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 Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The ITU group responsible for the development of the Primetime Emmy award winning video coding standard ITU-T H.264 (which is also standardized as ISO/IEC 14496-10) has issued a draft call for proposals for new video coding technology. The final call for proposals is expected to be issued in January 2010, and it may be issued jointly with ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 (MPEG).

ITU-T Study Group 16 is asking for proposals that give substantially increased compression relative to existing standards.

The proposals will be evaluated using formal subjective tests with the results made public. A proposal evaluation meeting is planned for April 2010. Depending on the proposed technology, a final resulting standard may be developed by July 2012.

Details here.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009 10:54:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, November 07, 2009
ITU’s delegation to the UNFCCC Barcelona Climate Change talks has succeeded in raising awareness of ICTs as a key part of the climate change solution. In particular developing countries were receptive to the message and recognize the power of ICTs, also linking the issue to the digital divide.

At a side event jointly organized by ITU, OECD and GeSI equitable access and ensuring connectivity to schools, rural communities and health facilities were recognized as vital to economic development and to making effective use of ICTs to combat climate change.

Speaking at the event, Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s standardization bureau said: “It is generally accepted that by 2050 global greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by some 80%. We can no longer talk in terms of incremental reductions of 5-10%. There is also a growing understanding that there is only one way that this can be achieved: by shifting from a high carbon physical infrastructure to a low carbon virtual infrastructure based on the evolving information society and smart technology – what we call information and communication technologies (ICTs).“

ITU will produce a communiqué that will be distributed to ITU Member States as well as parties involved in the negotiating process. One of the problems identified in the side event was that while communications ministries are aware of the link between ICTs and climate change this message is often not filtering through to environment ministries.

The following issues arose at the side event
  • The capabilities of ICTs to monitor, measure and exchange huge amounts of information and their sheer ubiquity underlines their fundamental role in improving environmental performance.

  • The  message that ICTs are a major part of the solution rather than being part of the problem has to  be emphasised further. “Smart” applications in transport, buildings and urban environments, energy generation and distribution and production are, and will increasingly be, ICT-enabled.

  • In the utility sectors ICTs can provide better information, increase efficiency, and thereby reduce emissions.

  • There needs to be a coming together of the ICT Sector with the other industry sectors that have traditionally been separate communities, in order to ensure the best use of ICTs. 

  • Developing countries should participate more in international programmes that support the development and use of common performance standards, testing, verification and certification programmes.

  • IPR policies related to global standards need to be addressed.

  • Dumping is a major concern for developing countries. Greater emphasis is needed on recycling, reduction of hazardous substances in ICTs, and refurbishment.

  • Life cycle methodologies for the ICT sector within the UNFCCC will be essential if ICTs are to play a significant role in climate change.

  • ICTs can only assist in mitigating and adapting to climate change if they are widely available. There is a clear link between bridging the digital divide and climate change. There should be incentives within the UNFCCC to the ICT industry to invest in developing countries, in particular bringing the benefits of broadband technology to schools, hospitals, and businesses. 

  • Including reference to the ICT/Telecommunication sector in the sectoral part of the negotiating text would enable a life cycle methodology to be included in the Clean Development Mechanism. This would provide an incentive to the ICT industry to invest in developing countries, help reduce the digital divide, and at the same time help fight climate change – a win-win scenario.

For video archive of ITU media briefing in Barcelona: http://tr.im/Ek5t.
See also TelecomTV coverage including: http://tr.im/Elxb
And Computer Weekly: http://tr.im/Ek4H

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Saturday, November 07, 2009 10:09:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 06, 2009
ITU in collaboration with Broadband Business Forum/EXPO COMM ITALIA 2009 will host a session on ITU studies on NGN, wireless and interoperability, on 25 November 2009, in Rome, Italy.

This session will provide information on work in ITU-T on new technologies such as wireless, NGN and conformance and interoperability.

Broadband Business Forum/EXPO COMM ITALIA 2009’s stated aim is to be a platform to present products and services to a wide range of decision makers, procurement officials, policy planners, and business leaders in Italy and throughout the EMEA Region.

Key topics to be discussed include the latest innovations in ICTs, from Broadband/IP enabled services to mobile and wireless technologies that allow migration to next generation networks. Other topics include infrastructure that enables the convergence of all available technologies to offer a more integrated solution and a more efficient broadband platform for the future.

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Friday, November 06, 2009 9:59:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Initiative will boost market confidence in ICT products

Geneva, 3 November, 2009 — ITU will implement measures that will give purchasers of ICT equipment a much clearer picture of that equipment’s ability to interoperate with other ICT devices. A key component of this new conformity and interoperability programme will be a global database that will log products declaring conformity to ITU standards (ITU-T Recommendations).

The programme will support much more informed purchasing decisions for end users – be they companies or consumers - and has the potential to widen markets, increase competition and decrease costs. It will allow purchasers to freely consult a comprehensive global database to check whether a product conforms to ITU standards, or will work with other network elements.

Lack of conformity and interoperability of ICT equipment is a major concern, especially in developing countries. Addressing interoperability is one of the founding principles of the ITU, and the new programme seeks to significantly reduce the problems that have faced service providers and others and bring renewed confidence to the market.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: "A dizzying array of similar products can sometimes make purchasing decisions difficult. Interoperability is at the heart of what ITU does, so we have put in place procedures that will greatly assist those faced with often complex buying decisions. This new programme will significantly reduce the problems telcos, ICT service providers, businesses and consumers face, including unwittingly being locked into proprietary solutions. I believe this initiative is of great significance in our efforts to bridge the digital divide, but will be equally beneficial to those in the developed world."

The new ITU programme will also focus on skills training and the development of regional testing centres for developing countries. It will be voluntary and open to ITU members and non-members alike.

Conformity to ITU-T Recommendations will be declared only via accredited laboratories or certifiers; testing will not carried out by ITU itself. Once accepted and entered into the new database, products will be given a unique identifier which can be referenced by the manufacturing company.

ITU-T Study Groups are actively developing standards for conformity and interoperability testing - for example, test suites for IPTV – which can be used by external certifiers.

As part of the new programme ITU will also organize a series of interoperability events that will allow two or more vendors to get together to verify that their equipment interoperates satisfactorily. An interoperability declaration can then be added to the database. ITU will also hold regional workshops and tutorials on conformity assessment and interoperability.

Research on how to implement a standards conformity and interoperability programme was initiated with the adoption of Resolution 76 at ITU’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08). The recent session of ITU’s governing council (20-30 October, 2009) has now given the formal go-ahead.

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Parkes
ITU Media Relations
+41 22 730 6135
+41 79 599 1439
pressinfo@itu.int

Toby Johnson
ITU Senior Communications Officer
+41 22 730 5877
+41 79 249 4868
toby.johnson@itu.int

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009 11:20:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 29, 2009
ITU is to host a workshop - Greening the Internet - 17 November 2009 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, as part of 4th IGF (Internet Governance Forum) meeting.

A key component of the economic stimulus agenda in US, Japan, Europe and other regions, is investment in broadband, so Greening the Internet and addressing climate change is a major concern. Internet based-applications can unleash many opportunities for real solutions to climate change, such as smart homes, smart appliances, smart transportation and smart energy grids. Many companies today are already recognizing that going Green makes good business sense.

The ICT industry has been making progress in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, and best practices can be already shared. Even new technologies such as NGN, are innately green compared to their predecessors.

ITU-T’s Study Group on Environment and Climate Change examines how to measure and reduce the impact of ICTs on the environment in order to help advance the Green ICT agenda. At its last meeting, the Study Group consented a standard describing an energy-efficient universal charging solution (UCS) for mobile phones, but also digital cameras and other devices with micro-USB interfaces.
 
Greening the Internet, will examine new Internet trends, the potential impacts on climate change and the ways in which the Internet can evolve in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Panelists are Joseph Alhadeff, VP for Global Public Policy at Oracle Corporation; Catherine Trautmann, Member of the European Parliament; Catalina McGregor, Founder and Deputy Champion of the Green ICT CIO/CTO Council of the UK Government; George Sadowsky, Director of ICANN, Alice Munyua of the Kenya ICT Action Network; Tony Vetter of the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Nezar Sami of Nile University.

The workshop will be opened with a keynote message given by Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, and moderated by Arthur Levin, Head of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Policy Division.

Speakers’ biographies and information on logistics and registration are posted on the website of the workshop.

A meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change (DCICC) will take place one day earlier, on 16 November 2009. The DCICC is an open body of 29 members committed to moderating the environmental impact of the Internet, seeking new ways to embrace the power of the Internet for reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and enabling transformation in line with the objectives set and to be set under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Meeting and Coalition are open to governments, private sector, standards development organizations, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, researchers, vendors, network operators, academia and other bodies. A draft agenda is available on the DCICC website.


17 November 2009: Greening the Internet: Workshop website

16 November 2009: Meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change: Website

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Thursday, October 29, 2009 2:44:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |