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 Thursday, May 14, 2009
A two day Forum on Implementation of decisions of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly-08 (WTSA-08) will take place in Accra, Ghana, 16 to 17 June 2009.

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

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

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

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 8:51:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 03, 2008

The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08) drew to a close yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa with decisions on a wide range of issues that will impact the future direction of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry.

ITU members, spanning the global ICT industry and administrations from across the world, asked for increased emphasis on key areas such as ICTs and climate change, the deployment of IPv6, accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities, conformance and interoperability testing, and encouraging academic participation in ITU’s work.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) said in his closing speech, "We have received a strong message from our members that ITU is, and will remain the world’s pre-eminent global telecommunication and ICT standards body. And we also hear very clearly that ITU should continue on its mission to connect the world, and that bridging the standardization gap — by increasing developing country participation in our work — is an essential prerequisite to achieve this goal."

Delegates at the ten-day meeting in Johannesburg agreed on measures including a restructuring of ITU’s standards work and a revised focus that will serve to strengthen ITU’s position as the world’s premier ICT standards body. Eight new chairmen were elected bringing a fresh outlook to many of ITU’s areas of study. 768 delegates, including 13 Ministers or Vice-Ministers from 99 countries participated.

"The reorganization of the Study Groups was not a simple task," Johnson added. "It has been attempted before but this time we have established a streamlined and efficient structure, avoiding duplication and focusing on our key objectives."

A key agreement encapsulated in a Resolution adopted by the Assembly is that ITU members will work towards reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from the use of ICTs, in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Resolution also recognizes that ICTs can be a major mitigating factor in efforts to moderate climate change and to limit and ultimately reduce GHG emissions across all industry sectors. It also acknowledges that ITU has committed to achieving climate neutrality within three years.

Another Resolution tasks the ITU secretariat with carrying out studies in order to introduce the use of an ITU Mark as a voluntary programme permitting suppliers to make a visible declaration that their products conform to ITU-T Recommendations.

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré said, " We have made significant strides in the development of a knowledge-based information society. This World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, which has brought together close to 800 experts from nearly 100 countries, has laid out a road map for the future development of standards that underpin the world’s communications networks. This is a critical input for all stakeholders who join ITU in our commitment to connect the world."

The closing plenary of the Assembly saw Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, Minister of Communications of South Africa switch on South Africa’s digital broadcasting signal, which will be fully implemented in time for the Football World Cup in 2010.

A full report from the Assembly will be made available via its website.

Monday, November 03, 2008 9:29:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 30, 2008
Click here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 11:45:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 23, 2008

Geneva, 21 October 2008 — Yesterday, the first-ever Global Standards Symposium closed in Johannesburg, South Africa with broad agreement from industry and standards bodies on the need to take aggressive action to streamline standards work and end confusion and duplication.

Opening the event, ITU standards chief Malcolm Johnson said: “Confusion and duplication cannot serve the purposes of anyone… consumer, manufacturer, service provider, rich or poor country. Clarity, and efficiency must be brought to bear in this – most important of industrial sectors.”

Industry and standards leaders argued that the bewildering array of standards bodies that exists today is costly and inefficient. It is estimated that over 300 ICT standards bodies exist. GSS delegates agreed that keeping track of them was alone a difficult enough task. Better coordination at an international level is needed between industry and standards developing organizations (SDOs) to ensure that standardization needs are met quickly and efficiently. Steps are being planned to establish a direct line of communication between technology leaders and ITU’s standardization arm, to ensure that emerging needs are addressed in the most efficient manner and the most appropriate place. This is ITU’s role, Johnson said, as the world’s pre-eminent ICT standards body.

ITU Secretary General, Dr Hamadoun Touré underlined the importance of standards in times of financial crisis: “Standards are a proven tool in terms of economic development,” he said in his opening speech. “The World Trade Organization (WTO) trade report of 2005 underlines the important benefits that standards can deliver…standards may have a significant effect on limiting the undesirable outcomes of market failure. And, the work of ITU and other bodies in the development of global standards for ICTs and telecoms has helped the smoother, more economical introduction of new technologies.”

Other topics tackled at the Global Standards Symposium in Johannesburg were ICTs and climate change, increasing developing country participation in the standardization process, and accessibility to ICTs for people with disabilities.

Delegates were called on to set an example by committing to specific programs to limit and reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to help ensure that the expansion of the global communications network is done in an environmentally friendly manner. The importance of the work of the ITU Focus Group on Climate Change was recognized; in particular the need for a standardized approach to measuring the impact of ICTs on the reduction of GHG emissions.

Bridging the standardization gap is the term ITU uses to describe its efforts to increase developing country participation in the standards making process. Recent efforts by the ITU-T were applauded, for example holding five regional forums in 2008, establishing a voluntary fund to be used for workshops and meetings in developing countries, fellowships, remote participation, surveys and study programmes. It was recognized that the increased involvement of developing countries in standardization work provides an opportunity to better consider their needs in developing new standards and will help to meet the traditional objective of ITU in continuing to ensure global interoperability of communications.

ITU was also applauded for its efforts so far in the arena of accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities and encouraged to continue and increase efforts in producing standards that support the ICT needs of persons with disabilities. Work to develop an on-line toolkit that will serve as a global electronic repository of policies and strategies and as a platform for sharing experiences on best practices on ICT accessibility was announced.

The GSS took place one day before the start of ITU’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08) which is a quadrennial event where ITU members decide on the direction of ITU’s standardization work for the next four years. The inaugural GSS gathered Ministers and Ambassadors, senior executives from the private sector and lead officials from other standards bodies. A report from the GSS will be submitted to WTSA-08 and high on its agenda there are likely to be topics such as those discussed at the GSS but also cybersecurity, IPTV, and some Internet related issues. A communiqué will also be issued following WTSA-08.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 1:26:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The Regional Development Forum for the Americas Region closed 20 May 2008, in Brasilia, Brazil. The Forum, was jointly organized by ITU-T and ITU-D,  in cooperation with Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), and hosted by ANATEL, Brazil

More than 200 participants attended, from 17 countries in North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean

At the opening ceremony, the chairman,  H.E. Ambassador Ronaldo Sardenberg, President of Anatel, Brazil, confirmed the  Anatel’s interest in increasing its cooperation with  ITU and other regulatory agencies . He stressed the importance of the Forum in terms of preparing for WTSA-08 and discussing the “standardization gap”. He pointed out that the capacity to participate in the standardization process is of fundamental importance to decrease this standardization gap between developed and developing countries.

In his speech Mr. Clovis Baptista, Executive Secretary of  CITEL underlined the great impact that the information society has on society. The information society responds to society’s needs and helps people build on progress, he said. Baptista also reported an increase in the number of available services within the Americas region. A universal and suitable infrastructure is one of the objectives necessary to accelerate the process of American integration he said.

Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), Malcolm Johnson, thanked the Ambassador for hosting the event and  the cooperation of CITEL. He expressed his appreciation to countries in the Americas for their active support of ITU’s activities, especially its standardization work. He highlighted the importance of standards for international communications and global trade. Globalisation requires global standards, and a global standards body like ITU clearly has an increasing role to play, he said.

In his speech, Johnson also raised the serious problem of cost of participation, especially in meetings in Geneva, as well as the cost of membership, particularly for small start-up companies in developing countries. He said that there had been attempts to overcome these difficulties, and that the issues would be hot topics at the upcoming World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08). Johnson said that he had long encouraged members to host meetings in the regions, and had recently established a fund to assist hosts with the cost of doing so, as well as for providing fellowships to attend the meetings. He also mentioned the invitation to hold an NGN Global Standards Initiative (GSI) meeting in the Americas region in September 2009. Moreover, he added that ITU-T has also been trialling new collaboration tools which will allow remote participation in ITU-T meetings.

 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:01:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Preparatory meetings for the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08) will take place in Brazil, Ghana, Uzbekistan, Syria and Viet Nam during the months leading up to the event in October. Alongside each event a Regional Development Forum addressing the standardization gap between developed and developing countries will be held.

WTSA is the quadrennial event that defines the future direction for the ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T).

Regional organizations APT, ATU, Arab Group, CEPT, CITEL, RCC will host the meetings aiming to coordinate regional views on issues considered to be of particular relevance to each area, and develop common regional proposals for submission to WTSA-08.

The Regional Forums are aimed at encouraging greater understanding of, and participation in, the work of ITU-T. They will explain the status of the current hot topics under discussion in ITU-T, and how to become involved in ITU-T activities in order to champion the interests of each region in the development of international ICT standards.

For details see here.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 12:28:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 04, 2008

The quadrennial event that defines the future direction for the ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) – the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) – will take place for the first time in Africa in 2008. It will also be the first chaired by a woman (Ms Lyndall Shope-Mafole, Director-General of the South African Department of Communications), and for the first time is preceded by a Global Standards Symposium (GSS). WTSA-08 will be held 21 - 30 October 2008, at the Emperors Palace, Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

An official ‘Circular’ letter has been issued encouraging Member States and ITU-T Sector Members to participate in discussions on the future structure of the Sector: the study groups (including regional tariff groups under Study Group 3); and the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). WTSA-08 will also be unique in that the term limit for chairmanships agreed at the WTSA-2000 will apply for the first time and many of the current chairmen and vice-chairmen will retire. Although this will mean the loss of much experience, it does offer the opportunity to consider a major restructuring of the Sector. Member States and ITU-T Sector Members are therefore advised to await the outcome of the next TSAG meeting in July, when a new structure for the Sector should be clearer, before submitting candidatures for chairmen or vice-chairmen.

The Global Standards Symposium (GSS) will be held at the same venue on 20 October 2008. It will see leading figures in the telecom/ICT field, both from government and the industry, give their vision of the future, and suggest ways of increasing the involvement of developing countries in the development and implementation of standards (bridging the standardization gap). Additionally the event will examine global ICT standards challenges, such as accessibility, climate change and collaboration among standards development organisations (SDOs). Although not formally a part of the WTSA-08, the GSS will provide a report to the WTSA for information and action as appropriate, giving participants a unique opportunity to provide input to the event that decides the future direction for ITU-T.

Monday, February 04, 2008 5:09:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |