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 Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013 7:29:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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 13, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013 9:40:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 11, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:25:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 23, 2012

The latest ITU-T Technology Watch report discusses the privacy concerns associated with cloud computing, the role privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) could play in alleviating them and the standardization activities currently engaged with the topic.
 
Cloud computing represents a major change in the way information is managed, especially as it relates to personal data. Cloud is expected to positively impact users’ IT budgets and costs of ownership, but could also threaten the relevance of traditional security, trust and privacy mechanisms.
 
The rollout of cloud services has introduced a number of questions related to information privacy and security:

  • Who are the stakeholders in the cloud computing market?
  • What are their roles and responsibilities?
  • Where is the data stored?
  • How is the data replicated?
  • Which legal frameworks are applied to data processing in a cloud environment?
  • How will service providers meet expected levels of security and privacy?

The adoption of privacy-enhancing technologies will depend on the existence of uniform ways to handle personal data, which must be agreed at the international level. Developing technical standards in this regard is a means to achieve international consensus on such issues, and compliance with these standards will aid in demonstrating countries’ and businesses’ adherence to the associated legal and regulatory frameworks.
 
Authored by Stéphane Guilloteau, France Télécom Orange, France and Venkatesen Mauree of ITU, the report, as well as additional information on cloud-computing privacy, is available at http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/techwatch/Pages/cloud-computing-privacy.aspx.
 
Experts from industry, academia and research communities are invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts for future reports in the Technology Watch series. For more details, please contact the Technology Watch team at tsbtechwatch@itu.int.


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Monday, April 23, 2012 9:31:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, April 21, 2012

The first meeting of ITU-T’s new Focus Group on M2M service layer (FG M2M), 17-18 April, attracted a large number of experts from the healthcare and ICT fields to discuss the M2M standardization requirements of vertical healthcare markets.
 
The open meeting was well-attended in Geneva and via remote participation, receiving 57 delegates from 17 countries; representing members and non-members of ITU, and composed of four government representatives, twenty-six from the private sector and nine from academic and research institutions. Among the delegates were seven representatives of healthcare organizations including World Health Organization (WHO) and Continua Health Alliance.
 
The Focus Group’s structure and working methods were central topics in this foundational meeting, as was its work plan laying out the group’s objectives and deliverables. The FG will focus on M2M in the healthcare context and was divided into three Working Groups; the first looking at M2M use cases and service models, and the second at determining the requirements and architectural framework of the M2M service layer. The third deals with M2M Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and protocols and will begin its work when sufficient progress has been made by the first two Working Groups.
 
Also of note was the appointment of the group’s Chairman and Vice-Chairmen:
 
Chairman:
Heyuan Xu, CATR (China)
 
Vice-Chairmen:
Marc Berrebi, eDevice (France)
Marco Carugi, ZTE (China)
Robert Istepanian, Kingston University (UK)
Hyoung Jun Kim, ETRI (Korea)
Monique Morrow, Cisco Systems (USA)
 
The next meeting of FG M2M will take place in Beijing, 26-28 June 2012, hosted by CCSA/CATR. The deadline for contributions to this meeting is 18 June. Provisional dates for the third meeting in Geneva are 29-31 August, and the fourth will take place in November, in the USA (TBC).
 
To follow the activities of FG M2M, see the group’s webpage here.


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Saturday, April 21, 2012 11:00:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 01, 2011

Geneva, 30 November 2011 – The arresting digital displays of Times Square, Piccadilly Circus and Shibuya are just a foretaste of a brave new world of cityscapes illuminated by interactive, dynamic and highly targeted signage, according to a new ITU-T Technology Watch Report, Digital signage: the right information in all the right places.

Advances in display technologies, declining manufacturing costs and a retail boom in emerging economies are all contributing to the rapid spread of large-scale high-definition display networks. But the proprietary nature of current digital signage solutions is restricting the integration of applications across different networks and vendors. Interoperable global standards will be crucial to the future development of this emerging market, unlocking enormous value not just for display system developers, retailers and newscasters, but for governments and the community at large.

Tomorrow’s dynamic signage can play a crucial civic role in areas like traffic management, public transport systems, safe crowd management at large events, control of people flows in public areas and private venues, and emergency response systems. But to do that effectively, standardized platforms will be crucial.

Full press release

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Thursday, December 01, 2011 10:43:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 07, 2011

The latest report from the ITU-T Technology Watch series surveys some of the hottest developments in the world of video games, describes the most common gaming platforms and terminals, highlights new technologies enabling a better gaming experience, and identifies future standardization activities.

Over the past 30 years, video games have become an important part of contemporary global entertainment and media. Games and gaming have evolved from dedicated, single-game units to massively multiplayer online role-player games with millions of players. Today they are a huge media business worth billions of dollars, and its bestsellers continuously beat blockbuster movies in sales revenue.

The ever increasing expansion of the Internet has significantly contributed to the growth of gaming on dedicated video game consoles and PCs. The possibility to compete with other players around the world is taken for granted by most players. Mobile broadband and the growing penetration of smartphones brings further movement into the gaming ecosystem. Independent developers and small start-up companies are able to compete in the market and deliver their games to huge audiences. The latest step is the rise of social network games on platforms with hundreds of millions of users. These transformations have not only changed the way games look today, they have also influenced the audience and the business models of the gaming industry.

Consumers are beginning to struggle with the ever-increasing number of set top-boxes, satellite receivers and gaming consoles. It is a logical and certainly desirable goal to integrate these closely related technologies on to a multipurpose , standards-based multimedia platform. Incorporating a variety of audiovisual technologies into a single 3D TV device is understandably a task demanding a great degree of standardization work. ITU will bring together service and content providers, including games developers, to attempt to standardize communication protocols, toolboxes, middleware and security frameworks.

The report and additional sources of information are available at http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/techwatch/Pages/video-games-standards.aspx.

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

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Friday, October 07, 2011 3:01:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 20, 2011
A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report provides an overview of emerging trends in optical networking and progression towards the all optical computer. The report also surveys current and forthcoming standardization work in the field of optical technologies.

Today, the most widely used optical technology is optical fibre for high-speed interconnections, such as in server racks, connecting offices, buildings, metropolitan networks, in computers for data transfer and even continents via submarine cables. However, none of these devices is fully optical; all rely to some extent on conventional electronic circuits and components.

In the past, high costs have prevented optical components from finding their way into computers. But as optical technology matures, prices drop and the limits of miniaturization appear to have been reached, optical alternatives are finding their place in computer systems. The use of all types of optical technologies in communication networks and computers, because they consume less power, is seen as a major saving on operational costs for service providers, while at the same time helping to reduce the carbon footprint. The gradual incorporation of optical technology into the world of traditional electronics is paving the way for the era of the optical world.

Without optical technologies and optical networking related standards, the Internet as we know it today would not be feasible. Optical technologies have been the driving force behind the bandwidth growth of the Internet and enabled the emergence of bandwidth hungry applications for video and new business models such as YouTube which allows users to share video clips. According to the annual Cisco Visual Networking Index, the estimated global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic was 176 exabytes (x1018) in 2009 and  is projected to increase more than fourfold to reach 767 exabytes by 2014. This growth will be driven mainly by video, due to improvements in bandwidth capacity and the increasing popularity of high-definition and 3D television.

ITU-T standards in optical transport networks (OTN)  have played a leading role in transforming the Internet’s bandwidth capabilities. This work is led by ITU-T Study Group 15, which has developed a set of Recommendations that defines the existing OTN framework, and is currently developing future technologies such as gigabit-capable and 10-gigabit-capable passive optical networks (GPON and XGPON) to satisfy the unprecedented bandwidth requirements that will soon be demanded by service providers and consumers.

Major breakthroughs are expected in the areas of optical networking, silicon photonics, nanotechnologies and non-linear optics which could lead to major changes in the way computers, networks and data centres are designed.

A dedicated website provides additional sources of information and an overview of ITU-T Study Groups with work items related to optical technologies.

Download Report                   Go to Optical World Website

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Monday, June 20, 2011 8:44:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 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)  #     | 
 Sunday, November 28, 2010
A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report highlights how submarine cables can be used as a real-time global network to monitor climate change and to provide tsunami warnings.

Future generations of cables and associated components could have the capacity to directly measure climate variables, such as water temperature, salinity and pressure on the ocean floor. All this could be achieved over long periods of time at low cost.

Despite a wide range of tools to monitor oceans, oceanographers cannot measure water variables at the sea floor. Using Submarine Communications Networks to Monitor the Climate highlights how new and old submarine telecommunication cables could fill this gap.

The report, by Yuzhu You of the Institute of Marine Science, University of Sydney, Australia invites ITU experts to study the topic further, particularly with a view to identifying areas for standardization.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010 4:18:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 11, 2010
A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report provides an overview of the innovative role that information and communication technologies (ICT) play in smart water management. The report also surveys current and forthcoming standardisation work in the field of smart water management.

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

Technologies such as semantic sensor web, remote sensing with satellite and geographical information systems can be used innovatively by water authorities to obtain information in real time about water use, to track and forecast the level of rivers and to identify new sources of fresh water. With the impact of climate change, sole reliance on historical hydrologic weather patterns is no longer a viable forecast for water authorities. The availability of information about current conditions in a particular situation on a timely basis is crucial for decision making in water resource management. For instance, flood water management is a dynamic process, changing daily, weekly or monthly, depending on weather conditions and how ecosystems respond to climate variability.
 
ICT provides a unique opportunity for water stakeholders to obtain information in near real time about a number of physical and environmental variables such as temperature, soil moisture levels, rainfall, and others through web enabled sensors and communication networks, and can thus have accurate information about the situation at hand (without physically being there) for their forecasts and decisions. Smart metering technologies can also provide individuals, businesses and water companies with near real-time information about their own water use, thus raising awareness about usage, locating leakages and having better control over water demand.

The Report can be downloaded from a dedicated website which provides additional sources of information and an overview of ITU-T Study Groups with standardisation work related to water.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010 10:30:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 01, 2010
A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report provides an overview of technology-caused driver distraction and surveys standards, guidelines and initiatives aiming at making the use of in-vehicle information and communication systems less distracting.

Texting, making calls, and other interaction with in-vehicle information and communication systems while driving is a serious source of driver distraction and increases the risk of traffic accidents. Technology-caused driver distraction is a global problem and has its stake in the more than 1.2 million people dying in road crashes each year. These numbers are more than reason enough for the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration to launch a Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) to halt or reverse the increasing trend in road traffic deaths and injuries around the world.

In April 2010, ITU Council adopted a Resolution on “ITU’s role in ICTs and improving Road Safety,” instructing the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) to bring this matter to the attention of the relevant groups in ITU-T, such as Study Group 12 and the Focus Group on Car Communication. The annual Fully Networked Car workshop, jointly organized by ISO, IEC and ITU at the Geneva International Motor Show, will also contribute to raising awareness on this important issue.

Dialing a hand-held device increases a driver’s chance of being involved in a vehicle crash by three times and talking while driving increases the crash risk by 1.3 times. When composing or reading text messages (SMS) drivers spend up to 400 per cent more time with their eyes off the road than they do when not texting. Mobile broadband enables drivers and passengers to benefit from innovative applications and location-based services, but used at the wheel, smartphones contribute to inattention.

By implementing standardized human-machine interfaces in their devices and applications, manufacturers can make their use less distracting. Advanced speech recognition and text-to-speech features, and ensured Quality of Service of in-vehicle hands-free systems may minimize driver distraction. Future safety technologies may temporarily or permanently disable certain features of information and communication technologies used by the driver, based on constantly updated status information provided by sensors inside and outside the vehicle.

These and other approaches to reduce technology-based driver distraction and to increase road safety are discussed in a number of standardization bodies, including ITU-T and ISO. The Technology Watch Report highlights their work and points out options for ITU’s role in ICT and road safety.

A dedicated website provides additional sources of information and an overview of ITU-T Study Groups with work items related to driver distraction.
Download Report                   Go to Driver Distraction Website

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:23:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The latest publication by ITU-T’s Technology Watch looks into the major technological challenge of powering increasingly complex portable ICT devices.

Advances in processing power and new-generation communications links have increased mobility and driven the demand for mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets. Battery packs are a crucial ingredient of new technologies, not only in the ICT sector, but, also in other industries such as automobile. One report suggests that the $71 billion-a-year world-wide battery market – rechargeables accounting for two-thirds – could grow by 4.8 percent annually through 2012.

From a standardization perspective the report notes that to date, no common methodology or standardized procedure is available to provide exact and comparable information on battery runtime of ICT devices.

Batteries for portable ICT devices summarizes the trends and developments in battery technologies for mobile ICT devices. Today’s research on mobile power supplies mainly focuses on (a) incremental advances to current power solutions (e.g., Li-ion), (b) application of known alternative power supplies (e.g., photovoltaics, fuel cells) to mobile devices, and (c) the development of new battery concepts including nanotechnology. Advances in power supplies for mobile phones and other ICT devices are also important in bridging the digital divide and to address environmental issues.

Batteries for portable ICT devices is the second publication in a series of TechWatch Alerts (the first Alert addressed the topic Mobile Applications). Alerts are intended to provide a brief but concise overview of emerging technologies and trends in the field of ICTs.

ITU-T’s Technology Watch invites any interested party to submit comments and feedback, as well as papers of a non-commercial nature (max. three pages). Please contact tsbtechwatch@itu.int.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010 4:40:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 07, 2009

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

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

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

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

"Biometrics and Standards" can be downloaded here.

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

Monday, December 07, 2009 3:44:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 09, 2009
High-level meeting underlines importance of unified international approach to technology development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An official communiqué from the event can be found here.

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Friday, October 09, 2009 3:14:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 31, 2009
A new ITU report, the eleventh in a series of ITU-T Technology Watch Reports, presents examples of the ways in which information and communication technologies (ICT) can and are being employed to improve food security.

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

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

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

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

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Friday, July 31, 2009 3:31:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The latest publication by ITU-T’s Technology Watch looks into the quickly growing field of mobile applications. Mobile applications (apps) are add-on software for handheld devices, such as smartphones and personal digital assistants (PDA).

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

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

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

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

Download TechWatch Alert on Mobile Applications

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 8:33:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 28, 2009

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

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

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

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

The background paper can be downloaded here.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009 3:34:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 15, 2009

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

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

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

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

According to the MIC, the Kasumigaseki Cloud will eliminate the need for individual ministries to maintain their own IT systems by consolidating current data centres, and allow each ministries to use only the computer resources necessary through the cloud platform.
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Friday, May 15, 2009 8:09:44 AM (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.

Continue reading

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Friday, May 01, 2009 8:59:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 24, 2009

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

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

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

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

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Friday, April 24, 2009 11:11:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 19, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, March 19, 2009 9:34:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 03, 2009
A new ITU group has been set up to collect and identify visions of future networks, based on new technologies.

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009 10:05:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A new Technology Watch report focuses on Standardization Activities for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).

ITS are used to improve traffic flow, to increase the efficiency of freight and public transportation, and to reduce fuel consumption. Given the increasing number of road fatalities – it is estimated that some 1.2 million people die on the world’s roads each year, while as many as 50 million are injured – ITS could also become a tool to improve road safety, for instance through emergency vehicle notification systems, collision avoidance systems, driver assistance systems, and also through automatic road law enforcement.

While users will profit from new or improved services, a growing demand for ITS will create new opportunities for service providers (telematics, information, entertainment, etc.) and ITS equipment manufacturers.

The report identifies the main features of ITS including five modules: data gathering, data processing, information transfer and output, ITS communication, ITS control and management.

ITS are subject to standardization work in different standards bodies, including ITU, regional ITS societies and consortia. Standardization Activities for Intelligent Transport Systems analyzes these activities, and identifies possible future ITS related work in ITU.

Download Report

Technology Watch website

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 12:55:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The seventh in a series of ITU-T Technology Watch Briefing Reports covers next generation networks (NGN) and energy efficiency.

The report examines the relationship between climate change and NGN by analyzing energy efficiency and applications.

NGNs are seen by many as the new network architecture that will unify today’s fixed, mobile and broadcast networks. This innovative technology is expected to bring about greater energy efficiency than legacy networks by, for example, reducing the number of switching centres and increased temperature tolerance within those centres. NGNs are expected by some commentators to reduce energy consumption by 40 per cent compared to today’s public switched telephone network (PSTN).

This report presents an overview of the main characteristics of NGN and looks at how NGN can minimize the power consumption of the network, transmission and end-user equipment and in data centres. It examines the energy savings that can be indirectly obtained from greater NGN usage, such as remote collaboration and ITU-T standardization work on NGN and climate change.

Download the report here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 9:43:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, June 21, 2008

The second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change closed June 18 with a call for ITU to increase its activities in three areas: reducing energy consumption of ICT equipment; promoting efficiencies to be gained through the use of ICTs in other sectors; encouraging behaviour change – both in business and consumers.

"We are here because we are seeking to find the best ways to make ICTs a critical element in addressing climate change, and to identify the work that must be carried out in standards development, environmental monitoring, climate change mitigation and adaptation," said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau.

In a message to the symposium, UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon commended ITU for working with partners inside and outside the UN family to give high priority to actions in this field. "The information and communication technology sector has much to offer in creating a cleaner, greener world," he said.

Since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, in December 1997, the number of ICT users has tripled worldwide. The ICT Sector produces between two to three per cent of the total emissions of greenhouse gases, but if applied to reducing emissions in other industry sectors such as energy, transportation and buildings, could reduce global emissions by between 15 to 40 per cent depending on the methodology used to make these estimates.

The first ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, held in Kyoto April 15-16, and co-organised by MIC Japan, drew attention to the wide variation in estimates on the impact of the fast paced ICT evolution on the global climate and recommended that ITU standardise methodologies for estimating the impact of ICTs on climate change both directly and indirectly. This was confirmed in London.

The chairmen’s reports of the two symposia will now be forwarded to the G8 Summit, to be held at Lake Toya, Hokkaido Prefecture in July 2008, and to other relevant meetings.

“We must remind ourselves that this is only a first step on the long road to finding and implementing global solutions to the challenge of climate change through the use of ICTs. What is important is not so much what we say this week, but how we act and follow up on the momentum we have created” said Johnson.

Speaker Luis Neves, chairman of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), a group comprised of key technology companies and organizations (including ITU) said that communications technology is a part of the climate change solution. A GeSI study on facilitating the low carbon economy in the information age has been published.

The London symposium was chaired by Mr. Tom Walker, Director, Europe and international Business Relations, Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), UK.

During the opening session BT chairman Sir Michael Rake accepted a Queen's Award for Enterprise - recognizing the company’s efforts in the field of sustainable development. The award - also received by BT in 2003 and which runs for five years - was presented by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman David Lewis on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.

The ITU is expected to conduct most of its work using remote collaboration tools. It may also undertake a gap analysis of work being carried out among other standardization development organizations so as to better focus its activities. In the closing session Johnson strongly encouraged all the attendees, as well others, to participate in this work.

Presentations from Kyoto and London can be viewed here.

See also climate change news feed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008 6:47:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 02, 2008

The sixth in a series of ITU-T Technology Watch Briefing Reports covers the technology and standards behind lawful interception (LI), the lawfully authorized monitoring and interception of telecommunications.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have enabled (lawful) interception since the early days of electronic communications, but it remains a shadowy area due to the necessary secrecy that must be accorded to investigations. National laws, LI methods and standards need to be adapted to new telecommunication technologies, which continue to develop at an ever faster pace.

LI has been subject of recent discussion in different ITU-T Study Groups and there is agreement that the topic cannot be limited to its technical parameters: it involves a range of different aspects including legal, regulatory, social and political considerations, at national and international levels. Some parties view LI as a national rather than an international matter while others fear that ITU efforts might duplicate work already done elsewhere. Any discussion of LI, even from a strictly technical perspective, tends to get very quickly into a parallel discussion on human rights.

The report addresses the importance of developing international standards assuring a transparent process of interception, focusing on the sometimes conflicting goals of privacy and security.

Download Technology Watch report on Lawful Interception

Monday, June 02, 2008 4:23:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The ITU/MIC Kyoto Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change closed 16 April with agreement that ITU should play a significant role in the global effort to combat climate change.

A number of actions were recommended for ITU. Among them was a task for ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) which was tasked with the development of an internationally agreed standard methodology to measure the impact of ICTs on climate change, both in terms of the direct emission of greenhouse gases, and the savings that can be generated in other sectors of industry through the application of ICTs.

Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), Malcolm Johnson, supported the meeting’s recommendation that an ITU-T Focus Group would be an appropriate vehicle to take forward this work. He said that he would propose the formation of a new group to ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) at its next meeting in July. However, to move quickly, he encouraged the submission of proposals on the terms of reference for this group, as well as initial proposals on methodologies, to: tsbtechwatch@itu.int.

Johnson also proposed that a draft Resolution would be presented at this year’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08), in Johannesburg, October. The document is expected to outline ITU-T’s responsibility in identifying the role that ICTs should play in the mitigation and monitoring of climate change and target reductions for the industry.

Experts agreed that the chairman’s report of the Kyoto event provides an excellent start point for the Resolution which will be discussed in further detail at the second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, 17-18 June 2008 in London. More information is also available in the meeting summary and the ITU background report.

The chairman’s report of the Kyoto symposium will also be forwarded to upcoming meetings of the World Economic Forum, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ministerial meeting in the Republic of Korea, the G8 meeting in Japan and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, will be held 17-18 June in London, hosted by BT. The London event will also be broadcast as a live Webinar. Register: [more information]

Presentations from Kyoto can be viewed here.

See also climate change news feed for more detailed reports on the Kyoto event.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 3:15:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 21, 2008
The first ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change in Kyoto, Japan (hosted by MIC Japan), brings together policy makers and experts from international organisations and consortia, research institutes and the information and communication technology (ICT) industry.

The first session of the Symposium asked: Will ICTs come to our rescue? The Chairman of this session, Mr Art Levin, Head of ITU’s Corporate Governance and Membership Division, outlined the Kyoto process and the latest results of climate research, and referred to the role that information and communication technologies play in climate change, not only in contributing to global warming, but also in monitoring it, mitigating its impact and helping adaptation in some of the most vulnerable parts of the globe. He invited panelists from the ICT sector to identify the fields in which their company, organisation or institution comes to the rescue.

Session speakers all agree on the need but there are different ideas on methodology:

Dr Luis Neves, Chairman of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), described the objectives of this industry-led initiative as a double strategy:

  1. GeSI members are actively implementing measures leading to increasing energy efficiency and decoupling energy consumption from CO2-emissions.
  2. They offer services to their customers, which increase there energy efficiency as well, e.g. tele/audioconferencing to replace traveling and teleworking to avoid commuting. E-Commerce instead of going to the supermarket, Business-TV, E-Business, E-Learning, E-Teaching, E-Government.

A similar strategy is described in an early study by a joint initiative of the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) and WWF with the title “Saving the climate @ the speed of light”. This frequently cited study shows, that in the period up to 2010, the potential savings that can be achieved by ETNO members exceed by tenfold their current CO2 emissions. However, the study raises new questions: What will happen after 2010? What happens outside Europe?

Dr Neves announced the publication of a new study (5 June 2008) carried out by GeSI and The Climate Group. This study examines over a period of 12 years (until 2020) how ICTs can not only deliver energy savings and carbon reduction, but do so in a way that drives even greater economic growth and productivity.

The second Panelist, Mr Tetsuo Yamakawa, Director-General, International Affairs Department, Telecommunications Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, presented the results of a study of his Ministry, which includes a net energy consumption forecast for Japan, based on current technologies and consumer behaviour: By 2012 the electricity meter would pass the 57 billion kWh mark, which could be reduced to 44 billion, by introducing more energy efficient technologies. However, the broadcasting sector will emit a further 73 billion kWh, and solutions have to be found to reduce energy consumption in this sector. Mr Yamakawa named not less than 19 areas which have been identified by the Ministry for reductions of CO2 with the aid of ICTs. The study will be published in English language soon.

Climate-friendliness as a sales and marketing argument

Mr Jeff Hurmuses, President, China and Japan, of Tandberg spoke on “The potential of video-conferencing to reduce travel”. Studies conducted by Tandberg and Ipsos show the willingness of customers to buy goods and services from “green” companies rather than from companies with no or bad environmental reputation. Moreover, climate-friendliness influences the employment market, as 80 per cent of employees preferred working for a company that uses environmental responsible methods and tools (such as video-conferencing and remote collaboration tools) instead of extensive business traveling.

Prof Jun Fujimoto from the Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo, spoke on “Ecodesign of an ICT society”. He presented the results of a study carried out by his institution on the likely effects of ICTs by 2020. The overall effect is a reduction in CO2 emissions of 2-3 per cent, rising to 10 per cent by 2050. However, the effects will not be uniform. If one takes social change into account, it is possible to increase the saving from 10 to 40 per cent by 2050. He concluded that the ICT revolution can have a big impact on assisting the environment.

Dr Tim Kelly, Head, Standardization Policy Division, ITU-T presented the “ITU background report on ICTs and climate change”, which had been especially prepared for this symposium. This background report pulls together some of the studies mentioned before and illustrates the activities of the three sectors and the General Secretariat of the ITU as an international standardisation body and specialized agency of the United Nations.

The title for this session, “ICTs to the Rescue” was phrased as a question. In the view of the panel, the issue should not be framed as a question, but as an affirmative statement. The key is to make the positive effect of ICTs significantly larger than the negative effects.

The use of ICTs is growing and will continue to grow, especially in developing countries. However, in the area of ICTs there are two main positive roles: emission reductions by the sector and emission reduction achieved by the use of ICTs. As to the latter, the sector can also serve as an enabling technology by developing products and services that promote the use of ICTs to reduce emissions in other sectors.

All Panelists agreed that ICTs can only be a part of the solution. The process of climate change cannot be stopped or slowed down by ICTs alone – it needs people, consumers, and users to intervene into current trends fast and energetically, and to act environmentally responsible.

The second day of the ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change (16 April 2008) will be available as a webinar (webinar registration, live audio stream) in order that remote participants can see and hear presentations from wherever they are in the world. Sessions titles include “ICTs as a clean technology” (e.g. remote collaboration, energy-efficient broadband, and other e-Environment opportunities), “Towards a high-bandwidth, low carbon future”, and “Adapting to climate change”.

The concluding wrap-up session will review comments on the draft Resolution on ICTs and Climate Change for WTSA-08. The revised chairman’s report and draft Resolution will be forwarded for review by the second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, to be held 17-18 June 2008 in London, hosted by BT. The Kyoto recommendations will also be forwarded to upcoming meetings of the World Economic Forum, the OECD (in Republic of Korea), the G8 (in Japan) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

 

Monday, April 21, 2008 2:41:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 9:45:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 19, 2008

“Increase productivity, save time and money while reducing your company’s carbon footprint”; this is the ambitious sales pitch for a new family of tools that promise to offer the 3Cs - communication, collaboration and coordination - without the requirement for physical travel. For ITU-T, whose basic mission is to encourage collaborative work among a global membership on the development and adoption of international standards, remote collaboration is a daily necessity.

A new report, the fifth in a series of ITU-T Technology Watch Briefing Reports, describes how Remote Collaboration Tools can facilitate collaboration with colleagues, and support businesses in overcoming the geographical limitations of everyday work. Remote collaboration tools can be used alongside, or integrated with, traditional office applications (such as e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets) or as an enabler of collaboration, communication and coordination. Using online meetings, collaboration that might not have occurred otherwise (as a consequence of tight schedules, long distances, or the high cost of business travel), may now take place.

For developing countries, remote collaboration tools can thus be seen as a helpful instrument in overcoming the digital divide and for “Bridging the Standardization Gap”, an ITU initiative to facilitate the participation of developing countries in the standards development process.

Furthermore, replacing long-distance travel by online meetings makes remote collaboration tools a clean, green technology, which is particularly important in the context of current global concerns over climate change. In 2007, ITU-T organized and provided logistical and secretariat support for some 85 meetings/workshops, representing a total of 339 meeting days, as well as numerous smaller informal meetings, such as rapporteur groups of steering committees. Holding even a small number of those meetings online would reduce travel and therefore have a significant impact on ITU-T’s carbon footprint.

Two upcoming ITU Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change (April 15-16 in Kyoto, Japan, co-organized and hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) and 17-18 June 2008 in London, supported and hosted by BT) will be available as a webinar in order that remote participants can see and hear presentations from wherever they are in the world. Provision will also be made for remote participants to submit comments and questions.

Download Technology Watch report on Remote Collaboration Tools

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:51:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When you enter a modern office building, such as ITU-T’s office in Geneva, it is quite common for the glass doors to open automatically and for lights to come on as you enter a darkened room. This “magic” is achieved by motion sensors. But entering a building in the future, you might be welcomed by name with a personal greeting and given security access suitable to your status (e.g., employee, delegate, newcomer). To do this without human intervention would require not only intelligent sensors but also perhaps ID tags and readers and interaction with a database.

In a new Technology Watch briefing report from ITU-T, the term “Ubiquitous Sensor Networks” (USN) is used to describe networks of intelligent sensor nodes that could be deployed “anywhere, anytime, by anyone and anything”. The technology has huge potential as it could generate applications in a wide range of civilian and military fields, including ensuring safety and security, environment and habitat monitoring, real-time healthcare, landmine detection and intelligent transport systems (ITS).

Sensor nodes may vary enormously in size, cost and complexity. Their characteristics are highly application-specific. Depending on the sensor type, the links between sensors may be provided by either wired or wireless communication. Energy-efficient operation is an important requirement for scenarios where sensor nodes are deployed in hazardous or inaccessible environments.

The variability of USN poses a challenge to researchers and a number of different standards development organizations (SDOs) are already engaged int this field. Within ITU-T, USN standardization is being carried out under the auspices of the Next-Generation Network Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI). The new report, the fourth in a series of ITU-T Technology Watch Briefing Reports, describes the different components of USN, notes the standardization work currently going on in ITU-T, and gives an overview of the different fields of applications of USN in both, developed and developing countries.

Download Technology Watch report on Ubiquitous Sensor Networks

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 10:28:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 17, 2007
 Friday, November 23, 2007

A new report from ITU-T shows how Information and communications technologies (ICTs) contribute to global warming, but also how they can be used to monitor climate change, to mitigate its effects, to improve energy efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions in other sectors of the economy. The report -- ICTs and Climate Change -- is the third in the new series of Technology Watch Briefing Reports, launched by ITU-T in October 2007. It has been submitted to TSAG for further discussion at its upcoming meeting, 3-7 December. It is planned that an ITU symposium on this topic will be held in 2008.

Since 1970, the production of greenhouse gases has risen by more than 70 per cent, and this is having a global effect in warming the planet, causing changing weather patterns, rising sea-levels, desertification, shrinking ice cover and other worrying long-term effects. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) foresees a further rise in average global temperatures of between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees centigrade by 2030. Climate change is a concern for all of humanity and requires efforts on the part of all sectors of society, including the ICT sector. Although ICTs contribute only an estimated 2.5 per cent of total greenhouse gases, this share is set to grow as usage of ICTs expands globally, growing at a faster rate than the general economy.

ICTs are thus part of the cause of global warming, but they can also be part of the solution, for instance through the promotion of carbon displacement technologies. ICTs are also vital in monitoring the spread of global warming. One specific contribution ICTs can make is through the substitution of travel by electronic forms of communication, such as telephone calls, email or video-conferencing, all of which benefit from ITU-T¡¯s standardization work. In particular, high-performance video-conferencing, or telepresence (the topic of the second Technology Watch Briefing Report), can give the impression of 'being there, without going there'. Furthermore, ITU-T itself is also contributing to a greener future through its decision to make ITU-T Recommendations freely available online. In the mid 1990s, more than one million publications were printed by ITU but, with free Recommendations now available in electronic form, this has been cut to just a few thousand that are still printed, and carbon emissions from transport of printed copies and CD-ROMs has been greatly reduced.

Friday, November 23, 2007 2:16:08 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)  #     | 
 Monday, November 05, 2007
"Buses equipped with wi-fi are being used to deliver web content to remote rural villages in the developing world. In rural India and parts of Rwanda, Cambodia and Paraguay, the vehicles offer web content to computers with no internet connection." United Villages is an initiative that provides communties in Asia, Africa, and Latin America with a digital access to locally-relevant products and services using a low-cost, store-and-forward "drive-by WiFi" technology. Mobile Access Points (MAPs) are installed on existing vehicles (e.g. buses and motorcycles) and automatically provide access for WiFi-enabled Kiosks along the roads. Whenever a MAP is within range of a real-time wireless Internet connection, it transfers the data from and for those Kiosks. The United Villages project also allows users to request specific information or content for a few additional rupees. The wi-fi vehicles also deliver as well as collect e-mails, and brings e-Commerce to the villagers.

Read the full article on BBC News.
More on United Villages on their website.

This article was originally published in the ITU-D CYB Newslog.
Monday, November 05, 2007 10:39:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 02, 2007

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, together with other partners, demonstrated how using information and communication technologies (ICTs) and telecommunications networks could result in considerable savings in power-grid infrastructure and electricity consumption, reported the Network World on 22 October.

The test network allowed consumers to select their usage preferences via a web portal. Smart controls-based devices such as virtual thermostats were interconnected with a service-oriented architecture (SOA) through middleware, and using broadband internet. The so-called GridWise project showed that both the power demand at the SOA electricity marketplace could be managed more evenly and customers were in better control of their energy consumption.

For more information on the project, please click here.

This article was originally published in the ITU-D CYB Newslog.

Friday, November 02, 2007 10:45:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Imagine a future in which cars will be able to foresee and avoid collisions, navigate the quickest route to their destination, making use of up-to-the-minute traffic reports, identify the nearest available parking slot and minimize their carbon emissions. Indeed, imagine a future where cars can largely drive themselves, leaving their passengers to use the free time to watch the sports game on live TV.

All of these possibilities already exist within the laboratories of car manufacturers and some are already available commercially. But they rely on communications links that must be increasingly high-capacity and long range to deal with the full range of requirements of future transport users. The generic technology they use is called Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The requirement for future standards in the ITS field is to be able to provide multiple services, over multiple different platforms, that will work in different countries (as vehicles can easily cross borders), while maintaining a simple-to-use interface that requires minimum intervention from the driver.

This, then, is the rationale behind an ongoing effort, launched by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) in 2003, under the auspices of Working Group 16 of ISO Technical Committee 204, and promoted by the more recently created industry association - The CALM Forum - to develop a new family of ITS standards with the overall branding of Continuous Air-interface, Long and Medium range (CALM).

A new ITU-T Briefing Report on CALM has been released as part of the Technology Watch function, which evaluates its potential as a new area for ITU standardization work (for instance, integrated with Next-Generation Networks) and its likely implications for developing countries. The report notes the work currently going on in ITU on ITS, including the forthcoming Fully Networked Car III workshop, to be held on 3-5 March 2008 in Geneva. It is planned that this will be the first of a series of new Briefing Reports looking at emerging new technologies.

Technology Watch report on CALM.pdf (165.36 KB)

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007 3:41:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 27, 2007

A group of young African researchers presented their project MalariaControl during the Global Forum on Youth and ICT for Development (Geneva 24-26 September 2007), co-hosted by the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) and ITU.

MalariaControl, is a partnership comprising the Swiss Tropical Institute, the University of Geneva, the European Organization for Nuclear Research and the NGOs International Conference Volunteers and Informaticiens sans Frontières. Using Volunteer Computing (VC) it develops simulation models of transmission dynamics and health effects of malaria. The models represent an important tool for malaria control - optimal strategies for new vaccines or chemotherapy can be determined.

VC is used because the simulation of the full range of transmission patterns relevant for malaria control is complex and extremely computer intensive. The approach was popularised in 1999 with the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence: SETI@home.

The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) plays a key role in reaching Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs were agreed at the Millennium Summit (New York, 6-8 September 2000), where 192 United Nations Member States and all the world’s leading development institutions agreed to try to achieve the - eight - goals by the target date of 2015. The goals range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education.

In VC, a type of distributed computing, software clients installed on privately owned computers around the world perform calculations to progress in complex research fields. Home computers are idle most of the time. Owners donate their computer's idle CPU time, memory and network connection for distributed research. VC contains aspects of Grid Computing, see the three point checklist by scientist Ian Foster (PDF).

The open-source software client for VC, called BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing), can be downloaded for various computer platforms.

VC has also been discussed as a tool to carry out research on environmental phenomena and disaster prevention.

Thursday, September 27, 2007 10:30:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 20, 2007

ITU hosted a Workshop on Multimedia in Next Generation Networks (NGN), 10-11 September 2007, to discuss future multimedia services and applications. Among many presentations, Peer-to-peer (P2P) telecom solutions, by Ning Zong, research engineer at Huawei Technologies (China), considered the use P2P technology in the field of person-to-person communications.

It is only recently with the increased popularity of video sharing that P2P traffic has lost premier position in Internet use statistics to HTTP – web – traffic. Traffic generated by P2P applications now accounts for 37 per cent of Internet traffic.

Perhaps best known as the technology which enabled music file sharing, P2P technology can also enable applications such as video or voice over IP. The technology is deployed by Skype, which claims some 198 million registered users worldwide.

In contrast to the traditional centralized client-server approach, which requires a high level of investment in servers and bandwidth, P2P networks exploit connectivity between the individual participants of a network. Users (peers) virtually deploy their own network, and this can assist with scalability and roll out in developing countries.

One example of an application that exploits the potential of P2P to establish so-called ad hoc networks includes the One Laptop Per Child initiative which was launched during the Tunis Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in November 2005. Another example comes from the Swedish company TerraNet, which has the vision of using real-time P2P technology to provide mobile communication without a regular mobile network by modifying users’ handsets to become base station antennae. TerraNet has launched field tests in Tanzania and Ecuador This model of deployment could represent an important advantage of P2P enabled VoIP over mobiles – especially in developing countries, where cost savings are a major drive for deploying NGN.

Thursday, September 20, 2007 10:39:08 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)  #     | 

According to an analyst report, the internet is heading for a crash unless it increases its bandwidth capabilities. A study conducted by ABI Research claims that cable firms face the biggest challenge as their technology will reach saturation point first.

Stan Schatt, research director at ABI, told Ars Technica: "Uploading bandwidth is going to have to increase, and the cable providers are going to get killed on bandwidth as HD programming becomes more commonplace." He adds that the solution to the problem is to change to digital switching and move to IPTV.

Researchers from Cisco Systems seem to agree with this claim. Cisco found that American video websites currently transmit more data per month than the entire amount of traffic sent over the internet in 2000. The company estimates that file-sharing makes up at least one-third of today's internet traffic. The Cisco report predicted that video streaming and downloads will increase to make up to 30 percent consumer internet traffic in 2011, up from the 2006 figure of nine per cent.

With the release of the BBC's iPlayer online television service in the UK, bandwidth concerns with internet service providers increase even more. However, Orange reports that the internet overload does not appear to have started yet.

Continue reading the article here at vnunet.com.

This article was originally published in the ITU-D CYB Newslog.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 10:05:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 19, 2007

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)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Recognizing that satellite systems could be an important part of emerging Next Generation Networks (NGN), an ITU-T Workshop entitled “Satellites in the NGN?” will take place 13 July 2007 in Montreal, Canada. Following the workshop, the third meeting of the Intersector Coordination Group on Satellite Matters (ICG SAT) will take place.

The objectives of the workshop, hosted by ATIS, include examination of the role of satellite systems in NGN, and development of a perspective on current and future NGN standards. Participation is open to all interested parties.

Sessions will give an overview of NGN, examine QoS and QoE (E for experience), IPTV and mobility support, network management and requirements for disaster relief.

The role of the ICG SAT is to monitor and coordinate the work programmes of the relevant Study Groups in ITU-R and ITU-T in relation to the use of satellites. It aims also to draw the attention of the relevant Study Groups to emerging technologies and perform gap analysis to identify new work areas.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 1:57:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 18, 2007

NXTComm, June 18-21, Chicago will see ITU-T members, and guests stage an interoperability showcase for fibre to the premises (FTTP) related standards.

ITU, together with Telcordia, have collaborated to organize a multi-company interoperability demonstration featuring gigabit passive optical network (G-PON) equipment built according to the ITU-T G.984 Recommendation. PON technology is used in the local loop environment to cost effectively connect residential and Small and medium enterprises (SME) end users premises in an all-fibre network.

The G-PON Pavilion features live demonstrations of G-PON equipment interoperability; with interoperability being a critical enabler to reducing G-PON equipment costs. Triple-play interoperability demonstrations are provided by the following device and equipment manufactures: Alphion, Cambridge Industries Group, Hitachi, Huawei, iamba Networks, LS Cable, PMC-Sierra, Tellabs, Terawave Communications, TXP Corporation, XAVi Technologies, ZTE Corporation. Corning is providing the optical distribution network components over which the 2488 Mbps/1244 Mbps (downstream/upstream) G-PON systems will be operating.

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

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

Friday, May 18, 2007 3:18:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 09, 2006
ITU-T will hold a Consultation meeting on cooperation between ITU-T and Universities, Geneva, 18 and 19 January 2007, to explore ways to improve cooperation between the ITU standardization sector and universities. Other objectives include discussion of how ITU-T can become better known to students and how to make it easier for academia to participate directly in ITU-T work.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Register to take part in this online event here

 

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 9:16:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 02, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:22:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 19, 2006

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

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

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

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

The meeting approved the establishment of six working groups:

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

 

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 10:24:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 03, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Monday, July 03, 2006 2:41:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 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)  #     | 
 Friday, February 24, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 24, 2006 4:29:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 27, 2006

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

Friday, January 27, 2006 10:29:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Dear colleagues,
 
In accordance with the future activities of the correspondence group on network aspects of identification (including RFID) approved by TSAG, I would like to inform you that an informal meeting of ITU-T experts attending the RFID workshop will be held on 16 February 2006 in Geneva to review the results of the workshop from an ITU-T perspective, and contribute to the further development of the Correspondence Groups deliverables. The venue of the informal meeting is room K1 at Montbrillant Building. The meeting will open at 0930 hours and be closed by 1700 hours. We will have a paperless meeting. Please find the draft agenda attached.
 
Participants are encouraged to submit contributions by electronic mail to the TSAG RFID email reflector. The contributions must be submitted by not later than 6 February 2006.
 
For your information, I would like to summarize the results of the last TSAG meeting (November 2005) relevant to our correspondence group.
 
Firstly, TSAG approved continuation of the correspondence group on RFID, to be renamed the “Correspondence Group on network aspects of identification (including RFID)” (Convenor: Mr. Byoung Nam Lee, ETRI, Republic of Korea). The revised terms of reference are as follows:

  • To Further evaluate of the ITU-T standardization topics and requirements for network aspects of identification (including RFID) taking into account the studies performed by ITU-R and other SDOs;
  • To report results on discussions and to propose to TSAG a possible structure for carrying out network aspects of identification (including RFID) studies within ITU-T.

Secondly, TSAG approved the appointment of editors for RIFD deliverables with the following terms of reference:

  • Report of standardization issues on network aspects of identification (including RFID): (Mr Yong-Woon Kim(Korea), Mr. Noboru Koshizuka(Japan))
  • Report for Business Models and Service Scenarios for network aspects of identification (including RFID): (Mr. Y.Sakurai, Hitachi(Japan), Mr HyoungJun Kim(Korea))
  • A collection of Terms and Definitions related to network aspects of identification (including RFID): (Mr Tony Rutkowski, Verisign USA)

The intermediary deliverables will be available before the RFID Workshop on 14-15 February 2006 for reviewing after the Workshop. The final deliverables will be presented at the next TSAG meeting.

Lastly, the correspondence group produced a first list of RFID relevant topics with a possible allocation to ITU-T Study Groups which was conveyed to the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the RFID Workshop, Mr. Probst, Chairman of SG16, to consider this tentative list of standardization topics and as a result of the workshop provide us with information on any additional topics or modification proposed to the list.

Byoung Nam Lee
Convener

Join the Correspondence group on RFID

More on ITU-T Technology Watch

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 5:40:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 22, 2005

ITU-T is hosting a workshop Networked RFID: Systems and Services, in collaboration with ITU’s Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU), Geneva, 14-15 February 2006.

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is the much-touted system that enables data to be transmitted by a tiny portable device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. The development of RFID systems creates new possibilities for the support of object-to-object communications. Analysts predict that RFID will revolutionize areas of industry including supply chain management, security and mobile telecommunication services. Additionally, RFID is expected to play an important role in the realization of the Ubiquitous Network Society. All this will create a yet unquantified demand on telecommunication networks.

Currently, the market for RFID standards is extremely fragmented. Special standards for certain limited fields of applications exist as well as quasi-proprietary or proprietary standards. Many RFID applications still lack global standards for data formats, compatibility, interoperability, interference problems, personal information protection, authentication, key management and others. More.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:34:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A new process that allows work to be started in new areas on ‘any day of the year’, has been endorsed at the latest meeting of TSAG.

In the fast moving world of information and communications technologies (ICT) the quicker standardization work can start, the better. The ‘quick start’ process allows ITU-T to initiate new activities with speed when members identify a new area for standardization. It is a further example of how responsive ITU-T is to market needs and it strengthens ITU-T's claim to be one of the most attractive and efficient places to produce global standards.

Simply put, the process gives responsibility for taking quick action, such as setting-up a new Focus Group, a joint rapporteur group, or a joint coordination activity, to the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) Director in agreement with the Study Group chairmen and the TSAG Chairman. Previously it was normally necessary to wait for the next Study Group meeting, which could have been months away. So, for example, if direction on a particular topic is seen to have reached sufficient maturity in Technology Watch discussions, measures can be put in place to ensure immediate action. Experts agreed that such a speedy response to market needs is essential to continue bringing the most important new work into ITU-T.

 

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 5:27:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 31, 2005
With the popularity of blogs, podcasting and web-based photo libraries, web content has become something much more accessible to the individual in the last few years. Now video looks set to be the next media to gain popularity with the new generation of home based media moguls.

Work on a new protocol that may spawn a whole new generation of independent broadcasters is underway at ITU. Relayed Multicast Protocol (RMCP) being developed by the ITU’s Study Group 17 uses something like a peer-to-peer model meaning that independent broadcasters no longer have to subscribe to a fat-pipe, instead relying on a collection of ‘peers’ or ‘relay agents’, in other words other people's computers. Peer to peer type traffic is reckoned to make-up as much as 72 per cent of current Internet traffic. And this figure is predicted to rise.

RMCP allows the live broadcast of video or audio piggy-backing off other users (or servers). So in a scenario where 100 people are demanding a live broadcast, instead of serving each one of these clients their own video stream, only one stream has to be provided and each user will be served from another in the network. This has significant implications for instance for businesses broadcasting live events, where a previous scenario demanded 100 users be fed individual feeds, RMCP allows the broadcast of just one.

Juyoung Park the editor of the ITU-T Recommendations says that RMCP allows for the efficient serving of hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connection requests.

Park says that the need for this type of protocol was identified by content providers. Standardization means that a single client can receive content from any number of suppliers.

An alternative solution – IP Multicast – is not applicable in today’s networks according to Park. For a start the success of IP Multicast would mean router upgrades throughout a network, something that many operators would balk at, especially given the unclear benefits of IP Multicast to their revenue streams.

Park says that tests by his organization – ETRI – have shown that speeds of 2 Mbit/s are possible. This reflects standard broadcast rates. However he says that typically users will experience something more like 640 Kbit/s. 

ITU-T has published one Recommendation (ITU-T Rec. X.603) on the topic outlining requirements, framework etc. The next two Recommendations due in 2006 will focus on the technical specifications. One focusing on one broadcaster to many clients, and the other on many broadcasters to many clients.
Monday, October 31, 2005 9:38:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 05, 2005

Please take ten minutes of your time to complete this questionnaire, part of the under the European Commission project, NO-REST.

The main objective of the project is to gain new and more in-depth insight into the economic impact of standards in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT). To this end the organizers are collecting data from participants in the standards setting process.

The results could be beneficial in helping to shape the way that ITU-T works in the future.

 

Monday, September 05, 2005 4:23:33 PM (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)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The deployment of NGNs will create a great opportunity for new services offering, more integrated features, and a more extensible and flexible platform for future applications. NGN is a key area of study for ITU-T study groups. Based upon the Internet Protocol (IP), the convergence between public switched telephone network (PSTN), digital subscriber line (DSL), cable television (CATV), wireless local area network (WLAN) and mobile technologies is a task that many believe would be impossible without the development of global NGN standards.

The NGN concept takes account of a new situation in telecommunications, characterized by many factors: open competition between operators due to the deregulation of markets, explosion of digital traffic, e.g. due to the increasing use of the Internet, the demand from users for new multimedia services requiring higher bandwidth and the new user necessity for a generalized mobility.

ITU-T involvement in NGN started in early 2002. Since that time many workshops have been organized in order to widen the scope of ITU’s work on IP-based networks and later on NGN and explore specific issues that impact both ITU and other standards developing organizations (SDOs). A Joint Rapporteur Group (JRG-NGN) initiated standardization work on NGN in September 2003 and the effort was later strengthened by the establishment of the focus group on NGN, in June 2004. Currently many ITU-T study groups are involved in NGN standardization work and SG13 is the Lead SG for NGN.

More on ITU-T's Technology Watch

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 9:12:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Grid computing enables the virtualization of distributed computing and data resources such as processing, network bandwidth and storage capacity to create a single system image, granting users and applications seamless access to vast IT capabilities. Just as an Internet user views a unified instance of content via the Web, a grid user essentially sees a single, large virtual computer.

At its core, Grid computing is based on an open set of standards and protocols — the Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) — that enable communication across heterogeneous, geographically dispersed environments. With Grid computing, organizations can optimize computing and data resources, pool them for large capacity workloads, share them across networks and enable collaboration.

Main Standardization areas are as follows:
  • Grid Middleware
  • Grid Data management
  • Grid Security
  • Grid User environment
  • OGSA

Discussion on grids in the telecoms community, involves more than just how to provide bigger pipes, there are a number of other areas of interest. At a simple level, telecommunication service providers could use grids internally, for billing and simulations for example. They could also offer grid managed services, or act as service brokers.

More on ITU-T's Technology Watch

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 9:08:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Many experts are suggesting that we are at the beginning of an era of 'technological ubiquity'. In terms of information and communications technologies (ICT) the mobile phone is the device that has come closest to achieving ubiquity. But, it is the diffusion of mobile phones together with the rapid technological progress of the past 30 years which has seen the doubling of microprocessor power every 18 months, the availability of very fast, small and cheap computers and the rise of the Internet which is seen as the real foundation of technological ubiquity.

And in the near future, microcomputers that are invisible to the human eye and that are embedded in everything from cars, pencils, clothes and banknotes are foreseen. These electronic devices could be networked together enabling an environment of smart networked objects. This environment will take advantage of short-range communications technologies such as Bluetooth and radio frequency identification (RFID), which could be integrated into mobile phones. Exploiting the identification, localization and monitoring functionalities of these technologies will create a range of possibilities enabling innovative new products and services. In turn, as these smart objects communicate with each other, this will result in an increase in data traffic, market growth and increased profit.

International collaboration between standardization bodies is crucial in the realization of this goal. Without international standards interoperability will be difficult if not impossible and these bodies are also in the best position to establish rules to guarantee the privacy of users. Ubiquitous applications must be linked to trusted mechanisms that ensure privacy in order to be successful.

ITU-T aims to encourage industry, academia and international institutions to participate in the Technology Watch Correspondence Groups where they will find a common platform to share views, ideas and needs to stimulate discussion and kick-start work.

More on ITU-T's Technology Watch

 

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 9:06:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 28, 2005

ITU-T’s Technology Watch was created following a decision by the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-04) in October 2004. Technology Watch will survey the ICT environment, focusing on new/emerging technologies and examining market trends in order to capture new topics for standardization work.The terms of reference for the group were established at a meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG), March 2005.

Objectives
Develop timely market-oriented international standards on specific topics
Increase cooperation between research institutes, academia, private sector, forums and consortia
Align and harmonize the studies and research among different standards developing organizations (SDOs), therefore avoiding duplication of work

Technology Watch Correspondence Groups
Technology Watch Correspondence Groups provide a platform for members and non-members, to share views, ideas and needs on new emerging technologies.

Gathering Info on New Technologies
Those that are working at the cutting edge of technology - universities, research and development bodies, industries etc - will find in Technology Watch a platform to discuss and observe emerging technologies and subsequently their need for standardization. As technologies mature the need for international standards becomes more important and so Technology Watch seeks to bring together all interested parties, from all over the world.

More on ITU-T's Technology Watch

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 2:17:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 21, 2005

ITU Seminar on Standardization of the NGN and ICT Services Development
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 5 - 7 July 2005

Introduction

At the kind invitation of and in close collaboration with the Communications and Information Agency of Uzbekistan, the ITU-D (International Telecommunication Union - Development Sector) and ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union - Standardization Sector), are organizing a Seminar on Standardization of the NGN and ICT Services Development, for CIS and Baltic States. The Seminar will be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 5-7 July 2005.

The objectives of the seminar are two fold: first, to discuss the current trends, status and future evolution of Next Generation Networks standards, as being addressed by the ITU-T. Central to these are: what areas of technology innovation hold the greatest promise for NGNs; what are the most innovative applications and services possible with NGNs? The issues revolving around NGN architecture, NGN technology and quality of service requirements and evolutions will be explored.

More 

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 5:42:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Geneva, 8 June 2005 – The Open Communications Architecture Forum (“OCAF”) Focus Group announced today the availability of the Carrier Grade Open Environment (CGOE) reference model, its first official output document, which represents a significant step towards fulfilling its mandate to develop requirements for components for a Carrier Grade Open Environment (“CGOE”). The CGOE reference model defines a framework by which interfaces and standards required to deploy COTS solutions in next-generation networks (NGNs) can be identified in a formal manner.

More

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 1:52:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 02, 2005

In the framework of its Technology Watch activities, ITU-T has recently published a technical paper on radio frequency identification (RFID) and opportunities for its use in mobile telecommunication services. RFID enables data to be transmitted by a tiny portable device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. It is only recently that the technology has begun to take off in the mass market. Analysts predict that RFID will revolutionize areas of industry, such as supply chain management and the retail business, for example by reducing costs with better stock management. The technical paper presents several ideas for applications of RFID technology in mobile telecommunication services as well as possible areas for standardization efforts. Apart from purely technical concepts, the challenging aspects of security and privacy are discussed. A PowerPoint presentation of the paper is also available.

ITU-T recently set up a correspondence group on RFID in the framework of its Technology Watch and a dedicated e-mail reflector on the matter for initiating studies on the technology. Additionally, ITU-T is to hold a workshop on RFID standardization issues in the first quarter of 2006.

Thursday, June 02, 2005 9:50:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2005

ITU members are increasingly signalling the interest of the telecommunications community in grid computing. The technology is under study by the Technology Watch within ITU-T. And following discussions between the Global Grid Forum (GGF) and ITU-T, a workshop on telecoms and grids is planned for 2006.

On behalf of GGF, Franco Travostino of Nortel gave a presentation at the recent Study Group 13 meeting in Geneva. In it he gave an introduction to the work of the forum, also explaining the basics of grids.

Travostino describes grid computing as a software platform for distributed participants to form a virtual organization, securely share resources, and engage in coordinated problem-solving activities.

There are a number of areas of interest for the telecoms industry. At a simple level, telcos could use grids internally, for billing and simulations for example. They could also offer grid managed services, or act as service brokers.

Travostino pointed out that the discussion on grids involves more than just how to provide bigger pipes. There are other issues that may be of interest to ITU-T, such as how to control the network, how to manage dynamic provisioning and how to provide collision-free addresses (IPv4 <-> NAT).

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 11:16:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 16, 2005

March’s meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) agreed on the terms of reference for a new group to monitor academia, industry, research institutes and other SDOs to identify new subjects for study by ITU-T. 

To begin with the Technology Watch will use mainly electronic working methods to stimulate discussion, gather information and generate contributions for new work items.

One of the first topics that the group will examine are the network aspects of radio frequency identification (RFID). RFID is the much-touted system that enables data to be transmitted by a tiny portable device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. 

Grid Computing is another area that is being examined for future standardization needs. Grid computing offers a model for solving massive computational problems by making use of the unused resources of large numbers of disparate computers treated as a virtual cluster embedded in a distributed telecommunications infrastructure.

Monday, May 16, 2005 4:31:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |