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 Thursday, August 01, 2013

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

Thursday, August 01, 2013 2:54:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 10, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, June 06, 2013 12:00:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 16, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

More information on the workshop can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:28:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 19, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, April 19, 2013 1:04:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013 2:10:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, February 08, 2013 4:13:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 28, 2013

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

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

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

Full Press release

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Monday, January 28, 2013 11:27:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 21, 2012

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

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

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

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

More information can be found here.

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

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

The Plenary reports are available here.

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Friday, December 21, 2012 4:07:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 22, 2012

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

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

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

Visit the event’s webpage here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012 7:52:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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

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

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:11:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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

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

For further information please refer to Circular 1025

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The closing date for applications is 5 November 2012.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012 8:27:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 11, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012 8:37:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 10, 2012
ITU is inviting applications for the post of Study Group Engineer, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The successful candidate should have at least five years of experience in the field of telecommunication technologies and services, including at least two at the international level.  Expertise on service definition, numbering, naming, addressing requirements and resource assignment including criteria and procedures for reservation and assignment would be an advantage. In addition knowledge of tariff and accounting matters (including costing methodologies) for international telecommunication services and study of related telecommunication economic, accounting and policy issues would be an advantage.

Standards from the ITU are at the heart of modern information and communications technologies (ICTs). For more information see: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/info.
 
The Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) provides essential logistical support to ITU-T’s 10 Study Groups including electronic working facilities and meeting management. It also manages promotion, workshops, membership, documents, finance, the website etc. It is the body responsible for providing cohesion to ITU-T’s standards making process.
 
An attractive package of salary (approximately 115,509.- USD - 154,159.- USD without dependants or 123,747.- USD - 165,818.- USD with dependants  [Net of Tax]) plus international allowances and benefits is offered (subject to eligibility).
 
The closing date for applications is 9 July 2012.
 
A detailed vacancy notice and application form including remuneration can be downloaded here. Applications using the form must be sent to recruitment@itu.int or by post to ITU Human Resources Administration Division, Place des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland. Applications must reach ITU by the closing date.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012 3:25:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A joint ITU-WHO workshop on “e-Health standards and Interoperability” at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 26-27 April, gathered experts from the healthcare and ICT communities to discuss means of leveraging today’s advanced communications capabilities to achieve more efficient, cost-effective and equitable health services worldwide.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) opening the event: "With a growing, ageing, population in the 21st century, it is clear that one of the areas where ICTs can help make the greatest difference is in the provision and delivery of healthcare. ICTs are now understood to play a pivotal role in increasing efficiency and quality in delivery of health care, and reducing risk and suffering, particularly among the most vulnerable communities in developing countries. However, in e-health unfortunately standardized solutions are rare. Interoperability is a key determinant of e-Health’s efficient and equitable rollout. This is not an area where we can afford to have costly squabbles over proprietary technologies. International standards will bring down costs, increase access, and improve efficiencies."
 
The workshop showcased innovative healthcare technologies and policy frameworks already in force, and pointed to areas where interoperable ICT standards could further stimulate such innovations’ development and implementation.
 
The workshop hosted a lively exchange of ideas and brought healthcare and ICT experts together to form the relationships certain to underpin the development of next-generation healthcare services. The workshop’s closing session focused on the future of e-Health standardization which, judging by the volume of input received from attendees, represents the beginnings of what is sure to be a very fruitful collaboration between ITU and WHO. It was suggested at the event that ITU and WHO provide a platform to lead these discussions, with the participation of the key e-health stakeholders.
 
At the event, the following actions were suggested to the various stakeholders:
 
Suggested ITU-WHO actions:

- Joint policy brief on the essentiality of standards and interoperability to the exchange of medical data, as well as outreach activities to educate policy-makers and business leaders on the relevance and application of e-health standards
- Creation of an e-health Working Group to advise ITU and WHO on steps to be taken in the future
- Collaborate with other Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) to create an information portal detailing all available healthcare standards and best practices in their application
 
SDO actions:

- Coordinate with the new HL7 initiative on mobile e-health
- ITU and HL7 to develop a specification for the use of ITU-T X.1303 CAP specification within HL7 to deliver health warning messages
- Consider effective cost models for e-health standards licensing
- Collaborate in the development of a common e-health standards roadmap; ensuring no work is duplicated, and encouraging a converged view on the structure of data and information in the e-health context
 
Points of relevance to the technical community (drawn from ICT and healthcare sectors):

- Address interoperability challenges impeding the development of an open, global infrastructure to enable the exchange of health information
- Begin development of an e-health standards ecosystem by addressing the required functional features of e-health technologies, while at the same time allowing these systems enough flexibility to evolve in line with the development of new technologies or best practices
- The imperative to e-health that is Quality of Service (QoS)
 
More information on the Workshop’s objectives: here
The Workshop’s programme (with speakers’ biographies and presentations  attached): here.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012 9:40:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 23, 2012

Organizations developing e-health standards, and a variety of other stakeholders, have been invited to an ITU/WHO workshop to define the current state of the e-health industry, discuss barriers to e-health technology adoption and to establish an ITU/WHO roadmap signposting the industry’s future course. The workshop will take place at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 26-27 April 2012, and is open to ITU members and WHO Member States.

Ageing societies and the world’s growing population are exerting progressively greater pressures on healthcare infrastructures. Providing equitable, affordable healthcare services to the world’s citizens is a challenge overwhelming traditional healthcare systems. e-Health is thus soon expected to form part of mainstream healthcare systems, but also to become the centerpiece of many national administrations’ healthcare offerings in years to come.

To encourage widespread deployment of e-health applications, particularly in developing countries, it is essential to achieve interoperability among systems and to reduce the cost of devices through economies of scale. Open, global, interoperable standards are the tools to achieve this, and will also be key to ensuring an open, competitive market for e-health innovation in the future.

Much work has been conducted on the development of e-health standards and frameworks for interoperability, but these efforts have not been followed by proportional standard implementation or e-health service deployment. April’s workshop will address this disparity by clearly identifying the necessary future standardisation work, in particular to ensure interoperability, as well as the roles to be played by different stakeholders in progressing this work. In addition, meeting participants will discuss the creation of an e-health policy and strategic framework to guide the development of a sustainable e-health industry.

For more information on the workshop’s content, venue or participants, please consult the workshop's webpage.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:03:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 08, 2012

An international experiment deploying ITU-standardized IPTV technologies has taken place 6-8 February 2012. IPTV services were used to live-stream scenes from the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan and to provide supporting Video-on-Demand (VoD) segments.

ITU Headquarters in Geneva received the stream from the head-end server in Japan, participating alongside organizations from Japan, Singapore and Thailand in what is the first transcontinental broadcast of a live event using IPTV technology standardized end-to-end by ITU. The connection uses native IPv6 from ITU Headquarters to Japan.

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

First approved in 2009, Recommendation ITU-T H.762, a “Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment” (LIME) for IPTV services, is the standard with which Sapporo’s live-stream IPTV application complies. Hokkaido Television Broadcasting (HTB) developed this application, and is one of many broadcasters, manufacturers and research institutes involved in the IPTV experiments. The experiments have been organized by Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications (NICT) and are being conducted over its IPv6 research network, Japan Gigabit Network-eXtreme (JGN-X).

Other ITU-T IPTV standards also formed part of the infrastructure: H.770 IPTV Service discovery, H.721 IPTV terminal for VoD and Linear TV, H.701 IPTV Error correction, H.750 IPTV Metadata and the Primetime Emmy Award winning H.264 Video compression codec. The experiments also used Openflow, PCE/VNTM and sa46t.

For more on ITU’s IPTV standardization work, please see ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative here.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012 2:54:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 30, 2012

The two latest reports from ITU-T’s Policy and Technology Watch Division – on video games and digital signage - feature prominently in the January issue of ITU News. Published in all six official ITU languages, the issue provides a snapshot of today’s ICT ecosystem and the global ITU activities and events which aid in giving it shape.

Video games today entertain a broad cross-section of consumers and represent an extremely profitable and still rapidly growing industry. September 2011’s Technology Watch Report on “Trends in Video Games and Gaming” brings light to the major gaming terminals and platforms, game forms and genres, and how the advent of social media and mobile gaming are augmenting an already highly-networked gaming culture.

Digital signage is poised to become a very large industry, in a very short space of time. Standardization is key to the development and accessibility of digital signage technologies, and a December 2011 workshop in Tokyo, organized by ITU and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, aimed to share ideas and insight on advanced digital signage service features and requirements, current best practices and existing standardization activities of key players. The event addressed digital signage technologies and the related standardization work being undertaken in ITU-T Study Group 16. For an in-depth view of digital signage and its market, see November 2011’s Technology Watch Report, “Digital Signage: the right information in all the right places.”

Experts from industry, research institutions and academia are invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts for future reports in the Technology Watch series. Please contact tsbtechwatch@itu.int for details and guidelines.

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Monday, January 30, 2012 3:07:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 16, 2012

The January meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Service Layer.

M2M refers to the ability of a machine to sense and measure certain variables, and communicate this information to other machines in a network. Included under the larger umbrella of the “Internet of Things” (IoT), M2M technologies have applications in a number of industries – e-health, fleet management, sales and payment, security and surveillance, intelligent transport systems (ITS) etc.

The group will study and evaluate the M2M landscape and M2M work currently being undertaken by regional and national standards development organizations (SDOs), with a view to identifying a common set of requirements.

The Focus Group will initially focus on the APIs and protocols to support e-health applications and services, and develop technical reports in these areas. It is suggested that the Focus Group establish three sub-working groups: “M2M use cases and service models”, “M2M service layer requirements” and “M2M APIs and protocols.” Strong collaboration with stakeholders such as Continua Health Alliance and World Health Organization (WHO) is foreseen.The Focus Group concept allows for greater operational flexibility and crucially allows non ITU members and other interested organisations to participate.

The group is expected to carry out the following specific tasks:

  • Research, collect and analyze the vertical market M2M service layer needs, initially focusing on e-health.
  • Identify a minimum common set of M2M service layer requirements and capabilities, initially focusing on e-health applications and services.
  • Study APIs and relevant protocols that satisfy the above requirements and capabilities to support the communications between the M2M applications and the telecom networks.
  • Develop technical reports to address the identified gaps and propose future standardization work for ITU-T developments on M2M.
  • Support global harmonization and consolidation by inputting its final deliverables to the parent Study Group and other relevant Study Groups as appropriate.

These terms of reference are subject to consultation of the next four-weeks.The Focus Group will work closely with all ITU-T Study Groups, especially Study Groups 13 and 16, with the other ITU sectors (ITU-R, ITU-D) and with other relevant UN agencies, SDOs, forums/consortia, regulators, policy makers, industry and academia. Within the ITU, the group will work particularly closely with the Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI).

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Monday, January 16, 2012 11:13:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 14, 2011
 Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The first meeting of a collaboration on ITS communication standards.
 
The first meeting of a collaboration on international communication standards for intelligent transport systems (ITS) will take place on Wednesday, 14 December, at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting is open and remote participation is offered.
 
Industry experts who gathered for the World Standards Cooperation's Fully Networked Car event at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year agreed that the next twenty years will see a huge shift towards ITS. Today’s communications capabilities give vehicles the potential to foresee and avoid collisions, navigate the quickest route to their destination, make use of up-to-the-minute traffic reports, identify the nearest available parking slot, minimise their carbon emissions and provide multimedia communications.
Considerable resources have been invested in R&D, but the lack of global standards is widely regarded as a major impediment to large-scale deployment of ITS services and applications. This collaboration creates a global forum for the creation of a set of international communication standards needed for ITS to become a definitive feature of the modern automotive industry.
 
For more information on the meeting, its registration procedures and remote participation, please consult the meeting’s homepage at  http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/extcoop/cits/Pages/default.aspx.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011 9:07:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 21, 2011

ITU is organizing a two-day Workshop on Digital Signage in Tokyo, Japan, 13-14 December 2011.

Digital signage, also the topic of an upcoming ITU-T Technology Watch Report, is defined as a, “network of digital displays that are centrally managed and addressable for targeted information, entertainment, merchandising and advertisement.” User interaction can trigger content adaption, and the level of this interaction will develop alongside location information and environmental sensor technology.

The workshop will provide a comprehensive introduction to digital signage technology, how it is currently being applied, and how it is likely to expand in the future. Particular emphasis will be placed on how standards are to play a key role in ensuring this technology meets its potential.

The proprietary nature of current digital signage solutions restricts the integration of applications across different networks or vendors.

Interoperable standards are thus crucial to the development of this industry. The great value it will unlock for its providers and users can only be achieved through the expansion of large-scale digital signage networks, and standardization is the means to ensure this expansion occurs as
cost-effectively and as rapidly as possible.

For detailed event information, please consult  http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/iptv/201112/index.html. Remote participation is available and encouraged; enter the room by following this link, http://itu.adobeconnect.com/itudigitalsignage/.


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Monday, November 21, 2011 2:58:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 03, 2011
Third Metting of Joint Coordination Activity on Internet of Things (JCA-IoT), Geneva, 28 - 29 November 2011

Registration form

JCA-IoT

 

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Thursday, November 03, 2011 4:51:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Meeting of Study Group 16, Geneva, Switzerland, 21 November - 02 December 2011

Collective Letter 7

Registration form

Study Group 16


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Thursday, November 03, 2011 4:44:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI) - Third event Geneva, 21 - 25 November 2011

Convening letter (TSB Circular 221)

Online registration

Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI)


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Thursday, November 03, 2011 4:29:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 27, 2011

ITU announced the winners of its IPTV App Challenge at ITU Telecom World 2011. The corporate app category was given to Discover Japan from NHK Enterprises (Japan) which offers users an introduction to the best of Japanese culture. The best individual/SME award split the vote and was awarded to 7 Days Gallery and Dengue Combat.
 
Discover Japan highlights Tokyo's cutting-edge pop culture but also the traditional culture of Kyoto, a city steeped in over 1,000 years of history. With broadcast TV and video on demand as the areas of focus, the application responds to users' interests, providing answers to their questions, offering interesting information, and enabling them to shop online.
 
7 Days Gallery, by Alève Mine and Eric Bréchemier is a digital space to promote new artists/designers. It organizes seven pieces of art work from one artist/designer in a collection, and presents a different collection for each day of the week. Users can browse the pictures with their remote control and find out more information on each of the piece of art, such as its title, description text, a web site (URL)  and online shopping possibilities. Users can also find information about the artist including: their biography, portrait and web site.
 
Dengue Combat is an interactive TV programme to promote awareness and knowledge to combat dengue fever. IPTV users are informed by watching a video programme about dengue fever. They can also find out the nearest medical care facility by providing their postal code and verify their knowledge of this disease by participating in a quiz.
 
More details on the apps can be found at: www.itu.int/challenges/iptv.

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and Share

Thursday, October 27, 2011 1:55:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 16, 2011

A new Standards Q&A Forum will promote more interactive discussion between the experts creating ICT standards and those applying them. The pilot project has been launched to enable the submission of queries on all aspects of ITU-T Recommendations, in particular from developing countries.
 
Alongside the transfer of knowledge to developing nations, industry members in the developed world gain an opportunity to tap into new markets; making their products and services known to rapidly growing markets in developing nations.
 
The open, moderated forum will focus on the standardization work of ITU and offers participants a unique opportunity to engage with the experts that develop the standards underpinning ICT. An FAQ section introduces strangers to standardization and the ITU-T, covering all manner of questions from, “Why do we need international standards?,” to, “How does the ITU-T decide what needs standardization?” The forum is then organized into the major themes or questions being dealt with by ITU-T study groups.
 

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Friday, September 16, 2011 9:06:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The 2012 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award is being presented to Gisle Bjontegaard, of Tandberg Telecom (now Cisco Systems Norway); Gary Sullivan, of Microsoft Corporation; and Thomas Wiegand, of the Berlin University of Technology, "for leadership and technical contributions to the development of the globally deployed video coding standard ITU-T H.264/MPEG4-AVC." These three innovators – who are also lead experts in ITU video coding work – will receive their award at the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE). Held annually in conjunction with the International Consumer Electronics Show, the conference will take place in Las Vegas, 13-16 January 2012.

Sponsored by Sony Corporation, this award recognises outstanding contributions in the field of consumer electronics technology, and is yet more recognition of the enormous success enjoyed by the H.264 codec. Already the recipient of a Primetime Emmy award, the codec continues to receive the praise and support of the ICT community.

ITU-T's Study Group 16 and ISO/IEC's Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) have formed the Joint Collaborative Team on video coding (JCT-VC) to work on the successor to H.264 (also standardized as ISO/IEC 14496-10, or MPEG-4 AVC). This successor – working title HEVC – is currently being formulated with approval expected in early 2013.

HEVC is likely to have native 3D capability, ensuring that this fast-paced industry can profit from standardized solutions. To many consumers, 3D TV is quickly becoming a very attractive, attainable product – and standards-based solutions will only add to a more vibrant set of offerings.

 

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011 4:39:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 01, 2011

Launched in July 2011, ITU’s IPTV Application Challenge is a ground-breaking stimulus to innovation in this exciting new field of ICT.

Highlighting the rapidly expanding range of the IPTV ecosystem, this unique competition - the first of its kind and worldwide in its scope - presents an opportunity to develop IPTV applications running over either ITU-T H.761 Ginga-NCL or ITU-T H.762 LIME. Both platforms are open, flexible, easily deployed, and ensure high quality IPTV products.

In today’s global economy, innovative applications compliant with ITU’s IPTV standards represent an unparalleled commercial opportunity. However, no great idea would see the light of day without startup capital, and the best app submitted by an individual or small and medium enterprise (SME)* will thus be awarded USD10,000, courtesy of platinum sponsors; Sumitomo Electric Networks Inc., and Dentsu Inc. Winners will receive their awards in October, at the ITU Telecom World 2011 in Geneva, where a range of innovative applications will be showcased.

Before submitting an application, participants are required to register before 30 September 2011. An entry ID and application number will be assigned to participants on registration, and must be included in competition submission(s). Applications must be submitted by 5 October 2011 (Deadline extended).

* As defined in the rules

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Thursday, September 01, 2011 4:47:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ITU is calling for contributions to a workshop on relay services for persons with disabilities. The event will take place at ITU Headquarters, Geneva on 25 November 2011.

Relay services allow people with disabilities to communicate with standard telephone users. Communication may be made by speech, text, video or any combination. Video connections are particularly important for those who wish to use sign language. Modern relay services are making increasing use of the Internet, which permits a much wider range of communication terminals for users with disabilities. Smartphones, laptops, tablets and normal desktop PCs have all been used and more devices will appear in the future.

Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) promotes the use of ICTs to enable full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life, on an equal basis with others. It requires governments to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to communications and information technology. The increasing number of countries adopting the UNCRPD will need advice on the provision of relay services and this workshop aims to meet that need. ITU-T Question 26/16 is currently studying relay services with an aim to advise in those areas through ITU-T Technical Papers and Recommendations. In this context, the workshop is intended as a forum where ideas, problems and good practices can be shared. Existing and future relay service suppliers will be able to share experiences with governments, regulators, standards makers, user groups and users; the outcomes will be fed into the Q26/16 studies.

This workshop will address the following topics:

  • Experience with operation of relay services, both positive and negative
  • User requirements
  • Performance parameters
  • Innovation in the design or implementation of relay services
  • The use of relay services to access emergency services
  • Regulatory aspects
  • Funding of relay services
  • User experiences that have improved the lives of persons with disabilities
  • Good practices on improving awareness of relay services.

Anyone wishing to make a presentation during the event should contact the organiser, Bill Pechey, (bpechey@computency.co.uk, +44 1491 681236) by 31 August 2011 at the latest. Requests will be honoured based on speaking slot availability and thematic consistency.  Contributions on other topics relevant to the theme may be accepted.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 8:39:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The kick off meeting of the Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility (FG AVA) took place on 26 May 2011 and was a great success.
 
There was wide participation from key stakeholders, both physically and virtually using remote participation tools. Those participating included universities and research centres, organizations representing persons with disabilities, AV media companies, network and service providers, vendors, organizations representing consumer electronics manufacturers, WIPO, government and regulatory bodies. The aim of this first meeting was to define the scope of the Group’s work – interpret the objectives, define core terms and agree on procedures.
 
The Focus Group addressed the need to mainstream audiovisual media accessibility focusing on making digital media accessible for all, in particular for the elderly and persons with disabilities.
 
It was decided to organize the work within the following areas:
  • Captioning
  • Audio/Video description and spoken captions
  • Visual signing and sign language
  • Emerging access services
  • Electronic Programming Guides and on-air promotion
  • Participation and digital media
  • Digital Broadcast Television
  • IPTV
  • Mobile and handheld devices
  • Key Performance Indicators for the accessibility of broadcast television, IPTV and metadata, mobile and hand-held devices        
 
Eight deliverables were agreed, one of which covers guidelines on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. During the 18-month life of the Focus Group, participants will collect issues and problems related to implementation of the Convention as well as real-world problems from persons with disabilities and persons with age-related functional impairments. In addition it will collect examples of good practice through case studies and other means, and prepare guidelines for the inclusion of access services in all new digital AV user devices.

The next meeting will take place 15 September 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011 9:24:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The first meeting of the Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility will take place in Geneva 26 May.

The group, open to all, will address the need to make audiovisual media accessible for all, but in particular, persons with disabilities. It will encourage the concept of universal design, the development of services taking into account the needs of all users, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Interoperability of devices and features that boost accessibility will also be an area of discussion.

One expected deliverable of the group will be guidelines on the implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Focus Group participants will collect issues and problems related to implementation of the Convention as well as real-world problems from persons with disabilities and persons with age-related functional impairments. In addition it will collect examples of good practice through case studies and other means, and prepare guidelines for the inclusion of access services in all new digital AV user devices.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 3:30:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 18, 2011
First meeting of Focus Group on Driver Distraction (FG Distraction), UMTRI in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, 17-18 May 2011

Meeting Announcement

On-line Registration

Focus Group on Driver Distraction (FG Distraction)

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Monday, April 18, 2011 1:38:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Monday, April 18, 2011 1:31:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI), Geneva, 9-13 May 2011

Convening letter (TSB Circular 182)

Online registration

Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI)

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Monday, April 18, 2011 1:13:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 14, 2011
The next twenty years will see a huge shift towards electric vehicles and integrated intelligent transport systems (ITS) said industry experts gathered for the Fully Networked Car@Geneva Motor Show event. However in order for this transformation to take place globally coordinated standards are needed. In addition experts said that more study is needed on who pays for what. For example who will pay for systems that reduce fatalities and reduce traffic flow; consumers, governments, the car industry or insurance? These business models need to be designed in parallel participants at the ITU, ISO and IEC workshop agreed.

Given the safety implications of integrating these technologies into vehicles, driver distraction was also strong topic for discussion at the event held in parallel to the Geneva Motor Show. It was shown that cognitive distraction can be significantly reduced with greater sound quality. Presentations showed that telcos moving to wideband, thereby offering much greater speech quality, will significantly enhance telephony applications.

ITU has recently convened a Focus Group on Driver Distraction (FG Distraction). The objective the group, comprising experts from the ICT and automotive industries as well as government experts, is to reduce injuries and fatalities by minimizing the cognitive demands associated with both driving and non-driving tasks. It will; propose test methodologies for subjective and objective assessment of cognitive load; investigate optimal information flow between the driver and vehicle; develop design guidelines for integrated applications; propose mechanisms for co-ordination of components, subsystems, and applications to minimize cognitive demands; identify new techniques and technologies that can be used to reduce cognitive load and co-ordinate efforts across the three standards organizations, government/industry forums, companies, academic institutions, and subject matter experts.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011 1:03:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 28, 2011
ITU was, last week, pleased to host a meeting of the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) in parallel with the ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia) meeting. Through MPEG, the ITU and ISO/IEC have formed the Joint Collaborative Team on video coding (JCT-VC) working on the successor to H.264 (also standardized as ISO/IEC 14496-10, or MPEG-4 AVC), the Emmy award winning video coding standard.

There was a demonstration of emerging 3D TV technologies such as autostereoscopic displays (similar to that used in the new Nintendo 3DS but on a larger scale). This new technology allows for 3D viewing without glasses.

Current extensions to the widely used H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec are deployed in Blu-ray 3D discs that provide a stereo 3D experience, and also in the "frame-compatible" stereoscopic 3D video used in emerging broadcast applications.

The successor to H.264 – working title HEVC – is work in progress with approval expected in early 2013. Experts say that at the time H.264 was first approved there was no real market demand for 3D and so 3D support was essentially put into the standard later as a work around – even though it provides excellent levels of quality. Discussions continue on which kind of native support for 3D could eventually be incorporated in HEVC.

This work is complementary to that of ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector which is focusing on a framework for 3D TV broadcasting systems.

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Monday, March 28, 2011 1:15:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 14, 2011
ITU-T IPTV-GSI event, Geneva, 14 - 18 March 2011

TSB Circular 160

Registration form

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Monday, March 14, 2011 11:20:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Meeting of Study Group 16, Geneva, 14 - 25 March 2011

SG 16 Collective Letter 6

Registration Form

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011 2:19:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 20, 2011
A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report envisions the future of eHealth. eHealth systems use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the delivery of healthcare services and information hold great promise for improving global access to healthcare services and health information, particularly in the developing world. Delivering on this promise requires more universal eHealth interoperability standards, overcoming technical infrastructure barriers, and addressing privacy, security, and other legal requirements. These and other issues are addressed by experts of ITU-T Study Groups 16, 17 and in other standardization bodies.

In December 2010, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré joined the World Health Organisation Commission on women’s and children’s health, in which he serves as co-Vice Chair, alongside WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. Dr Touré contributes his expertise in the field of ICTs as tools to advance and improve healthcare.

The report, by Dr Laura DeNardis of Yale University, presents a snapshot of the current eHealth standardization landscape, describes some obstacles that must be overcome, and identifies the emerging standardization opportunities and activities within the ITU that will contribute to the global deployment of efficient and secure eHealth systems. 

It can be downloaded from a dedicated website which provides additional sources of information and links to ITU activities related to eHealth.

Go to report

Go to dedicated website

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 5:49:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 17, 2010
NGN GSI event: Co-located Rapporteur group Meetings,
Geneva, Switzerland, 6-16 September 2010

Registration Form

See ITU-T TSB Circular 115 for more information

Next Generation Networks Global Standards Initiative

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:18:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 09, 2010
Telepresence is broadly speaking next generation videoconferencing that also takes into account users' position, actions and voice to render as close as possible a representation of a real life meeting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos are available at: www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/sets/72157624558743282/.

Video footage of the event is available at: www.eurovision.net/wf/detail.php?item=501636 (raw footage for Eurovision members) and YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dg8maOi9sY (event highlights)

ITU-T IPTV newsfeed: www.itu.int/ITU-T/newslog/CategoryView,category,IPTV.aspx

For more information please contact:

Sarah Parkes                                                                          
Senior Media Relations Officer
ITU
Tel: +41 22 730 6135
Mobile: +41 79 599 1439
E-mail: mailto: pressinfo@itu.int                                                                             

Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer
ITU
Tel: +41 22 730 5877
Mobile: +41 79 249 4868
E-mail: mailto: toby.johnson@itu.int

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 6:57:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 06, 2010
The H.264 Advanced Video Compression Standard is the title of a new book detailing ITU-T’s widely adopted, and Primetime Emmy award winning H.264 video codec.

ITU-T H.264 is fundamental to a growing range of markets such as high definition broadcasting, internet video sharing, mobile video and digital surveillance.

Author - Iain E. Richardson - explains some of the details of the book in this webcast (registration necessary) - http://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/21438.

The H.264 Advanced Video Compression Standard reflects the growing importance and implementation of H.264 video technology. Offering a detailed overview of the system, it explains the syntax, tools and features of H.264 and equips readers with practical advice on how to get the most out of the standard.

It provides:
•    Examples and illustrations to explain H.264 technology in an accessible and practical way.
•    Basic video coding concepts, video formats and visual quality.
•    Details on how to measure and optimise the performance of H.264 and how to balance bitrate, computation and video quality.
•    Analysis of recent work on scalable and multi-view versions of H.264, case studies of H.264 codecs and new technological developments such as the popular High Profile extensions.

"[This book] unravels the mysteries behind the latest H.264 standard and delves deeper into each of the operations in the codec. The reader can implement (simulate, design, evaluate, optimize) the codec with all profiles and levels. The book ends with extensions and directions (such as SVC and MVC) for further research."  Professor K. R. Rao, The University of Texas at Arlington, co-inventor of the Discrete Cosine Transform.

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010 1:05:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 15, 2010
ITU’s first interoperability event on IPTV will be held at ITU headquarters, Geneva, 20 to 23 July 2010. Testing will take place 20 and 21 July, with vendors showcasing interoperability to potential customers 22 and 23 July.  The event will demonstrate the state of maturity and industry adoption of ITU-T standards for IPTV, for example: H.701 (error-recovery), H.721 (IPTV terminal), H.740 (audience measurement), H.750 (metadata), H.761 (ginga-NCL), H.762 (lightweight interactive multimedia), H.770 (service discovery). Many companies - manufacturers of set top boxes, content servers and other equipment - have expressed interest in testing and showcasing their products, including from Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. To register, go to: itu.int/interop.

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

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

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

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010 10:30:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 28, 2010

Leading standards bodies, ITU-T and ISO/IEC have launched a new project that seeks to better the Emmy award winning Advanced Video Codec ITU-T Rec. H.264 | ISO/IEC 14496-10.

The announcement on the new Joint Collaborative Team (JCT) accompanies finalization of a recent call for proposals on a successor to the H.264/14496-10 codec that has been widely adopted by the telecom, broadcast, and digital storage media industries.

ITU-T and ISO/IEC-MPEG are the pre-eminent standards bodies in the area of digital video compression and have collaborated in the past to produce H.264/14496-10 and the MPEG-2 Video and Systems Standards (also known as ISO/IEC 13818, and ITU-T H.262 and H.222.0).

The Video Coding JCT will consist of a group of video coding experts from ITU-T Study Group 16 (VCEG) and ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 29 / WG 11 (MPEG). The group will meet to coincide with meetings of ITU-T SG16 and/or MPEG and aims at the new standard for 2012.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:20:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 30, 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, November 30, 2009 2:14:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 10, 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, November 10, 2009 10:54:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 23, 2009

ITU-T Workshop on "The impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the work of the ITU-T"

Geneva, 2 November 2009

Registration form

See ITU-T SG 16 Collective Letter 4 for more information.

More information

Friday, October 23, 2009 9:48:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Meeting of ITU-T SG 16 - Multimedia coding, systems and applications

Geneva, 26 October - 06 November 2009

Registration form

See ITU-T SG 16 Collective Letter 4 for more information.

ITU-T Study Group 16 Home

Friday, October 23, 2009 9:26:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Meeting of IPTV-GSI - IPTV Global Standards Initiative

Geneva, 26-30 October 2009

Registration form

See TSB Circular 56 for more information.

IPTV-GSI Home

Friday, October 23, 2009 9:19:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 21, 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 G.hn 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, October 21, 2009 1:36:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 17, 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, July 17, 2009 9:14:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 29, 2009
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, June 29, 2009 2:32:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 01, 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.

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Friday, May 01, 2009 8:59:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 18, 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, March 18, 2009 4:07:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 26, 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, February 26, 2009 9:37:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Declaration on Internet Accessibility was adopted by the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability at the recent Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Hyderabad, India. DCAD counts ITU as one of its founder members.

ITU took part in twelve sessions at the IGF, organizing seven of them. As well as opening remarks from the Secretary General, and various addresses from the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, six other ITU staff participated. In addition ITU sponsored the participation of 39 people (27 from developing countries).

DCAD aims to facilitate interaction between relevant bodies and ensure that ICT accessibility is included in the key debates around Internet Governance in order to build a future where all sectors of the global community have equal access to the Information Society. It held its first face-to-face meeting on 6 December 2008 during the third Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Hyderabad.

The Declaration urges all governments to support the process of adoption, ratification and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It also “strongly urges” that the needs of persons with disabilities be included in all aspects of designing, developing, distributing and deploying of appropriation strategies of information and communication technologies, including information and communication services, so as to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities, taking into account the universal design principle, existing standards, and the use of assistive technologies.

The Coalition has also approved an “Action Plan” for activities to be carried out in 2009.

Organizations that are members of the DCAD include ACMA, Council of Europe, DAISY Consortium, Digital Accessible Information System Consortium, G3ict, ICDRI, ISOC, ISOC-AR, Mais Diferenças, NCC, People Who, UNESCO, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. A new member joined during the IGF: the Indian “Centre for Internet & Society”.

Also during the IGF, ITU, in collaboration with DCAD members organized a workshop “Including Accessibility and Human Factors in the Universalization of the Internet - How to reach persons with disabilities, the 10% of the next billion”. Most of the panelists were persons with disabilities who brought varied experiences of Internet accessibility from various perspectives.

The DCAD, lead by ITU, will continue to facilitate inclusion of the needs of persons with disabilities in the global information society.

Thursday, December 18, 2008 5:03:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 28, 2008

Study Group 16 - Multimedia coding, systems and applications

Geneva, 27 January- 2 February 2009

Registration Form

See TSB Collective 1/16 for more information.

Study Group 16 Home

Friday, November 28, 2008 9:55:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 01, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008 9:58:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 20, 2008

A new ITU-T standard unifies identification schemes used for example in multimedia mobile applications. Currently no uniform way exists to reconcile the many different ID schemes in place now, or to be defined.

The standard - Rec. ITU-T X.668 - concentrates on what it calls tag-based applications and services. This description includes RFID and bar code 'tags'. The standard allows the referencing of schemes using the object identifier (OID) system which ITU-T and ISO/IEC developed in the 1980s and widely deployed, for example, in e-commerce applications.

The introduction of this standard will not cause existing tags to become obsolete. Given deployment of the standard, a tag placed on a billboard poster can be read with a mobile phone and make it easy for the user to get additional multimedia (text, graphics, even voice or video) information about the content of the poster.

ITU-T X.668 is the first and key stage in the standardization process with the next work focussing on specifications of the system and protocol that will associate the multimedia information to an ID (a.k.a. ID resolving).

Technically, this Recommendation (also published as an equivalent ISO/IEC International Standard) specifies the information and justification to be provided when requesting an OID for identification schemes for tag-based applications and services, and the procedures for the operation of the Registration Authority (see here). It was jointly authored by experts from ITU-T Study Groups 17 (with input from SG 13 and SG 16) and ISO/IEC. The original drive for the work came from Korea's Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI).

Friday, June 20, 2008 3:52:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Next meeting of the Internet Protocol Television Global Standards Initiative (IPTV-GSI)

Geneva, 23-27 June 2008

Registration Form

See TSB Circular 221 for more information.

IPTV GSI Home

Wednesday, June 04, 2008 11:10:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 02, 2008

Internet Protocol Television Global Standards Initiative (IPTV-GSI) Meeting

Geneva, 30 April - 7 May 2008

Registration Form

See TSB Circular 199 for more information.

IPTV-GSI Home

Friday, May 02, 2008 11:00:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 21, 2008

ITU-T IPTV experts Ghassem Koleyni and Simon Jones will lead a live web seminar (webinar) on IPTV standardization, May 7 at 1600 CET.

Click here to register, for the webinar hosted by industry analyst Heavy Reading. By registering you will be able to listen to and take part in discussion as well as view presentation slides.

Koleyni and Jones will present standardization from an ITU perspective with experts from other standards bodies, including the DSL Forum and ATIS, explaining how they have worked with ITU to produce the first set of global IPTV specifications, available here. Malcolm Johnson, Director ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau said: “I encourage anyone involved in the deployment of IPTV services at any level to take this opportunity to learn about this important set of standards as well as quiz our experts on the topic.

We have already seen first generation IPTV services and as these mature we 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 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 that need that the value of ITU’s work on standardisation will be realised. ”

If you can’t join the live event registration will give access to an archive file of the event.

Monday, April 21, 2008 9:04:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The first set of global standards for IPTV have been published in an online compendium.

The proceedings of the IPTV Focus Group (IPTV FG) are collected in an online document including a preface from the ITU Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) and the Chairman of the IPTV FG. They are the result of 20 months hard work by the Focus Group which has now been passed on to the IPTV-GSI (global standards initiative).

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the TSB says in the preface: “The results of the work of the IPTV Focus Group will lay the foundation for an area of ICTs that is predicted to attract up to 100 million subscribers in the next three years. It's easy to see why so many of the world's leading ICT companies have been keen to progress this work.”

As well as the 21 deliverables, the publication gives an overview of the Focus Group, its management team and the group's activities and achievements focusing on: architecture and requirements; QoS and performance aspects; service security and content protection; IPTV network control; end systems and interoperability aspects and middleware, application and content platforms.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 3:26:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ITU together with G3ict is holding a joint Forum to review areas of challenges and opportunities for international ICT accessibility standards in light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The event will take place at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, 21 April 2008. See previous story on ITU’s latest work in the field of accessibility.

The Convention has been signed by an unprecedentedly high number of UN Member States in a relatively short time – 126 since 30 March 2007. This makes it all the more urgent to promote ICT accessibility standards that will support a better and faster implementation around the world of the many dispositions of the Convention regarding ICTs.

For the first time since the Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly, an international group of experts from industry, standards development organizations, NGOs representing persons with disabilities, international development institutions, governments and academia will examine in detail its many implications for ICT accessibility standards. Proceedings will be edited to serve as a reference for future accessibility standards developments.

The event will review existing and in-progress technology standards and standardization of product development methodologies; discuss the role of public policy and procurement in support of standardization and the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and identify follow-up actions to facilitate its implementation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 1:53:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The website for a new group to coordinate standardization activities on accessibility and human factors issues has gone live. The joint coordination activity on accessibility and human factors (JCA-AHF) is open to experts working in the field to improve access to the information society by people with varied capability of handling information and the controls for its presentation. Participation will be mainly by electronic means – to take part simply send a mail to tsbjcaahf@itu.int.

ITU has been active in accessibility and human factors for many years. Two of the best known standards are one relating to the designation of a “tactile identifier” - the number five on a telephone keypad - for easy identification for those with impaired sight (ITU-T Recommendation E.161) and a standard for text telephony (ITU-T Recommendation V.18). Recently accessibility guidelines have been drawn up to ensure that new standards are developed with the needs of those with disabilities taken into account (see previous newslog entry here).

JCA-AHF has organized a tutorial session on web design, web conferencing and real time web captioning to improve current ITU practices. It will be held in Geneva on 22 April. Details will follow.

For more detail on ITU-T’s work on accessibility see here.

Another ITU initiative related to the topic is the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability which has been created under the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). See here. More details will follow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 5:55:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 22, 2008
Meeting of Study Group 16 - Multimedia terminals, systems and applications

Geneva, 22 April - 2 May 2008

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 9/16 for more information.

Study Group 16 Home

Friday, February 22, 2008 1:53:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 21, 2008

ITU-T’s Study Group 16 has completed work on G.711.1 – the new scalable wideband extension of the voice codec used in the majority of fixed-line digital systems - ITU-T Recommendation G.711. G.711.1 will significantly improve voice quality in VoIP calls by offering wideband quality while keeping bitstream interoperability with the G.711 narrowband legacy codec. Wideband offers far greater audio quality by making voice sound more natural and by greatly improving both intelligibility and listening comfort. Wideband also allows service providers to offer a wider variety of services. Widely deployed this bitstream-interoperable wideband extension of narrowband codecs will allow smooth transition from narrowband (300-3400 Hz) PSTN quality telephony to high-quality wideband (50-7000Hz) telephony over IP networks as well as efficient deployment in existing infrastructures.

G.711.1 can operate either at 80 or 96 kbit/s in wideband, and at 64 or 80 kbit/s in narrowband. Furthermore, the 64 kbit/s core layer mode enables seamless interoperability with systems equipped only with G.711. Besides this backward compatibility, another key attribute is its embedded coding feature that allows dropping part of the bitstream/payload on-the-fly during a call by simple truncation of the embedded bitstream at any entity in the middle of the network such as a gateway or a signal mixer at multi-point control unit (MCU). This avoids network congestion and facilitates interoperability with G.711 legacy narrowband systems. Besides these two main advantages, G.711.1 has a very short delay and low complexity, it also supports partial mixing that drastically reduces MCU complexity and delay.

G.711's roots can be traced back as far as the 1970s, it has become truly the lingua franca of voice telephony. The new ITU-T Recommendation enriches the existing standard while ensuring backwards compatibility and interoperability.

The new standard will drive the market for wideband applications. Launched in 2006, wideband telephony over fixed-line broadband access is gaining momentum; wideband telephony over mobile will soon start following the 2008 Mobile World Congress announcement of wideband-enabled 3G phones shipping in the 3rd quarter of 2008. Wideband services are expected to be one of the driving factors in next generation networks (NGN).

Thursday, February 21, 2008 1:43:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:59:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 17, 2007
 Monday, December 03, 2007

An Information Note from the ITU IS Department is available to help you configure your laptop for the ITU's Wireless LAN.

See the EWM FAQs page

Monday, December 03, 2007 9:30:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Study Group 16 - Multimedia terminals, systems and applications

Working Party 3/16 Meeting

Geneva, 1 February 2008

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 8/16 for more information.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:11:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 19, 2007

Do you remember your last video conference? Blurry faces on tiny screens, with sound that doesn’t quite synchronize with the stilted movement of the lips. After the laborious setup of cameras and microphones, you seem to spend more time worrying about technical problems than talking about the topic at hand, with repeated loss of connection. As frustration grows, and attention wanders, it is difficult to avoid the feeling that you should have arranged a face-to-face meeting instead.

 

A new set of technologies – referred to as Telepresence – will give users the illusion of sitting on the opposite side of the remote party’s conference table. High-definition (HD) video images and audio are transmitted via packed-based Next-Generation Networks (NGN), connecting conference rooms around the world, and covering distances of thousands of miles with zero latency. While the network infrastructure remains transparent to the user, vendors equip conference rooms with high-end displays, cameras, loudspeakers and furniture to enhance the conferencing experience. Telepresence-systems are already available on the market, and involved companies go as far as identifying the technology as a potential billion dollar market, for solution vendors as well as for network service providers (NSP).

 

A new ITU-T Briefing Report on Telepresence has been released as part of the Technology Watch function, which evaluates the market potential and different fields of application of Telepresence solutions in both, developed and developing countries. The report notes the standardization work currently going on in ITU, including the consideration of migrating currently used multimedia protocols, such as H.323 and SIP into a new generation of multimedia protocols, called H.325 or Advanced Multimedia Systems (AMS), that takes into consideration special aspects of security, flexibility, QoS, and support for mobile devices. This report is the second of a new series of Technology Watch Briefing Reports looking at emerging new technologies.

Monday, November 19, 2007 11:23:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Next meeting of TSAG - Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group

Geneva, 3-7 December 2007

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 5/TSAG for more information.

TSAG Home

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 11:48:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 07, 2007

Standards produced by ITU — ITU-T Recommendations — are now available without charge. The announcement follows a highly successful trial conducted from January−October 2007, during which some two million ITU-T Recommendations were downloaded throughout the world.

The experiment’s aim was to “increase the visibility and easy availability of the output of ITU-T”. Offering standards for free is a significant step for the standards community as well as the wider information and communication technologies (ICT) industry. Now, anyone with Internet access will be able to download one of over 3000 ITU-T Recommendations that underpin most of the world’s ICT. The move further demonstrates ITU’s commitment to bridging the digital divide by extending the results of its work to the global community.

Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) Malcolm Johnson, presenting the results of the trial to the 2007 meeting of ITU’s Council, said that not only had the experiment been a success in raising awareness of ITU-T, it would also attract new members. Most importantly, he noted, it had helped efforts to bridge the “standardization gap” between countries with resources to pursue standardization issues and those without. “There has been very positive feedback from developing countries,” said Johnson. “Last year exactly 500 ITU-T Recommendations had been sold to developing countries; this year, after allowing free access, they have downloaded some 300 000.”

ITU-T Recommendations are developed in a unique contribution-driven and consensus-based environment by industry and government members, with industry providing the most significant input. A strong focus of current standards work is providing the foundations for the so-called next-generation network (NGN). Other key areas include IPTV, ICT in vehicles, cybersecurity, quality of service, multimedia, emergency communications and standards for access, such as VDSL 2 — very high speed digital subscriber line 2, the newest and most advanced standard of DSL broadband wireline communications.

Friday, September 07, 2007 8:40:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The latest version of Adobe Systems' popular Flash Player technology will support the ITU-T H.264 codec video compression standard now available in Blu-ray systems, HD-DVD players, and TV set-top boxes. See story InfoWorld story here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 1:37:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 19, 2007

ITU-T’s multimedia Study Group 16 met in Geneva, July, with over twenty standards entering the final stage of ITU-T’s approval process. The ITU secretariat says that the meeting saw record numbers of participants and contributions. Work on the use of tag-based identification (including RFID) for multimedia in particular saw great interest and progress.


Key achievements of the meeting include the setting up of new Questions – ITU-T’s term for work area - to advance work on the third generation multimedia system that will replace the currently used H.323 and SIP multimedia protocols and a second Question on multimedia application platforms and end systems for IPTV. See separate stories – Third gen multimedia system work accelerates and Question on multimedia application platforms and end systems for IPTV.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:45:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new Question – ITU-T’s term for work area - to advance work on the third generation multimedia system that will eventually replace the currently used H.323 will start work pending formal approval at the next meeting of Study Group 16.

H.323 is the ITU standard for interoperability in audio, video and data transmissions over IP. It is the most widely used voice over IP (VoIP) communication protocol worldwide. It is estimated that systems using H.323 carry billions of voice minutes each month. The rollout of the next generation network (NGN) will bring with it in a new era of multimedia communications and with it the need for a new protocol.

In the mid-1990s, the ITU began work on H.323, which quickly became the dominant protocol for LAN-based videoconferencing, as well as a protocol used for transporting voice calls around the world. H.323 was developed in parallel with the Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF) Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), and was effective in facilitating a migration from circuit-switched networks to packet-switched networks. Sharing similar capabilities and similar design philosophies and being produced in the same time period, H.323 and SIP are classified as second generation systems.

Now, more than 11 years since the introduction of second generation systems, ITU-T SG 16 is again looking toward the future of multimedia systems as the ITU-T also undertakes a study to introduce the next generation network (NGN). The NGN holds the promise of revolutionizing communication as we know it and multimedia will be an important part of any new network technology.

Work on the third generation multimedia system will entail the creation of multiple new ITU-T Recommendations that will specify system architecture, system components, and one or more protocols at the service and application layer. The primary objective is to deliver a new advanced multimedia system that operates on NGN, taking advantage of its features, and will also operate on non-NGN packet-switched networks.

This Question will examine technologies such as various IP technologies, wireless technologies, and distributed computing capabilities in order to realize a system that will enable users to communicate using, as examples, voice and audio, video, electronic whiteboard, application sharing, real-time text, and file transfer across one or more communicating devices (e.g. smart phones, TV set-top boxes, game consoles, handheld game/entertainment machines, digital cameras and Internet “appliances”).

Unlike previous generation systems, this new system will enable independent application developers to create system components that are able to seamlessly interface with the system in order to deliver any one or more of the aforementioned modes of communication. There is a strong desire to move away from the “monolithic applications” that were distinctive of second generation systems, to a system that enables components to “plug in” to the system, either locally or remotely using various wired or wireless technologies, to deliver an enhanced user experience. To meet that objective, this Question will study the various interfaces between these components and the technologies that might be used to tie them together.

The study includes among other subjects:

• Downloadable codecs

• System decomposition

• Discovery of services

• Support for transcoding functionality (e.g. text to speech)

• Dynamic device discovery

• Application plug in

• Consideration of various business models

• Integrated QoS, security and mobility functionality

Experts have set deadlines for the Identification of Requirements - Q1/2008, and basic architecture - Q1/2009.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:41:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new Question – ITU-T’s term for work area – on multimedia application platforms and end systems for IPTV will start work pending formal approval at the next meeting of Study Group 16.

Experts say that with the surge of multimedia services such as video streaming and the desire to offer IPTV services, the market is in serious need of standardized interoperable solutions, especially at the multimedia applications layer. Interoperability will provide benefit for all the players in the value-chain, especially at the multimedia applications layer, and encourage growth of this market.

This Question is intended to produce deliverables related to study IPTV platforms, including, but not restricted to middleware, applications, content formats and their uses, which will facilitate effective and interoperable use of the IPTV systems. The Question will be the recipient of a number of documents from the IPTV Focus Group and it will assimilate these into its work program with the intention of generating a number of standards (ITU-T Recommendations).

Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:35:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 04, 2007

Study Group 11 meeting in Geneva, end April has consented three important documents charting protocols for quality of service (QoS) in NGN. The protocols will ensure interoperability between network elements and systems as well as giving service providers the ability to specify rules for specific communication types.

The announcement marks a significant step forward for ITU-T’s NGN work. Protocol development is seen as the final stage of standards development following identification of the requirements, architecture, services etc. The Recommendations are a crucial part of the NGN standards package and a concrete realization of the functional architecture defined in ITU-T Rec. Y.2111 - Resource and admission control functions in Next Generation Networks.

The protocols agreed at the April meeting will guarantee that when a service request is made QoS needs are transmitted, ensuring that each network element provisions the correct level of bandwith and resources to ensure the class of QoS for that particular application. So – for example – more bandwidth can be allocated and guaranteed for IPTV than for voice.

The three ITU-T Recommendations include the specification of the physical entities involved in resource control signalling, the interfaces across which signalling takes place, and the mapping between these entities and interfaces and the corresponding functional entities and reference points in ITU-T Rec. Y.2111. An Appendix provides a further mapping between the interfaces and the protocol specifications which realize those interfaces.

The Recommendations refer to signalling used in different geographical parts of the world: ITU-T Recommendation H.248/Megaco used in for example Japan, COPS used for example in China and Diameter which is used in North America.

Another three protocols in the field of resource control were consented by Study Group 11 earlier in the year.

Friday, May 04, 2007 9:06:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 30, 2007
Meeting of Study Group 16 - Multimedia terminals, systems and applications

Geneva, 26 June – 6 July 2007

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 7/16 for more information.

Study Group 16 Home

Monday, April 30, 2007 1:25:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 18, 2007

ITU-T will hold a Workshop on Multimedia in NGN, Geneva, 10-11 September.

Multimedia applications and services are migrating towards a single converged user-centric communications network. The “internet of things” represents one of the key challenges for NGN standardization.

This migration, or evolution, has been recognized in ITU-T and a number of initiatives have started for the development of global standards in specific areas like IPTV, GRID, networked aspects of identification (including RFID aspects), sensor networks and more.

An aim of the NGN is to provide the necessary service capabilities to support present and future multimedia applications and services.

This workshop will contribute to the NGN vision of supporting future multimedia services and applications, and will facilitate experience and knowledge sharing between the NGN community, multimedia service and application experts. The various sessions will identify future developments at the service and application level and their impact on NGN capabilities.

The workshop will investigate future trends driven by technology and business needs in the area of multimedia services and applications, including those resulting from fixed-mobile-broadcast convergence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 3:58:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Study Group 16 - Multimedia terminals, systems and applications

Working Party 3/16 Meeting

Geneva, 30 March 2007

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 6/16 for more information.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 11:24:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Next meeting of TSAG - Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (including meeting of the Seminar Coordination Committee (SCC))
 
Geneva, 26 February - 1 March 2007

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 4/TSAG for more information.

TSAG Home

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 9:04:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 07, 2006
The November meeting of Study Group 16 saw a significant reshaping of the group’s media coding work according to experts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:40:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 27, 2006

ITU-T Study Group 16 Work on E-health
E-health and Standardization

The evolution of advanced digital telecommunication techniques has enabled the development of multimedia systems to support e-health  applications, in particular in the area of telemedicine.

In order to allow for a wide deployment of e-health applications (with an initial focus on telemedicine applications), in particular in developing countries, it is important to achieve interoperability among systems and to reduce the cost of devices through economies of scale. Consequently, the development of global international standards with the involvement of the major players (such as governments, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, medical institutions and medical doctors) is a key factor to achieve these objectives.

In the Standardization Sector of the ITU (ITU-T), this is handled by Question 28/16 (Multimedia framework for e-health applications), which focuses on standardization of Multimedia Systems to support e-health applications. Question 28 is allocated under ITU-T Study Group 16, which is the Lead Study Group on ubiquitous applications (“e-everything”, such as e-health and e-business). This high-level Question will coordinate the technical standardization of multimedia systems and capabilities for e-health applications in ITU-T and will develop corresponding Recommendations.

Monday, November 27, 2006 9:47:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 14, 2006
 Monday, November 13, 2006

Meeting of Study Group 16 - Multimedia terminals, systems and applications

Geneva, 14-24 November 2006

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 5/16 for more information.

Study Group 16 Home

Monday, November 13, 2006 9:37:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 31, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:03:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 02, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voting results can be seen here.

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:52:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU-T is hosting a workshop and demonstration together with OASIS on Advances in ICT Standards for Public Warning, 19-20 October.

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

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

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:24:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Introduction

Following the first couple of meetings under the auspices of the NGN-GSI and in line with the strategy of reinforcing the NGN work in ITU-T by means of co-location of Rapporteur group meetings, the next NGN-GSI event will take place at the ITU premises, Geneva, from 24 October (PM) – 3 November 2006.

This event will follow the ITU-T/OGF workshop "ITU-T/OGF Workshop on Next Generation Networks and Grids", which will take place at the same location on 23 – 24 (AM) October 2006. Information related to this workshop is contained in TSB Circular 95.

Objectives for this meeting

  • to progress the draft Recommendations that are targeted to be consented in 4Q2006 and early 2007
  • to progress other deliverables, e.g. Supplements

More details

NGN-GSI Home

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:22:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 18, 2006

Introduction

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

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

Grids have been widely used in the scientific community. Increasingly, Grids are being deployed within commercial settings. The Open Grid Forum is actively reaching out to communities such as the Telco community to advance Grid adoption, interoperability and scalability. Different scenarios for Telcos can be envisioned: Telcos may 1) specialize in network SLAs that are optimally suited to Grids; 2) use Grids for their IT internal needs; and/or 3) offer Grids as a managed service to customers.

Objectives

  • The joint ITU-T/OGF workshop will bring together the telecoms industry and the Grid community to:
  • Review the present status of applications, services and business opportunities in Grid networks and NGNs.
  • Discuss future evolution for Grids and NGNs both in terms of business opportunities and related technical requirements.
  • Identify relevant existing international standards as well as gaps in the standardization framework for Grids and NGNs.
  • Understand what additional features required by Grids should be considered in ITU-T’s NGN Release 2.
  • Identify the impact of NGN on Grids.
  • Contribute to the establishment of a roadmap for future standardization activities among major players.
  • Prepare a coordinated action plan on urgent standardization issues between standards developing organizations and fora/consortia working in this area.

More details

ITU-T Workshops and Seminars 

Monday, September 18, 2006 2:15:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 14, 2006

Introduction

ITU-T is hosting a Workshop and Demonstration of Advances in ICT Standards for Public Warning in collaboration with the OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) at the ITU headquarters in Geneva, 19-20 October 2006.

Objectives

The specific objectives for the Workshop and Demonstration are:

  • To review progress concerning public warning since 2003, including the Tampere Convention.
  • To demonstrate the availability and effectiveness of interoperable technologies based on the OASIS Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) content standard which is applicable to all alerts and notifications in disasters and emergency situations.
  • To identify existing standardization gaps, including authorization and authentication of public warnings and the attendant implications for public policy.
  • To prepare an action list for filling gaps and promoting public warning standardization, and identify key players that could collaborate in such work.

More details

ITU-T Workshops and Seminars

 

Thursday, September 14, 2006 8:10:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 13, 2006

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:43:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A new standard from ITU-T will give the ability to multicast in VoIP. The feature could be especially useful in order to provide early warnings in disaster scenarios say experts.

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

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

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

The following files relative to AAP have been updated since 2006-07-31

Group : aap
updated :          2006-07-31 17:16:39      
title :          [041] AAP Announcement No. 41, 01 August 2006 (SG 16)
url :          http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/aap/announce/05-08/041.html
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Tuesday, August 01, 2006 3:16:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, July 16, 2006

The following files relative to AAP have been updated since 2006-07-16

Group : aap
updated :          2006-07-16 16:34:57      
title :          [040] AAP Announcement No. 40, 16 July 2006, (SG 4, 5, 12, 16)
url :          http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/aap/announce/05-08/040.html
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Sunday, July 16, 2006 3:15:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 19, 2006

AAP Announcement UPDATE NOTIFICATION

The following files relative to AAP have been updated since 2006-06-15

Group : aap
updated :          2006-06-15 17:32:22      
title :          [038] AAP Announcement No. 38, 16 June 2006, (SG 4, 12, 15, 16, 17)
url :          http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/aap/announce/05-08/038.html
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Monday, June 19, 2006 9:09:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 05, 2006

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Monday, June 05, 2006 8:03:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 02, 2006

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

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

Grids have been widely used in the scientific community. Increasingly, Grids are being deployed within commercial settings. The Global Grid Forum is actively reaching out to communities such as the Telco community to advance Grid adoption, interoperability and scalability. Different scenarios for Telcos can be envisioned: Telcos may 1) specialize in network SLAs that are optimally suited to Grids; 2) use Grids for their IT internal needs; and/or 3) offer Grids as a managed service to customers.

More information

Friday, June 02, 2006 9:58:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 01, 2006

AAP Announcement UPDATE NOTIFICATION

The following files relative to AAP have been updated since 2006-05-31

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updated :          2006-05-31 17:44:26      
title :          [037] AAP Announcement No. 37, 1 June 2006, (SG 2, 5, 13, 15, 16)
url :          http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/aap/announce/05-08/037.html
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Thursday, June 01, 2006 8:15:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 25, 2006
Study Group 16 has published an ‘Accessibility Checklist’ for the makers of standards to ensure that they are taking into account the needs of those to whom accessibility to ICTs are restricted, the deaf or hard-of-hearing for example. Experts say that such a list will help to ensure that accessibility needs are taken into account at an early stage, rather than ‘retrofitted’. The list will be published on a new webpage acting as a repository for accessibility in standards information.

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

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

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

 

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

Users of telecommunications and information technology have a varied capability of handling information and the controls for its presentation. The source of this variation lies in cultural and educational backgrounds as well as on age-related functional limitations, in disabilities, and in other natural causes. ITU-T SG 16 effort in accessibility standardization promotes the concept of Total Conversation and aims at ensuring that newly developed standards contain the necessary elements to make services and features usable for people with a range of capabilities as broad as possible.

More on Accessibility and Standardization

Thursday, May 25, 2006 3:22:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The following files relative to AAP have been updated since 2006-05-16

Group : aap
updated :          2006-05-16      
title :          [036] AAP Announcement No. 36, 16 May 2006, (SG 15, 16, 17)
url :          http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/aap/announce/05-08/036.html
-------------------------------------------------------------
 
Note : This is an automatic message for ITU-T/TSB Alternative Approval Process

 - For further questions, please contact TSB EDH at tsbedh@itu.int
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 - Comments on Recommendations under AAP should be submitted by filling the appropriate forms in each Study Group AAP web page and sent to the relevant Study Group email address

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 1:46:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 09, 2006

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following files relative to AAP have been updated since 2006-04-28

Group : aap
updated :          2006-04-28 19:05:29      
title :          [035] AAP Announcement No. 35, 1 May 2006, (SG 13, 15, 16)
url :          http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/aap/announce/05-08/035.html
-------------------------------------------------------------
 
Note : This is an automatic message for ITU-T/TSB Alternative Approval Process

 - For further questions, please contact TSB EDH at tsbedh@itu.int
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Monday, May 01, 2006 8:57:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 27, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 7:02:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Joint ITU-T Workshop and IMTC Forum 2006 on "H.323, SIP: is H.325 next?"
San Diego, California, USA, 9-11 May 2006

The rollout of NGN will bring with it in a new era of multimedia communications and with that a need to consider updating or replace the currently used H.323 and SIP multimedia protocols.

The question is whether to pursue development of a new protocol and a new generation of multimedia communication systems, or define new multimedia capabilities and functionality for existing protocols. Perhaps some consideration needs to be given to service control interface specifications. With work already underway in ITU on a new protocol dubbed H.325, the industry must decide whether to invest more time and resource into this pursuit.

More details 

ITU-T Workshops and Seminars

 

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 3:55:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 17, 2006
International standards that enable interoperability and security in the field of home networking are seen as key to bringing value and versatility to consumers, making possible the use of diverse products, services and sources, and therefore accelerating market development. This was the key conclusion of a successful World Standards Cooperation (WSC) workshop bringing together some 100 experts from industry, the academic community and standards developing organizations, in Geneva, Switzerland, on 2 and 3 February 2006.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

· In-home networking;

· How content is managed;

· How equipment is managed;

· Best practices.

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

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

 

Friday, February 17, 2006 5:00:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 06, 2006

Next meeting of Study Group 16 - Multimedia terminals, systems and applications

Geneva, 3-13 April 2006

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 3/16 for more information.

Study Group 16 Home

Monday, February 06, 2006 12:18:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 03, 2006

With the agreement of the TSAG meeting 14-18 March 2005, a Joint Coordination Activity on Home Networking (JCA-HN) was established. Mr. Andrew Nunn (BT, UK) was appointed as the Convenor of this activity.

The scope of the JCA-HN was decided following a meeting held immediately after the ITU-T workshop Opportunities and Challenges in Home Networking, 13 – 14 October 2005, Geneva and discussions at the TSAG meeting 7-11 November 2005. The name “Home Network Initiative” will be used to describe work in this field spanning ITU-T Study Groups.

JCA-HN will:

  • Co-ordinate the Home Network Initiative activity across all the relevant ITU-T Study Groups (e.g. currently ITU-T SGs 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17) and liaise with relevant ITU-R SGs (currently, SGs 1 and 6).
  • Seek cooperation from external bodies working in the field and disseminate information received from these bodies to the relevant ITU-T Study Groups.
  • Identify what should be standardized by ITU-T
  • Prepare a roadmap for this standardization activity

More on JCA-HN

Friday, February 03, 2006 5:42:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 27, 2006

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

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

Friday, January 27, 2006 10:27:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 19, 2006

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

Thursday, January 19, 2006 9:26:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 23, 2005

The ITU’s work on standards for next generation networks (NGNs) promises to have a fundamental impact on tomorrow’s telecom services – by opening hardware and software markets to competition, driving down costs, encouraging innovation, and laying the foundation for the next phase of convergence.

You are invited to find out more about the latest release of the ITU’s NGN standards and their likely impact on the telecom supply chain in a free one-hour-long online seminar, hosted by Light Reading and featuring key players in ITU’s work on NGN on Monday, January 23. 

The event is being held by Light Reading in collaboration with the ITU.  Speakers will be:

  • Keith Dickerson, Representative of the ITU NGN-Global Standards Initiative (GSI)
  • Marco Carugi, Representative of the ITU NGN- GSI
  • Monique Morrow, Representative of the ITU NGN- GSI

The speakers will explain the context of the latest NGN standards and then drill down on some of the key aspects of them, explaining  their importance and likely impact on telecom equipment and service markets.

The Light Reading “SuperWebinar” will comprise a short introduction by Peter Heywood,  Founding Editor of Light Reading, followed by a 45 minute slide presentation given by all three speakers.  There will be a 10-15 minutes Q&A session at the end.

The live event will be staged on Monday, January 23rd at 5:30 PM Central European Time,  4:30 PM London time, 11:30 AM New York time, and 8:30 AM Pacific time. 

To register please click on this link.
Friday, December 23, 2005 4:00:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 22, 2005

An ITU-T workshop - NGN and its Transport Networks - will take place at the International Conference Center Kobe (ICCK), Japan, 20 to 21 April 2006.

NGN Standardization work is now well underway in the ITU-T and other SDOs. Following the success of the NGN Focus Group and the establishment of the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) in ITU-T, this ITU-T workshop will be an opportunity to review the status of the work, identify technology trends, and provide a framework for moving forward standardization work.

This event will provide an overview of the architecture, performance and transport aspects of NGN as well as the market drivers and challenges. Particular emphasis will be given to network technologies, standards that address architecture and the performance aspects of NGN and transport networks aspects to support NGN services. More.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:11:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

NGN Standardization work is now well underway in the ITU-T, ATIS and other SDOs. Following the success of the ITU-T’s Focus Group on NGN (FGNGN), the establishment of the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) in ITU-T and the activities within the ATIS NGN Focus Group and Technical committees, this free workshop will be an opportunity to review the status of the work, identify technology trends, and seek to identify areas where the ITU-T and ATIS together with regional experts can further coordinate their standardization work.

ATIS has kindly negotiated registration rates for workshop participants who are also interested in attending TelecomNEXT. For details please see http://www.techthink.org/registration.html

More.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:10:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With the next phase of ITU-T's work on next generation networks (NGN) underway a new webpage as been unveiled giving access to a variety of NGN resources.

The new page will act as a portal for those people participating in NGN study but also to those new to NGN. Features include a live news feed, a short introduction to NGN, links to official documents, the Release 1 set of NGN specifications, presentations and important dates for your calendar.  

An upcoming feature will be an NGN Roadmap, that will provide an overview of the NGN work going on across the standardization world. Essentially, it will act as a repository of NGN information from ITU and other SDOs. A key feature of the tool will be the ability to track work progress and see the latest versions of documents.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:08:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
NGN-GSI will build on the successful completion by the Focus Group on NGN (FG NGN) of its Release 1 deliverables. NGN-GSI will focus on developing the detailed standards necessary for NGN deployment to give service providers the means to offer the wide range of services expected in NGN. NGN-GSI will harmonize, in collaboration with other bodies, different approaches to NGN architecture worldwide.

More on NGN-GSI

Thursday, December 22, 2005 11:07:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 30, 2005
The latest meeting of TSAG saw the formation of a new correspondence group to examine what role ITU-T should have in conformance and interoperability testing for its standards.

The stamp of approval that shows conformance to a standard could be a potent marketing tool for manufacturers of equipment. 

The convener of the group Arve Meisingset of Telenor R&D in Norway, and Vice Chairman of Study Group 17 said: “There are many possibilities, from maintaining the status quo in which third parties can test for conformance without a complete set of ITU testing standards to the setting-up of actual testing labs based on ITU guidelines and standards. We will look at the pros and cons of all possibilities; examine what is appropriate for ITU to do, and what members want.”

Currently, while there are procedures in some Recommendations, there is no systematic approach to testing implementations of ITU-T Recommendations for conformance or interoperability. And, so initial steps will probably be along the lines of producing guidelines for protocol writers and users of those protocols, and examining how ITU can produce a more complete set of testing standards to help the testing community and product suppliers deliver better standards-based products.

Existing ITU-T applicable specifications include the 7-part X.290-series Recommendations that covers generic aspects of conformance testing. In addition, SG 17 is standardizing a testing methodology and framework for interoperability testing. SG 17 will write the guidelines and generic testing methodology standards while SG 11 will write protocol-specific testing standards. Other study groups have also developed specific methodologies for particular Recommendations. For example, Study Group 16 has developed a conformance testing specification for the video compression codec H.264/AVC. 

Experts agreed that future work will benefit from the more systematic method that could result from this activity.

In conformance testing, the objective is to determine how completely and correctly the requirements of the standard have been met by the implementation. In interoperability testing, the objective is to determine if two or more implementations of the same standard interoperate with each other. In the telecommunication world, it is generally assumed that the implementations have been tested for conformance prior to interoperability testing.

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 5:09:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 01, 2005

AAP Announcement UPDATE NOTIFICATION

The following files relative to AAP have been updated since 2005-10-31

Group : aap
updated :          2005-10-31 19:00:15      
title :          [024] AAP Announcement No. 24, 01 November 2005 (SG 4, 9, 12, 16, 17, 19)
url :          http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/aap/announce/05-08/024.html
-------------------------------------------------------------
 
Note : This is an automatic message for ITU-T/TSB Alternative Approval Process

 - For further questions, please contact TSB EDH at tsbedh@itu.int
 - For documentation, go to http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/aap/index.html
 - Comments on Recommendations under AAP should be submitted by filling the appropriate forms in each Study Group AAP web page and sent to the relevant Study Group email address

More on AAP

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 12:04:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 31, 2005

A workshop on home networking will move standardization work in the area to a crucial new stage according to participants. The event held by ITU in Geneva 13-14 October followed a similar 2004 ITU-T Study Group 9 Tokyo workshop, and closed with agreement on how to move forward in a number of key areas. Meeting concurrently was the Home Networking-Joint Coordination Activity (HN-JCA), a group of ITU-T experts aiming to coordinate standardization effort on home networking across ITU-T Study Groups.

Home networking is the linking of all types of electronic devices for applications such as entertainment, telecommunication, home automation systems and telemetry (remote control and monitoring systems), see below for the official ITU definition. It has become an increasingly important topic for standardizers, partly because of the disparate nature of the items to be networked and partly because of market pressure. US organization CTAM (Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing), estimates that 40 percent of broadband customers want to share audio over the home network and 36 percent want to share video.

One of the key conclusions of the workshop is that there needs to be better collaboration between the various groups involved in the work. Ralph W. Brown, Chief Technology Officer, CableLabs and presenter at the event: “Through better coordination and closer working relationship, we can avoid the proliferation of incompatible standards.” It is critical for ITU to facilitate working relationships and open the door to referencing the specifications of other organizations from international standards it was agreed. To this end, Reinhard Scholl, Deputy to the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau gave a presentation highlighting the various ways that ITU can accommodate the work of other bodies. Participants welcomed the degree of flexibility offered by ITU.

One option outlined by Scholl and discussed as a possible next step is the formation of an ITU-T Focus Group to work on some of the technical issues. The Focus Group concept allows urgent standardization needs that are not addressed within existing ITU‑T structure to be addressed quickly and with the minimum of red-tape. Currently a group, the Home Networking-Joint Coordination Activity (HN-JCA), exists to harmonize work going on across ITU-T Study Groups but its mandate does not extend to technical work. More

.

 

Monday, October 31, 2005 9:48:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 21, 2005

Apple's new video iPod launched in the first half of October uses the ITU-T H.264 video codec.

Apple’s support for the standard goes back some years. As early as 2002, Tim Schaaff, vice president of the interactive-media group at Apple Computer Inc., speaking at industry event IBC, said H.264 is "no doubt the best codec there is, offering a great coding efficiency."

The video compression standard (full name H.264 or MPEG-4 pt.10/ AVC) jointly developed by ITU-T and the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is now being deployed in products from companies including Apple, Sony, BT, France Telecom, Intel, Motorola, Nokia, Polycom, Samsung, Tandberg and Toshiba.

H.264/AVC is the first truly scalable video codec, delivering excellent quality across the entire bandwidth spectrum - from high definition television to videoconferencing and 3G mobile multimedia. The dramatically increased compression performance of H.264 will enable existing applications like videoconferencing, streaming video over the Internet, and digital television on satellite and cable to offer better quality video at lower cost. It will also allow new video applications such as high-definition TV (HDTV) broadcasts, high-definition films on DVD, video on mobile phones, and videoconferencing over low bandwidth connections that were previously impractical because of economics or technology.

 

 

Friday, October 21, 2005 3:43:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 17, 2005

AAP Announcement UPDATE NOTIFICATION

The following files relative to AAP have been updated since 2005-10-14

Group : aap
updated :          2005-10-14 18:31:06      
title :          [023] AAP Announcement No. 23, 16 October 2005 (SG 4, 13, 16)
url :          http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/aap/announce/05-08/023.html
-------------------------------------------------------------
 
Note : This is an automatic message for ITU-T/TSB Alternative Approval Process

 - For further questions, please contact TSB EDH at tsbedh@itu.int
 - For documentation, go to http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/aap/index.html
 - Comments on Recommendations under AAP should be submitted by filling the appropriate forms in each Study Group AAP web page and sent to the relevant Study Group email address

More on AAP

Monday, October 17, 2005 8:23:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 03, 2005

AAP Announcement UPDATE NOTIFICATION

The following files relative to AAP have been updated since 2005-09-30

Group : aap
updated :          2005-09-30 16:36:31      
title :          [022] AAP Announcement No. 22, 1 October 2005 (SG 15, 16, 19)
url :          http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/aap/announce/05-08/022.html
-------------------------------------------------------------
 
Note : This is an automatic message for ITU-T/TSB Alternative Approval Process

 - For further questions, please contact TSB EDH at tsbedh@itu.int
 - For documentation, go to http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/aap/index.html 
 - Comments on Recommendations under AAP should be submitted by filling the appropriate forms in each Study Group AAP web page and sent to the relevant Study Group email address

More on AAP

Monday, October 03, 2005 10:27:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Recommendation H.460.20 consented at the last Study Group 16 meeting solves the problem of how to provide location information in calls generated to/from H.323 systems. The Recommendation allows these systems – such as VoIP or videoconferencing – to convey information that could be a URL, an e-Mail, a postal code, or a mobile telephone number. This is much more than can be achieved with a traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) call.

Currently calls generated or terminated in H.323 systems do not carry - end-to-end – details of where that call is coming from. This information is needed by the public switched telephone network (PSTN) for emergency services, more accurate billing and for routing the call. Additionally it is useful, for instance, in applications such as telemarketing where calls can be routed according to their origin. 

Technically H.460.20 gives H.323 the ability to convey the location number present in ISUP – the system that determines the set-up, co-ordination and taking down of calls. Without this ability location information is lost at the interworking edge between the IP network and the PSTN. An additional benefit is that it simplifies interworking with the session initiation protocol (SIP).

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 8:36:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T has agreed to a revision of a Recommendation that experts say is an important step towards solving the problem of lengthy call setups in 3G video telephony. Seen as a key issue to address, the resolution of this issue may help accelerate the market for 3G. 

According to SG 16 sources the standard has been successfully tested in products and many mobile operators and handset manufacturers have started implementation.

The revised ITU-T Recommendation H.324 speeds the initiation of 3G video sessions through the streamlining of the call set-up signalling that is necessary to establish the connection between two handsets and between a handset and a media server.

Previously setting up a typical video session required each end to send up to ten messages to the other terminal, each time waiting for a message to be received and acknowledged before sending the next one. And, if a message was not received, the sending device had to wait and finally time out before retransmitting. The delay introduced in this process led to long video call set-up times.

The new method eliminates the message queuing and time out issues. Now, all signalling is sent as a single batch to be processed by the receiving device. Missed messages, due for example to network errors, are immediately detected by the receiving device and retransmission requests are spontaneously generated. This leads to much quicker call setup times, bringing video connectivity close to the same level of service as traditional telephony.

Key for many operators is that implementation will not require manufacturers to recall phones, also meaning that services may work on existing devices. Other advantages of the new approach include the fact that it is protocol and network independent, enabling connectivity with any other device, even if it is IP-based (e.g. IP video streaming server or a PC-based video terminal) and meaning that it does not interact with underlying network protocols or codecs, enabling devices using the standard to operate even when roaming in other mobile networks.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 8:35:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A suite of ten new standards that provide security for IP media communications such as VoIP or videoconferencing got an update at the last meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 16

The security framework outlined in the H.235 series of ITU-T Recommendations provides the protocols necessary for these media to be authorised and routed. Equipment using these standards can deliver connectivity without compromising security. 

With the help of the Recommendations, users communicating through IP media are authenticated and authorized so that their communications are protected against various security threats. Real-time multimedia encryption adds a further layer of security, protecting against call interception. The security countermeasures are designed to thwart service fraud, avoid service misuse and detect malicious message tampering. H.235 also gives the ability to provide a greater level of security using public key infrastructure (PKI) certificates. 

Additionally, two new security profiles were added to provide [H.235.8] key exchange using the secure real-time transport protocol (SRTP) in H.323 networks and [H.235.9] to allow discovery of security gateways in the signalling path between communicating H.323 entities, in order to preserve signalling integrity and privacy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 8:33:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Standards that may accelerate the adoption of VoIP in corporate environments and resolve an issue that has slowed down the adoption of videoconferencing have been completed by ITU-T.

The standards from ITU-T’s multimedia Study Group (Study Group 16) provide a robust and easy to implement solution that will allow any H.323 based system communicating on an IP network to more easily communicate across the boundary imposed by NAT or firewalls (FW).

Videoconferencing and VoIP have long been plagued with problems when trying to work across network address translation (NAT) and firewall boundaries. Despite previous attempts to address the issue, no standardized way of dealing with the problem has emerged until now. 

Without the ITU solution many network managers and operators have found that the only way to allow inbound VoIP calls in a firewall-protected environment is to leave a permanent hole from the outside world, open a range of port numbers for VoIP use, or locate devices outside of the firewall. Clearly, these solutions violate even the most basic security policies. 

Recommendation H.460.18 enables H.323 devices to exchange signalling and establish calls, even when they are placed inside a private network behind NAT/FW devices. These extensions, when used together with Recommendation H.460.19, which defines NAT/FW traversal for media, enable upgraded H.323 endpoints to traverse NAT/FW installations with no additional equipment on the customer premises. Alternatively, the H.460.18 and H.460.19 functionality may be implemented in a proxy server, so that unmodified H.323 endpoints can also benefit from it.

Work on the related Recommendation H.248.37 was also finished at the Study Group meeting. Session border controllers (SBCs) are becoming an important part of the Internet infrastructure, and some SBCs are being split into media gateway controller (MGC) and media gateway (MG) components. One important function of a SBC is to perform network address and port translation (NAPT). H.248.37 allows the MGC to instruct a MG to latch to an address provided by an incoming Internet Protocol (IP) application data stream, rather than the address provided by the call/bearer control. This enables the MG to open a pinhole for data flow, and hence allow connections to be established. 

As well as these ITU-T Recommendations, Study Group 16 will shortly publish two technical papers on the topic: The Requirements for Network Address Translator and Firewall Traversal of H.323 Multimedia Systems and Firewall and NAT traversal Problems in H.323 Systems.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 8:31:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 22, 2005

In conjunction with ISO/IEC’s Joint Picture Experts Group (JPEG), ITU-T’s Study Group 16 hosted a workshop on Video and Image Coding and Applications (VICA) at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 22 to 23 July. 

Key experts joined users to review the development, assessment and application of video and image coding and to discuss and start work on an action plan and a roadmap for VICA standardization.

Introducing the workshop, Houlin Zhao, director of TSB, emphasized the importance of video and image compression not only from a telecommunication perspective, but also for consumers. He highlighted ITU-T’s extensive and constructive partnerships with both MPEG, and ISO/IEC’s Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), which have achieved practical and innovative results. He also highlighted the importance of the work from universities in the field.

The workshop introduced topics including the history and challenges of video and image compression up to the development of ITU-T Recommendation H.264, and of the JPEG-2000 family of standards. It looked at how these standards will be applied to current and future technologies surrounding television, computers, videoconferencing, home networking and mobile phones, and how VICA standards are affected by the evolution of multimedia services and applications.

Presentations also stimulated discussion on how standards work in the field, including how next generation networks (NGN) can support the development of so-called ubiquitous networks – any device, anytime, anywhere. Current work on home network environments was also taken into account.

Following the event, Study Group 16 met from 26 July to 5 August and further discussed the results of the workshop in order to continue to develop standards that will improve the quality of service and ubiquity of telecommunication technologies and facilitate the global dissemination of multimedia content.

Monday, August 22, 2005 8:07:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T hosted the 36th JPEG Meeting, Geneva July 18-22. The Joint Picture Experts Group (JPEG), formed many years ago by both ITU-T Study Group 16 and ISO/IEC JTC1 SG 29, is best known for its JPEG and JPEG-2000 image compression standards. 

In ITU-T, Study Group 16 is home to all media coding work, such as the H-Series of Recommendations, and includes work done together with ISO/IEC's JPEG, and JPEG-2000 groups in image compression, as well as work done with MPEG in developing video compression standards such as H.264. ISO/IEC JTC1 SG 29 is the focal point in ISO/IEC JTC1 for image, video and audio compression standards.

The meeting surveyed the progress of technologies broached in the previous JPEG meeting, held in Lisbon in March 2005, including image security in JPEG-2000 which is being addressed by JPEG’s JPSEC ad hoc group. The group is developing a standard that will enable protected images to retain JPEG-2000 system features, such as scalability. This new feature within JPEG images will allow international distribution of digital images containing encrypted content, while still retaining the ability to adaptively deliver content for a wide variety of devices with varying display capabilities.

The meeting also followed up on JPEG’s Digital Cinema ad hoc group and its advances in developing profiles for JPEG-2000 digital cinema applications. The Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) organization has adopted JPEG-2000 for future distribution of digital movies to theatres. JPEG is working closely with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) to standardize aspects of this future architecture. 

The Video and Image Coding and Applications (VICA) workshop, 22-23 July 2005, which followed the ITU-T-hosted JPEG meeting, aimed to build upon the presence of JPEG and ITU-T SG 16 experts (who met July 26 - August 5 this year). The workshop reviewed existing video and image compression standards, their current applications, and future directions in the field. See related news for more details on the workshop. 

Monday, August 22, 2005 8:05:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Focus Group on next-generation networks (FGNGN) has recently completed a technical report that will hand back some elements of network management to the customer.

The document is an approved deliverable of the group that will be submitted to FGNGN’s parent within ITU-T, Study Group 13, for further consideration as a candidate ITU-T product (e.g. Recommendation, supplement, handbook, etc.). It outlines a framework for customer manageable IP networks (CMIP).

CMIP will give end users the ability to manage network elements and resources, such as bandwidth and storage.

Using a menu driven system CMIP will allow end-users to split bandwidth, dedicating, for instance, 1 Mbps to file sharing, .5 Mbps to instant messaging and e-mail, and .5 Mbps to web browsing.

Service providers will benefit by being able to offer this ability as value-add to their Internet service offerings, and will also be able to better provision network resources for services, such as web browsing, VoIP, and peer to peer (P2P), given the increased knowledge of exactly how users are using their bandwidth.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 10:05:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 21, 2005

Workshop on Video and Image Coding and Applications (VICA)
Geneva, 22 - 23 July 2005

In between the meetings of two lead technical groups working on image and video compression, ISO/IEC's JPEG and ITU-T's Study Group 16, ITU will host a workshop on Video and Image Coding and Applications (VICA) at the ITU headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, 22 to 23 July 2005. Key experts will join users to review the development, assessment and application of video and image coding and to discuss and start work on an action plan and a roadmap for VICA standardization.

Advance Programme

Thursday, July 21, 2005 1:52:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 17, 2005

Next meeting of Study Group 16 - Multimedia terminals, systems and applications

Geneva, 26 July - 5 August 2005

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 2/16 for more information.

Study Group 16 Home

Friday, June 17, 2005 3:51:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 06, 2005
ITU-T's Study Group 16 has made a public call for proposals on requirements for the multimedia applications that will run over next generation networks (NGN). The advent of the NGN creates an opportunity for a new - third - generation of multimedia telecommunication systems offering more integrated features, greater extensibility, and more flexible growth paths for the future.

Multimedia systems are expected to form the bulk of NGN services and so early attempts at defining them are crucial. SG16 will combine the results of the call with its experience gained in defining standards for the so-called first and second generation multimedia terminals and systems.

Once it has established what sort of services people think will emerge, SG16 can start the work on the standards to support them. The group's management team said that it is keen to get contributors to think 'out-of-the-box' beyond the usual and the obvious.

The Call for Proposals on Requirements for the third generation of ITU-T Multimedia Systems and Terminals can be found here.

Monday, June 06, 2005 8:59:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2005

In between the meetings of two lead technical groups working on image and video compression, ISO/IEC's JPEG and ITU-T's Study Group 16, ITU will host a workshop on Video and Image Coding and Applications (VICA) at ITU headquarters, Geneva, 22 to 23 July. 
Key experts will join users to review the development, assessment and application of video and image coding and to discuss and start work on an action plan and a roadmap for VICA standardization.

Presentations will instigate discussion on how standards work in the field, including how next generation networks (NGN) can support the development of so-called ubiquitous services - any device, anytime, anywhere. Current work on home network environments will also be taken into account.

Also at the event there will be an interoperability demonstration showing various products using related standards.

All interested parties are free to attend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 11:03:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 13, 2005

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), ITU-T will lend its support to a session on the advances and applications in H.264/AVC Video Coding. The session will take place during the SPIE meeting in San Diego, USA, (31 July - 4 August 2005).

H.264/AVC is the leading video codec developed jointly by the Joint Video Team of ITU-T Q.6/SG16 VCEG and ISO/IEC MPEG. It incorporates a dramatically increased compression performance that will enable existing applications like videoconferencing, streaming video over the Internet, and digital television on satellite and cable to offer better quality video at lower cost. It will also allow new video applications such as High-Definition TV on DVD, video on mobile phones, and videoconferencing over low bandwidth connections.

Friday, May 13, 2005 3:57:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2005

A new ITU-T Recommendation from Study Group 16 aims to support the continued use of modems in IP networks by providing interoperability between products that emulate modem signals. A number of products had emerged to provide this functionality, but no standard solution - until now.

Modem signals have traditionally been transported by circuit switched systems and equipment. As service providers increasingly look towards Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure, more modem signals will be carried over the protocol. The problem is that the basic design constraints of IP networks do not allow for transparent transport of modem signals (voice-band data (VBD)), hence necessitating special protocols to be run on top of IP to ensure the necessary end-to-end high quality of service.

Many thousands of people still use dial-up (modems) to access the Internet, and so the continued support of modems as many telecommunication service providers move to packet based networks is seen as imperative. Without standards that support their continued use, modem users would suffer from a significantly downgraded experience.

V.152 defines procedures for equipment that interconnect traditional circuit-switched networks with IP networks to provide satisfactory, transparent delivery of modulated VBD as encoded audio content over IP (data modems, facsimile terminals and text telephones). The Recommendation complements the functionality in the modem relay Recommendation V.150.1 (see press release).

Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:01:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |