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 Friday, 04 March 2011

The fully networked human? − Innovations for future networks and services is the title of the fourth ITU Kaleidoscope academic conference.

A call for papers has been issued and invites submissions until 15 May 2011. A prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers. The winning papers will be featured in a future special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine, with all papers available from the IEEE Xplore online catalogue. Young authors presenting a paper at the conference will receive Young Author Recognition certificates.

Organized by ITU-T with IEEE ComSoc as Technical Co-Sponsor, Kaleidoscope 2011 has been invited to the University of Cape Town, South Africa, 12-14 December.

Kaleidoscope 2011 will highlight multidisciplinary aspects of future information and communication technologies (ICTs) including future services and applications demand as well as social, economic and policy aspects of human-centric systems. In this environment, the user is placed at the center, and virtualized networks, other IT resources, services and applications are adaptively and automatically configured to support the users in carrying out their everyday life activities.

However, the shift to human-centric ICT also raises social, economic and policy issues, which need to be addressed, including access to ICT, safety, privacy, environmental sustainability, etc.

This year, in addition to an exhibition for local universities and the presence of high-level keynote speakers and invited papers, ITU Kaleidoscope 2011 will host the second Jules Verne’s corner, a special space for science fiction writers and visionaries.

Kaleidoscope events are peer-reviewed academic conferences that aim at increasing the dialogue between experts working on the standardization of ICTs and academia.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact the ITU-T Kaleidoscope secretariat at

For additional information see the event webpage at:

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Friday, 04 March 2011 12:53:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Standardization experts are being asked to examine security-related guidelines/standards on child online protection issues.

The recent Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) meeting invited experts in ITU’s security standardization group (Study Group 17) to examine issues including:

  1. The development of interoperable standards and related recommendations to protect children online. The aim would be to develop a widely shared approach which could be promoted across the whole industry.
  2. Evaluating what options and possibilities exist for real global coordinated and consistent action to protect children online. Attention should be given to the elaboration of those capabilities (e.g. watch and warning and incident management) that would facilitate the gathering of threats and information sharing among different players.
  3. Identifying the commonalities that span the different industry sectors  (broadcasters, Internet, mobile) with the purpose of developing Codes of Conduct, or code of practices to help ITU Member States collaborate more effectively with the private sector/industry.
  4. Establish cooperative arrangements between government and the private sector/industry for sharing information and developing specific capabilities aimed at mitigating the risks and extending the potential of ICT usage by children.

ITU’s Child Online Protection (COP) initiative was launched in November 2008 as a multi-stakeholder effort to bring together partners from all sectors of the global community to ensure a safe online experience for children everywhere.

SG17 is expected to play a major role in technical aspects on COP, given that security, cybersecurity and identity management are already now being recognized as key fields of potential interest. Several SG17 work items (in ITU parlance Questions) are relevant, and experts from membership are encouraged to contribute.


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Friday, 04 March 2011 11:57:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 03 March 2011

New standards that will enable cost-effective smart grid applications such as distribution automation, smart meters, smart appliances and advanced recharging systems for electric vehicles have entered the final stage of approval at ITU.

The G.hnem standards (ITU-T Recommendations) address several smart grid applications such as distribution automation, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), demand side management (DSM), grid-to-home communications, home/building energy management, home automation, vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-charging station communications.

In a standard power system, generation, delivery and consumption of electricity all take place at the same time. This makes the control of supply and demand uniquely challenging. The new standards provide the crucial link between electricity and communications networks, enabling utilities to exercise a higher level of monitoring and control of the grid.

G.hnem is an ideal platform for smart grid applications because of its support of power lines as a communications medium that is under the direct and complete control of power utilities. Since power line communications (PLC) exploit the existing wired infrastructure, the cost to deploy a communications channel is greatly reduced. In addition, because G.hnem supports popular protocols like Ethernet, IPv4 and IPv6, G.hnem-based smart grid networks can easily be integrated with IP-based networks.

Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General, ITU: “Smart Grid is a dynamic addition to today’s energy networks, which will be capable of delivering customizable services on a massive scale. To ensure an efficient global rollout, global standards are a must.”

Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: “Many national stimulus plans have given smart grid significant backing, with the need for standards also cited as key to the fast rollout of the technology. The G.hnem standards now entering the final stages of approval can be applied globally today, and are ready to give a much needed boost to power line communications technology, making electricity distribution cleaner, leaner and greener.”

The two G.hnem standards ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956 contain the physical layer specification and the data link layer specification, respectively, for narrowband OFDM power line communications transceivers for communications via alternating current and direct current electric power lines over frequencies below 500 kHz. These ITU-T standards support indoor and outdoor communications over low voltage lines, medium voltage lines, through transformer low-voltage to medium-voltage, and through transformer medium-voltage to low-voltage power lines in both urban and long distance rural communications.


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Thursday, 03 March 2011 09:07:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 02 March 2011

ITU’s recent announcement on an OAM standard for MPLS in transport networks has seen considerable interest, but not always for the right reasons with claims from the Internet Society that it will jeopardize the Internet.

Experts cast doubt on ISOC’s statement: “… ongoing evolution along this path will jeopardize the … Internet”.

They point to the fact that several interoperability tests have been successfully performed with no reported problems. In addition the solution being proposed by ITU conforms to the MPLS-TP architecture as defined by the IETF. When network equipment uses different protocols, interoperability of the functioning of that protocol, in this case OAM, may well be affected. However, since packets for different protocols are identified by pre-assigned different codepoints, protocols running behind these different codepoints will not interfere with each other. This means that the core functionality – in this case Internet traffic – will not be affected. Therefore various protocols can coexist without causing any confusion in the network.

It is also important to understand who has contributed to this standard (draft Recommendation ITU-T G.8113.1) and why. The membership of ITU is made up of representatives from over 700 private sector companies (including most major ICT companies) and 192 Member State governments. In general technical work such as that being discussed here is undertaken by the private sector members. This solution was called for by a majority of the ITU membership in SG15 that has grown frustrated with a lack of progress in the development of a standard which is necessary to meet a market demand. Given that there are over 100,000 MPLS Transport Profile nodes already in transport networks, it is essential that the corresponding OAM toolset is standardized.

As background, in 2006 ITU started work on standards on T-MPLS, which leveraged a sub-set of MPLS that was targeted specifically for application in the transport network. However, in late 2007 the IETF indicated that T-MPLS may be in conflict with IP/MPLS.  The ITU suspended work on T-MPLS and in 2008 agreed to work in cooperation with the IETF on the evolution of MPLS to meet the needs of the transport network. It was anticipated that the five existing Recommendations on T-MPLS would be replaced by mid 2009 with MPLS-TP Recommendations following within a year.

However some of the IETF input (RFCs) required to move forward were not made available and are currently still pending following the unilateral disbanding by the IETF of its group assigned to work with ITU in September 2009.

ITU has issued a formal request for the necessary codepoints from IETF as these codepoints are currently administered by ICANN/IANA and can only be issued by IETF.

ITU collaborates and coordinates, in good faith and on the basis of reciprocity, with other relevant organizations in the development of IP networks to ensure maximum benefits to the global community, in accordance with the decisions of the 2010 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. However, this should not lead to a situation where the ITU fails to deliver on its commitments to its own membership.


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Wednesday, 02 March 2011 12:52:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 28 February 2011
Geneva, 28 February 2011 – In a big step towards leveraging existing MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) deployment in transport networks, ITU has agreed first stage approval of a key new standard. The ITU-T standard will give network operators the tools necessary to manage large scale deployments of MPLS-based networks. Network operators will now have a choice of OAM (operations, administration and maintenance) tools to best meet their specific transport network requirements. These OAM tools in the hands of network operators will, in particular, allow quick detection of defects and fault isolation.

MPLS is widely embraced in backbone networks as a way to speed up routers. The OAM tools in the ITU-T standard are based on technology proven in carrier grade Ethernet services and legacy transport networks, making it easier for operators to upgrade. In addition to reducing labour costs, network operators will see significantly reduced capital expenditure (CAPEX) costs given that the standard allows for more efficient allocation of bandwidth.

Operators are increasingly looking to MPLS as an end-to-end technology, given its inherent flexibility and support for IP-based applications. The decision was taken together with first stage approval of another standard providing network architecture for MPLS-TP based networks.

Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, said: “ITU collaborates and coordinates, in good faith and on the basis of reciprocity, with other relevant organizations in the development of IP networks to ensure maximum benefits to the global community. This is in accordance with the decisions of the 2010 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. However, this should not lead to a situation where the ITU fails to deliver on its commitments to its own membership. Much effort was made to reach a compromise during last week’s Study Group 15 (SG15) meeting, but the decision was taken very exceptionally by vote, since all attempts at compromise had failed.”

ITU-T SG15 began working on transport profiles for MPLS technology suitable for use in the network layer of transport networks more than three years ago. A joint working team (JWT) was set up to allow Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) and ITU experts to work together to avoid divergent work streams. Specifically, it was expected that this group would provide the necessary protocol extensions for ITU’s specifications to work in an MPLS environment. IETF committed to provide its contribution by the second quarter of 2009. However this crucial technical input was not provided and the IETF’s MPLS-TP Interoperability Design Team (MEAD) was unilaterally disbanded by IETF in October 2009.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: “ITU is a consensus based organization and voting is always a last resort. In this case it was clear that a significant part of our membership could not accept any further delay in pursuing a solution that will give them the ability to address a real market need. Given that there are over 100,000 MPLS-TP nodes already in transport networks, it is essential that the corresponding OAM tool.


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Monday, 28 February 2011 10:59:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Meeting of Study Group 16, Geneva, 14 - 25 March 2011

SG 16 Collective Letter 6

Registration Form

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Wednesday, 16 February 2011 14:19:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Meeting of Study Group 9,  Geneva, 14 - 18 March 2011

SG 9 Collective Letter 6

Registration Form

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Wednesday, 16 February 2011 14:13:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |