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 Tuesday, 28 February 2006

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

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

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

More details 

ITU-T Workshops and Seminars


Tuesday, 28 February 2006 15:55:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 27 February 2006

A revision to a commonly used ITU-T Recommendation will extend use of fibre previously used mainly in core networks to metropolitan or regional networks. Crucially it also has the potential to greatly reduce operating costs for network providers.

G.655 for non-zero dispersion-shifted fibre (NZDSF) was originally designed to support DWDM long distance core, it was designed to reduce a phenomenon called four wave mixing (an interaction between wavelengths that generates additional optical channels). The impressive improvement in dispersion profiles afforded by G.655 fibre together with the development of the G.692 standard for optical interfaces for multichannel systems with optical amplifiers led to an explosion in the market for DWDM systems experts say.

Reduced dispersion allows sending signals over greater distances without dispersion compensation, meaning that operators will be able to avoid using a compensator and amplifier as well as the costs associated with this; power, protection, housing and security.

The revision to G.655 (full title, Characteristics of a non-zero dispersion-shifted single-mode optical fibre and cable) deals with chromatic dispersion, a phenomenon which at low levels counteracts distortion, but at high-levels can make a signal unusable. The management of chromatic dispersion is crucial as the number of wavelengths used in WDM systems increases. ITU has a history of providing the specifications that allow operators to most efficiently handle this. The revision allows more efficient use of the properties of chromatic dispersion by more stringently defining its existence. It defines chromatic dispersion in two new categories that can be exploited by systems designers as necessary.

The need for the work stemmed from systems' designers want to better understand dispersion. And a result is that experts saw a use for G.655 cable in metro or regional networks where it had previously only been used in core networks.


Monday, 27 February 2006 17:16:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 24 February 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, 24 February 2006 16:29:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 23 February 2006
A new Recommendation identifies the needs required to give end-to-end visibility of client services carried across multi-carrier networks. Without this ability carriers have often had to wait for customers to report problems before they can begin to address them.

The Recommendation - G.8601 - identifies the requirements for the next stage of work which will focus on methodologies to address this issue. Study group experts report that contributions to this end have already
been received.

G.8601 defines architectural requirements for the edge-to-edge management of client services transported over various transport network topologies and technologies. The services for which such management capabilities are required are also included.

The requirements for the transference of the management data between the edge points are described along with the requirements for accessibility to management information at some point in the network, other than the end point.

Thursday, 23 February 2006 08:19:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 20 February 2006

G.959.1, the Recommendation that increased the capacity for multi-vendor optical interfaces developed to exploit the demand for high capacity Internet routers (see press release), has been updated to help further reduce costs for operators. The use of forward error correction (FEC) as defined in ITU-T Rec. G.709 will allow operators to transport data more cost-effectively through the use of lower cost electro-optics.


FEC is a method of sending redundant information with the data in one-way communication in order to allow the receiver to reconstruct the data if there was an error in transmission.


Experts say that in the last few years they have seen a shift in demand from operators who are now looking to maximize return on investment rather than increase distance covered etc. The revision of this Recommendation addresses this need. 


This work forms part of ITUís ongoing work in optical transport networks (OTN) which encourages a fair market for manufacturers and operators, and ultimately encourages better service for consumers. It has been developed with input from the Optical Interworking Forum (OIF).


Monday, 20 February 2006 09:44:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T will publish the first ITU-T Recommendation in the area of free-space optics. FSO is an area dominated by proprietary solutions, the new Rec means that users of FSO systems will be able to co-locate FSO solutions provided by different manufacturers for the first time.

FSO systems use lasers or LEDs to transmit data between two points with line of sight up to 2km. Typically this means between the top of buildings. Data rates of up to 1.25 Gbps are available.

As well as use in fixed settings like between tall office buildings. FSO systems have proven useful in disaster relief where telecoms infrastructure has been damaged and a quick fix is necessary. Equally FSO systems are used where there is no existing infrastructure as a way of avoiding disruptive and expensive cable laying. They are spectrum license free and protocol independent so will happily carry Ethernet, SDH signals etc.

The ITU-T Rec. G.640 will allow the co-location of FSO systems without interference with each other. 

Monday, 20 February 2006 09:10:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |