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 Monday, 07 December 2009

A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report titled Biometrics and Standards surveys biometric recognition as a key form of authentication made possible by powerful information and communication technologies (ICT).

Biometrics are used in forensics (e.g., for criminal investigations), government applications (more than 60 countries issue electronic passports containing biometric information) and commercial applications. The latter category includes deployments in the banking sector (secure access to ATMs, credit cards, e-Business), with other sectors gaining momentum. For instance, social-networking websites including Facebook and Picasa have integrated face recognition algorithms to make it easier to search and display all photos featuring one’s friends. Biometric systems embedded in cars of a vehicle fleet can help to identify the driver, adjust seat, rear mirrors, and steering wheel to meet individual preferences.

Technologies commonly used in biometrics include recognition of fingerprints, faces, vein patterns, irises, voices and keystroke patterns.

The Report discusses the advantages of biometric authenticators over their knowledge- and possession-based counterparts, describes different physiology- and behavior-related biometric traits and how they are used in biometric systems. A choice of biometric recognition applications is highlighted, and an overview of standardization work in the field of biometrics is given.

"Biometrics and Standards" can be downloaded here.

The authors welcome your feedback on this Report and all other publications of the Technology Watch series. We invite all interested parties to submit paper proposals for future Technology Watch Reports. The Technology Watch secretariat can be contacted at

Monday, 07 December 2009 15:44:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 30 November 2009

Two new ITU standards in the field of IPTV have recently been agreed.

The first – Recommendation ITU-T H.740 - will enable a greater level of two way communication in IPTV services. For example it will support interactive services such as voting and e-commerce while also allowing better provision for emergency alerts and audience monitoring. Simply put the standard prescribes behaviour for an IPTV terminal in the case of receiving these instructions from either a broadcaster or a user.

More technically, H.740 "Application Event Handling for IPTV services" provides a framework of application event handling in IPTV services. An application event is describes as a specific user interaction or occurrence related with multimedia content. One of the characteristics of the new standard is that it gives a careful provision of privacy protection, with differing degrees of security.

The second standard - Recommendation ITU-T H.762 - "Lightweight interactive multimedia framework for IPTV services (LIME)" gives a subset of html and javascript for use in IPTV terminals. LIME is described as being very strictly profiled so that it can be used on a resource-limited devices like TV-sets. LIME can support interactivity like widgets and portals, as well as AJAX-like applications on IPTV. LIME can be used with basic services like video-on-demand (VOD), linear (channel) service (over IP), and EPG (extended programme guide). The expected main user interface is a remote controller.

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Monday, 30 November 2009 14:14:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 10 November 2009
The ITU group responsible for the development of the Primetime Emmy award winning video coding standard ITU-T H.264 (which is also standardized as ISO/IEC 14496-10) has issued a draft call for proposals for new video coding technology. The final call for proposals is expected to be issued in January 2010, and it may be issued jointly with ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 (MPEG).

ITU-T Study Group 16 is asking for proposals that give substantially increased compression relative to existing standards.

The proposals will be evaluated using formal subjective tests with the results made public. A proposal evaluation meeting is planned for April 2010. Depending on the proposed technology, a final resulting standard may be developed by July 2012.

Details here.

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Tuesday, 10 November 2009 10:54:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, 07 November 2009
ITU’s delegation to the UNFCCC Barcelona Climate Change talks has succeeded in raising awareness of ICTs as a key part of the climate change solution. In particular developing countries were receptive to the message and recognize the power of ICTs, also linking the issue to the digital divide.

At a side event jointly organized by ITU, OECD and GeSI equitable access and ensuring connectivity to schools, rural communities and health facilities were recognized as vital to economic development and to making effective use of ICTs to combat climate change.

Speaking at the event, Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s standardization bureau said: “It is generally accepted that by 2050 global greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by some 80%. We can no longer talk in terms of incremental reductions of 5-10%. There is also a growing understanding that there is only one way that this can be achieved: by shifting from a high carbon physical infrastructure to a low carbon virtual infrastructure based on the evolving information society and smart technology – what we call information and communication technologies (ICTs).“

ITU will produce a communiqué that will be distributed to ITU Member States as well as parties involved in the negotiating process. One of the problems identified in the side event was that while communications ministries are aware of the link between ICTs and climate change this message is often not filtering through to environment ministries.

The following issues arose at the side event
  • The capabilities of ICTs to monitor, measure and exchange huge amounts of information and their sheer ubiquity underlines their fundamental role in improving environmental performance.

  • The  message that ICTs are a major part of the solution rather than being part of the problem has to  be emphasised further. “Smart” applications in transport, buildings and urban environments, energy generation and distribution and production are, and will increasingly be, ICT-enabled.

  • In the utility sectors ICTs can provide better information, increase efficiency, and thereby reduce emissions.

  • There needs to be a coming together of the ICT Sector with the other industry sectors that have traditionally been separate communities, in order to ensure the best use of ICTs. 

  • Developing countries should participate more in international programmes that support the development and use of common performance standards, testing, verification and certification programmes.

  • IPR policies related to global standards need to be addressed.

  • Dumping is a major concern for developing countries. Greater emphasis is needed on recycling, reduction of hazardous substances in ICTs, and refurbishment.

  • Life cycle methodologies for the ICT sector within the UNFCCC will be essential if ICTs are to play a significant role in climate change.

  • ICTs can only assist in mitigating and adapting to climate change if they are widely available. There is a clear link between bridging the digital divide and climate change. There should be incentives within the UNFCCC to the ICT industry to invest in developing countries, in particular bringing the benefits of broadband technology to schools, hospitals, and businesses. 

  • Including reference to the ICT/Telecommunication sector in the sectoral part of the negotiating text would enable a life cycle methodology to be included in the Clean Development Mechanism. This would provide an incentive to the ICT industry to invest in developing countries, help reduce the digital divide, and at the same time help fight climate change – a win-win scenario.

For video archive of ITU media briefing in Barcelona:
See also TelecomTV coverage including:
And Computer Weekly:

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Saturday, 07 November 2009 22:09:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 06 November 2009
ITU in collaboration with Broadband Business Forum/EXPO COMM ITALIA 2009 will host a session on ITU studies on NGN, wireless and interoperability, on 25 November 2009, in Rome, Italy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further information, please contact:

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

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

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Tuesday, 03 November 2009 11:20:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 29 October 2009
ITU is to host a workshop - Greening the Internet - 17 November 2009 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, as part of 4th IGF (Internet Governance Forum) meeting.

A key component of the economic stimulus agenda in US, Japan, Europe and other regions, is investment in broadband, so Greening the Internet and addressing climate change is a major concern. Internet based-applications can unleash many opportunities for real solutions to climate change, such as smart homes, smart appliances, smart transportation and smart energy grids. Many companies today are already recognizing that going Green makes good business sense.

The ICT industry has been making progress in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, and best practices can be already shared. Even new technologies such as NGN, are innately green compared to their predecessors.

ITU-T’s Study Group on Environment and Climate Change examines how to measure and reduce the impact of ICTs on the environment in order to help advance the Green ICT agenda. At its last meeting, the Study Group consented a standard describing an energy-efficient universal charging solution (UCS) for mobile phones, but also digital cameras and other devices with micro-USB interfaces.
Greening the Internet, will examine new Internet trends, the potential impacts on climate change and the ways in which the Internet can evolve in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Panelists are Joseph Alhadeff, VP for Global Public Policy at Oracle Corporation; Catherine Trautmann, Member of the European Parliament; Catalina McGregor, Founder and Deputy Champion of the Green ICT CIO/CTO Council of the UK Government; George Sadowsky, Director of ICANN, Alice Munyua of the Kenya ICT Action Network; Tony Vetter of the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Nezar Sami of Nile University.

The workshop will be opened with a keynote message given by Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, and moderated by Arthur Levin, Head of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Policy Division.

Speakers’ biographies and information on logistics and registration are posted on the website of the workshop.

A meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change (DCICC) will take place one day earlier, on 16 November 2009. The DCICC is an open body of 29 members committed to moderating the environmental impact of the Internet, seeking new ways to embrace the power of the Internet for reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and enabling transformation in line with the objectives set and to be set under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Meeting and Coalition are open to governments, private sector, standards development organizations, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, researchers, vendors, network operators, academia and other bodies. A draft agenda is available on the DCICC website.

17 November 2009: Greening the Internet: Workshop website

16 November 2009: Meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change: Website

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Thursday, 29 October 2009 14:44:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 22 October 2009
One-size-fits-all solution will dramatically cut waste and GHG emissions. "ICTs are an essential element of an effective Copenhagen climate agreement," says Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré

Geneva, 22 October 2009 — ITU has given its stamp of approval to an energy-efficient one-charger-fits-all new mobile phone solution. The announcement comes as ITU lobbies hard to have the essential role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) recognized in the draft Copenhagen Agreement as a key part of the solution towards mitigating climate change.

full press release

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Thursday, 22 October 2009 13:27:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 21 October 2009
ITU voice coding and home networking articles published by IEEE

The latest IEEE Communications Magazine (subscription needed) contains a special feature on ITU-T Coders For Wideband, Superwideband, and Fullband Speech Communication. In addition the issue contains an overview of the new home networking standard from ITU.

The feature is part of a formalised cooperation between the standardization sector of ITU (ITU-T) and IEEE Communications Society. Also published recently are the best papers from the first Kaleidoscope academic conference.

The articles on speech coding:
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Wednesday, 21 October 2009 13:36:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 20 October 2009 standard for wired home networking gets international approval

Geneva, 15 October 2009 — ITU has approved a cutting-edge technical standard that will usher in new era in ‘smart home’ networking systems and applications. Called ‘’, the new standard will enable service providers to deploy new offerings, including High Definition TV (HDTV) and digital Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), more cost effectively. It will also allow consumer electronics manufacturers to seamlessly network all types of home entertainment, home automation and home security products, and greatly simplify consumers’ purchasing and installation processes.

full press release

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Tuesday, 20 October 2009 11:36:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 October 2009
A revision to key Optical Transport Network (OTN) standard - Recommendation ITU-T G.709 - extends its applicability to 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). This revision also adds a variable-size switchable container (ODUflex) to the OTN hierarchy to more efficiently carry packet and constant bit rate clients, which did not fit well into the traditional fixed-size OTN containers. OTN mappings for storage area network (SAN) interfaces and mobile interfaces are also a part of this new revision.

ITU-T Recommendation G.709 "Interfaces for the optical transport network (OTN)" describes a means of communicating data over an optical network. It is a standardized method for transparent transport of services over optical wavelengths in DWDM systems.

Operators are facing challenges with the migration from traditional SDH/SONET to IP/Ethernet based services. The ITU-T G.709 OTN standard is a vehicle to enable convergence, and for providing a common and SONET/SDH-like operational model for network administration, performance monitoring and fault isolation, without altering the individual services.

Using OTN, multiple networks and services such as legacy SONET/SDH, Ethernet, storage protocols and video can all be combined onto a common infrastructure.

Most importantly, unlike SONET/SDH, OTN is the only transport layer in the industry that can carry a full 10/40/100 GbE LAN PHY from IP/Ethernet switches and routers at full bandwidth. With the rapid migration towards IP/Ethernet-based infrastructure, OTN becomes the transport layer of choice for network operators.

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Thursday, 15 October 2009 09:53:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The recent Study Group 15 meeting saw agreement on a new standard that defines Ethernet ring protection switching (ERPS) in multiple rings.

The work has been driven by the move by operators to offer Ethernet services with the same level of service protection offered in networks based on synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH).

The standard gives sub-50 millisecond (ms) protection for Ethernet traffic in a ring topology and at the same time ensures that there are no loops formed at the Ethernet layer. The protocol is said to be robust enough to work for unidirectional failure and multiple link failure scenarios.

Experts say that there are already products on the market deploying the standard.

G.8032 offers a flexible topology with single or interconnected multi-rings; broad applications for access, metro, and core networks; support for Ethernet speeds (1/10/40/100GbE MAC); support for multiple Ethernet services; client-server agnostics and OPEX and CAPEX savings.

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Thursday, 15 October 2009 09:31:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 09 October 2009
High-level meeting underlines importance of unified international approach to technology development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An official communiqué from the event can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The term IdM is understood as "management by providers of trusted attributes of an entity such as a subscriber, a device, or a provider." IdM promises to reduce the need for multiple user names and passwords for each online service used, while maintaining privacy of personal information. A global IdM solution will help diminish identity theft and fraud. Further, IdM is one of the key enablers for a simplified and secure interaction between customers and services such as e-commerce.

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

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

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

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Thursday, 08 October 2009 10:15:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 28 September 2009
Announcement made at pioneering virtual symposium

Geneva, 28 September 2009 — ITU has declared its intention to press for the importance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a cross-sectoral tool to combat climate change to be recognized in the upcoming Copenhagen Agreement.

full press release

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Monday, 28 September 2009 14:51:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 18 September 2009
The winning papers from ITU's Kaleidoscope 2009 - Innovations for Digital Inclusion academic conference shared a prize fund of USD$10,000 on 1 September. Also, at the event held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU Linux project and now President of the Free Software Foundation, presented a paper Is digital inclusion a good thing? How can we make sure it is?.

Eng. Alicia Alonso Becerra, Rector of the José A. Echeverría Superior Polytechnic Institute, Cuba awarded the prizes to the presenters:

Kamugisha Kazaura from Tanzania of Waseda University, Japan, for:  

·         ROFSO: A universal platform for convergence of fiber and free-space optical communication networks, Kamugisha Kazaura; Kazuhiko Wakamori; Mitsuji Matsumoto; Takeshi Higashino; Katsutoshi Tsukamoto; Shozo Komaki.

Ms Lina Gomez from Columbia staff member at the Centro de Investigacion de las Telecomunicaciones, Columbia for:

·         Discrimination in NGN service markets: Opportunity or barrier to digital inclusion?, Fernando Beltran; Lina Gomez.

Ms Eva Ibarrola from Spain studying at University of the Basque Country, Spain for:  

·         Quality of Service management for ISP: A model and implementation methodology based on ITU-T Rec.802 framework, Eva Ibarrola; Jin Xiao; Fidel Liberal; Armando Ferro.

Ved Kafle from India of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan for:

·         An ID/Locator Split Architecture of Future Networks, Ved Kafle; Hideki Otsuki; Masugi Inoue.

The many academics in attendance expressed the importance of the role of universities in the standardization process and the high value of strong collaboration between ITU, academia, and research institutes.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU highlighted a recently approved Resolution (Resolution 71) which invites the ITU Council to consider the admission of academic institutions, universities and associated research establishments to ITU-T at reduced cost. His proposal to the ITU Council to be held in October for a reduced fee of $2000 was welcomed by participants.

Innovations for Digital Inclusion was held at the kind invitation of Ministerio de Planificación Federal Inversión Pública y Servicios and hosted by the National Communications Commission and the Secretariat of Communications of Argentina, was organized by ITU with IEEE Communications Society as Technical Co-Sponsor and supported by Cisco and Nokia. The conference brought together the best academic minds from around the world to present their future visions to achieve digital Inclusion. The conference also included an exhibition by local Universities which provided insight into their activities.

In addition to the three invited papers, from 80+ papers submitted, 32 were presented, and the best four awarded prizes. The winning papers will also be featured in a future special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine. The consolidated Proceedings of the conference are also available and all papers will be soon also available from IEEE Xplore online catalogue.

In addition to the prize pool, eight entrants - Jose Simões, Lina Gomez, Tullio Bertini, Aline Zim, Kei Wada, Juan Pablo Bernal, Paul Plantinga and Alberto Diez Albaladejo - received a Young Author Recognition Certificate.

Building on the success of the first and second Kaleidoscope events, a third conference is planned for end 2010.

For more information and presentations from Kaleidoscope 2009, see the event web page.

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Friday, 18 September 2009 08:42:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 17 September 2009
Attendees of the world’s first Virtual Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change are being asked to send questions to speakers via Twitter or e-mail Virtual coffee breaks will also give attendees a chance to discuss among themselves - via Twitter - the topics covered in the sessions. Speakers from the event will also join in this discussion, with key experts on hand to answer questions and join the conversation.

Questions or comments should be sent using the hashtag #VCCKR. You can follow ITU on Twitter here.

The event will feature keynote speeches from Dr. Hamadoun I. Toure, Secretary-General of ITU speaking from New York and H. E. Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hung, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Information and Communications, Viet Nam.

Sessions will see individual presentations from speakers in the UK, US, China, India, Switzerland, Viet Nam and Korea followed by a virtual roundtable discussion.

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Thursday, 17 September 2009 08:21:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 31 August 2009

ITU together with the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is co-organizing the first ever Virtual International Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change. The event, also supported by Korea’s Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA), will feature speakers participating virtually from locations around the world.

The symposium will bring together key specialists in the field from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, government officials and regulators.

Topics to be discussed will include green ICTs to tackle climate change, clean technologies and smart applications, reducing the environmental impact of ICTs and building a green future.

The Virtual International Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change will launch a new era in conducting events, offering all the benefits of physical participation but without the environmental costs. The event’s virtual nature will allow more participation from developing and least developed countries, providing a deeper knowledge of their needs and creating a sound basis for solutions that take into account all stakeholders.

This event is open to anyone and can be watched without prior registration. If you want to actively participate, comment or ask questions you must register here. Please choose "Participants" as your function.

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Monday, 31 August 2009 10:52:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 31 July 2009
A new ITU report, the eleventh in a series of ITU-T Technology Watch Reports, presents examples of the ways in which information and communication technologies (ICT) can and are being employed to improve food security.

In the past few years, sharply rising prices and shortages of food and agricultural commodities, particularly in many developing countries, have led to global concern about food security. This problem is linked in large part to the impact of climate change on agriculture.

There are many factors (policy, legal framework, technology, knowledge, markets, research, etc.) to be considered when addressing food security, but in all of them ICT can act as catalysts.

ICTs are employed by many international organizations for mapping and monitoring world food supplies, for early warning systems and for emergency communications. Interoperable technical standards - developed in ITU - are essential to the functioning of these technologies and facilitate the work of the humanitarian community. Access to ICT is beneficial to the rural population, to farmers and the agricultural industry, and is prerequisite for the deployment of ICT applications in domains such as e-Agriculture, e-Environment and e-Learning.

The report, entitled ICTs and Food Security, examines ways in which ICT can be used locally and globally to address the problems of food security and hunger and reviews the relevant ITU standardization work.
Download Technology Watch Report on ICTs and Food Security

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Friday, 31 July 2009 15:31:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 29 July 2009
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is inviting applications for the post of Chief, Study Groups Department, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Standards from the ITU are at the heart of modern information and communications technologies (ICTs). For more information see:

The successful candidate should have an excellent knowledge of the ICT industry and in particular the ICT standardization landscape. Familiarity with ITU-T rules and procedures, its meeting activities and its products would be an advantage, as would previous involvement in the development of standards.

The senior management level (Director level in the United Nations system) post demands strong organizational skills and diplomacy. The successful candidate will work in an international, multicultural environment, directing an experienced team that manages the secretariat functions of ITU-T in support of the technical study groups that author ITU-T standards. He/she will be expected to represent ITU at the highest level, prepare technical papers and reports for presentation at ITU and other global ICT events, and develop and coordinate relations with other standards bodies.

The challenge of the role will be to maintain ITU-T’s role as leader in global ICTs with the provision of strategic direction via authoritative advice to the Study Group management teams and the Director of TSB.

An attractive package of salary (approximately USD 177,700 with dependants, USD 164,260 without dependants) plus international allowances and benefits is offered:

The closing date for applications is 2 October 2009

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

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Wednesday, 29 July 2009 13:52:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is inviting applications for the post of Chief, Services Department, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Standards from the ITU are at the heart of modern information and communications technologies (ICTs). For more information see:

The successful candidate should have an excellent knowledge of the ICT industry and ICT tools. Familiarity with ITU and its products would also be an advantage.

The senior management level (Director level in the United Nations system) post demands strong organizational skills and diplomacy. The successful candidate will work in an international, multi-cultural environment, directing an experienced team for the delivery of a range of administrative support services involving operational planning, budget/finance services, procurement, meeting and logistic services. He/she will direct the bureau’s IT programmes, including the maintenance of current tools, databases and applications and develop new electronic services and projects.

The challenge of the role will be to maintain ITU-T’s role as leader in global ICTs with the development of innovative working methods and best practices for the improved delivery of services to the ITU-membership and the world telecommunication community at large.

An attractive package of tax free salary (approximately USD 177,700 with dependants, USD 164,260 without dependants) plus international allowances and benefits is offered.:

The closing date for applications is 2 October 2009

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

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Wednesday, 29 July 2009 08:05:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 22 July 2009
The latest publication by ITU-T’s Technology Watch looks into the quickly growing field of mobile applications. Mobile applications (apps) are add-on software for handheld devices, such as smartphones and personal digital assistants (PDA).

Between 2008 and 2009, the market for smartphones is expected to grow by 23 per cent, against an overall decline in the total mobile phone market caused by the economic crisis. The availability of a wide choice of applications can be critical to the commercial success of new mobile devices. Even as more smartphones are sold, the creation of mobile applications to run on them is constrained by the fragmentation of the market between different platforms.

Mobile Applications describes the mobile application market and identifies initiatives that aim at standards for an open and interoperable mobile environment.

Mobile Applications is the first publication in a series of TechWatch Alerts. Alerts are intended to provide a brief but concise overview (3-5 pages) of emerging technologies and trends in the field of ICTs.

ITU-T’s Technology Watch invites any interested party to submit papers of a non-commercial nature (max. three pages). Please contact for submission advice.

Download TechWatch Alert on Mobile Applications

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Wednesday, 22 July 2009 08:33:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Participants at a unique international gathering of standards development organizations have agreed that a major concern, especially for developing countries, is a lack of equipment interoperability. Delegates at the Global Standards Collaboration (GSC) meeting taking place at ITU Headquarters, Geneva agreed that providing for interoperability should be an important aim of standardization.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The official communique from the event can be found here

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Tuesday, 21 July 2009 13:36:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 17 July 2009
The new ITU-T G.711.0 standard will give increased efficiency to ITU-T G.711, the most used voice coding in global telephony systems.

The key selling point for customers and operators alike is the fact that G.711.0 gives as much as a 50 percent reduction in bandwidth use while showing absolutely no degradation of sound quality, thanks to its lossless compression algorithm.

Solid support for the standard by some of the major players – operators and vendors – means that we will likely see quick implementation in products.

Experts say that the standard has very low computational complexity and is thus very easy to implement on a wide range of telecommunication/ICT platforms.

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Friday, 17 July 2009 09:14:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Achieving climate justice is in the interest of all countries and citizens. This was a conclusion of the recent ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change, Quito, Ecuador, 8-10 July 2009, the first ITU Symposium on the topic in a developing country and the first to focus on the concerns of the Americas.

Participants agreed that global effort to combat climate change should not impede the economic and social growth of developing countries and that bridging the digital divide and bringing the benefits of ICTs to all citizens is fundamental to tackling climate change. They recognized that while Latin American and Caribbean countries are minor contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions they are often victims of the extreme weather events and other negative impacts of climate change.

Equitable access and ensuring connectivity to schools, rural communities and health facilities are vital to economic development and to making effective use of ICTs to combat climate change. Increased deployment of affordable broadband will help facilitate this participants agreed.  

The conclusions of the symposium also acknowledged the growing problem of e-waste while highlighting the positive role of ICTs as enabling technologies to reduce GHG emissions in other sectors. Increased use of clean renewable energy sources and preservation of the jungles, savannah and oceans, the conclusion says, are key to the future and a real opportunity in Latin America.

Equitable solutions must be found so that the major contributors to GHG emissions cooperate with the countries that are suffering most from climatic impacts or those that are making efforts against deforestation, in particular through reduction of the digital divide and the environmental divide.

The Symposium was attended by 60 virtual as well as 450 physical attendees from 20 countries and was hosted by Centro Internacional de Investigación Científica en Telecomunicaciones, Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones (CITIC) Ecuador. The Symposium was chaired by Ing. Jorge Glas Espinel, representing the President of the Republic of Ecuador, Economist Rafael Correa.

A meeting report containing a general summary of the event will be made available from the symposium website.

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Wednesday, 15 July 2009 09:20:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 29 June 2009
ITU will hold a Consultation meeting to capture the views of all stakeholders with regards to Resolution 76: Studies related to conformance and interoperability testing, assistance to developing countries, and a possible future ITU mark programme.

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

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

More information and registration details here.

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Monday, 29 June 2009 18:19:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU has given first stage approval (consent) to a new standard that enables an IPTV end user to locate and subscribe to content coming from different, independent service providers.

The standard will enable a greater deal of choice for end-users and will help service providers offer a more competitive package.

Recommendation ITU-T H.770 - Mechanisms for service discovery and selection for IPTV - describes the mechanisms for service provider discovery, service discovery and selection. Services such as linear TV and video-on-demand are addressed with metadata that describes programming and delivery protocols detailed.

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Monday, 29 June 2009 14:32:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A new portal bringing together many standardization resources on accessibility has been launched.

The page is a one stop shop for accessibility resources with links to all ITU-T work areas, tools, workshops, news, photos and other resources. For example it carries links to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, an ITU Tutorial: "Making ITU Accessible: Web Design, Web Conferencing and Real Time Web Captioning" and the G3ict-ITU Toolkit for Policy Makers on e-Accessibility & Service Needs for Persons with Disabilities.

In addition it links to the Telecommunications Accessibility Checklist which allows standards authors to ensure that they are taking into account the needs of those to whom accessibility to ICTs are restricted. The checklist is a tool which helps to ensure that accessibility needs are taken into account at an early stage of the standards development process, rather than "retrofitted".

The new page can be found at:

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Monday, 29 June 2009 10:02:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 11 June 2009
Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s standardization bureau - is interviewed here on ITU’s recent work on ICTs climate change.

The video is in support of the Light Reading Green Telecom East: Transitioning to Environmentally Responsible Networks event, taking place Wednesday, June 17, at The Westin Times Square in New York City. ITU is an official association sponsor of the conference.

Light Reading has kindly offered an unlimited number of discounted VIP Guest Packages to ITU members. In addition free admission will be granted to registrants employed by a cable or service provider, or network professionals at a large enterprise, educational establishment, utility, or government agency. Details of the offer here.

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Thursday, 11 June 2009 09:29:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 05 June 2009

ITU-T's Study Group 5 (SG5) meeting for the first time with its new name and mandate “environment and climate change” has started work on turning the deliverables of the Focus Group on ICTs and Climate Change into ITU-T Recommendations. Key among them is the methodology giving ICT companies a consistent mechanism to report their carbon footprints (see previous newslog). In addition to Study Group 5's two Working Parties involved in studies related to the electromagnetic environment, a new Working Party dealing with ICTs and Climate Change has been established.

The meeting also saw a correspondence from the GSMA requesting the support of ITU for its work on a Universal Charging Solution (UCS). The request was positively received and SG5 will work on adopting the solution as an ITU-T Recommendation.

The UCS proposal is for an energy-efficient one-charger-fits-all new mobile phones solution. GSMA estimates it will result in a 50 per cent reduction in standby energy consumption, elimination of 51,000 tonnes of duplicate chargers and a subsequent reduction of 13.6 million tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions each year. GSMA says that UCS will also make life much simpler for the consumer, who will be able to use the same charger for future handsets, as well as being able to charge their mobile phone anywhere from any available charger.

The SG 5 meeting appointed new leads (working party, vice chairs and rapporteurs) for the various new work areas (questions) including; coordination and planning of ICT and climate change related standardization; methodology of environmental impact assessment of ICT; data collection for energy efficiency for ICTs over the lifecycle and environmental protection and recycling of ICT equipments/facilities.

Also at the meeting two new ITU-T Recommendations were consented; K.80 electromagentic compatibility (EMC) requirements for telecommunication network equipment (1 GHz - 6 GHz) and K.81 high power electromagnetic (HPEM) immunity guide for telecommunication systems.

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Friday, 05 June 2009 16:25:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 29 May 2009

ITU has given first stage approval (consent) to two new standards on fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). Operators offering FMC will be able to provide both services with a single phone, switching between networks on an ad hoc basis.

Experts say that the standards are an important step in the ongoing study and development of next generation network (NGN) mobility support and FMC service and network capabilities.

Recommendation ITU-T Y.2018 describes a mobility management and control framework and architecture for NGN. The architecture supports IP-based mobility for user devices in the NGN transport stratum. Y.2018 defines a new component called MMCF (Mobility Management and Control Functions) which includes support for handling mobile location management and handover decision and control as well as the interaction with other existing NGN functional components such as NACF (Network and Attachment Control Functions), RACF (Resource and Admission Control Functions), service control functions and transport functions.

Recommendation ITU-T Y.2808 describes principles, service and network capabilities, and architectures for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) based FMC. The Recommendation describes a network architecture that uses IMS to provide the same set of services to user terminals regardless of the use of fixed or mobile access network technologies, and ensures service continuity when the point of attachment of the terminal changes between different access network technologies.

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Friday, 29 May 2009 15:42:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 28 May 2009

The June issue of IEEE Communications Magazine carries a ‘feature topic’ on ITU’s Kaleidoscope event – Innovations in Next Generation Networks (NGN).

The magazine, also available online, carries the winning papers, as well as two invited papers from the first of ITU’s academic events.

The winning papers were:

  • Architecture and business model of open heterogeneous mobile network, Yoshitoshi Murata; Mikio Hasegawa; Homare Murakami; Hiroshi Harada; Shuzo Kato.
  • Differential phase shift quantum key distribution, Hiroki Takesue; Toshimori Honjo; Kiyoshi Tamaki; Yasuhiro Tokura.
  • Open API standardisation for the NGN platform, Catherine Mulligan.

Organized by ITU-T with IEEE ComSoc as Technical Co-Sponsor and supported by Cisco, Intel, the International Communications Foundation of Japan and Sun Microsystems, the conference brought together the best academic minds from around the world to present their future visions for Next-Generation Networks (NGN).

Among over 140 papers submitted. 53 papers were presented and the best three were awarded prizes totaling $10,000 kindly donated by Cisco. These papers will be included in a future special edition of the IEEE Communications Magazine.

The second Kaleidoscope event - Innovations for Digital Inclusion - will be held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, 31 August – 1 September 2009.

Kaleidoscope events are a series of peer-reviewed academic conferences aiming to increase the dialogue between experts working on the standardization of information and communications technologies (ICT) and academia.

Kaleidoscope 2009 will feature original academic papers offering innovative approaches to digital inclusion. As before prizes totaling USD 10k will be granted to the best papers. In addition a young author recognition certificate will be granted to authors presenting papers whoare pursuing their studies and do not – at the time of the event - have a PhD.

Accepted papers will be presented during the event, published in the proceedings and made available through IEEE Xplore. The best papers will be evaluated for potential publication in IEEE Communications Magazine.

Kaleidoscope-2009 will analyze technologies, services and applications five years and beyond that will capitalize on NGN infrastructure and promote digital inclusion. The event will cover multidisciplinary aspects, including regulatory and societal challenges as well as analysis of standardization needed.

Innovative technologies will help bring the benefits of ICTs to all segments of the population, in particular those in underserved communities and developing countries. The event seeks to promote research that supports innovation in ICTs toward universal, sustainable, ubiquitous and affordable access by all.

For more information please contact

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Thursday, 28 May 2009 15:59:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On the occasion of the third Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change, which will take place on 8-10 July 2009, in Quito, Ecuador, ITU has revised and published a background paper on this important issue.

The paper reflects recent work done in the three ITU Sectors, including the work of the Focus Group and the creation of an ITU-T Study Group on Environment and Climate Change, and addresses key issues in the Latin American region, such as deforestation and emergency communications.

The rise in the number of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes in the Caribbean, threats to low-lying areas from rising oceans are evidence of the impact of climate change on developing countries and in the Americas. Latin America is particularly impacted by deforestation, which, according to estimations, contributes nearly one-fifth of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

For developing countries, implementing climate change solutions raises questions of funding, financing and access to technology, and thus this updated background paper addresses these issues and presents examples of national plans and innovations in technologies to reduce emissions. The annex provides an inventory of work underway in ITU on climate change.

The background paper can be downloaded here.

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Thursday, 28 May 2009 15:34:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 21 May 2009
ITU has published a new online resource for IPv6 related information.

The webpages have been published in response to WTSA-08 Resolution 64 ‘IP address allocation and encouraging the deployment of IPv6’.

The aim is to raise awareness of IPv6 deployment, as well as providing information related to training events and IPv6 related news. An IPv4 exhaustion counter estimates the number of days until all IPv4 addresses are used.

The site also hosts a questionnaire that will collect information and feedback from ITU members. Deadline for submission is 12 June.

With the massive deployment of Internet-related resources worldwide and the integration of IP-enabled consumer devices connected directly to the network, the issue of the depletion of IPv4  addresses is an increasing concern. In addition to other features, IPv6 with its 128 bit address space is aimed at addressing the current shortage of public IPv4 addresses. However for various reasons the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 taking longer than expected.

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Thursday, 21 May 2009 13:30:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 15 May 2009

The fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum (Lisbon, 2009) invited ITU-T Study Group 13 (Future networks including mobile and NGN) to accelerate its work on cloud and grid computing, noting that increased use of services and applications including cloud and grid computing may result in the need for flexible networks to accommodate unforeseen demands.

A recently published ITU-T Technology Watch Report titled “Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids and Clouds” describes the advent of clouds and grids, the applications they enable, and their potential impact on future standardization. The report is available to download here.

Cloud computing is receiving a lot of press attention with the announcement of new projects seemingly on a daily basis. A recent example is the Digital Japan Creation Project. Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) revealed plans to build a massive cloud computing infrastructure to support all of the government’s IT systems. Read more at Green Telecom Live.

Called tentatively the Kasumigaseki Cloud (literally Fort of Fog), the new infrastructure will be built in stages from now until 2015. The goal of the project is to consolidate all government IT systems into a single cloud infrastructure to improve operational efficiency and reduce cost.

According to the MIC, the Kasumigaseki Cloud will eliminate the need for individual ministries to maintain their own IT systems by consolidating current data centres, and allow each ministries to use only the computer resources necessary through the cloud platform.
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Friday, 15 May 2009 08:09:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 14 May 2009
Networking vendor Ciena has announced plans to deploy 100 Gigabits per second (Gb/s) Ethernet network equipment to connect NYSE Euronext’s New York and London datacenters. The equipment will connect the respective trading floors over a single optical wavelength with the lowest latency possible.
Expected to be operational in 2010, the network equipment will make use of an upcoming extension of ITU-T G.709/Y.1331 currently under discussion in Study Group 15, ITU-T’s Study Group on optical transport networks and access network infrastructures.

G.709/Y.1331 defines “Interfaces for the Optical Transport Network (OTN)”. OTN is presently offered at three bit rates, OTU1 (~2.7 Gb/s), OTU2 (~10.7 Gb/s) and OTU3 (~43 Gb/s), where the latter corresponds to the highest bandwidth on a single wavelength commercially deployed today.

OTU4 will define a transport interface capable of carrying the 100 Gigabit Ethernet client signal studied in IEEE’s P802.3ba 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s Ethernet Task Force.

Also see background papers by NORDUnet, Nortel and NTT describing the transition to 100G and the related standardization activities.

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Thursday, 14 May 2009 13:43:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A two day Forum on Implementation of decisions of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly-08 (WTSA-08) will take place in Accra, Ghana, 16 to 17 June 2009.

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

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

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

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

Episode 1 of TelecomTV's Green Planet features Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU, talking about ITU's ICTs and Climate Change initiative.

The Green Planet series provides an overview of different elements of Sustainable ICT. Featuring leading scientists, politicians and heads of industry from across the globe, Green Planet is a timely and fascinating examination of issues and solutions that will change the world.

Watch here.

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Friday, 08 May 2009 16:28:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 04 May 2009

The Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) concluding its three day meeting 30 April agreed on how work on ICTs and environment including climate change and recycling will be distributed in ITU-T. This follows its approval of the report of the Focus Group on ICTs and Climate Change and will formalize the Focus Group’s output as ITU-T Recommendations (see previous newslog) – including a methodology for evaluating the effects of ICTs on climate change - both in direct terms and how ICTs can reduce emission in other industry sectors.

Study Group 5 was chosen as the lead study group and will be renamed the Study Group on Environment and Climate Change to reflect its new mandate. SG 5 remains the lead Study Group for protection against electromagnetic effects.

Specifically SG 5 will work on documents related to:

  • Study of methodologies for calculating the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from ICTs, and the amount of reduction in the GHG emissions in other sectors as a result of using ICTs.
  • Creation of a framework for energy efficiency in the ICT field, taking account of WTSA Resolution 73.
  • Study of methodologies for power feeding that effectively reduce power consumption and resource usage.
  • Study of methodologies that reduce environmental effects for ICT facilities and equipment such as recycling,

Study Group 5 will next meet 25-29 May in Geneva and is likely to establish a new working party to address these issues. The many organisations that contributed to the work of the Focus Group will be open to contribute at the invitation of the Study Group chairman.

In addition a Joint Coordination Activity (JCA) will ensure that the work across ITU-T’s study groups is focused on delivering climate change focused standards in a timely and efficient way. Essentially the group will aim to see that standards are developed in the most appropriate way and that no duplication of effort occurs. It will also provide a single point of contact for ICT and Climate Change activities in ITU-T and seek collaboration from external bodies working in the field. It is expected that the work of the JCA will be carried out mainly via web-conferencing tools.

Full details will be published on the website of Study Group 5 and a soon to be created JCA page.

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Monday, 04 May 2009 14:06:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 01 May 2009

A new white paper by Polycom highlights “G.719: The First ITU-T Standard for Full-Band Audio”.

Recommendation ITU-T G.719 describes a coding algorithm for conversational speech and audio supporting the full human auditory bandwidth (from 20 Hz to 20 kHz), that is, all sounds that a human can hear.

The paper concludes that “major technical achievements of the G.719 codec are its high quality and low complexity that make it perfect for devices ranging from telephones and low-power mobile devices to soft clients and to high end video and telepresence systems.” First products implementing ITU-T G.719 are expected to appear in 2009/2010.

The standard was developed in Study Group 16, ITU-T’s lead Study Group on multimedia coding, systems and applications, and adopted in June 2008.

Continue reading

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Friday, 01 May 2009 08:59:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 24 April 2009

A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report titled The Future Internet surveys the current debate on Internet architecture.

The Internet has grown from a small experiment into a collaborative network with more than one billion users. The rise of mobile access poses additional infrastructure challenges including addressing, routing and security, which might require a review of the architecture.

The report examines the design and architecture of the Internet, and contrasts different views calling for evolutionary to radical changes to the Internet. Emerging trends and features of the Internet are identified in an attempt to provide pointers for future standards work for consideration by the ITU-T membership and the broader standards community.

The Future Internet, the tenth report of the Technology Watch series, is available to download here.

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Friday, 24 April 2009 11:11:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 16 April 2009

A workshop on Overlay Networking will be held on Friday, 15 May at ITU headquarters in Geneva. The event is jointly organised by ITU-T’s Future Networks and NGN Study Group (SG13) and the IEEE Next Generation Service Overlay Network (NGSON) Working Group.

Overlay networking provides the ability to customize a network via a virtual communications structure laid over the physical network. Overlay networking techniques have been proposed for various purposes, including as a way to improve Internet routing and to enhance content delivery capabilities.

The workshop will act as a way for the two groups to exchange information on their respective ongoing and planned activities in the Overlay Networking area, with a view to future collaboration.

Session topics will include: an overview of the Next Generation Service Overlay Network (NGSON) framework and status of related standards activities; the business vision behind NGSON; NGN services and capabilities and NGN architecture, and information about current and planned activities for an advanced service infrastructure from both services/capabilities and architecture perspectives.

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Thursday, 16 April 2009 13:09:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, 16 April 2009 10:56:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 09 April 2009

ITU-T has published a Guide on the use of the ITU-T Recommendations related to Optical Technology. Currently available in PDF form – here – it is expected printed versions will be made available shortly. The publication of the guide is - in part - to meet the requirements of WTSA-08 Resolution 44 - Bridging the standardization gap between developing and developed countries.

The guide starts with a short but interesting history of optical technology noting that the capacity of optical systems has jumped by a factor of more than 10,000 over a period of 20 years. In the same time it also notes that the applications of optical technology have progressively moved from short distance links (a few tens of km) to very long distance links in backbone networks, completely replacing traditional copper cabling. In the last few years it charts the arrival of optical technology in access networks.

The practical part of the guide contains a functional grouping of Study Group 15 Recommendations on optical technology e.g. optical fibres and cables, physical optical interfaces, optical fibre submarine cable systems. An introduction to each category with more than one Recommendation outlines the subjects which are common to that category. For each Recommendation there is a short description of the purpose, the content and, in many cases, the evolution of the content in subsequent versions of Recommendations. There are also cross-references to other related Recommendations.

The main purpose of this Guide is to give to developing countries improved capability in the application of standards. It is also seen as benefiting the wider telecommunication industry, particularly manufacturers and operators, which could benefit from the greater involvement of developing countries in the making and application of standards. Experts also point out that the value of the guide could to a wider group of manufacturers and operators than those directly involved in optical technologies.

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Thursday, 09 April 2009 09:14:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 03 April 2009

Live video streaming of the Forum on Next Generation Network (NGN) Standardization, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 7 - 10 April 2009 will be available here.

Friday, 03 April 2009 16:30:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 27 March 2009

Standardized methodologies for calculating the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been proposed by an ITU Focus Group meeting in Hiroshima, Japan.

The ITU-T Focus Group on ICTs and Climate Change, a global group comprising of some of the world’s leading ICT players, has developed a method for calculating two elements:

1.   Energy usage and carbon impact arising from ICT lifecycles

2.   Decrease in GHG emissions that can be achieved with ICTs, such as substituting ICT services and devices for intensive fossil-fuelled activities for travel and transport and by replacing atoms with bits (buying an MP3 file instead of a CD), also known as “dematerialization”.

The meeting agreed on a set of four ‘deliverables’ that also give guidance on terms and definitions, including units of measurement to be used. The deliverables draw on best practices from many organizations around the world and will be published as the proceedings of the Focus Group. The next step will be to formally issue the Focus Group outcomes as ITU-T Recommendations, or standards. 

“This work has an important bearing on current and future global agreements under which countries undertake commitments to reduce their overall GHG emissions,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “Common approaches to calculating the impact of ICTs are vital to ensure coherent and effective solutions.”

Clearly, ICTs have the potential to drastically reduce GHGs. A contribution to the Focus Group meeting showed that direct e-mail has the effect of a 98.5 per cent carbon dioxide emission reduction compared with paper. The group also noted a trend towards ‘always-on’ devices that are a drain on power supplies. Recommended steps toward more efficient energy use of ICT devices are part of the output of the group.

“Even conservative estimates show a significant contribution to addressing climate change can be made through the application of ICTs,” said Johnson. “But, we cannot be content to sit and tell one another that ICTs can mitigate climate change. We must demonstrate our case with hard facts and figures. This methodology will give added credibility and coherence to the estimates of the positive impact of ICT. A common methodology will help establish the business case to go green and can ultimately be beneficial to informed consumer choices and climate-friendly business procurement.”

Dave Faulkner, BT and Chairman of the Focus Group said, “The Focus Group has highlighted ways to minimize the ICT sector's carbon footprint. But, more importantly, the group has highlighted key ways to reduce GHG emissions in other sectors by the clever use of telecommunication and ICTs. We expect these measures will be taken up by telecommunications operators and vendors around the world.”

Jason Marcheck, a Principal Analyst with Current Analysis: “Without a standardized methodology for measuring the carbon footprint of ICTs it is impossible to fully comprehend data provided by well-meaning companies. This initiative helps to provide a framework that companies can follow to give reliable data that can be compared on an international scale. It shows the importance that the ICT industry attaches to this topic, and represents a necessary step forward in standardizing the way that the industry approaches environmental sustainability.”

Takashi Hanazawa, Senior Vice President, NTT: “The development and implementation of a standardized methodology is something that all industry players have been waiting for. As an ITU member, NTT has supported this work from the beginning. Today’s announcement sends a strong message, underlining this industry’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. We applaud ITU’s efforts and join with ITU management in sending a message of environmental consciousness and belief in sustainable growth for the future.”

Makoto Totsuka, Director-General for ICT Strategic Policy Planning, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan: “Prior to the Focus Group, we have not had an international forum for discussing common measures to calculate the positive and negative aspect of ICTs. We were honoured to host the final meeting of the Focus Group and would like to thank all delegates for their efforts. We will continue to contribute to ITU activity on ICT and Climate Change and environmental issues.”

Laura Ipsen, Senior Vice President of Cisco Global Policy and Government Affairs and co-chair of the Cisco EcoBoard: “Accurate, standardized measurement is the first step towards effective reduction of the ICT carbon footprint. The ITU-T Focus Group deliverables provide a valuable foundation for further ICT industry global collaboration in helping to address the world’s environmental challenges. Cisco is committed to continuing its efforts in ITU and with customers globally for energy efficiency in an inclusive and sustainable information society.”

As part of its ongoing work on ICTs and climate change, ITU is organizing the third Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change in Quito, Ecuador, 8− 10 July 2009, hosted by Centro Internacional de Investigación Científica en Telecomunicaciones, Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones (CITIC) Ecuador. More details here.

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Friday, 27 March 2009 16:37:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 19 March 2009

A new Technology Watch report examines Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids and Clouds.

A key conclusion is that increased focus on standards for interfaces will enable commoditization of clouds and grids and ensure interoperability.

Expanding communication networks, combined with the growth of affordable broadband in developed countries, has enabled organizations to share their computational resources. What originally started as grid computing, temporarily using remote supercomputers or clusters of mainframes to address scientific problems too large or too complex to be solved on in-house infrastructures, has evolved into service-oriented business models that offer physical and virtual resources on a pay as you go basis – as an alternative to often idle, in-house data centers and stringent license agreements.

The report describes the advent of these new forms of distributed computing, notably grid and cloud computing, the applications that they enable, and their potential impact on future standardization.

Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids and Clouds is available to download here.

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Thursday, 19 March 2009 09:34:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 18 March 2009
ITU-T’s work on IPTV standards has progressed significantly in recent weeks with a raft of new specifications agreed.

The work has moved on from the foundation documents containing high-level architectures and frameworks to more detailed specifications. Experts say that this is an important milestone that will allow manufacturers to start implementing the specifications in their products.

A standardized IPTV environment could mean an end to walled-garden approaches where subscribers are limited to content from a particular service provider. It would for example make it easier for ex-pat subscribers to consume content from their countries of origin.

Among standards consented or approved recently include Recommendation ITU-T H.720 which gives the overview of the architecture and functional components of an IPTV terminal device and provides a high-level description of functionality necessary to support IPTV services. Also key is ITU-T H.721 which describes and specifies the functionalities of IPTV terminal devices such as set-top boxes and digital TV sets for IPTV basic services. The Recommendation also takes into consideration such conditions on content delivery as QoS.

Below is a list of recent ITU standards approved or ‘consented’ by ITU-T’s Study Group 16:

 - Rec. H.701 - Content Delivery Error Recovery for IPTV services
 - Rec. H.721 - IPTV Terminal Device: Basic Model
 - Rec. H.760 - Overview of Multimedia Application Frameworks for IPTV
 - Rec. H.761 - Nested Context Language (NCL) and Ginga-NCL for IPTV
 - Rec. H.720 - Overview of IPTV terminal devices and end systems
 - Rec. H.750 - High-level specification of metadata for IPTV services
 - Rec. H.622.1 - Architecture and functional requirements for home networks supporting IPTV services

In addition a Technical Paper has been approved that addresses the use of audio coding in services delivered over IPTV

See also New IPTV standard supports global rollout.

Membership of ITU-T gives exclusive rights to access working documents of standards under development – tomorrow’s ICTs. The vast majority of all Recommendations are available in electronic (PDF) form free of charge to all once a final editing process is complete.

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Wednesday, 18 March 2009 16:07:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU together with the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) will hold a Forum on Next Generation Network (NGN) Standardization, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 7 - 10 April 2009.

The event will examine the latest developments in NGNs including architecture, service requirements, network capabilities and migration. Case studies will allow attendees to learn from existing and ongoing NGN deployments from Asia-Pacific and beyond. Participants will also be kept up-to-date on recent changes to ITU-T working methods and its new mandate relating to IPv6.

Sessions will additionally focus on cybersecurity, ICTs and climate change, traffic accounting principles and QoS. There will be discussion of policy, regulatory and developmental issues related to NGNs and a report on the main results of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08).

NGN growth in Asia-Pacific is in different stages of development. In a climate of many complex economic, technological, strategic and operational considerations, including the cost of implementation, changing marketplaces, complex migration scenarios and regulatory uncertainties, the role and importance of standardization is highlighted more than ever before.

By leveraging on the experiences of renowned experts in the ICT field, the conference aims to allow participants to explore a wide spectrum of NGN standardization and related topics, with a special focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

Click here for details.

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Wednesday, 18 March 2009 09:43:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Clarifications regarding work on MPLS functionality to address the needs of the transport network were made at the December meeting of Study Group 15 (see previous newslog entry) with experts from the IETF and ITU-T present.

The two organizations have been working on the development of a transport profile for MPLS technology referred to as “MPLS-TP”.

IETF and ITU management have again underlined their commitment to work together in the interest of the ICT industry and its customers.

Key agreements are clarified in a document here.

In summary it says:

  • There is no agreement, or proposal to cancel or deprecate the [ITU-T] T-MPLS Recommendations currently in force.
  • It was clarified that the statement that ITU-T would "terminate work on current T-MPLS" should be understood to mean that ITU-T will not undertake any further work to progress T-MPLS.
  • There is no intent to prevent the ITU-T from having a future role in MPLS-TP standardization.

The following agreements were reached concerning current T-MPLS:

  • The current T-MPLS Recommendations remain in force, unchanged, until the next updates that will result in aligning them with the jointly developed MPLS-TP architecture.
  • There will be no other update (amendment, revision) to these Recommendations prior to the ones for aligning with MPLS-TP, at which time the name will be changed to reflect the new content.

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Tuesday, 10 March 2009 10:56:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 26 February 2009
ITU-T has made public a database tracking test signals applicable to uses such as testing end-to-end quality of telecoms systems, compliance to specific ITU standards (ITU-T Recommendations) and performance assessment of certain types of telecom terminals.

The ITU-T Test Signals for Telecommunication Systems  database currently contains 15 gigabytes of audio, still image, video signals and encoded bitstreams. It is a “one-stop shop” for data found within ITU-T Recommendations. Some of this material was previously available only in physical media (such as CDs or DVDs), and can now be downloaded for free.

Database entries are augmented with explanations and links to the corresponding Recommendations.

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Thursday, 26 February 2009 09:37:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 12 February 2009
ITU will team up with ISO and IEC for a fourth time on  4-5 March 2009 to present the Fully Networked Car. The three organisations working together under the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) banner will host the workshop and exhibition at one of the world’s leading automotive events, the Geneva International Motor Show.

The question of how can ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) in vehicles help mitigate and monitor climate change will be retained as a key theme for 2009. The Lightning Car Company has kindly agreed to display, as the key feature of the exhibition, its Lightning GT prototype electric vehicle to give special emphasis to the environmental theme.

Experts believe that more sophisticated traffic management and driver assistance systems can help reduce the environmental impact caused by motoring.

2009 will see keynote speeches from:
Burkhard Göschel, CTO, Magna International 
Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Group Research, Volkswagen
Russ Shields, Chairman, Ygomi
Tadao Saito, CTO, Toyota InfoTechnology Center
Hermann Meyer, CEO, ERTICO (ITS Europe).

In general, the event will focus on (ICT) in motor vehicles and specifically standards that will facilitate the convergence of these industries.

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

The Fully Networked Car brings together experts ranging from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and analysts. The workshop programme features speakers from some of the biggest names in the ICT and automobile industries.

The panel of high-level global experts that will frame the major issues and engage the audience in discussion come from companies including: Magna International, Toyota, ERTICO, Freescale Semiconductor, IEEE, Telcordia, Aachen University, Thinking Highways, Connexis, Daimler AG, Telecom Italia, Volkswagen, France Telecom/Orange, NXP Semiconductors and Harman/Becker Automotive Systems GmbH.

Among other topics to be discussed are car to x communication, safety and security and voice and audiovisual services.

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Thursday, 12 February 2009 10:01:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 03 February 2009
A new ITU group has been set up to collect and identify visions of future networks, based on new technologies.

The move to set up the Focus Group on Future Networks (FG-FN) follows a request from members to push forward study in this area and strong interest expressed by the academic community during the ITU-T Kaleidoscope event in May 2008.

The term Future Networks has come to encompass such projects as IRTF (International), GENI/FIND (US), FP7/FIRE (EU), CNGI (China), AKARI/NwGN (Japan), FIF (Korea) as well as standardization works in ISO/IEC JTC1/SC6.

Experts say that taking into consideration the importance of global connectivity and interoperability between devices, networks, services and applications, global harmonization between these different activities is extremely important and necessary to build up globally interoperable future ICT infrastructures.

Given ITU-T’s role as a global ICT standards organization, it is in the best position to support the development of global and harmonized frameworks (e.g. requirements, functional architectures and protocols) collaborating with all relevant entities and activities.

The provisional dates and venue for the first meeting of the group are 6-10 July, Geneva.

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Tuesday, 03 February 2009 10:05:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A major milestone for providing global IPTV has been reached with the approval of a new ITU standard, giving requirements for the support of IPTV services.

Experts say that standards are essential for the rollout of global IPTV services. While we have already seen a first generation of IPTV services, a second generation may see a change in regulation or market demand that will require interoperation between service and/or network providers. A potential outcome of this will be that a customer can go into a shop, buy an IPTV box, call their network operator and sign-up, and then access services from a range of third party service providers. It is to meet needs such as this the value of ITU’s work on standardization will be realised.

IPTV, defined by ITU-T as “multimedia services such as television/video/ audio/text/graphics/data delivered over IP-based networks managed to support the required level of quality of service (QoS)/quality of experience (QoE), security, interactivity and reliability”, is one of the most significant business cases and drivers for the deployment of next generation networks (NGN).

The standard, Recommendation ITU-T Y.1901, specifies high level requirements for the support of IPTV services, including requirements concerning service offering, QoS/QoE, service and content protection, middleware, content, network and end system aspects. Y.1901 and previously approved Recommendation ITU-T Y.1910, “IPTV functional architecture”, plus various other IPTV related ITU-T Recommendations, constitute an initial set of IPTV standards enabling equipment vendors, including consumer electronics suppliers, to roll-out standardized IPTV products. Deployment of ITU-T compliant products will enable service providers to offer value added services like traditional (linear) TV, video on demand (VoD) and interactive TV over IP-based managed networks such as NGN.

Y.1901 has been developed with a truly international effort at ITU-T IPTV-GSI (IPTV Global Standards Initiative) events, with the active participation of administrations, service providers and equipment vendors from a large number of countries, including, but not limited to Canada, China, France, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom and United States.

ITU-T standardization activities related to IPTV continue in various ITU-T Study Groups, in cooperation with relevant standard developing organizations, forums and consortia, including ATIS IPTV Interoperability Forum, ETSI TISPAN, Broadband Forum, Digital Video Broadcasting project and Home Gateway Initiative.

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Tuesday, 03 February 2009 09:10:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 30 January 2009

A key standard – ITU-T Recommendation – on identity management (IdM) has been approved by the ITU-T.

Entitled “NGN Identity Management Framework,” the Recommendation (Y.2720) specifies a structured approach for designing, defining, and implementing interoperable identity management (IdM) solutions for next generation networks (NGN).

The term IdM is understood as "management by providers of trusted attributes of an entity such as a subscriber, a device, or a provider." IdM promises to reduce the need for multiple user names and passwords for each online service used, while maintaining privacy of personal information. Global IdM solutions will help diminish identity theft and fraud. Further, IdM is one of the key enablers for a simplified and secure interaction between customers and services such as e-commerce.

ITU-T Y.2720 results from a truly international effort involving governments, operators and equipment vendors from various countries, including China, Japan, Korea, the United States, and United Kingdom.

In a heterogeneous, converged environment such as NGN, the assurance, security and management of identity information faces unique challenges, including:

  • End users are increasingly using multiple identities
  • These identities may be associated with differing contexts and service privileges
  • The identities may only partially identify the end user
  • The identities may be used anywhere, anytime
  • The identities may not be interoperable between providers

Y.2720 addresses these challenges and identifies a set of functions and capabilities (e.g., administration, discovery, communication exchanges, correlation and binding, policy enforcement, authentication and authorization) to allow:

  • Assurance of identity information (e.g., identifiers, credentials, and attributes)
  • Assurance of the identity of an entity (e.g., users/subscribers, user devices, service providers, and network elements)
  • Enablement of business and security applications.

The framework defined in Y.2720 provides a holistic view of IdM in NGN. It lays the foundation for developing specific aspects of IdM, including detailed requirements, mechanisms and procedures which will form the next stage of work for ITU-T experts.

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Friday, 30 January 2009 16:48:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |