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 Monday, July 29, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday, July 29, 2013 10:00:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 17, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday, June 17, 2013 12:00:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 06, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, June 06, 2013 11:49:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 03, 2009

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, February 03, 2009 9:10:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 17, 2007
 Wednesday, January 31, 2007
A new Recommendation from SG12 acts as a performance planning tool for videophone applications taking into account the effects of video as well as voice quality. The computational model described is for point-to-point interactive videophone applications including dedicated videophone terminals, desktop or laptop PCs, PDAs and mobile phones over IP networks.

Recommendation G.1070 gives an algorithm that estimates videophone quality in terms of quality of experience/quality of service (QoE/QoS). The model is designed to be used by QoE/QoS planners to help ensure end-to-end user satisfaction and to avoid over-engineering at the application, terminal, and network layers.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 4:35:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Study Group 12 consented a new Recommendation that provides a way to give consistency to performance measurements in high layer protocols such as FTP, HTTP etc.

The Recommendation, ITU-T Recommendation Y.1562, may be used by service providers in the planning, development, and assessment of IP service to check that it meets user performance needs; by equipment manufacturers to give performance information that will affect equipment design; and by end users in evaluating higher layer protocol service performance.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 4:34:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A Recommendation that ensures that sound levels between various devices are harmonized in order that listening quality is not degraded was amended at Study Group 12’s January meeting.

The amendment takes into account the transmission characteristics for headsets and hands free terminals. The original Recommendation – P.313 - provides audio performance requirements for portable digital cordless and mobile handsets, headset and loudspeaker terminals.

Specifications for car mounted hands free terminals will be treated in a new Recommendation in progress and also under study in the Focus Group - From/In/To Cars Communication.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 4:33:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A revised workplan for some of the Questions in Study Group 12 will include specific mention of IPTV Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS).

The latest meeting of Study Group 12, Geneva, January, also saw agreement on a definition for QoE. This, experts said, is particularly important given the inclusion of QoE in the definition of IPTV agreed by the ITU-T IPTV Focus Group. (See previous story).

Quality of Experience (QoE)

The overall acceptability of an application or service, as perceived subjectively by the end-user.

NOTES

1     Quality of Experience includes the complete end-to-end system effects (client, terminal, network, services infrastructure, etc).

2     Overall acceptability may be influenced by user expectations and context.


Study Group 12 Vice Chair, Chuck Dvorak, said that he expects that IPTV and other multimedia QoS and QoE issues will see increasing attention in SG12 moving forward.

Dvorak also said that he expects that the non-transport aspects of networks and services, for example call processing performance, will also receive more attention. Additionally he says that he expects SG12 will take a closer look at how to better address the needs of developing countries in terms of QoS.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 3:32:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 07, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 9:18:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 02, 2006
ITU-T Recommendation Y.2111, a new standard emerging from the July NGN-GSI meetings addresses a key area of concern in NGN, the ability to offer end-to-end QoS. Crucially it also addresses the need to be able to differentiate multiple services running over the same network.

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

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

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

 

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:50:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 10, 2006
ITU-T’s Study Group 12 has consented a new Recommendation (Y.1542) that gives the groundwork for service providers to realize end-to-end network performance for services like VoIP and IPTV. The work goes some way to satisfying a key challenge for next generation networks (NGN), which need to provide QoS across multiple network operators, and in some cases, unusual topologies and distances.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 10, 2006 7:26:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 05, 2006

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

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

 

 

Monday, June 05, 2006 8:05:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 14, 2005

Three new Recommendations related to IP Performance have been consented by ITU-T's Study Group 12.

G.1030 - provides a framework of tools to estimate end-to-end IP network performance for some user applications. User perception of application performance in packet networks is dependent on many factors, including network end-to-end performance, performance of terminals and other devices beyond the purview of the network operator. The application’s dependency on the communications network, and the user’s task and the extent of user interaction with the application need also to be taken into account.

All these factors are used to estimate end-to-end performance levels. At this stage, the framework includes a perceptual model for web browsing. Future versions will focus on multimedia conferencing and other applications. The Recommendation is designed to be helpful for people designing networks, enabling them to know what applications can be realistically supported. 

G.1040 - defines a new performance metric in IP networks for short transactions, such as trading of stocks, automated banking, and credit card point of sale transactions. The nature of such exchanges is that they need to be quick and reliable.

This Recommendation gives the ability for the network provider to either flag a problem based on their network measurements interpreted with this metric, or to say that – if a problem exists – it isn’t attributable to the network. The Recommendation allows the network service provider to see how much of the transaction time can be attributed to the network. The metric can also be useful in drawing up service level agreements.

G.1050 - addresses Network Model for Evaluating Multimedia Transmission Performance Over Internet Protocol. The need for such a model is driven by new challenges for multimedia applications in IP. Impairments that in typical data transfers are of little consequence may be much more serious in video or VoIP for example. The model is based on statistical models of a broad range of known deployed network configurations. This way a manufacturer of networking testing solutions can avoid speculation in configuring test scenarios.

Monday, November 14, 2005 2:10:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2005

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

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 11:00:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2005

A recent meeting of Study Group 12 saw progress in the development of QoS-related standards for IP-based networks and services.

QoS is seen as a key area to address in IP-based networks, especially as more carriers announce plans to carry voice traffic using the protocol.

Progress was made on the revision of Recommendation G.1020 which gives performance parameter definitions for quality of speech and other voiceband applications utilising IP networks. The updates will specify voice quality measurements associated with the use of the VoIP management protocol, RTP Control Protocol Extended Reports (RTCP XR). RTCP XR defines a set of metrics that contain information for assessing VoIP call quality and diagnosing problems.

And Y.1541 which gives network performance objectives for IP-based services, is also actively under revision to include new QoS classes with more stringent packet loss performance, needed for example for commercial video applications and certain TCP formats.

Also during its meeting - the first of the new study period - SG12 consented a revision of Recommendation G.107 (the E-model, see previous e-Flash story, to include an improved treatment of bursty packet loss.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:26:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The NGN Focus Group has delivered its first output for inclusion in the first set of specifications for next generation networks (NGN) - Release 1. The document (a supplement to ITU-T's Q series recommendations, approved at the last Study Group 11 meeting) relates to IP-QoS signalling.

QoS signalling provides a way for network elements to communicate with, or signal, other elements to request special handling of certain traffic. QoS signalling is useful for coordinating the traffic handling techniques provided by other QoS features. It plays a key role in configuring successful end-to-end QoS service across a network.

In this case the document - a technical report - identifies the requirements for signalling information regarding IP-based QoS at the interface between the user and the network (UNI) and across interfaces between different networks (NNI) including access networks.

Identifying these requirements and the signalling information elements will enable the development of signalling protocols which are essential for the development of services based on IP-QoS in NGN.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:26:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new standard approved by ITU provides interworking between two dominant technologies in next generation networks (NGN). Ethernet and MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) are critical components of the evolving broadband architecture.

The standard - ITU-T Recommendation - Y.1415 - is likely to help further Ethernet’s push towards becoming a carrier class service delivery technology, and aid MPLS’ move towards playing a bigger role in NGN.

The ability to offer Ethernet services means that carriers will be able to offer considerably improved flexibility to customers through a much simpler and lower cost interface. It will allow users to specify exactly how much bandwidth they want between the 10Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s range currently offered. MPLS will add the quality of service (QoS) requirements that service providers demand to the Ethernet package. Further, the standards provide reduced operation complexity and improved scalability for carriers.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:20:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |