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 Monday, January 16, 2012

The January meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Service Layer.

M2M refers to the ability of a machine to sense and measure certain variables, and communicate this information to other machines in a network. Included under the larger umbrella of the “Internet of Things” (IoT), M2M technologies have applications in a number of industries – e-health, fleet management, sales and payment, security and surveillance, intelligent transport systems (ITS) etc.

The group will study and evaluate the M2M landscape and M2M work currently being undertaken by regional and national standards development organizations (SDOs), with a view to identifying a common set of requirements.

The Focus Group will initially focus on the APIs and protocols to support e-health applications and services, and develop technical reports in these areas. It is suggested that the Focus Group establish three sub-working groups: “M2M use cases and service models”, “M2M service layer requirements” and “M2M APIs and protocols.” Strong collaboration with stakeholders such as Continua Health Alliance and World Health Organization (WHO) is foreseen.The Focus Group concept allows for greater operational flexibility and crucially allows non ITU members and other interested organisations to participate.

The group is expected to carry out the following specific tasks:

  • Research, collect and analyze the vertical market M2M service layer needs, initially focusing on e-health.
  • Identify a minimum common set of M2M service layer requirements and capabilities, initially focusing on e-health applications and services.
  • Study APIs and relevant protocols that satisfy the above requirements and capabilities to support the communications between the M2M applications and the telecom networks.
  • Develop technical reports to address the identified gaps and propose future standardization work for ITU-T developments on M2M.
  • Support global harmonization and consolidation by inputting its final deliverables to the parent Study Group and other relevant Study Groups as appropriate.

These terms of reference are subject to consultation of the next four-weeks.The Focus Group will work closely with all ITU-T Study Groups, especially Study Groups 13 and 16, with the other ITU sectors (ITU-R, ITU-D) and with other relevant UN agencies, SDOs, forums/consortia, regulators, policy makers, industry and academia. Within the ITU, the group will work particularly closely with the Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI).

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Monday, January 16, 2012 11:13:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 09, 2012

TSAG, the group that acts as the steering group for all ITU-T Study Groups will trial a cutting-edge remote participation platform that will allow ITU-T members to join meetings remotely and collaborate in the six official ITU languages, with full simultaneous interpretation.

Participants simply need log on using a standard web browser to join the meeting from any location that has a good quality high-speed connection. To profit from interpreted audio feeds participants will also have to dial-in via a standard telephone line.

Logging onto the system will take participants into a ‘virtual meeting room’, where they can see a list of participants, interact with others via online chat and video links, and view meeting documents. ITU interpretation services mean verbal interventions can be made in any of the supported languages.

The new platform will greatly enrich the quality of discussions, further narrowing the ‘standardization gap’ which tends to favour participants from wealthier nations, and allowing many more people from different countries and cultures to join the discussion.

The platform is based around the Adobe Connect software suite, with compatible pods provided by Refined Data Solutions Inc. in partnership with ZipDX (multilingual functionality) and Caption First (captioning).

The innovation also represents a significant milestone in ITU’s efforts to become carbon neutral, reducing the need for delegates to travel to and from meetings.

Pre-registration is necessary in order to use the new platform. For more information, see TSAG TD 311 and http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/tsag/remote-participation.html for details.

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Monday, January 09, 2012 10:15:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 22, 2011

Geneva, 21 December - Key standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on smart grid have been approved at a recent ITU SG 15 meeting.

Recommendations ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956 define three international next generation narrowband powerline communications (NB-PLC) standards. The approved family of standards will enable cost-effective smart grid applications such as distribution automation, diagnostic and fault location, smart metering, demand response, energy management, smart appliances, grid-to-home communications and advanced recharging systems for electric vehicles.

The standards are an ideal platform for smart grid applications because of their use of power lines as a communications medium which is under the direct and complete control of power utilities.

Full press release

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Thursday, December 22, 2011 11:27:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ITU is inviting applications for the post of Chief of the Operations and Planning Department, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Standards from the ITU are at the heart of modern information and communications technologies (ICTs). For more information see: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/info.

The Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) provides essential logistical support to ITU-T’s 10 Study Groups including electronic working facilities and meeting management. It also manages promotion, workshops, membership, documents, finance, the website etc. It is the body responsible for providing cohesion to ITU-T’s standards making process.

The successful candidate should have an excellent knowledge of the ICT industry and, in particular, the ICT standardization landscape. Familiarity with ITU-T rules and procedures, its meeting activities and its products would be an advantage, as would previous involvement in the development of standards.

The senior management level (Director level in the United Nations system) post demands strong organizational skills and diplomacy. Under the general direction of the TSB’s Director, the incumbent will plan and coordinate the activities of the Operations and Planning Department; a role conferring, inter alia, the following responsibilities: Establishing work plans for the Department and Services under his/her supervision; directing the delivery of technical editing and publications services; directing the TSB’s IT programme and the development of new electronic services for the ITU-T membership and website; directing the delivery of a range of administrative services (operational planning, budget/finance services, Human Resources, procurement, meetings, logistics etc.); and organizing the delivery of support to the TSB’s assemblies, meetings and workshops, and to its major high-level global and regional events. The incumbent will also be expected to provide authoritative advice to the Director and the Deputy to the Director on all the matters for which he/she is responsible, and will contribute to TSB strategy and policy through their participation in the TSB management committee.

An attractive package of salary (approximately USD 213,046-244,756 with dependants; USD 196,923-224,263 without dependants [Net of Tax]) plus international allowances and benefits is offered (subject to eligibility).

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2012.

A detailed vacancy notice and application form including remuneration can be downloaded at www.itu.int/employment. Applications using the form must be sent to recruitment@itu.int or by post to ITU Human Resources Administration Division, Place des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland.

Applications must reach ITU by the closing date.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 12:49:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU is inviting applications for the post of Programme Coordinator, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Lack of conformity and interoperability of ICT equipment is a major concern, especially in developing countries. Ensuring the interoperability of ICT products and services is one of the founding principles of the ITU.

The successful candidate should have an excellent knowledge of the ICT industry and, in particular, the ICT standardization landscape. Familiarity with ITU-T rules and procedures, its meeting activities and its products would be an advantage, as would previous involvement in the development of standards.

The management level (Professional level in the United Nations system) post demands strong organizational, technical and inter-personal skills. Under the direction of the Head of the Workshops and Promotions Division, the incumbent will be tasked with coordinating the TSB’s Conformity and Interoperability programme; a role demanding the design and implementation of the programme, as well as the provision of expert technical input and advice where necessary. The incumbent will also be responsible for the coordination of events, seminars and workshops relating to conformance assessment and interoperability testing, and will be required to administer the programme’s budget and reporting procedures.

An attractive package of salary (approximately USD 124,047-166,220 with dependents; USD 115,789-154,533 without dependents [Net of Tax]) plus international allowances and benefits is offered (subject to eligibility).

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2012.

A detailed vacancy notice and application form can be downloaded at http://www.itu.int/employment/. Applications using the form must be sent to recruitment@itu.int or by post to ITU Human Resources Policies Division, Place des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland.

Applications must reach ITU by the closing date.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 12:47:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, December 17, 2011

Key standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on a technology (MPLS-TP) required by telecoms operators to increase network efficiency while also reducing capex and opex costs have been approved (or attained first level approval) at a recent ITU meeting.

MPLS-TP refers to extensions to the IETF's MPLS protocol developed in cooperation with the IETF. MPLS can carry packets of different types, allowing telecom operators to offer private connections as well as IP services. Many network operators expect MPLS-TP to work under the same principles as longstanding ITU transport network technologies like SDH and OTN. MPLS-TP provides network operators with a reliable packet-based technology the operation of which aligns with current organizational processes and large-scale work procedures. Its deployment may reduce the need for layer 3 routing in an operator’s network.

Another important draft standard in the field has been forwarded to ITU’s quadrennial World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai next year. This provides an Ethernet based protocol for operations, administration and management (OAM) for Transport MPLS (MPLS-TP). The delay in approval follows the breakdown of a deal brokered by the Japanese administration in November. The compromise proposed was intended to address concerns expressed by IETF, following a series of previous setbacks, detailed here and here. Unfortunately the IETF were unable to deliver one key element of the proposal, the ACh codepoint which contributed to four national delegations vetoing the standard.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: “I would like to thank Japan for its great effort as a neutral party to find a compromise that took into account IETF’s concerns. It is clear that the majority of the world’s ICT industry and governments supports this standard. It is a practical solution demanded by operators around the globe. I am hopeful that IETF will be able to assign the ACh codepoint before WTSA-12 which should allow the standard to be approved by consensus. ITU has a tradition of working by consensus but this is dependent on delegations being willing to compromise.”

At the close of its December meeting Study Group 15 repeated its request to the IETF to provide an ACh codepoint for the Ethernet based OAM protocols. This request is in line with ITU’s continued commitment to a collegial working environment for ICT standards development.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011 6:56:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |