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 Friday, July 15, 2011

Geneva, 14 July, 2011 - ITU is pleased to announce that the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan, has today been assigned the international dialling code 211, following the country’s formal recognition as a UN Member State.

The fledgling South Sudan Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services welcomed the new code, which has particular resonance for South Sudan’s citizens as representing the year in which South Sudan gained independence (2011), the date of its referendum (which took place in the first day of the first month of 2011), and a symbol of good fortune. The number had been specifically requested following a special Council of Ministers Resolution.

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Friday, July 15, 2011 2:16:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ITU’s message to global climate change conference

Geneva, 13 July, 2011 - Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-17) in Durban, South Africa, attendees at the ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change in Ghana have renewed calls for global leaders to recognize the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

An outcome document asks that ITU, as the UN specialized agency for ICTs, lead a coalition urging COP-17 delegates to look to the enormous potential of ICT solutions to cut emissions across all sectors. The document calls for the adoption of a ‘closed loop’ approach to manufacturing and recycling which will reduce the need to extract and process raw materials. It also asks for recognition of the value of ICTs in monitoring deforestation, crop patterns and other environmental phenomena.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 1:49:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU is calling for contributions to a workshop on relay services for persons with disabilities. The event will take place at ITU Headquarters, Geneva on 25 November 2011.

Relay services allow people with disabilities to communicate with standard telephone users. Communication may be made by speech, text, video or any combination. Video connections are particularly important for those who wish to use sign language. Modern relay services are making increasing use of the Internet, which permits a much wider range of communication terminals for users with disabilities. Smartphones, laptops, tablets and normal desktop PCs have all been used and more devices will appear in the future.

Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) promotes the use of ICTs to enable full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life, on an equal basis with others. It requires governments to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to communications and information technology. The increasing number of countries adopting the UNCRPD will need advice on the provision of relay services and this workshop aims to meet that need. ITU-T Question 26/16 is currently studying relay services with an aim to advise in those areas through ITU-T Technical Papers and Recommendations. In this context, the workshop is intended as a forum where ideas, problems and good practices can be shared. Existing and future relay service suppliers will be able to share experiences with governments, regulators, standards makers, user groups and users; the outcomes will be fed into the Q26/16 studies.

This workshop will address the following topics:

  • Experience with operation of relay services, both positive and negative
  • User requirements
  • Performance parameters
  • Innovation in the design or implementation of relay services
  • The use of relay services to access emergency services
  • Regulatory aspects
  • Funding of relay services
  • User experiences that have improved the lives of persons with disabilities
  • Good practices on improving awareness of relay services.

Anyone wishing to make a presentation during the event should contact the organiser, Bill Pechey, (bpechey@computency.co.uk, +44 1491 681236) by 31 August 2011 at the latest. Requests will be honoured based on speaking slot availability and thematic consistency.  Contributions on other topics relevant to the theme may be accepted.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 8:39:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 08, 2011

The ITU Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap (BSG) for Asia Pacific Region closed 5 July 2011 with agreement on the need for adaptable and scalable solutions to address common issues faced by island states in the Pacific. These include conformity assessment and certification; spectrum management best practice for mobile broadband and digital broadcasting, and national spectrum allocation tables and harmonized spectrum use; public protection and disaster relief systems.

In addition delegates agreed on the need for assessment of ICT standardization benefits and ways to prioritize involvement in global standards development activities. To this end a national/regional ICT standardization strategy and roadmap based on conceptual tools such as the standardization development ladder will be adapted for Pacific Island requirements and also applied to the radiocommunication spectrum and standards environment. Also under consideration is a capacity building programme for developing countries in the region focusing on implementation of standards for broadband, wireless and NGN targeting ICT regulatory authorities and operators

The overarching goal of ITU’s Bridging the Standardization Gap program is to facilitate increased participation of developing countries in standardization, to ensure that developing countries experience the economic benefits of associated technological development, and to better reflect the requirements and interests of developing countries in the standards-development process. One specific objective of this project is to understand the primary gaps that must be overcome to improve the standards development, implementation, and usage capacities of developing countries.

A number of measures have already been implemented by ITU to facilitate the participation of developing countries in ITU-T study group meetings. For instance, almost all ITU-T study groups are now using remote participation as part of their regular working methods. The number of Study Group leadership positions during the Study Period 2009-2012 has increased to four Chairmen and 47 Vice Chairmen from developing countries, including five Vice Chairs from least developed countries. In 2010, for the first time, participants from developing countries outnumbered participants from developed countries in study group meetings participation.

The workshop was organized in association with Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) and the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of the Republic of Korea with the generous support of the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), Republic of Korea.

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Friday, July 08, 2011 8:54:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 07, 2011

Geneva, 7 July, 2011 - ITU’s latest global Application Challenge encourages developers around the world to create innovative IPTV apps running over ITU standards.

Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about the IPTV platform and the opportunities it offers. The best app submitted by an individual or SME* will be awarded USD10,000, thanks to platinum sponsors Sumitomo Electric Networks, Inc. and Dentsu Inc. There is a separate category for corporate entries, and winners will receive their awards at a special event at the ITU Telecom World 2011 show in Geneva in October.

While highlighting the rapidly expanding range of the IPTV ecosystem, this latest ITU App Challenge is designed to stimulate ground-breaking ideas from all corners of the globe.

“ITU has pioneered a raft of standards for IPTV, which are set to transform global viewing habits. Global standards such as these will be key to take-up,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU. “With this technology we have all the advantages of traditional ‘linear’ TV combined with the flexibility that the Internet offers. This challenge offers a fantastic opportunity for people to be creative, and I hope we can inspire some truly innovative thinking.”

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Thursday, July 07, 2011 1:45:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Geneva, 6 July, 2011 – ITU has signed an agreement with key Asian standards developers that will mean new technologies come to market quicker and at lower cost. ARIB, CCSA, TTA and TTC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITU recognizing ITU as the pre-eminent global ICT standards body. The agreement seeks to smooth the way for regional standards, developed in these four key regional bodies, to be internationally recognized.

The MoU will build on the good relationship ITU has built with all four bodies over many years, increase transparency between the organizations, avoid duplication of work and increase efficiency in the publication of standards. All of which means that product manufacturers will be able to more efficiently incorporate globally standardized solutions in their products, leading to greater economies of scale and lower costs to consumers.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011 4:27:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |