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 Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Study Group 16 - Multimedia terminals, systems and applications

Working Party 3/16 Meeting

Geneva, 1 February 2008

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 8/16 for more information.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007 15:11:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 26 November 2007

A standardized way to identify next-of-kin (or other emergency contact) in a mobile handsets’ directory, for use in case of emergency, has been sent for next level approval by Study Group 2 in May 2008.

Currently emergency service workers searching for contact information for the next-of-kin to an injured person have no commonly understood way of identifying that person’s details. Increasingly the directory of the injured person’s mobile handset is used, since it usually contains the names and numbers of next-of-kin. However, there is no standard way to distinguish these contacts from all other entries in the mobile handset directory.

A prefix to those contacts to be dialed in case of emergency is one solution. International standards must be useable by anyone, regardless of language or script. This requirement has been met by using Arabic numerals (the digits 0 through 9) since they are known by all users around the world.

The owner of a mobile handset can indicate contacts to be dialled in case of emergency by formatting the name in the form “0nx”, where “n” is a digit from 1 through 9 and “x” is any meaningful descriptive character string (e.g. “Anna” or “spouse” or “安娜”). In the interface it would be displayed as “01Anna” or “01spouse” or “01安娜”. This descriptive string is used for the “contact name” in the mobile handset directory; the actual number of the person to call in case of emergency is used for the corresponding “contact number”.

Once this standard is approved and widely implemented by individual mobile users around the world, any emergency service worker can look at the mobile handset directory and quickly identify entries tagged by the user as contact persons to call in case of emergencies.

“Emergency contact number notation” stands on the runway to take off as a new clause in ITU-T Recommendation E.123, which currently specifies, among other things, the familiar +41 22 123 456 notation for telephone numbers and other information commonly displayed on business cards.

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Monday, 26 November 2007 10:15:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 23 November 2007

A new report from ITU-T shows how Information and communications technologies (ICTs) contribute to global warming, but also how they can be used to monitor climate change, to mitigate its effects, to improve energy efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions in other sectors of the economy. The report -- ICTs and Climate Change -- is the third in the new series of Technology Watch Briefing Reports, launched by ITU-T in October 2007. It has been submitted to TSAG for further discussion at its upcoming meeting, 3-7 December. It is planned that an ITU symposium on this topic will be held in 2008.

Since 1970, the production of greenhouse gases has risen by more than 70 per cent, and this is having a global effect in warming the planet, causing changing weather patterns, rising sea-levels, desertification, shrinking ice cover and other worrying long-term effects. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) foresees a further rise in average global temperatures of between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees centigrade by 2030. Climate change is a concern for all of humanity and requires efforts on the part of all sectors of society, including the ICT sector. Although ICTs contribute only an estimated 2.5 per cent of total greenhouse gases, this share is set to grow as usage of ICTs expands globally, growing at a faster rate than the general economy.

ICTs are thus part of the cause of global warming, but they can also be part of the solution, for instance through the promotion of carbon displacement technologies. ICTs are also vital in monitoring the spread of global warming. One specific contribution ICTs can make is through the substitution of travel by electronic forms of communication, such as telephone calls, email or video-conferencing, all of which benefit from ITU-T¡¯s standardization work. In particular, high-performance video-conferencing, or telepresence (the topic of the second Technology Watch Briefing Report), can give the impression of 'being there, without going there'. Furthermore, ITU-T itself is also contributing to a greener future through its decision to make ITU-T Recommendations freely available online. In the mid 1990s, more than one million publications were printed by ITU but, with free Recommendations now available in electronic form, this has been cut to just a few thousand that are still printed, and carbon emissions from transport of printed copies and CD-ROMs has been greatly reduced.

Friday, 23 November 2007 14:16:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 19 November 2007

Do you remember your last video conference? Blurry faces on tiny screens, with sound that doesn’t quite synchronize with the stilted movement of the lips. After the laborious setup of cameras and microphones, you seem to spend more time worrying about technical problems than talking about the topic at hand, with repeated loss of connection. As frustration grows, and attention wanders, it is difficult to avoid the feeling that you should have arranged a face-to-face meeting instead.


A new set of technologies – referred to as Telepresence – will give users the illusion of sitting on the opposite side of the remote party’s conference table. High-definition (HD) video images and audio are transmitted via packed-based Next-Generation Networks (NGN), connecting conference rooms around the world, and covering distances of thousands of miles with zero latency. While the network infrastructure remains transparent to the user, vendors equip conference rooms with high-end displays, cameras, loudspeakers and furniture to enhance the conferencing experience. Telepresence-systems are already available on the market, and involved companies go as far as identifying the technology as a potential billion dollar market, for solution vendors as well as for network service providers (NSP).


A new ITU-T Briefing Report on Telepresence has been released as part of the Technology Watch function, which evaluates the market potential and different fields of application of Telepresence solutions in both, developed and developing countries. The report notes the standardization work currently going on in ITU, including the consideration of migrating currently used multimedia protocols, such as H.323 and SIP into a new generation of multimedia protocols, called H.325 or Advanced Multimedia Systems (AMS), that takes into consideration special aspects of security, flexibility, QoS, and support for mobile devices. This report is the second of a new series of Technology Watch Briefing Reports looking at emerging new technologies.

Monday, 19 November 2007 11:23:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 16 November 2007

Study Group 9 consented Recommendations on IPTV and advanced HDTV proposals during meetings held Oct. 29 - Nov. 2, Louisville, Colorado.

The meeting saw participation from all around the world with several delegates from developing countries including Kenya, India and Trinidad and Tobago.

Recommendation J.700 - IPTV Service Requirements and Framework for Secondary Distribution - defines service level requirements and an architectural framework for telecommunication networks to provide new services based on IPTV. It refers to "secondary distribution" which means use of a transmission channel for distribution of video/audio programs to users at large, for example by an over-the-air broadcast channel or by means of a fiber or cable network.

The Recommendation is extensive and includes requirements for network elements as well as customer premises equipment (CPE), including middleware application interfaces which consist of software libraries that provide uniform access to system services. It leverages existing deployed technologies, such as MPEG, DOCSIS, GEM (Globally Executable MHP), and IPCablecom to provide a smooth path for operators to integrate IPTV technology into their networks. While in the process of developing this Recommendation considerable liaison with other Study Groups and the IPTV Focus Group was carried out.

In addition to the IPTV work, Recommendations relating to second - and third - generation IPCablecom were consented. Equipment based on IPCablecom Recommendations, such as modems, set-top boxes, signalling equipment, interactive television application platform interfaces, digital program insertion, and others have had widespread implementation in networks in Asia, Europe, and North America.

The new Recommendations add to a suite of more than 25 which have been developed for cable and hybrid networks primarily designed for television and sound program delivery to the home.

Large screen digital imagery (LSDI) is a family of digital imagery systems that includes very large screen presentation of programmes similar to the non-digital IMAX and OMNIMAX systems. LSDI is described as an optimal approach to the presentation of high-definition television (HDTV) programmes, to a collective audience on cinema-like screens in a cinema-like environment. An earlier approved Recommendation J.600 addresses use of a broadband service or channel for transferring audio or video information to a production center where post-production processing may take place before subsequent distribution. At this meeting work towards a new Recommendation - Network Service Operator's Requirements for Real-time Transmission of exLSDI Signals under Parallel Processing Functionality - was significantly progressed. This Recommendation is related to the transport of program signals conforming to the higher levels of the LSDI expanded hierarchy as used for contribution and primary distribution. The term contribution means use of a broadband service or channel for transferring audio or video information to a production center where post-production processing may take place before subsequent distribution. Primary distribution is the use of a transmission channel for transferring audio and/or video information from a production center to one or several destination points; for example, to a broadcast transmitting center or the headend of a cable distribution network. Work on LSDI takes place with interactions between ITU-T Study Group 9, ITU-R Study Group 6, and other bodies external to the ITU.

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Friday, 16 November 2007 14:55:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |