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 Tuesday, 03 February 2009
A new ITU group has been set up to collect and identify visions of future networks, based on new technologies.

The move to set up the Focus Group on Future Networks (FG-FN) follows a request from members to push forward study in this area and strong interest expressed by the academic community during the ITU-T Kaleidoscope event in May 2008.

The term Future Networks has come to encompass such projects as IRTF (International), GENI/FIND (US), FP7/FIRE (EU), CNGI (China), AKARI/NwGN (Japan), FIF (Korea) as well as standardization works in ISO/IEC JTC1/SC6.

Experts say that taking into consideration the importance of global connectivity and interoperability between devices, networks, services and applications, global harmonization between these different activities is extremely important and necessary to build up globally interoperable future ICT infrastructures.

Given ITU-T’s role as a global ICT standards organization, it is in the best position to support the development of global and harmonized frameworks (e.g. requirements, functional architectures and protocols) collaborating with all relevant entities and activities.

The provisional dates and venue for the first meeting of the group are 6-10 July, Geneva.

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Tuesday, 03 February 2009 10:05:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A major milestone for providing global IPTV has been reached with the approval of a new ITU standard, giving requirements for the support of IPTV services.

Experts say that standards are essential for the rollout of global IPTV services. While we have already seen a first generation of IPTV services, a second generation may see a change in regulation or market demand that will require interoperation between service and/or network providers. A potential outcome of this will be that a customer can go into a shop, buy an IPTV box, call their network operator and sign-up, and then access services from a range of third party service providers. It is to meet needs such as this the value of ITU’s work on standardization will be realised.

IPTV, defined by ITU-T as “multimedia services such as television/video/ audio/text/graphics/data delivered over IP-based networks managed to support the required level of quality of service (QoS)/quality of experience (QoE), security, interactivity and reliability”, is one of the most significant business cases and drivers for the deployment of next generation networks (NGN).

The standard, Recommendation ITU-T Y.1901, specifies high level requirements for the support of IPTV services, including requirements concerning service offering, QoS/QoE, service and content protection, middleware, content, network and end system aspects. Y.1901 and previously approved Recommendation ITU-T Y.1910, “IPTV functional architecture”, plus various other IPTV related ITU-T Recommendations, constitute an initial set of IPTV standards enabling equipment vendors, including consumer electronics suppliers, to roll-out standardized IPTV products. Deployment of ITU-T compliant products will enable service providers to offer value added services like traditional (linear) TV, video on demand (VoD) and interactive TV over IP-based managed networks such as NGN.

Y.1901 has been developed with a truly international effort at ITU-T IPTV-GSI (IPTV Global Standards Initiative) events, with the active participation of administrations, service providers and equipment vendors from a large number of countries, including, but not limited to Canada, China, France, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom and United States.

ITU-T standardization activities related to IPTV continue in various ITU-T Study Groups, in cooperation with relevant standard developing organizations, forums and consortia, including ATIS IPTV Interoperability Forum, ETSI TISPAN, Broadband Forum, Digital Video Broadcasting project and Home Gateway Initiative.

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Tuesday, 03 February 2009 09:10:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 30 January 2009

A key standard – ITU-T Recommendation – on identity management (IdM) has been approved by the ITU-T.

Entitled “NGN Identity Management Framework,” the Recommendation (Y.2720) specifies a structured approach for designing, defining, and implementing interoperable identity management (IdM) solutions for next generation networks (NGN).

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. Global IdM solutions 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.

ITU-T Y.2720 results from a truly international effort involving governments, operators and equipment vendors from various countries, including China, Japan, Korea, the United States, and United Kingdom.

In a heterogeneous, converged environment such as NGN, the assurance, security and management of identity information faces unique challenges, including:

  • End users are increasingly using multiple identities
  • These identities may be associated with differing contexts and service privileges
  • The identities may only partially identify the end user
  • The identities may be used anywhere, anytime
  • The identities may not be interoperable between providers

Y.2720 addresses these challenges and identifies a set of functions and capabilities (e.g., administration, discovery, communication exchanges, correlation and binding, policy enforcement, authentication and authorization) to allow:

  • Assurance of identity information (e.g., identifiers, credentials, and attributes)
  • Assurance of the identity of an entity (e.g., users/subscribers, user devices, service providers, and network elements)
  • Enablement of business and security applications.

The framework defined in Y.2720 provides a holistic view of IdM in NGN. It lays the foundation for developing specific aspects of IdM, including detailed requirements, mechanisms and procedures which will form the next stage of work for ITU-T experts.

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Friday, 30 January 2009 16:48:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 06 January 2009

Study Group 12 - Performance, QoS and QoE

Geneva, 10-19 March 2009

Registration Form

See TSB Collective 1/12 for more information.

Study Group 12 Home

Tuesday, 06 January 2009 16:57:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 18 December 2008

The Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change (DCICC) held its first ever meeting on 4 December 2008 during the Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad.

The DCICC is an open group committed to moderating the environmental impact of the Internet and to seeking new ways to embrace the power of the Internet for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide.

The meeting was well-attended and many new entities joined the Coalition, which was originally launched by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), Japan and British Telecom.

At its meeting, the Coalition agreed on a set of objectives and actions for the coming year. One major objective will be to advocate the important role that ICTs can play as an enabling technology to reduce GHG emissions in all sectors and the need for the Internet to grow in an environmentally-friendly manner. More information about the DCICC can be found on its website hosted by the ITU at:

ITU also organized a workshop the IGF on the “Internet and Climate Change”, which featured a number of prominent speakers and generated a lively debate on this issue. Speakers noted that while ICTs contribute about 2.5 percent to annual GHG emissions, ICTs can potentially play an important role to reduce these emissions across all sectors.

Thursday, 18 December 2008 17:05:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A Declaration on Internet Accessibility was adopted by the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability at the recent Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Hyderabad, India. DCAD counts ITU as one of its founder members.

ITU took part in twelve sessions at the IGF, organizing seven of them. As well as opening remarks from the Secretary General, and various addresses from the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, six other ITU staff participated. In addition ITU sponsored the participation of 39 people (27 from developing countries).

DCAD aims to facilitate interaction between relevant bodies and ensure that ICT accessibility is included in the key debates around Internet Governance in order to build a future where all sectors of the global community have equal access to the Information Society. It held its first face-to-face meeting on 6 December 2008 during the third Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Hyderabad.

The Declaration urges all governments to support the process of adoption, ratification and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It also “strongly urges” that the needs of persons with disabilities be included in all aspects of designing, developing, distributing and deploying of appropriation strategies of information and communication technologies, including information and communication services, so as to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities, taking into account the universal design principle, existing standards, and the use of assistive technologies.

The Coalition has also approved an “Action Plan” for activities to be carried out in 2009.

Organizations that are members of the DCAD include ACMA, Council of Europe, DAISY Consortium, Digital Accessible Information System Consortium, G3ict, ICDRI, ISOC, ISOC-AR, Mais Diferenças, NCC, People Who, UNESCO, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. A new member joined during the IGF: the Indian “Centre for Internet & Society”.

Also during the IGF, ITU, in collaboration with DCAD members organized a workshop “Including Accessibility and Human Factors in the Universalization of the Internet - How to reach persons with disabilities, the 10% of the next billion”. Most of the panelists were persons with disabilities who brought varied experiences of Internet accessibility from various perspectives.

The DCAD, lead by ITU, will continue to facilitate inclusion of the needs of persons with disabilities in the global information society.

Thursday, 18 December 2008 17:03:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The paper submission deadline for the ITU-T Kaleidoscope 2009 event: Innovations for Digital Inclusion has been extended by two weeks. The new deadline is 1 February 2009.

Innovations for Digital Inclusion is the second in a series of peer-reviewed academic conferences that aims at increasing the dialogue between experts working on the standardization of information and communications technologies (ICT) and academia.

Thursday, 18 December 2008 16:12:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Charles Peter Sandbank, who was very well known to many in ITU, and was recently elected as Chairman to ITU-T’s Study Group 9 has died aged 77.

Charlie, as he was affectionately known to friends and colleagues, started his long and distinguished career with STC making radio valves and later transistors. During his time here he developed some of the first semiconductor integrated circuits to be produced in Europe. Among his early papers were proposals for the techniques now commonly used in ASICS and the principle of surface mount.

In 1964 he was appointed head of the Electron Devices Laboratory at Standard Telecommunications Laboratories and in 1968 became Manager of the STL Communications Systems Division. While at STL he was responsible for the team which pioneered the use of optical fibres for communications and in 1976 built the world’s first wide band digital optical fibre communications system (140 Mbit/s between Hitchin and Stevenage) installed in BT ducts. He edited one of the first books on the technology of optical fibre communications in which he proposed the optical amplifier as now commonly used in long haul systems.

In 1978 he joined the BBC as head of its Research Department and became BBC Deputy Director of Engineering in 1984. He made personal contributions to the BBC’s work in electronic graphics; the ‘BBC MICRO’ project; HDTV and particularly digital broadcasting. NICAM stereo sound for TV was among the activities which he initiated while he was Head of Research. He played a leading role in the establishment of the technology and world-wide standards for Digital Television (a subject on which he also edited a book). The work he initiated at the BBC contributed to the establishment of the world’s first terrestrial digital radio service in 1997 and TV service in 1998. After leaving the BBC in 1993 he became a Director of Snell and Wilcox Ltd and DTI Broadcasting Technology Adviser.

He was a founder member of the DVB project, the founding Chairman of the ETSI/EBU JTC and founding co-chair of the European Digital Cinema Forum. He was also the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Visiting Professor in the Principles of Information Systems Design at the University of Bradford.

He was elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1983, was also FIET and FInstP. He received Fellowships from the RTS, BKSTS and SMPTE for contributions to broadcast engineering and Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Surrey and Bradford.

In the ITU he participated actively since the late 1970s in ITU-R SG6 (previously SG10 and 11) and in ITU-T SG9 since its formation, acting as a Vice Chairman in the last two study periods before being appointed Chairman at WTSA-08 in Johannesburg. He played a major role in the drafting of the basic Digital TV Recommendation ITU-R Rec. 601, and more recently in the ITU-T network independent middleware Recommendations. He chaired the JRG1 the joint T/R Rapporteur group on middleware and was a co-chair of the joint activity of ITU-T SG9 and ITU-T SG9 on IPTV.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:45:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |