International Telecommunication Union   ITU
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Thursday, 19 July 2007

ITU-T’s multimedia Study Group 16 met in Geneva, July, with over twenty standards entering the final stage of ITU-T’s approval process. The ITU secretariat says that the meeting saw record numbers of participants and contributions. Work on the use of tag-based identification (including RFID) for multimedia in particular saw great interest and progress.

Key achievements of the meeting include the setting up of new Questions – ITU-T’s term for work area - to advance work on the third generation multimedia system that will replace the currently used H.323 and SIP multimedia protocols and a second Question on multimedia application platforms and end systems for IPTV. See separate stories – Third gen multimedia system work accelerates and Question on multimedia application platforms and end systems for IPTV.

Thursday, 19 July 2007 15:45:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new Question – ITU-T’s term for work area - to advance work on the third generation multimedia system that will eventually replace the currently used H.323 will start work pending formal approval at the next meeting of Study Group 16.

H.323 is the ITU standard for interoperability in audio, video and data transmissions over IP. It is the most widely used voice over IP (VoIP) communication protocol worldwide. It is estimated that systems using H.323 carry billions of voice minutes each month. The rollout of the next generation network (NGN) will bring with it in a new era of multimedia communications and with it the need for a new protocol.

In the mid-1990s, the ITU began work on H.323, which quickly became the dominant protocol for LAN-based videoconferencing, as well as a protocol used for transporting voice calls around the world. H.323 was developed in parallel with the Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF) Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), and was effective in facilitating a migration from circuit-switched networks to packet-switched networks. Sharing similar capabilities and similar design philosophies and being produced in the same time period, H.323 and SIP are classified as second generation systems.

Now, more than 11 years since the introduction of second generation systems, ITU-T SG 16 is again looking toward the future of multimedia systems as the ITU-T also undertakes a study to introduce the next generation network (NGN). The NGN holds the promise of revolutionizing communication as we know it and multimedia will be an important part of any new network technology.

Work on the third generation multimedia system will entail the creation of multiple new ITU-T Recommendations that will specify system architecture, system components, and one or more protocols at the service and application layer. The primary objective is to deliver a new advanced multimedia system that operates on NGN, taking advantage of its features, and will also operate on non-NGN packet-switched networks.

This Question will examine technologies such as various IP technologies, wireless technologies, and distributed computing capabilities in order to realize a system that will enable users to communicate using, as examples, voice and audio, video, electronic whiteboard, application sharing, real-time text, and file transfer across one or more communicating devices (e.g. smart phones, TV set-top boxes, game consoles, handheld game/entertainment machines, digital cameras and Internet “appliances”).

Unlike previous generation systems, this new system will enable independent application developers to create system components that are able to seamlessly interface with the system in order to deliver any one or more of the aforementioned modes of communication. There is a strong desire to move away from the “monolithic applications” that were distinctive of second generation systems, to a system that enables components to “plug in” to the system, either locally or remotely using various wired or wireless technologies, to deliver an enhanced user experience. To meet that objective, this Question will study the various interfaces between these components and the technologies that might be used to tie them together.

The study includes among other subjects:

• Downloadable codecs

• System decomposition

• Discovery of services

• Support for transcoding functionality (e.g. text to speech)

• Dynamic device discovery

• Application plug in

• Consideration of various business models

• Integrated QoS, security and mobility functionality

Experts have set deadlines for the Identification of Requirements - Q1/2008, and basic architecture - Q1/2009.

Thursday, 19 July 2007 15:41:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new Question – ITU-T’s term for work area – on multimedia application platforms and end systems for IPTV will start work pending formal approval at the next meeting of Study Group 16.

Experts say that with the surge of multimedia services such as video streaming and the desire to offer IPTV services, the market is in serious need of standardized interoperable solutions, especially at the multimedia applications layer. Interoperability will provide benefit for all the players in the value-chain, especially at the multimedia applications layer, and encourage growth of this market.

This Question is intended to produce deliverables related to study IPTV platforms, including, but not restricted to middleware, applications, content formats and their uses, which will facilitate effective and interoperable use of the IPTV systems. The Question will be the recipient of a number of documents from the IPTV Focus Group and it will assimilate these into its work program with the intention of generating a number of standards (ITU-T Recommendations).

Thursday, 19 July 2007 15:35:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 12 July 2007
Meeting of Study Group 3 - Tariff and accounting principles including related telecommunication economic and policy issues

Geneva, 2 - 9 October, 2007

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 5/3 for more information.

Study Group 3 Home

Thursday, 12 July 2007 17:37:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 10 July 2007

At the June 2007 meeting of ITU-T SG15, a Recommendation that helps to future proof gigabit capable passive optical networks (G-PON) was consented.

The Recommendation, G.984.5, defines wavelength ranges which are reserved for additional service signals to be overlaid via wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) in future gigabit capable passive optical networks (G-PON). The Recommendation also specifies the wavelength blocking filters to be implemented in optical network terminations (ONT). These filters, together with the use of the specified wavelength ranges, will enable network operators to upgrade G-PON systems without a break in service to their customers.’

Tuesday, 10 July 2007 15:50:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At the June 2007 meeting of ITU-T SG15, work continued on a draft new Recommendation to develop a single international standard for home networking transceivers using any metallic media in the home – phoneline wiring, data cable (e.g. CAT5), coaxial cable or powerline wiring.

Household connectivity is growing rapidly with more and more electronic devices and networks within the home distributing and using digital information and media. In addition, remote control of lighting, heating, appliance-use and security systems attached to the home are making the "digital home" a reality.

International standards that enable interoperability and security in the field of home networking are seen as key to bringing value and versatility to consumers, making possible the use of diverse products, services and sources, and therefore accelerating market development.

Work in ITU-T is coordinated by the Joint Coordination Activity on Home Networking (JCA-HN). Topics covered across the 13 different Study Groups of ITU-T include digital rights management (DRM), phone-line networking (including co-ax), IPTV, interactive video, set top box architecture and cable modems.

The work on ITU-T Rec - - next generation home networking transceivers - has now attracted a critical mass of contributors/participants with nine companies submitting 20 contributions on various topics. It is anticipated that will be completed in 2008.

Also at the June 2007 meeting of ITU-T SG15, it was agreed to start work on a draft new Recommendation G.hnta on home network transport architecture. The Rec will give a generic architecture based on the NGN functional architecture described in Recommendation Y.2012 “Next Generation Networks – Frameworks and functional architecture models” It will describe a platform for the development of future home network standards. The draft Recommendation G.hnta is complementary to draft Recommendation H.ghna currently under development by SG16.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007 15:48:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 09 July 2007
Meeting of Study Group 17 - Security, languages and telecommunication software

Geneva, 19 - 28 September 2007

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 7/17 for more information.

Study Group 17 Home

Monday, 09 July 2007 15:39:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 02 July 2007

A second standard in a new group of Recommendations from ITU-T's Study Group 15 extends the distance at which multi-vendor DWDM systems can be deployed from 80 to four or five hundred kilometres.

The first standard in the series gave network operators the ability to deploy multi-vendor dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) systems in a metro environment. The new Recommendation extends this to cover regional environments by taking into account the use of optical amplifiers and their potential to create 'optical noise'.

WDM technology is used by the owners of optical fibres to maximise their capacity. The technology achieves this by simultaneously operating an optical fibre pair at more than one wavelength and uses optical amplification to increase transmission distances as well as optical add/drop multiplexers to increase the flexibility of the network. Since operators wish to maximize their cable plant investments and deploy increasingly bandwidth hungry services in a multi-vendor environment, standards development in this field is seen as crucial.

The Recommendation defines values for single-channel optical interface parameters of physical point-to-point and ring DWDM applications on single-mode optical fibres through the use of the "black-link" approach. The black-links covered by this follow-on Recommendation may contain optical amplifiers.

The transport network of most operators is based on the use of equipment from a variety of different vendors. Previously, for those parts of the network involving DWDM optical transmission, this has been achieved via the use of optical transponders which convert the single channel interfaces like those defined in ITU-T Recs G.957 G.691, G.693, G.959.1 into DWDM wavelengths suitable for the particular vendor’s proprietary system. With the optical interfaces standardized in new G.698.2 operators can directly connect a wide variety of equipment to the DWDM line system without the need for those additional short reach transmitter and receiver pair per channel (eliminating the transponders) with obvious associated cost savings.

Monday, 02 July 2007 08:36:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |