Multilingual Internet it is convening together with UNESCO, 9-11 May. 

ITU-T was mandated to work on IDN at the 2004 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in Brazil. IDN will contribute to easier and greater use of the Internet in those countries where the native or official languages are not represented in ASCII characters.

Andrzej Bartosiewicz, representing Poland and acting as Rapporteur for IDNs said: “We have received a number of contributions in this area and have been impressed with the level of interest and the productive nature of discussions. There are a number of organizations working in the field and I believe coordination will be an important focus of any work. The upcoming workshop will be a particularly useful tool for facilitating networking between experts in the field and furthering the study in general.”

Bartosiewicz said that a webpage will be published shortly with news on ITU-T study in the area, as well as related events and technical documents. An official ‘circular letter’ will be sent sent to Member States he said, requesting information about their experiences on the use of IDN. Given the response to this communication SG 17 will be able to better assess the current situation and needs.

 

Thursday, May 04, 2006 9:53:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The first meeting of the Focus Group on IPTV (FG IPTV) will take place 10-14 July in Geneva.

The official announcement is here, and a new webpage has gone live detailing how to participate, significant dates and news among other details.

FG IPTV will coordinate and promote the development of global IPTV standards taking into account the existing work of the ITU study groups as well as Standards Developing Organizations, Fora and Consortia. It is open to any individual from a country which is a member of ITU who wishes to contribute to the work.

 

Thursday, May 04, 2006 9:50:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 01, 2006

A new standard extending support of a key communications tool for the deaf and hard of hearing to IP-based networks was consented at a recent meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 16. The continued support of textphones (TTYs) as operators increasingly shift to IP is important for the many thousands of users of these systems.

The announcement marks a key milestone in the development of what ITU terms Total Conversation, that is the convergence of voice, video and text telephony.

The new standard known as ITU-T Recommendation V.151 relates to text over IP (ToIP). ToIP is the transport of real-time text over IP networks. It differs from instant messaging in that ToIP systems transmit bi-directionally, one character at a time. This gives the user the feel of real-time communication, just like voice or video systems that transport streaming media over IP.

ToIP services are available using a legacy textphone (TTY) which has long been the preferred tool of the deaf and hard of hearing, an enabled IP phone or a PC-based client.

V.151 has an important role to play in the protection of text quality when transported through IP networks, also offering the potential to enable communication between earlier incompatible textphones from different regions.

Monday, May 01, 2006 4:26:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 27, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 7:02:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 27, 2006

In 2006, ITU-T will celebrate 50 years of making the standards that have played a massive part in shaping the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and services of today.

Formerly known as the CCITT (International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee), the body was established in 1956 and renamed as ITU-T in 1993. In that time ITU’s standards work has substantially shaped the way that we live and do business.

Telecommunication plays an enormous role in our day-to-day lives, and if it wasn’t for ITU-T Recommendations making a simple telephone call would be impossible. Don’t underestimate what that would mean. Without telecommunication business would grind to a halt, banks would not be able to transfer money, orders could not be placed and air traffic control systems would fail. Telecommunication also has a vital role to play in emergency communications and disaster relief and has been a crucial tool in international diplomacy. Simply put, life without telephony is almost unimaginable. And as we have moved from fixed-line telephony into mobile telephony and the Internet, so has ITU’s work moved to accommodate and underpin these technologies that are becoming equally as important to the world economy.

In order to mark this momentous milestone, ITU-T will hold a one-day ceremony mid July 2006.

The event, while celebrating the past achievements of ITU-T, will be forward looking in focus. A main feature of the day will be a panel discussion on the future of ICTs moderated by a key industry pundit. The panel will consist of CTOs and other senior level people from some of the world’s major ICT companies. In addition CEOs from some of the world’s biggest ICT players will be invited to give keynote speeches.

More on ITU-T here. A webpage with more details on the July event and charting ITU-T’s history is under development, please contact standards@itu.int for more information.

Help Us Build a Historic Record 

Pertaining to the celebration of 50 years of ITU-T, a project has been initiated to collect information – anecdotes, photography, documents – that will help us chart the main achievements and history of CCITT/ITU-T.

If you have any information or material that you believe will be useful then please contact standards@itu.int.

 



Monday, March 27, 2006 9:05:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 20, 2006

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

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

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

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

Register to take part in this online event here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 09, 2006 9:28:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 06, 2006

SAM'06, is the short title for the Fifth Workshop on System Analysis and Modelling (formerly SDL and MSC Workshop). The event will be held May 31st - June 2nd, 2006, University of Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany.

The event, which serves as a platform where the evolution and use of system design languages (SDL) and technologies is discussed, is targeted at academics and others involved in these areas. The SAM Workshop is organised every second year by the SDL Forum Society, which is a non-profit organisation established by language users and tool providers to promote and develop ITU-T modelling techniques. SDL Forum activity is closely aligned with ITU-T, which recommends and publishes the languages ASN.1, MSC, SDL, eODL, TTCN and URN. Study Group 17 is ITU-T’s Lead Study Group on Languages and Description Techniques.

For more information about SAM'06, please see the web page.

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

For more information about the thirteenth SDL Forum to be held 2007, please see the web page.

 

Monday, March 06, 2006 12:13:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 03, 2006

Study Group 15 saw continued progress in its work on standards to support the end-to-end rollout of Ethernet and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). This work continues the evolution of the use of Ethernet as an enterprise technology into a carrier service, and supports MPLS from a wider network perspective.

Study group experts say that ITU is the only standards body looking to support the choice of either Ethernet or MPLS as an end-to-end network technology. In effect ITU is addressing both technologies as part of one packet transport network, focusing in addition on their seamless interoperability.

Work in the Ethernet field progressed at the February meeting aims to allow per user, service provider, and network operator service level monitoring and assurance; fault isolation to target maintenance and repair and to enable automatic protection switching, network management and the possibility of reuse of SDH management systems.

This work is based on, and enabled by the work recently completed on Ethernet operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) in Study Group 13 with their consent of new Recommendation Y.1731 (see story). The follow-on work in SG 15 includes amendments to the layer network architecture (G.8010/Y.1306) and the Ethernet equipment Recommendations (G.8021/Y.1341), and a new Recommendation on Ethernet protection switching (G.8031/Y.1342), which according to Study Group experts will give operators the opportunity to offer close to 100 per cent availability of Ethernet services for the first time. This is achieved using a system that uses a predefined alternative route if the most direct is broken.

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

 

Friday, March 03, 2006 12:21:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 02, 2006

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

This workshop will: 

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

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

Register here. ITU’s convening letter
here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

More and online registration here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 11:41:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 27, 2006

A revision to a commonly used ITU-T Recommendation will extend use of fibre previously used mainly in core networks to metropolitan or regional networks. Crucially it also has the potential to greatly reduce operating costs for network providers.

G.655 for non-zero dispersion-shifted fibre (NZDSF) was originally designed to support DWDM long distance core, it was designed to reduce a phenomenon called four wave mixing (an interaction between wavelengths that generates additional optical channels). The impressive improvement in dispersion profiles afforded by G.655 fibre together with the development of the G.692 standard for optical interfaces for multichannel systems with optical amplifiers led to an explosion in the market for DWDM systems experts say.

Reduced dispersion allows sending signals over greater distances without dispersion compensation, meaning that operators will be able to avoid using a compensator and amplifier as well as the costs associated with this; power, protection, housing and security.

The revision to G.655 (full title, Characteristics of a non-zero dispersion-shifted single-mode optical fibre and cable) deals with chromatic dispersion, a phenomenon which at low levels counteracts distortion, but at high-levels can make a signal unusable. The management of chromatic dispersion is crucial as the number of wavelengths used in WDM systems increases. ITU has a history of providing the specifications that allow operators to most efficiently handle this. The revision allows more efficient use of the properties of chromatic dispersion by more stringently defining its existence. It defines chromatic dispersion in two new categories that can be exploited by systems designers as necessary.

The need for the work stemmed from systems' designers want to better understand dispersion. And a result is that experts saw a use for G.655 cable in metro or regional networks where it had previously only been used in core networks.

 

Monday, February 27, 2006 5:16:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 24, 2006

"ITU can play an important role in furthering international standardization efforts (for networked RFID) in addition to raising awareness about the challenges and opportunities of this exciting new technology." That was a conclusion of attendees representing standards bodies, telecoms service providers, vendors and academia at a recent workshop Networked RFID: Systems and Services.

Participants agreed that standardization in the field is essential in order to roll out the technology on a global scale. Experts agree that standards so far have developed in a fragmented way; one example is the to-date weak coordination between different regional bodies. Event steering committee chairman, Pierre-Andre Probst, said that many new work areas have been identified for ITU as a result of the workshop, giving further momentum to work already started in some ITU-T Study Groups. Contributions on RFID are expected in the Study Group meetings taking place in April (Korea, Switzerland and Japan) and based on the outcome of discussions here an action plan will be developed in May.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a key part of the so-called Internet of Things, or as one session chair put it: "RFID is part of a larger vision of future technological ubiquity".

Object-to-object communication has the potential to revolutionise commerce, with many areas of business already benefiting from the use of RFID. But there are wide ranging applications for this new technology beyond just making money. For example in Japan there have been trials to use RFID to track children on the way to school, making sure they get safely to their destination. In European ski resorts, RFID ensures that skiers don't have to fish around in their pockets with cold hands for their ski passes now that RFID equipped passes have become widely adopted. A more serious upshot of this application is that now resort managers know how many people are on the slopes at any given time, crucial information in an emergency.

As the technology takes off, increasingly complicated applications are envisaged. RFID systems are moving from closed reader and tag systems to systems where there is a need for a network to share data. While now incipient, presenters at the workshop forecast that the message traffic will increase exponentially over the next 10 years, which will have an impact on existing and future communication infrastructure. And this is where the need for standards becomes more of an imperative.

The 'Internet of things' it was said will lead to a new set of network requirements and capabilities as potentially billions of tags start to transmit data. Network requirements and capabilities for more-complicated services that include sensors must also be taken into account. Sensors can monitor environmental variables. Their combination with RFIDs will not only identify people or objects, but also provide in addition to location other dynamic attributes such as temperature, movement and acceleration.

Specifically ITU expects to examine network and service architecture, requirements for machine-to-machine communication, security, information service protocols, interoperability, data format, radio frequency spectrum allocation, network performance and quality of service in its technical study groups.

As far as security is concerned, consumer protection, namely privacy and data protection, has hindered user acceptance and so addressing this area is seen as a prerequisite for public acceptance. ITU has much experience in this field, particularly in the important area of alignment with policy and regulatory issues.

Global frequency harmonization is a hindrance according to some experts towards achieving supply chain efficiencies and security. This is a topic expected to be raised at the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), Geneva, 2007, and workshop participants suggested the need to establish RFID as a Primary Service.

ITU is also expected to help coordinate ongoing standards work in the field in order to avoid work duplication. Among the groups operating in the area are ISO, ETSI, IEEE, EPCglobal and Near Field Communication Forum.

For more on RFID; ITU-T's Technology Watch, ITU's Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) report, the Internet of Things). All presentations and an audio archive of the event are also available.

Friday, February 24, 2006 4:29:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 23, 2006
A new Recommendation identifies the needs required to give end-to-end visibility of client services carried across multi-carrier networks. Without this ability carriers have often had to wait for customers to report problems before they can begin to address them.

The Recommendation - G.8601 - identifies the requirements for the next stage of work which will focus on methodologies to address this issue. Study group experts report that contributions to this end have already
been received.

G.8601 defines architectural requirements for the edge-to-edge management of client services transported over various transport network topologies and technologies. The services for which such management capabilities are required are also included.

The requirements for the transference of the management data between the edge points are described along with the requirements for accessibility to management information at some point in the network, other than the end point.

Thursday, February 23, 2006 8:19:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 20, 2006

G.959.1, the Recommendation that increased the capacity for multi-vendor optical interfaces developed to exploit the demand for high capacity Internet routers (see press release), has been updated to help further reduce costs for operators. The use of forward error correction (FEC) as defined in ITU-T Rec. G.709 will allow operators to transport data more cost-effectively through the use of lower cost electro-optics.

 

FEC is a method of sending redundant information with the data in one-way communication in order to allow the receiver to reconstruct the data if there was an error in transmission.

 

Experts say that in the last few years they have seen a shift in demand from operators who are now looking to maximize return on investment rather than increase distance covered etc. The revision of this Recommendation addresses this need. 

 

This work forms part of ITU’s ongoing work in optical transport networks (OTN) which encourages a fair market for manufacturers and operators, and ultimately encourages better service for consumers. It has been developed with input from the Optical Interworking Forum (OIF).

 

Monday, February 20, 2006 9:44:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T will publish the first ITU-T Recommendation in the area of free-space optics. FSO is an area dominated by proprietary solutions, the new Rec means that users of FSO systems will be able to co-locate FSO solutions provided by different manufacturers for the first time.

FSO systems use lasers or LEDs to transmit data between two points with line of sight up to 2km. Typically this means between the top of buildings. Data rates of up to 1.25 Gbps are available.

As well as use in fixed settings like between tall office buildings. FSO systems have proven useful in disaster relief where telecoms infrastructure has been damaged and a quick fix is necessary. Equally FSO systems are used where there is no existing infrastructure as a way of avoiding disruptive and expensive cable laying. They are spectrum license free and protocol independent so will happily carry Ethernet, SDH signals etc.

The ITU-T Rec. G.640 will allow the co-location of FSO systems without interference with each other. 

Monday, February 20, 2006 9:10:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 17, 2006
International standards that enable interoperability and security in the field of home networking are seen as key to bringing value and versatility to consumers, making possible the use of diverse products, services and sources, and therefore accelerating market development. This was the key conclusion of a successful World Standards Cooperation (WSC) workshop bringing together some 100 experts from industry, the academic community and standards developing organizations, in Geneva, Switzerland, on 2 and 3 February 2006.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

· In-home networking;

· How content is managed;

· How equipment is managed;

· Best practices.

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

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

 

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

Study Group 15 has consented a Recommendation that will address a key concern in the evolution to next generation networks (NGN).

With the proposed move to packet switched networks, carriers, mobile operators and system integrators all have a need to support time-division multiplexing (TDM) over packet networks. TDM, experts say, today forms all of the transmission network and a good part of the access network.

The role of this Rec - G.8261 - is to outline the requirements for the support of a crucial part of TDM's operation in packet networks. The Recommendation's authors say that without proper synchronization, applications such as mobile telephony simply will not work.

G.8261 analyses synchronization aspects in packet networks, with particular focus on the Ethernet, and outlines the minimum requirements for the synchronization function of network elements. In particular it focuses on the transport of synchronization information required for the transport of TDM signals over packet networks. The transport of SDH signals is for further study.

Friday, February 17, 2006 2:42:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

· Network to Network Interface (NNI) session control;

· User to network Interface (UNI) session control;

· Resource Control Interfaces;

· Network Attachment Interfaces.

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

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

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

Friday, February 17, 2006 8:50:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Recommendation consented at the January meeting of Study Group 13 allows enterprises to convert multiple voice streams or VoIP flows to IP packets, enabling them to be trunked to their destination over a packet switched infrastructure, rather than dedicated circuit-switched infrastructure. In this way businesses can reduce costs and benefit from the increased efficiency and speed of IP networks.

Rec Y.1452 gives the required functions and procedures necessary for support of  multiplexed narrowband voice services by IP networks. It specifies the required protocols and the operation of the interworking function.

 

 

Wednesday, February 08, 2006 10:05:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 06, 2006

Study Group 13 has consented a new Recommendation that will give support for a widely deployed network technology in IP-based NGNs.

The Recommendation Y.1453 addresses required functions for network interworking between time division multiplexing (TDM) and IP networks.

TDM is a way to transmit multiple subscribers’ calls along the same transmission medium at the same time. Given that is a very widely used technology in existing telecommunications networks its continued support in NGN is imperative.

Y.1453 addresses "user plane internetworking mechanisms, connection multiplexing and procedures (for interworking)".

 

Monday, February 06, 2006 2:21:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Study Group 13 will start work on a new topic (Question) relating to commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS).

COTS solutions are seen as an efficient way to reduce operating costs, but a lack of standards has kept costs high for licensing, adapting and integrating these components.

The title of the new Question will be Requirements and framework for enabling COTS components in an open environment. The aim is to outline the open interfaces and standards required to deploy COTS solutions in NGNs.

According to the text of the Question: “Guidance is required to ensure that COTS components will allow for creation of open and integrated communications platforms consistent with open (public and non-proprietary) standards  such that they will accelerate deployment of NGN infrastructure and services. It is necessary to define a common approach that helps to navigate through the appropriate interfaces and options to deliver an open and integrated communications platform using these standards.”

The Question was set up following a proposal from the Focus Group, The Open Communications Architecture Forum (OCAF). A Rapporteur, Johannes Prade, has been provisionally appointed to lead this work.

A review by the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) is necessary to complete the formal approval of the Question at the next Study Group 13 meeting in July 2006, but work in the area is ongoing and will continue as normal.

At the same meeting of SG 13, OCAF submitted two draft Recommendations, The carrier grade open environment reference model and Carrier Grade Open Environment Components. It is expected that these will be sent for consent at SG 13’s next meeting.

 

 

Monday, February 06, 2006 2:18:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new ITU-T standard (Recommendation) will allow operators offering Ethernet services to use operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM) mechanisms to facilitate network operation and troubleshooting.

Given that performance management has been cited as a major concern of operators looking at Ethernet as an end-to-end solution, and that OAM features are not standard in Ethernet, it is seen as crucial to provide this facility. Standards-based OAM features that will allow for interoperability between different vendors are seen as a requirement for carriers adopting Ethernet on a wide scale. Experts say that operator deployments may start in 2007.

Ethernet services are becoming popular because they allow carriers to offer considerably improved flexibility to customers through a much simpler and lower cost interface. Ethernet allows users to specify exactly how much bandwidth they want between the 10Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s range currently offered. Further, Ethernet provides reduced operation complexity and improved scalability for carriers.

And as operators look to NGN and the use of the Internet Protocol (IP), Ethernet is seen as the best fit, especially given the rise of such services as IP VPNs, VLANs and dedicated Internet access. Equally this OAM functionality may be deployed in a local area network (LAN).

The ITU-T Recommendation, Y.1731 consented at the recent meeting of Study Group 13, identifies the OAM functions which are needed to allow fault management (fault localization, defect detection, etc.) and performance monitoring (error counts, delay measurement, etc.) in an Ethernet network. With regards to performance monitoring, the Recommendation only addresses point to point connectivity today, says Gilles Joncour, ITU-T Rapporteur for the Recommendation, (multi)point to multipoint will be the next step.

Joncour gives some more detail: ‘’Y.1731 also specifies the so called OAM PDUs (protocol data units) which constitute the payload of the Ethernet OAM frames. The content (fields) of the PDUs vary according to the function(s) they correspond to. Y.1731 does not specify the processes associated to the sending, reception and analysis (of the content) of the OAM frames/PDUs. This will be part of another Recommendation (G.8021), from Study Group 15. Y.1731 specifies methods for measuring sample values of parameters identified for monitoring the performance of Ethernet networks. It does not deal with the integration of those values over a period of time and the use of such results, when applicable for defect detection. This will also be done in G.8021.”

Recommendation Y.1713 gives user-plane OAM functionality in Ethernet networks. The architectural basis for this Recommendation is the Ethernet specification G.8010. A previous Recommendation Y.1730 served as a prelude to Y.1731 outlining the OAM requirements of operators. Joncour says that Y.1731 was developed in close collaboration with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) group 802.1. This group is also preparing a standard (802.1ag - Connectivity Fault Management) devoted to Ethernet OAM aspects. IEEE 802.1ag defines a subset of the functions/PDUs described in Y.1731. Regular communications between the two groups ensured alignment of the description of the common features.  

Monday, February 06, 2006 9:08:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 30, 2006

Gary Fishman, chairman of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG), talks to the e-Flash about the alternative approval process (AAP), which has been described by some as the envy of the standards world. 

AAP is a name that has stuck, according to Fishman, despite the fact it is now the normal rather than an alternative process because such has been its impact that the name has achieved brand name status among standards makers.
More.

Monday, January 30, 2006 2:30:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

November 2005 saw the approval of 34 Recommendations bringing the total number approved under the so-called Alternative Approval Process (AAP) to over 1000. 

AAP is a fast-track approval procedure that was developed to allow standards to be brought to market in the timeframe that industry now demands. 

Among the 34 Recommendations that were approved in November were three relating to QoS in Internet Protocol (IP) based networks, one relating to a new generation digital cinema technology called LSDI, and one on digital rights management in home networking systems.

With a majority of its membership from the private sector, ITU’s standardization arm - ITU-T - understands the crucial balance between rapid delivery, quality and stability in standards development. AAP is designed to make sure that draft standards reach approved Recommendation status as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest degree of transparency. With approved global standards in place, network operators will have the confidence to rollout new generation services quickly and efficiently.

Besides streamlining the underlying procedures involved in the approval process, an important contributory factor to the success of AAP is computerisation. With this process, once a meeting considers that a draft Recommendation is ready for approval, it is posted on the ITU- T website, the membership is informed that the approval process has begun and the rest of the process can be completed electronically in the vast majority of cases with no further physical meetings.

This dramatic overhaul of standards-making by streamlining approval procedures was implemented in 2001 and is estimated to have cut the time involved in this critical aspect of the standardization process by 80 to 90 per cent. This means that an average standard which took around four years to approve and publish until the mid nineties, and two years until 1997, can now be approved in an average of two months, or as little as five weeks. At present, more than 3100 ITU-T Recommendations are in force and around 210 new and updated Recommendations are produced each year, that's nearly one for every working day.

The introduction of AAP also formalizes public/private partnership in the approval process by providing equal opportunities for both Sector Members (members coming from industry) and Member States in the approval of technical standards.

More information on the AAP can be found here

Monday, January 30, 2006 10:57:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 27, 2006

If you are unable to attend the upcoming ITU-T workshop, Networked RFID: Systems and Services, you may be interested to know that a live audio webcast will be made available. The recording will also be available after the event in archive.

Friday, January 27, 2006 10:29:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

At an early December meeting of ITU-T's Study Group 2 agreement on the allocation of a high-revenue international short message service (SMS) number to two international organisations for the purpose of fundraising was made. An official announcement in ITU-T's Operational Bulletin will be made following the decision of the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

The number +979 0767 was granted following a request from the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It will allow the two organizations to launch relief campaigns across national boundaries, and will encourage regular donations by introducing a recognisable and non-changing number. The 767 portion of the number spells out SOS.

Texting emerged as a popular way to contribute to relief efforts during fundraising for the earthquake in Bam, Iran, 2003 and the 2004 Asian tsunami.

Friday, January 27, 2006 10:25:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T Study Group 2 has approved at its December 2005 meeting, a Recommendation outlining procedures for registration with the domain ".int". ITU-T Recommendation E.910 clarifies the principles and procedures for the registration of names under the Internet top-level domain ".int" and the process by which qualified international organizations can register for domain names under ".int". Importantly it outlines what criteria an international organization must meet in order to qualify for such a domain.

 

Friday, January 27, 2006 10:23:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 19, 2006

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

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