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 Thursday, May 12, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

TSB Director, Houlin Zhao is to address the latest meeting of the Service and Network Operations Group (SNOg) in a pre-recorded video. The meeting is to take place in Melbourne, Australia, 14 February and is hosted by Telstra.

The TSB head sent his apologies for not being able to attend the event in person, and thanked SNOg for its contribution to ITU-T's work, also congratulating the group on reaching its silver jubilee.

SNOg aims to make sure that the operations staff - often at the frontline of any telecommunication service provider - needs are taken into account in the development of standards.

Michael Lawrey, Head of Network Services, Telstra, a keynote speaker at the event described emerging technologies as changing the way networks operate. "Our upcoming meeting will provide us with an opportunity to hear the challenges we face as experts of network operators as well as presenting a great opportunity for all attending delegates to nut out the implementation of network and service management activities.

"The challenges for us are many and come in the form of network convergence, integration of processes, new tool sets required to understand the customer experience, and most importantly, the shift in our mindset from managing technology to managing customer services and their experiences."

For further information on SNOg please contact Morris Flory.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:24:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An impressive line-up of speakers has been confirmed for the upcoming ITU-T event - The Fully Networked Car - A Workshop on ICT in Vehicles, to be held at the Geneva Motor Show, 2-4 March. Global experts who will frame the major issues and engage the audience in discussion on this important topic include high-level representatives from BMW, Cisco, Magna Electronics, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Motorola, Bosch, France Telecom, Volvo, Nissan and Swisscom.

Topics to be discussed include, the introduction of extra-vehicle communication systems that allow communication with nearby vehicles, for example to communicate that a car is hydroplaning and advise appropriate action to nearby cars. Another session will focus on a pan-European in-vehicle emergency call. Experts will discuss how automatically generated in-vehicle emergency calls (eCalls) can speed-up the response of the emergency services and potentially reduce the number of fatalities, severity of injuries and stress in post-crash situations.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:21:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T is to hold an NGN Technical Workshop, 14 - 15 March 2005 at the Lotte Hotel, Jeju Island, Korea, at the kind invitation of the Korean Government. The workshop will serve as a useful review point on the road towards NGN, and precedes a meeting of the Focus Group on NGN (FGNGN).

In May of 2004 study on NGN standards found a home at ITU, with the formation of the FGNGN. Since that time intense work has taken place in this group and across many of ITU-T’s other study groups, towards the development of standards that will define services, network and systems architecture in IP enabled next generation communication systems. Indeed NGN has become a key area of study for ITU-T’s study groups. Study groups 2, 11, 13 and 19 for example have a significant NGN focus (Study Group 13 is the lead Study Group for NGN).

The convergence between internet protocol (IP), 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 is impossible without the development of global standards. NGN will offer a richer set of applications to the end user. The work of FGNGN and other ITU-T groups will build on existing fixed/mobile convergence architecture (e.g. 3GPP/3GPP2 IP multimedia subsystem (IMS)) to provide transparency between fixed and mobile networks.

Among many recent achievements in the NGN field are an output relating to IP-QoS signalling for inclusion in the first set of specifications (Release 1), the foundation of a 'joint coordination activity' (NGN-JCA) aiming to see that standards are developed in the most appropriate place and that no duplication of effort occurs and the development of a project management tool that will give a unique overview of the NGN work going on across the standardization world.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:18:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T is to host a Workshop on Home Networking Systems, 13-14 October 2005 in Geneva.

Home Networking is the linking of all types of electronic devices for applications such as entertainment, telecommunication, home automation systems and telemetry (remote control and monitoring systems). And given the wide range of previously unrelated technologies involved, standards that allow for interoperability are seen as key to the successful marketing of the concept.

The event will be jointly organized by Study Groups 9 and 12, in cooperation with several other ITU Study Groups and organizations outside of ITU. It follows the Workshop on Home Networking and Home Services held 17-18 June 2004, Tokyo.

Study Group 9 has been working on standardization in home networking systems for more than four years. It has already approved three Recommendations in the field. A current focus is a new Recommendation that will specify ways to bridge conditional access systems (that ensure payment in pay TV for example) to digital rights management (DRM) systems, an important step toward smooth operation of fully integrated home networking.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:10:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

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

A new standard developed by Study Group 9 will help to facilitate communication over IPCablecom networks in disaster situations. 
Even when not directly damaged, networks may have to cope with congestion, overload or the need to be rapidly extended due to limited bandwidth.

The Recommendation - J.260 - defines requirements for authentication and priority mechanisms in IP-based cable architectures. It ensures, that even in times of limited bandwidth, emergency communication is transmitted without problems.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:56:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU recently lent its expertise in the field of disaster recovery and mitigation to a high-level global gathering looking to develop an early warning system for tsunamis.

A delegation headed by Houlin Zhao, director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) and representatives of the radiocommunication and development bureaux attended The Ministerial Meeting on Regional Cooperation on Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements, Phuket, Thailand, 28-29 January.

Envoys from 43 countries and 13 international organizations attended the event hosted by the Thai foreign ministry, to discuss arrangements for an early warning system that could help to reduce the scale of devastation following any future tsunami.

Ahead of the event Zhao said: “I believe that ITU has much to offer in the development of an early warning system for tsunamis. This tragedy has, once again, underscored the fact that information and communication technologies are a vital component in disaster relief and prevention. We have a proven track record in the field of disaster management, and I hope that we can offer some valuable advice here. The dissemination of information using these technologies is a crucial part of all disaster relief strategies. It is impossible to imagine disaster relief today without radios, fixed-line telephony and mobile phones. And now the Internet has also proved that it has an important role to play, supporting the more traditional media of radio and television.

“It is very unfortunate that it took a disaster on this scale to wake the world up to the need for an early warning system in this area. But, this meeting should serve to spearhead and coordinate in the most efficient manner the very necessary work towards a system that will reduce the devastating effects of such an event in the future.”

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Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:50:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In its first meeting of the new study period, Study Group 13 started work on a set of activities to speed up the development of, and provide clear direction for NGN standardization work. ITU-T will implement in the first half of 2005 a set of tools that will give a unique overview of the next generation network (NGN) work going on across the standardization world.

Since the work towards standards for NGN is taking place across a number of different ITU-T study groups and other standards development organizations (SDOs) the ability to coordinate and view all NGN work in one place will be invaluable to the swift and efficient publication of the first set of NGN specifications (Release 1).

The tools – essentially a repository of information from ITU and other SDOs – were asked for by members of the NGN Focus Group. Key will be the ability to keep track of the latest versions of documents and provide detailed information for experts and summaries for management.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:43:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T's Study Group 19, in its first meeting of the new study period held in Geneva, December 2004, completed the first stage of approval for the latest standards for the core network infrastructure for next generation mobile telephony (ITU's international mobile telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000)).

This set of specifications makes use of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) core network specifications (supporting the cdma2000 air interface). The standards will be known as ITU-T Recommendation Q.1742.4, and extend the applicability of this ANSI standard to a global market.

Together with matching radio interface specifications handled through ITU-R Working Party 8F in the ITU-R M.1457 series of Recommendations, these standards support applications ranging from narrow-band voice to wide-band voice, data and multimedia communications with full terminal mobility. Completion of the approval process is anticipated in the first quarter of 2005.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:41:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following the success of the Cybersecurity Symposium held in Florianópolis, Brazil, October 2004, ITU has decided to hold another event.

Cybersecurity Symposium II will be held on the first day of the Russian Association for Networks and Services (RANS) conference - Security and Trust for Infocommunication Networks Deployment, Moscow.

The symposium will highlight the importance of cybersecurity as an essential part of information and communication technologies (ICT). There will be discussion on international cooperation, which is increasingly becoming the decisive issue in coordinating the efforts of state institutions and business for the harmonized development of normative, legal, technological and organizational aspects of an effective cybersecurity infrastructure. Additionally there will be a review of the necessary standards development.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:39:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T's Study Group 19 has developed and approved a technical report that will facilitate interoperable and harmonized wireless network architectures. This is a key aspect of the overall ITU-T focus on next generation networks (NGN).

The convergence of fixed and wireless networks has become a key topic for forward-looking standardization, especially in NGN. This, together with the convergence of telecommunication and information technologies, and the drive for migration to interoperable and harmonized network architectures, means that there is a requirement to provide global roaming and seamless mobility for the users of the different access technologies used by different operators.

To this end, ITU-T's Study Group 19 is leading the definition of requirements, related architecture framework, and network to network interfaces (NNIs) for mobility management for the next generation mobile networks defined in ITU-T's systems beyond IMT-2000. The technical report by Study Group 19 identifies the requirements that will enable the development of protocols which are essential for the development of next generation mobile networks. It is recommended reading for anyone working in this area as it provides an excellent summary of the requirements and options for meeting them.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:34:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A recent meeting of Study Group 13, the lead study group on NGN, saw the establishment of a group that will ensure that work across ITU-T’s study groups is focused on delivering NGN standards in a timely and efficient way. Essentially the group will aim to see that standards are developed in the most appropriate place and that no duplication of effort occurs.

The ‘joint coordination activity’ (NGN-JCA) group initially consists of management representatives of study groups 2, 11, 13 and 19.

The meeting also saw agreement on a draft action plan to support the involvement of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in its work. This follows a mandate given by the world telecommunication standardization assembly (WTSA) to ensure that ITU-T's standardization work continues to address the digital divide between rich and poor countries. In line with Study Groups 15 and 16's recent announcements the move will ensure that developing countries' needs are taken into account in the development of standards.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:31:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

New specifications ratified by ITU-T Study Group 11 will transfer some of the call control elements of SS7 to the IP world. SS7 is the signalling system used by telecoms operators worldwide to allow the efficient routing of calls, and its worldwide implementation has paved the way for an efficiently operating international telecommunication network.

The new Recommendation - Q.1980.1- defines narrowband signalling syntax (NSS), a flexible text-based syntax that can be used to transfer narrowband signalling information in protocols that cannot inherently transfer such information (eg the session initiation protocol (SIP)).

This NSS solution aims at helping operators reflect the services that they provide in the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in next generation IP based networks. It provides a standardized set of PSTN/ISDN services signalling parameters that can be mapped into the many SS7 ISDN user part (ISUP*) variations, to be transmitted transparently through IP networks. NSS has been designed to enable seamless interworking between the PSTN and IP networks and transition from legacy TDM (time division multiplexing) circuit switched networks to packet-based transport technologies without service degradation or changes.

* ISUP determines the procedures for setting-up, coordinating and taking down calls on an SS7 network. It provides calling party number information, call status checking, and controls tone and announcement delivery.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:28:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:20:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 11, 2005

PP-02 Decisions on review of the International Telecommunication Regulations and subsequent actions

The ITU Marrakesh Plenipotentiary Conference, after considering a number of input documents from Member States, adopted Resolution 121 [E|F|S], which resolved that the Union should continue a process of reviewing the International Telecommunication Regulations [E|F|S]. To this end, a Working Group of Council, open to all Member States, whose delegations may include appropriate legal, regulatory and technical experts has been established.

The third and final meeting will take place in Geneva on 11 (afternoon) - 13 May 2005 to finalize the work. You may find further details on the invitation letter. [DM-1171 ]

[more...]

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 11:14:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bureaufax Table Update for Pakistan - Swaziland

Pakistan - Swaziland [ Winword | PDF ] (updated 10.05.05)

The Bureaufax Table, published in collaboration with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in pursuance of the provisions of ITU-T Recommendation F.170 (03/98), is now published in electronic version only.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005 10:38:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 10, 2005

TSB Circular 30 - Replies to the 2005 Questionnaire on conditions for provision of "call-back"

Alternative Calling Procedures (Call-Back)

The World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly 04 (WTSA-04) adopted Resolution 29 on alternative calling procedures on international telecommunication networks. In that Resolution, the sovereign right of each country to regulate its telecommunications, as expressed in the basic instruments of ITU, was reaffirmed. In this regard, each country has the right to authorize, prohibit or regulate call-back practices. National regulatory measures must be respected by other countries within the limits of their own legislation, and the recognized operating agencies (ROAs) and administrations concerned must communicate and collaborate.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005 5:09:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Workshops and Seminars

Workshop on Video and Image Coding and Applications (VICA)

Where: Geneva
When: 22 - 23 July 2005

Contact: tsbworkshops@itu.int

 

Introduction

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.

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

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

All interested parties are free to attend.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005 4:55:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 09, 2005
Through its work on standardization, ITU develops technical standards (known as Recommendations) that facilitate the use of public telecommunication services and systems for communications during emergency, disaster relief and mitigation operations.  In such circumstances, technical features need to be in place to ensure that users who must communicate at a time of disaster have the communication channels they need, with appropriate security and with the best possible quality of service.
  • ITU-T SG 16 work on Telecommunications for Disaster Relief (TDR)
    Since 2003 ITU-T Study Group 16 Question 27(I)/16 studies the standardization needs for the use of public telecommunication services for emergency and disaster relief operations.
  • Telecommunications for Disaster Relief and Mitigation - Partnership Co-ordination Panel (PCP-TDR)
    The PCP-TDR was created in 2003 as a forum where ?standardizers? and ?users? of TDR facilities get together to ensure that emergency and disaster relief telecommunications standards meet users? needs. Participation is open to international telecommunication service providers, related government departments, standards development organizations, intergovernmental organizations, disaster relief organizations, and other entities working in the field.
  • ITU-T Action Plan ? Telecommunications for Disaster Relief and Early Warning
    In March 2005, TSAG agreed to a first version of an ITU-T Action Plan for Standardization on Telecommunications for Disaster Relief and Early Warning (TDR/EW), motivated by the identification of the need for new telecommunication standards following the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, and proposals made to the TSAG meeting. This first version was sent to all ITU-T study groups for their action and comment. All Study Groups are encouraged to increase their activities in the definition of Recommendations and other materials (e.g. handbooks) on TDR/EW and to provide feedback to TSAG and ITU-T Study Group 2 (which is to coordinate the effort) on actions taken and on proposals for improvement to the Action Plan.
Monday, May 09, 2005 5:50:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 06, 2005

Geneva, 21 April 2005 - ITU will hold a workshop on next generation networks (NGN) together with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), 1 - 2 May, 2005, Geneva.

Since May 2004 intense work has taken place in ITU, towards the development of standards that will define services, network and systems architecture in the next generation of IP enabled communication systems, or next generation networks (NGN).

The objectives of the workshop are to report the progress of ITU's work on NGN and explore specific issues that impact both the ITU and the IETF in order to better understand the work underway in the two organizations and to identify areas where action can be taken to make further progress.

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Friday, May 06, 2005 10:39:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |