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 Monday, November 05, 2007
"Buses equipped with wi-fi are being used to deliver web content to remote rural villages in the developing world. In rural India and parts of Rwanda, Cambodia and Paraguay, the vehicles offer web content to computers with no internet connection." United Villages is an initiative that provides communties in Asia, Africa, and Latin America with a digital access to locally-relevant products and services using a low-cost, store-and-forward "drive-by WiFi" technology. Mobile Access Points (MAPs) are installed on existing vehicles (e.g. buses and motorcycles) and automatically provide access for WiFi-enabled Kiosks along the roads. Whenever a MAP is within range of a real-time wireless Internet connection, it transfers the data from and for those Kiosks. The United Villages project also allows users to request specific information or content for a few additional rupees. The wi-fi vehicles also deliver as well as collect e-mails, and brings e-Commerce to the villagers.

Read the full article on BBC News.
More on United Villages on their website.

This article was originally published in the ITU-D CYB Newslog.
Monday, November 05, 2007 10:39:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 02, 2007

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, together with other partners, demonstrated how using information and communication technologies (ICTs) and telecommunications networks could result in considerable savings in power-grid infrastructure and electricity consumption, reported the Network World on 22 October.

The test network allowed consumers to select their usage preferences via a web portal. Smart controls-based devices such as virtual thermostats were interconnected with a service-oriented architecture (SOA) through middleware, and using broadband internet. The so-called GridWise project showed that both the power demand at the SOA electricity marketplace could be managed more evenly and customers were in better control of their energy consumption.

For more information on the project, please click here.

This article was originally published in the ITU-D CYB Newslog.

Friday, November 02, 2007 10:45:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Next meeting of TSAG - Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group

Geneva, 3-7 December 2007

Registration Form

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


Tuesday, October 30, 2007 11:48:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 23, 2007
ITU-T's work on specifications that will enhance communications in vehicles will expand to development of requirements and testing methodologies for wideband communications in cars.

The news reflects the increased attention being given by ITU-T to wideband audio and other codec-related quality issues, especially regarding their subjective testing, such as for superwideband and fullband.

Work has progressed over a number of meetings, since the beginning of 2007, of the Focus Group From/In/To Car Communication on draft Recommendation - P.Carhft - under development by ITU-T's Study Group 12. The Focus Group concept allows for non-members, in this case the auto industry to participate. While first concentrating on narrowband speech (3.4kHz), the group working under new banner - FitCarCom - will move into better quality - wideband (8kHz).

Participating companies include Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, DaimlerChrysler, France Telecom, Harman/Becker, Head Acoustics, Mitsubishi, Nortel and Volkswagen. The first meeting of the group is expected to be March or April, 2008.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007 10:23:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Following completion of four deliverables by The Focus Group on Identity Management, ITU-T's Study Group 17 has recommended to the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) that a Global Standards Initiative on Identity Management (IdM-GSI) is established. If the December meeting of TSAG initiates the IdM-GSI and the related Joint Coordination Activity (JCA), a meeting has already been planned for January 2008 to enter into a new phase of work on IdM based on these groups and existing ITU-T studies.

The four IdM deliverables have been transferred to relevant Study Groups via Study Group 17 and also to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 27 for further consideration and possible development as ITU-T Recommendations and a potential common text with ISO/IEC on entity authentication assurance. Indeed work on three new ITU-T Recommendations and the ITU-T/ISO common text standard has already begun.

The term IdM is understood as "management by providers of trusted attributes of an entity such as a subscriber, a device, or a provider." IdM promises to reduce the need for multiple user names and passwords for each online service used, while maintaining privacy of personal information. A global IdM solution will help diminish identity theft and fraud. Further, IdM is one of the key enablers for a simplified and secure interaction between customers and services such as e-commerce. A key issue for the Focus Group was to provide interoperability between existing solutions.

Herb Bertine, Chairman of Study Group 17, lead Study Group on security in ITU-T said: We are very pleased with the productivity and efficiency of the Focus Group. We now have the building blocks to enter the important next phase where the worlds service providers can profit from international standards for IdM services. Clearly identity management is an important topic and one that industry has put significant weight behind in order to turn out standards that will provide an IdM framework for global interoperability.

The deliverables were supplied to a meeting of ITU-Ts Study Group 17. Essentially IdM-GSI will be an umbrella title for IdM work that will be distributed across all Study Groups. A joint coordination activity (JCA) will ensure that there is no duplication of work, oversee strategic/planning issues and work assignments and develop a roadmap for the development of a global ID management standards. IdM-GSI will enhance harmonization, in collaboration with other bodies, among the different approaches to IdM frameworks and capabilities worldwide.

The publicly available deliverables are:

  • Report on Identity Management Ecosystem and Lexicon
  • Report on Identity Management Use Cases and Gap Analysis 
  • Report on Requirements for Global Interoperable Identity Management 
  • Report on Identity Management Framework for Global Interoperability

The first meeting of IdM-GSI including the JCA-IdM is planned to be held during the January 2008 NGN-GSI event in Seoul, Korea.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007 3:55:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Imagine a future in which cars will be able to foresee and avoid collisions, navigate the quickest route to their destination, making use of up-to-the-minute traffic reports, identify the nearest available parking slot and minimize their carbon emissions. Indeed, imagine a future where cars can largely drive themselves, leaving their passengers to use the free time to watch the sports game on live TV.

All of these possibilities already exist within the laboratories of car manufacturers and some are already available commercially. But they rely on communications links that must be increasingly high-capacity and long range to deal with the full range of requirements of future transport users. The generic technology they use is called Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The requirement for future standards in the ITS field is to be able to provide multiple services, over multiple different platforms, that will work in different countries (as vehicles can easily cross borders), while maintaining a simple-to-use interface that requires minimum intervention from the driver.

This, then, is the rationale behind an ongoing effort, launched by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) in 2003, under the auspices of Working Group 16 of ISO Technical Committee 204, and promoted by the more recently created industry association - The CALM Forum - to develop a new family of ITS standards with the overall branding of Continuous Air-interface, Long and Medium range (CALM).

A new ITU-T Briefing Report on CALM has been released as part of the Technology Watch function, which evaluates its potential as a new area for ITU standardization work (for instance, integrated with Next-Generation Networks) and its likely implications for developing countries. The report notes the work currently going on in ITU on ITS, including the forthcoming Fully Networked Car III workshop, to be held on 3-5 March 2008 in Geneva. It is planned that this will be the first of a series of new Briefing Reports looking at emerging new technologies.

Technology Watch report on CALM.pdf (165.36 KB)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 3:41:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Experts from the standardization sector of ITU (ITU-T) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have agreed to recommend progression of Transport-MPLS (T-MPLS) standards work in a way that ensures compatibility, consistency, and coherence of MPLS technology when used in transport networks. The recommended approach, which recognizes and leverages ITU-T and IETF design expertise and authority, is expected to resolve concerns raised regarding usage of common Ethertypes for IETF MPLS and T-MPLS when running over an Ethernet backbone. Broader review and approval of the proposal by the two standards bodies is expected in the coming months.

The experts proposed in a joint statement that "The IETF and ITU-T will work in close collaboration on T-MPLS" and that "a joint working team of experts from the IETF and ITU-T be established to propose how to progress the various aspects of the requirements, solutions, and architecture for the T-MPLS work." The initial goal of the working team will be to examine T-MPLS work, and foster "an agreement on leadership roles and the modifications necessary to develop an architecture that it is compatible, coherent and consistent between both transport and IETF MPLS technologies."

Yoichi Maeda, Chairman of ITU-T's Study Group 15, home of the T-MPLS work said: "This type of agreement is a characteristic of the spirit of cooperation that exists between ITU-T and IETF. Both organizations understand that in order to meet the needs of industry it's imperative to quickly resolve differences and avoid duplication of work."

"Future work," the proposal states, "will be progressed by first analyzing the requirements and desired functionality." Since T-MPLS utilizes MPLS functionality extensively, the experts recommend that, "The IETF Standards Process will be used for extensions or modifications of IETF MPLS Technology." It was clearly noted that there are aspects of the problem space that lie outside the domain of expertise in the IETF or straddle both organizations, e.g., management of transport equipment, and some aspects of OAM and survivability. The working team will be tasked to help identify which of these aspects are best standardized in IETF RFCs and which in ITU-T Recommendations.

T-MPLS has been under development for three years in ITU-T with four specifications published, including an architecture document, a network-to-network interface (NNI), an equipment specification and a protection switching document. T-MPLS draws extensively on IETF MPLS, a foundation of more than 50 RFCs published by the IETF MPLS and PWE3 Working Groups over the last eight years.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007 9:53:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |