Initiative will boost market confidence in ICT products
November, 2009 — ITU will implement measures that will give purchasers
of ICT equipment a much clearer picture of that equipment’s ability to
interoperate with other ICT devices. A key component of this new
conformity and interoperability programme will be a global database that
will log products declaring conformity to ITU standards (ITU-T
The programme will support much more informed
purchasing decisions for end users – be they companies or consumers -
and has the potential to widen markets, increase competition and
decrease costs. It will allow purchasers to freely consult a
comprehensive global database to check whether a product conforms to ITU
standards, or will work with other network elements.
conformity and interoperability of ICT equipment is a major concern,
especially in developing countries. Addressing interoperability is one
of the founding principles of the ITU, and the new programme seeks to
significantly reduce the problems that have faced service providers and
others and bring renewed confidence to the market.
Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU:
"A dizzying array of similar products can sometimes make purchasing
decisions difficult. Interoperability is at the heart of what ITU does,
so we have put in place procedures that will greatly assist those faced
with often complex buying decisions. This new programme will
significantly reduce the problems telcos, ICT service providers,
businesses and consumers face, including unwittingly being locked into
proprietary solutions. I believe this initiative is of great
significance in our efforts to bridge the digital divide, but will be
equally beneficial to those in the developed world."
The new ITU
programme will also focus on skills training and the development of
regional testing centres for developing countries. It will be voluntary
and open to ITU members and non-members alike.
ITU-T Recommendations will be declared only via accredited laboratories
or certifiers; testing will not carried out by ITU itself. Once accepted
and entered into the new database, products will be given a unique
identifier which can be referenced by the manufacturing company.
Study Groups are actively developing standards for conformity and
interoperability testing - for example, test suites for IPTV – which can
be used by external certifiers.
As part of the new programme ITU
will also organize a series of interoperability events that will allow
two or more vendors to get together to verify that their equipment
interoperates satisfactorily. An interoperability declaration can then
be added to the database. ITU will also hold regional workshops and
tutorials on conformity assessment and interoperability.
on how to implement a standards conformity and interoperability
programme was initiated with the adoption of Resolution 76 at ITU’s
World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08). The recent
session of ITU’s governing council (20-30 October, 2009) has now given
the formal go-ahead.
For further information, please contact:
ITU Media Relations
+41 22 730 6135
+41 79 599 email@example.com
ITU Senior Communications Officer
+41 22 730 5877
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