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 Tuesday, October 31, 2006

An ITU-T and OASIS workshop on public warning, October, attracted 80 participants and saw agreement on a number of ways forward. The event signaled a further stepping-up of cooperation between the two organizations.

The OASIS Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), which was successfully demonstrated at the event, has been submitted to ITU for international standardization, officials from both organizations confirmed. Publication as an ITU-T Recommendation will help ensure that CAP is deployed worldwide giving technical compatibility for users across all countries. This action had strong support from the workshop.

The goal of public warning is to reduce the damage and loss of life caused by a natural or man-made hazard event. CAP allows a warning message to be consistently disseminated simultaneously over many warning systems to many applications.

Attendees, from policy makers to manufacturers to personnel involved in emergency management also agreed among other things to: “Coordinate actions among all relevant players to ensure that standards-based, all-media, all-hazards public warning becomes an essential infrastructure component through platforms such as the Telecommunications for Disaster Relief and Mitigation - Partnership Co-ordination Panel (PCP-TDR)”.

The workshop produced a number of other proposals, which will shortly be available from the event’s website.

In a separate announcement, OASIS said that it was happy to welcome ITU as an event supporter for its upcoming Adoption Forum, London, 27-29 November. ITU members are invited to attend the conference, titled Managing Secure Interactions in Sector Applications, at the reduced rate of EUR100 per day.

The announcements follow the June 2006 approval as internationally recognized ITU-T Recommendations of OASIS’ SAML as ITU-T X.1141 (Security Assertion Markup Language) and XACML as ITU-T X.1142 (Extensible Access Control Markup Language). See previous story.

 

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:03:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom World, December 4-8, Kong Kong will see ITU-T members, and guests stage an interoperability showcase for fibre to the premises (FTTP) related standards.

 

On show will be gigabit passive optical network (G-PON) equipment built according to the ITU-T G.984 Recommendation. PON technology is used in the local loop to connect residential and 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: AMCC, Cambridge Industries Group, Ericsson, FlexLight Networks, Fujitsu Network Communications, Hitachi, LS Cable, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Terawave Communications, and ZTE.

 

With PONs, signals are carried by lasers and sent to their destination without the need for active electronics. Carriers can realize significant savings with fiber sharing in the distribution network, 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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 3:58:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 27, 2006
With the second meeting of the IPTV Focus Group (FG IPTV) seeing a record number of participants and contributions, experts have declared satisfaction that work towards a set of standards for IPTV is well on track.

A recent report from industry analyst Gartner says that the number of households around the world subscribing to IPTV services offered by telecom carriers will reach 48.8 million in 2010. Buoyed by new service launches, IPTV subscribers will more than double in 2007 from an expected 6.4 million in 2006 to 13.3 million according to Gartner.

Experts agree that it is imperative that standards needs are met if these impressive figures are to be achieved.

A key achievement at the FG IPTV meeting in Korea was progress towards an standardized IPTV architecture: The group agreed that IPTV architecture shall allow for both NGN and non-NGN approaches to IPTV, and within the NGN-approach, include both IMS and non-IMS based approaches.

Ghassem Koleyni, chair of the group: “I am particularly happy that we have achieved so much progress in Working Group 1 (service requirements and architecture). The level of participation in this group is growing and progress is overall good. But requirements and architecture are of such fundamental importance that getting a fix on these points, at this stage, is very satisfying. In order to gain momentum here we will convene an electronic meeting looking specifically at requirements and architecture, 18-21 December.”

The Korea meeting agreed on the following definition of IPTV: “IPTV is defined as multimedia services such as television/video/ audio/text/graphics/data delivered over IP based networks managed to provide the required level of QoS/QoE, security, interactivity and reliability.”

The next face-to-face meeting of the FG IPTV is scheduled for 22-26 January 2007 at the Microsoft facilities , Mountain View, California, USA (Silicon Valley) at the kind invitation of Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).

The FG IPTV meeting was preceded by an ITU-T workshop. The event attended by over 400 and held in Seoul provided a view and examination of IPTV standardization, political and regulatory aspects, business models and various case studies as well as technical developments and service provider’s operational aspects. A roundtable discussion at the event concluded that global standardisation and interoperability are key for further development of IPTV worldwide. Other issues that might be further discussed at an international level, according to the roundtable’s twenty participants, include digital rights management (DRM).

 

Friday, October 27, 2006 8:30:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Joint Coordination Activity on Network Aspects of Identification Systems (including RFID) (JCA-NID) had its first meeting 19-21 September.

The newly established group aims to foster relationships with related standards bodies working in the field in order to exchange information, and – through co-ordination and close working relationships – avoid proliferation of incompatible standards and duplication of work.

The group’s work is currently focused on providing high-level specifications that are always the first step in any standardization work. Key are a roadmap document outlining the order for standards work in the field, a high level requirements document and a generic architectural model. These will be developed as deliverables for eventual input into ITU-T Study Group system.

Meeting attendees agreed to distribute an invitation to relevant groups to inform them of the JCA-NID’s activities and ask them to each identify a coordinator.

A proposal for the next meeting, 25 February 2007, looks set to be adopted.

 

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 2:14:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 02, 2006

Over seven hundred people voted for the most influential standards work from ITU-T in a recent poll to celebrate 50 years of CCITT/ITU-T.

The work area receiving the most votes was video coding. The task of video coding is to establish efficient formats for storing and transmitting video data. The work of ITU–T in this field was pioneered in joint projects with the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC).

Gary Sullivan Rapporteur of the group that has led video coding work: “It is a great honor to see our video coding work so highly appreciated. Much of the credit should go to my predecessors in leading the ITU-T video coding work, Sakae Okubo, Richard Schaphorst, and Karel Rijkse, and also to my Associate Rapporteur Thomas Wiegand, as well as to all our contributors and our ISO/IEC collaborators. One key technical contributor I would cite in particular is Gisle Bjøntegaard.

Besides the two video standards that were explicitly mentioned in the poll question (H.262/MPEG2-Video and H.264/AVC), there were several others of substantial importance in the standardization of that field. Specifically, that includes H.120, H.261, and H.263.

I think perhaps our edge over SS7 and other such telephony network standards in the voting was really just a matter of our work being more familiar to most people and perhaps fresher in people's minds. The work of the ITU has been at the heart of developing a reliable world-wide telephony network, and that has been hugely important to us all.”

Signalling System number 7 (SS7) received the second highest number of votes. SS7 is a common channel signalling system that separates network resource control from the resources being controlled. This fundamental shift enabled the implementation of highly efficient centralized databases for call control, especially valuable for services that may be accessed from any subscriber line (Intelligent Networks, 800/Freephone, credit card, VPN, etc.), and an integral capability on which today’s ubiquitous mobile phone systems depend. Among other service supporting capabilities, it enables monitoring the status of a line to see if it is busy or idle, alerts that indicate the arrival of a call, and the addressing system that routes calls.

John Visser, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 19: "SS7 is felt by many to be a cornerstone technology of modern telecommunications.” Visser describes the group which developed the SS7 Recommendations and who were recognized by their peers as ‘Knights of SS7’, as “…a camaraderie… who proudly display the certificates awarded to them as part of this recognition of their efforts.”

Voting results can be seen here.

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:52:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU-T Recommendation Y.2111, a new standard emerging from the July NGN-GSI meetings addresses a key area of concern in NGN, the ability to offer end-to-end QoS. Crucially it also addresses the need to be able to differentiate multiple services running over the same network.

The Recommendation deals with resource and admission control functions (RACF) which will help enable operators to guarantee end-to-end quality for multimedia services in NGN, for example VoIP and IPTV. Key to the approach is the ability for an operator to specify rules to specific communication types in order that they can better allocate network resources.

With most IP networks today operating under a best-effort system, network congestion can significantly undermine the quality and reliability of more advanced multimedia applications. RACF meets the demand for more intelligent control of packet-based network infrastructures.

The Recommendation defines the related requirements and functional architecture covering aspects such as resource reservation, admission control and gate control, Network Address Port Translation (NAPT) and firewall control, and Network Address Translator (NAT) traversal.

 

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:50:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Recommendation Y.2012 consented at the July SG 13 meeting describes the functional architecture of the NGN.

The NGN architecture described supports the delivery of services such as multimedia services, conversational services, and content delivery services (eg video streaming and broadcasting).

NGN functional architecture shall incorporate the following principles according to the Rec.:

·          Support for multiple access technologies: The NGN functional architecture shall offer the configuration flexibility needed to support multiple access technologies.

·          Distributed control: This will enable adaptation to the distributed processing nature of packet-based networks and support location transparency for distributed computing.

·          Open control: The network control interface should be open to support service creation, service updating, and incorporation of service logic provision by third parties.

·          Independent service provisioning: The service provisioning process should be separated from transport network operation by using the above-mentioned distributed, open control mechanism. This is intended to promote a competitive environment for NGN development in order to speed up the provision of diversified NGN services.

·          Support for services in a converged network: This is needed to generate flexible, easy-to-use multimedia services, by tapping the technical potential of the converged, fixed-mobile functional architecture of the NGN.

·          Enhanced security and protection: This is the basic principle of an open architecture. It is imperative to protect the network infrastructure by providing mechanisms for security and survivability in the relevant layers.

·          Functional entities should incorporate the following principles:

o         Functional entities may not be distributed over multiple physical units but may have multiple instances.

o         Functional entities have no direct relationship with the layered architecture.  However, similar entities may be located in different logical layers.

 
Along with a new architecture, NGN will bring an additional level of complexity beyond that of existing networks. In particular, support for multiple access technologies and mobility results in the need to support a wide variety of network configurations. Some examples of configurations are provided to provide put in context the architecture description.

Although the scope of the Rec. is primarily NGN architecture, it also takes into account legacy PSTN/ISDN terminals and/or interworking with the PSTN/ISDN which is clearly is an important consideration with respect to NGN deployment. Three additional Recommendations were consented in this area Y.2031, Y.2261 and Y.2271.

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:48:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
One of the most important ITU-T Recommendations emerging from the SG 13 meeting specifies the high level requirements and associated capabilities for NGN. Defining requirements is a fundamental and essential part of the standards making process. The document outlines the basic foundations necessary for NGN work to progress and, in particular, for supporting the service objectives of NGN Release 1.

So, for example: “The NGN transport stratum [Y.2012] shall use the IP protocol for general, ubiquitous, and global public connectivity. The IP protocol may be carried over various underlying transport technologies in the access and core portions of the transport stratum (eg. xDSL, ATM, MPLS, Frame Relay, OTN) according to the operator’s environment.”

Aligned with the general goals and objectives captured in the ITU’s definition of NGN published in Recommendation Y.2001 the proposed Recommendation (Y.2201), as well as other documents finalized in July, is an updated version of an output from the Focus Group on NGN (FG-NGN), November 2005.

Experts say that it is important to note that NGN standards authors will have used the requirements text agreed in November 2004 as a basis for their work. Publication as an ITU-T Recommendation will give legal (normative) status and has enabled some general refinement as well as updating particularly in the area of regulatory requirements.

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:45:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T Study Groups meeting under the auspices of the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI), July, finalized a substantial body of work. Sixteen new standards went into the final stages of the ITU approval process in areas including requirements, architecture, QoS and security. Around 650 documents were considered by the lead SG on NGN, Study Group 13, alone. Study Group management reported high levels of participation and good progress.

Two rather fundamental documents describing requirements for NGN and describing the functional architecture of the NGN will be published as ITU-T Recommendations after formal approval. Also, QoS, a crucial element as networks move to an environment inherently more susceptible to delay, interference etc. was a key focus, one new Recommendation was consented in this field.

Experts also point to the importance of a Recommendation (ITU-T Rec. Y.2021) describing how the IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) as specified by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2) can be used in the NGN context. A Rec. from Study Group 19 on mobility management was also highlighted, see story here.

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:43:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU* together with partners ISO* and IEC*, will hold an event at the Geneva Motor Show, March 2007 to review and examine the implications of the latest developments in the fast-moving market for ICT in motor vehicles.

The Fully Networked Car, Information and Communication Technologies in Motor Vehicles, will comprise an exhibition which will run the length of the Geneva Motor Show, and a workshop which will take place between 7 and 9 March.

ICT is a key area of focus for the automotive industry influencing vehicle development, the driver experience and the way that vehicles are now sold. ICT has the potential to vastly improve vehicle mobility and safety, while increasing comfort and enjoyment, but there are fundamental questions that need to be addressed.

Building on the success of two previous workshops the exhibition portion of the event will showcase the latest technologies in the field, while the workshop brings together all stakeholders to discuss the current state of this technology and to agree on how to achieve progress.

The Geneva Motor Show is one of the world’s leading automotive events and in 2007 will give seven hundred square metres of exhibition space to consumer or concept communication technologies for vehicles. This will include communication from/to the car, location-based services, multimedia entertainment, diagnostics, safety, e-call, and others.

Hans Gierlich of Head Acoustics and Chairman of the steering committee for the event, said: “The workshop will examine some of the challenges faced in linking the automotive and ICT sectors. There are many hurdles here and standardization will play an important role in smoothing the way forward for the industry.”

The goals of the workshop are to shed light on questions such as; how do we face the technical and engineering challenges; how do we make sure that the right standards are adopted to deal with the complexity of so many electronic components and what are the best ways to allow this market to develop its full potential?

This event is convened as part of the activity of the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) between ITU (ITU-T and ITU-R), ISO and IEC. More details can be found at the event’s website - itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/ict-auto/200703/. Exhibitor/speaker enquiries: tsbcar@itu.int, +41 (0)22 730 5808, 5882. Media enquiries: toby.johnson@itu.int, + 41 (0) 22 730 5877.

*The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) group government authorities, representatives of industry, research institutes, universities and consumers, and other experts, to reach a consensus on worldwide standards in almost all realms of human endeavour, from aircraft and space vehicles to basic units of measurement and test methods. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is an agency of the United Nations which has among its aims the extension of the benefits of new telecommunication technologies to all the world's inhabitants and facilitation of the worldwide standardization of telecommunications.

 

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:25:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU-T is hosting a workshop and demonstration together with OASIS on Advances in ICT Standards for Public Warning, 19-20 October.

In the wake of the Tsunami disaster that took place on 26 December 2004 and major natural catastrophes that hit in 2005 standards development organizations (SDOs) have stepped up work on public warning in concert with organizations dealing with disaster management, prevention and relief. Emphasizing the practical application of standardized public warnings, the workshop will review relevant work by SDOs, identify standardization gaps, and identify key players to collaborate on further work as needed.

The two-day event will feature an emergency management interoperability demonstration of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) OASIS standard, as well as presentations by various players active in public warning and discussion of relevant technology issues that may also have public policy implications. 

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:24:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

The African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI), and the ITU’s Center of Excellence, in association with the ITU-T, will run a three day workshop on telecommunication standardization, 25 to 27 October 2006. The workshop will be conducted at the TDM Training Centre in Maputo, Mozambique. A broad aim of the event is to give African regulators and operators an insight into the working methods of ITU-T and encourage greater particpation.

The event will explore topics including NGN, VOIP, issues of security related to these technologies, and their likely regulatory implications. Also covered will be the outcome of the last World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly (WTSA – 2004) held in Brazil in October 2004 and the implications on the structure and working methods of ITU-T, as well as what some of these decisions mean for Africa.

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:18:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 21, 2006

ITU-T Study Group 9 will host a demonstration of technologies for emerging broadband services in the home during its next meeting.

The event will take place at the Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo, October 2 (1600-2000) and 3 (0900-1700), with October 3 being open to the public.

Among the technologies represented are the interactive video, video and VoIP enabled by the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) which is embedded in ITU-T Recommendation J.202 and high-speed pre-DOCSIS 3.0 (ITU-T Recommendation J.122). Internet access; home networking of video and data, service management for a cable quad play (video, wireless, voice and data); multiple advanced video applications and a high-speed broadband download video service.

“This will be a very powerful exhibit of technology enabling advanced broadband capabilities as well as some of the latest broadband applications, many of which are deployed by cable companies in markets around the world,” said Study Group 9 Chairman Dr. Richard R. Green, President and CEO of CableLabs.

Eighteen companies from around the world will be part of the demonstration with an emphasis on technologies that support emerging services in consumers’ households. Among the demonstrating companies are: Alticast, Arcwave, ARRIS International Japan, Arroyo, BigBand Networks, Brix, Digital Keystone, Entropic, Gallery IP, Hitron Technologies, Integra5, J:COM, KDDI Labs, NDS, NEC, PerfTech, Sigma Systems and VectroMAX .

SG 9’s meeting will consider new Recommendations for IPCablecom 2.0, DOCSIS 3.0, advanced set-top box for the reception of cable television and other services, and other Internet Protocol services.

 

Thursday, September 21, 2006 9:32:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |