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 Thursday, October 15, 2009
A revision to key Optical Transport Network (OTN) standard - Recommendation ITU-T G.709 - extends its applicability to 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). This revision also adds a variable-size switchable container (ODUflex) to the OTN hierarchy to more efficiently carry packet and constant bit rate clients, which did not fit well into the traditional fixed-size OTN containers. OTN mappings for storage area network (SAN) interfaces and mobile interfaces are also a part of this new revision.

ITU-T Recommendation G.709 "Interfaces for the optical transport network (OTN)" describes a means of communicating data over an optical network. It is a standardized method for transparent transport of services over optical wavelengths in DWDM systems.

Operators are facing challenges with the migration from traditional SDH/SONET to IP/Ethernet based services. The ITU-T G.709 OTN standard is a vehicle to enable convergence, and for providing a common and SONET/SDH-like operational model for network administration, performance monitoring and fault isolation, without altering the individual services.

Using OTN, multiple networks and services such as legacy SONET/SDH, Ethernet, storage protocols and video can all be combined onto a common infrastructure.

Most importantly, unlike SONET/SDH, OTN is the only transport layer in the industry that can carry a full 10/40/100 GbE LAN PHY from IP/Ethernet switches and routers at full bandwidth. With the rapid migration towards IP/Ethernet-based infrastructure, OTN becomes the transport layer of choice for network operators.



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Thursday, October 15, 2009 9:53:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The recent Study Group 15 meeting saw agreement on a new standard that defines Ethernet ring protection switching (ERPS) in multiple rings.

The work has been driven by the move by operators to offer Ethernet services with the same level of service protection offered in networks based on synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH).

The standard gives sub-50 millisecond (ms) protection for Ethernet traffic in a ring topology and at the same time ensures that there are no loops formed at the Ethernet layer. The protocol is said to be robust enough to work for unidirectional failure and multiple link failure scenarios.

Experts say that there are already products on the market deploying the standard.

G.8032 offers a flexible topology with single or interconnected multi-rings; broad applications for access, metro, and core networks; support for Ethernet speeds (1/10/40/100GbE MAC); support for multiple Ethernet services; client-server agnostics and OPEX and CAPEX savings.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009 9:31:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 09, 2009
High-level meeting underlines importance of unified international approach to technology development

Geneva, 8 October 2009 — Nineteen CTOs from some of the world’s key ICT players have called upon ITU to provide a lead in an overhaul of the global ICT standardization landscape.

The call came at a meeting held at ITU headquarters in Geneva on 6 October between ITU senior management and the world’s technology leaders. The meeting will become a regular feature on the ITU calendar.

The CTOs agreed on a set of recommendations and actions that will better address the evolving needs of a fast-moving industry; facilitate the launch of new products, services and applications; promote cost-effective solutions; combat climate change; and address the needs of developing countries regarding greater inclusion in standards development.

Participants reaffirmed the increasing importance of standards in the rapidly changing information society. Standards are the ‘universal language’ that drives competitiveness by helping organizations optimize their efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness and innovation, the CTOs agreed.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU, said: "Standards are a proven and key driver in the successful growth and deployment of new ICT products, services, and applications. And while there are many examples of successful standards collaboration, a fragile economic environment and an ICT ecosystem characterized by convergence makes it all the more important to streamline and clarify the standardization landscape. We have agreed on a number of concrete actions that will help us move towards this goal and strengthen understanding of standards’ critical role in combating climate change, while better reflecting the needs of developing countries."

The meeting reinforced the importance of standards in assuring interoperability. As operators embrace IP, the networks and services of the next 20-30 years are being developed that will help people make contact anywhere and anyhow. The emergence of technologies such as globally standardized IMS will bring customers richer services. Only agreed global standards can deliver on the promise of disseminating those services on mobiles, PCs, wirelines and home devices, CTOs agreed. At the same time, they acknowledged that new players and business models will emerge, and that the continued convergence of telecoms and IT is likely to provoke some tensions across different paradigms and cultures. CTOs pledged to cooperate to bridge the developed and developing worlds, bringing IP benefits to all while also ensuring network security and reliability.

The standardization landscape has become complicated and fragmented, with hundreds of different industry forums and consortia. CTOs agreed that it has become increasingly tough to prioritize standardization resources, and called on ITU – as the preeminent global standards body - to lead a review to clarify the standardization scenario. This will allow ICT companies to make more efficient use of resources and ensure that standards are developed in the most appropriate bodies, benefitting both industry and users.

ITU will host a web portal providing information on the interrelationship of standards and standards bodies, which would facilitate the work of industry and standards makers while promoting cooperation and collaboration and avoiding duplication.

The meeting also recognized that standards can play a critical role in ‘greening’ the ICT industry and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in other sectors, and supported ITU’s efforts to have this role recognized in the new Copenhagen Agreement on Climate Change.

An official communiqué from the event can be found here.

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Friday, October 09, 2009 3:14:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 08, 2009
A September meeting of the ITU’s security standards group saw progress in key areas including identity management and a cybersecurity information exchange. The meeting - of ITU-T’s Study Group 17 saw record attendance signalling the importance attached to ITU’s cybersecurity work in the global ICT community.

A key achievement was the establishment of a Cybersecurity Information Exchange which enables a global communications infrastructure for cybersecurity. The framework imports best-of-breed standards from government agencies and industry. Experts say that it promotes better interoperobility including convergence on a common set of open standards.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), ITU: “It is essential that cybersecurity and telecoms infrastructure protection communities worldwide are able to exchange information on network digital forensics and vulnerabilities. The Framework will, for the first time, provide for this exchange globally.”

Without progressing on this Exchange, experts say there is a risk that no coherent common specifications will emerge, with different countries unable to communicate cybersecurity information to each other.

The Cybersecurity Information Exchange focuses on platforms that capture and exchange information about the security state of systems and devices, vulnerabilities, incidents such as cyber attacks, and related knowledge heuristics. It pulls these platforms together to facilitate their global interoperability and use. It does so in a framework that allows for continual evolution to accommodate the significant activities and specification evolution occurring in numerous cybersecurity forums.

Global organization of incident/emergency computer response teams – FIRST contributed its vulnerability enumeration standard to the framework. An agreement was reached to hold joint workshops and ITU and FIRST will work together to implement the first comprehensive web-based directory of cybersecurity organizations and centers worldwide.

The recent meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 17 also saw approval of a core global identity management (IdM) standard – Recommendation ITU-T X.1250. The agreement signals the start of work on implementation protocols for essential capabilities like trust mechanisms and identity assurance interoperability.

Arkadiy Kremer, Chairman of Study Group 17, said: “Global acceptance of identity management solutions is paramount. The agreement that we have reached here signals an important milestone from where the world’s service providers and users can profit from international standards for IdM capabilities. Industry has put significant weight behind this activity and an IdM framework for global interoperability is emerging.”

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.

ITU-T X.1250 gives the ability to enhance exchange and trust in the identities used by telecommunication/ICT networks and services. The definitions and need for identity management trust are highly context dependent and often subject to very different policies and practices in different countries. The trust capabilities include the protection and control of personally identifiable information.

Also agreed was X.1251, a framework for users of digital identity. The standard defines a framework to enhance user control and exchange of their digital identity related information. Two other important Recommendations were progressed to the first stage of approval: X.1252 and X.1275. X.1252 provides a collection of terms and definitions used in identity management (IdM) and it sets the stage for common definition for the whole industry. While, X.1275  provides guidelines and best practices regarding radio frequency identification (RFID) procedures that can be used by service providers to gain the benefits of RFID while attempting to protect personally identifiable information.

Also at the SG 17 meeting new correspondence groups designed to kickstart work in the areas of security for cloud computing, e-health and grid computing were started.


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Thursday, October 08, 2009 10:15:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 28, 2009
Announcement made at pioneering virtual symposium

Geneva, 28 September 2009 — ITU has declared its intention to press for the importance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a cross-sectoral tool to combat climate change to be recognized in the upcoming Copenhagen Agreement.

full press release

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Monday, September 28, 2009 2:51:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 18, 2009
The winning papers from ITU's Kaleidoscope 2009 - Innovations for Digital Inclusion academic conference shared a prize fund of USD$10,000 on 1 September. Also, at the event held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU Linux project and now President of the Free Software Foundation, presented a paper Is digital inclusion a good thing? How can we make sure it is?.

Eng. Alicia Alonso Becerra, Rector of the José A. Echeverría Superior Polytechnic Institute, Cuba awarded the prizes to the presenters:

Kamugisha Kazaura from Tanzania of Waseda University, Japan, for:  

·         ROFSO: A universal platform for convergence of fiber and free-space optical communication networks, Kamugisha Kazaura; Kazuhiko Wakamori; Mitsuji Matsumoto; Takeshi Higashino; Katsutoshi Tsukamoto; Shozo Komaki.

Ms Lina Gomez from Columbia staff member at the Centro de Investigacion de las Telecomunicaciones, Columbia for:

·         Discrimination in NGN service markets: Opportunity or barrier to digital inclusion?, Fernando Beltran; Lina Gomez.

Ms Eva Ibarrola from Spain studying at University of the Basque Country, Spain for:  

·         Quality of Service management for ISP: A model and implementation methodology based on ITU-T Rec.802 framework, Eva Ibarrola; Jin Xiao; Fidel Liberal; Armando Ferro.

Ved Kafle from India of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan for:

·         An ID/Locator Split Architecture of Future Networks, Ved Kafle; Hideki Otsuki; Masugi Inoue.

The many academics in attendance expressed the importance of the role of universities in the standardization process and the high value of strong collaboration between ITU, academia, and research institutes.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU highlighted a recently approved Resolution (Resolution 71) which invites the ITU Council to consider the admission of academic institutions, universities and associated research establishments to ITU-T at reduced cost. His proposal to the ITU Council to be held in October for a reduced fee of $2000 was welcomed by participants.

Innovations for Digital Inclusion was held at the kind invitation of Ministerio de Planificación Federal Inversión Pública y Servicios and hosted by the National Communications Commission and the Secretariat of Communications of Argentina, was organized by ITU with IEEE Communications Society as Technical Co-Sponsor and supported by Cisco and Nokia. The conference brought together the best academic minds from around the world to present their future visions to achieve digital Inclusion. The conference also included an exhibition by local Universities which provided insight into their activities.

In addition to the three invited papers, from 80+ papers submitted, 32 were presented, and the best four awarded prizes. The winning papers will also be featured in a future special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine. The consolidated Proceedings of the conference are also available and all papers will be soon also available from IEEE Xplore online catalogue.

In addition to the prize pool, eight entrants - Jose Simões, Lina Gomez, Tullio Bertini, Aline Zim, Kei Wada, Juan Pablo Bernal, Paul Plantinga and Alberto Diez Albaladejo - received a Young Author Recognition Certificate.

Building on the success of the first and second Kaleidoscope events, a third conference is planned for end 2010.

For more information and presentations from Kaleidoscope 2009, see the event web page.

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Friday, September 18, 2009 8:42:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |