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 Friday, February 22, 2008

Senior technical experts have laid down the gauntlet on energy saving in ICTs following a recent meeting in Geneva.

Following tutorials on power saving, at a recent meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 15 (SG 15), experts agreed to work towards a proposed percentage reduction of power consumption in broadband technologies. The aim is for the agreed figure to form part of a Resolution from the upcoming World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08). Reduction of power consumption should and can be done without the degradation of services according to experts. Presentations from the tutorials are available here.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has also underlined ITU’s role here saying: "ITU is one of the very important stakeholders in the area of climate change." ITU representatives made a statement at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia, illustrating how ICTs are both a cause and a potential cure for climate change.

Speaking during the event attended by over 100 representatives from the ICT industry worldwide for each of its three, hour-long sessions, Deputy Secretary-General of ITU, Houlin Zhao expressed appreciation that the meetings had proven so popular at such an early stage of the work. He pointed out that ICTs are responsible for 2.5 per cent of carbon emissions. This is roughly the equivalent of the airline industry and requires our urgent attention, he said.

The issue of power saving will be discussed within the wider context of climate change at Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change, to be held April 15-16 2008 in Kyoto, Japan, hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) and 17-18 June 2008 in London, hosted by BT. The events are part of a new initiative by ITU to better understand how ICTs can help mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as monitoring its impact.

Experts speaking at the SG 15 tutorials pointed to inefficiencies in terms of end-device power consumption level compared to the signal power. The deployment of broadband access networks is of particular concern as operators worldwide rollout this new technology that some predict will massively increase power demands.

Some simple measures, for example specifying power saving modes in network terminations such as: ‘asleep’, ‘standby’, as well as ‘on’ and ‘off’, were cited by speakers. It was also noted that next-generation networks (NGN) can lower greenhouse gas emissions by reducing network complexity, and introducing equipment that is more tolerant to natural climatic conditions and therefore does not require air conditioning. Smart buildings, energy supply and transport industries must all play their part in achieving greenhouse gas reductions.

A first and completed task of the ITU experts has been to create a power saving checklist for standards authors. Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU congratulated SG 15 for responding so quickly to the request to address climate change. He urged all Study Groups to start the process of reviewing their Recommendations (ITU’s name for standards) according to the new checklist and assign appropriate metrics regarding reduction of greenhouse gases.

The checklist is intended to ensure that standards are drafted taking into account the most economic and energy-efficient solution. It is essentially, a set of questions relating to energy saving in networks. Experts propose that each new ITU-T Recommendation should contain a clause that identifies its impact on climate change and demonstrates ways that it contributes towards emission reduction, covering both production and the use of the equipment.

In order that this work is completed with the highest degree of efficiency there is broad consensus that ITU action has to be taken in partnership with all other bodies working in the field and that everything is done to avoid duplication of work.

Friday, February 22, 2008 3:59:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Meeting of Study Group 16 - Multimedia terminals, systems and applications

Geneva, 22 April - 2 May 2008

Registration Form

See TSB Collective-letter 9/16 for more information.

Study Group 16 Home

Friday, February 22, 2008 1:53:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 21, 2008

ITU-T’s Study Group 16 has completed work on G.711.1 – the new scalable wideband extension of the voice codec used in the majority of fixed-line digital systems - ITU-T Recommendation G.711. G.711.1 will significantly improve voice quality in VoIP calls by offering wideband quality while keeping bitstream interoperability with the G.711 narrowband legacy codec. Wideband offers far greater audio quality by making voice sound more natural and by greatly improving both intelligibility and listening comfort. Wideband also allows service providers to offer a wider variety of services. Widely deployed this bitstream-interoperable wideband extension of narrowband codecs will allow smooth transition from narrowband (300-3400 Hz) PSTN quality telephony to high-quality wideband (50-7000Hz) telephony over IP networks as well as efficient deployment in existing infrastructures.

G.711.1 can operate either at 80 or 96 kbit/s in wideband, and at 64 or 80 kbit/s in narrowband. Furthermore, the 64 kbit/s core layer mode enables seamless interoperability with systems equipped only with G.711. Besides this backward compatibility, another key attribute is its embedded coding feature that allows dropping part of the bitstream/payload on-the-fly during a call by simple truncation of the embedded bitstream at any entity in the middle of the network such as a gateway or a signal mixer at multi-point control unit (MCU). This avoids network congestion and facilitates interoperability with G.711 legacy narrowband systems. Besides these two main advantages, G.711.1 has a very short delay and low complexity, it also supports partial mixing that drastically reduces MCU complexity and delay.

G.711's roots can be traced back as far as the 1970s, it has become truly the lingua franca of voice telephony. The new ITU-T Recommendation enriches the existing standard while ensuring backwards compatibility and interoperability.

The new standard will drive the market for wideband applications. Launched in 2006, wideband telephony over fixed-line broadband access is gaining momentum; wideband telephony over mobile will soon start following the 2008 Mobile World Congress announcement of wideband-enabled 3G phones shipping in the 3rd quarter of 2008. Wideband services are expected to be one of the driving factors in next generation networks (NGN).

Thursday, February 21, 2008 1:43:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 14, 2008

IEEE Communications Magazine has issued a call for papers: ITU-T International Standards in Information and Communications Technologies. Contributions are solicited for an issue focusing on ITU-T's role in developing global standards for ICTs.

Contributions should include but are not limited to the following areas:

Overview of the ITU-T standardization mechanisms and process: Building consensus, alternative approval process (AAP), WTSA, TSAG, Study Groups, Focus Groups, IPR policy, the role of TSB etc.

  • ITU-T Strategy
  • Bridging the standardization gap
  • Hot standardization topics in ITU-T including standards coordination aspects
  • Access technologies
  • Transport technologies
  • Advanced Multimedia System (AMS)
  • ICTs for climate change

The manuscript submission date is April 15, 2008 .

More details here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008 3:57:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 08, 2008

ITU, together with Telcordia, are again collaborating to organize a multi-company interoperability demonstration featuring gigabit passive optical network (G-PON) equipment built according to the ITU-T G.984 Recommendation. Participating companies are now being finalized, with interested companies being requested to contact Rob Bond (rbond@telcordia.com), G-PON Pavilion Coordinator, by Monday February 25, 2008. Any optical access system, customer premises equipment, or G-PON device vendor with commercial products compliant with G.984 series Recommendations are eligible to participate.


The interoperability demonstration featured in the ITU G-PON (G.984) Pavilion at NXTcomm 2008 may include both traditional FTTP-focused G-PON technology, as well as emerging applications such as G-PON fed xDSL services, Enhancement band operation (G.984.5), and G-PON Reach Extender demonstrations (G.984.re). More information is contained in the ITU G-PON Pavilion fact sheet.

Friday, February 08, 2008 9:38:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 04, 2008

The quadrennial event that defines the future direction for the ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) – the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) – will take place for the first time in Africa in 2008. It will also be the first chaired by a woman (Ms Lyndall Shope-Mafole, Director-General of the South African Department of Communications), and for the first time is preceded by a Global Standards Symposium (GSS). WTSA-08 will be held 21 - 30 October 2008, at the Emperors Palace, Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

An official ‘Circular’ letter has been issued encouraging Member States and ITU-T Sector Members to participate in discussions on the future structure of the Sector: the study groups (including regional tariff groups under Study Group 3); and the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). WTSA-08 will also be unique in that the term limit for chairmanships agreed at the WTSA-2000 will apply for the first time and many of the current chairmen and vice-chairmen will retire. Although this will mean the loss of much experience, it does offer the opportunity to consider a major restructuring of the Sector. Member States and ITU-T Sector Members are therefore advised to await the outcome of the next TSAG meeting in July, when a new structure for the Sector should be clearer, before submitting candidatures for chairmen or vice-chairmen.

The Global Standards Symposium (GSS) will be held at the same venue on 20 October 2008. It will see leading figures in the telecom/ICT field, both from government and the industry, give their vision of the future, and suggest ways of increasing the involvement of developing countries in the development and implementation of standards (bridging the standardization gap). Additionally the event will examine global ICT standards challenges, such as accessibility, climate change and collaboration among standards development organisations (SDOs). Although not formally a part of the WTSA-08, the GSS will provide a report to the WTSA for information and action as appropriate, giving participants a unique opportunity to provide input to the event that decides the future direction for ITU-T.

Monday, February 04, 2008 5:09:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |