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 Thursday, February 23, 2012

Organizations developing e-health standards, and a variety of other stakeholders, have been invited to an ITU/WHO workshop to define the current state of the e-health industry, discuss barriers to e-health technology adoption and to establish an ITU/WHO roadmap signposting the industry’s future course. The workshop will take place at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 26-27 April 2012, and is open to ITU members and WHO Member States.

Ageing societies and the world’s growing population are exerting progressively greater pressures on healthcare infrastructures. Providing equitable, affordable healthcare services to the world’s citizens is a challenge overwhelming traditional healthcare systems. e-Health is thus soon expected to form part of mainstream healthcare systems, but also to become the centerpiece of many national administrations’ healthcare offerings in years to come.

To encourage widespread deployment of e-health applications, particularly in developing countries, it is essential to achieve interoperability among systems and to reduce the cost of devices through economies of scale. Open, global, interoperable standards are the tools to achieve this, and will also be key to ensuring an open, competitive market for e-health innovation in the future.

Much work has been conducted on the development of e-health standards and frameworks for interoperability, but these efforts have not been followed by proportional standard implementation or e-health service deployment. April’s workshop will address this disparity by clearly identifying the necessary future standardisation work, in particular to ensure interoperability, as well as the roles to be played by different stakeholders in progressing this work. In addition, meeting participants will discuss the creation of an e-health policy and strategic framework to guide the development of a sustainable e-health industry.

For more information on the workshop’s content, venue or participants, please consult the workshop's webpage.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:03:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 10, 2012

Meeting of Study Group 17, Geneva, Switzerland, 20 February - 02 March 2012

Registration Form

Collective Letter

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Friday, February 10, 2012 10:07:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Momentum towards greater interoperability between cloud services has been achieved with the announcement of new work in ITU.

ITU-T’s Study Group 13 (SG 13) has created a new Working Party (WP) on cloud computing, tasked with progressing the Technical Reports that were the output of a previous Focus Group on Cloud Computing (FG Cloud) towards formalization as ITU-T Recommendations.

Cloud computing is an industry expected to grow at an annual growth rate of roughly 30 per cent, consequently more than quadrupling in size between 2010 and 2015 to become an industry worth approximately $120 billion. However, concerns with the  portability – freedom to transfer data between the clouds of different providers - and the interoperability of cloud solutions has led to calls for standardization to fuel further industry growth (see ITU-T Techwatch Report, “Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids and Clouds”).

Jamil Chawki of France Telecom Orange was appointed Chair of the WP, which will take responsibility for existing SG 13 work on cloud computing as well as three new Questions:

 • Cloud computing ecosystem, inter-cloud and general requirements; Chaired by Kangchan Lee (ETRI, Korea)
 • Cloud functional architecture, infrastructure and networking; Chaired by Mingdong Li (ZTE, China)
 • Cloud computing resource management and virtualization; Chaired by Richard C. Brackney (Microsoft, USA)

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), ZTE Corporation and Microsoft are all very active within both ITU and the cloud computing field, and ITU is pleased to see these Questions placed in such capable hands.

In addition, SG 13 has appointed Monique Morrow of Cisco Systems as convener of the recently-established Joint Coordination Activity (JCA) on Cloud Computing [see newslog]. The JCA will coordinate the multi-dimensional study of cloud computing within the ITU, and will act as a point of contact for other organizations seeking to contribute to this work.

ITU’s cloud computing work has already attracted a great deal of interest resulting in several new memberships.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012 4:20:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An international experiment deploying ITU-standardized IPTV technologies has taken place 6-8 February 2012. IPTV services were used to live-stream scenes from the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan and to provide supporting Video-on-Demand (VoD) segments.

ITU Headquarters in Geneva received the stream from the head-end server in Japan, participating alongside organizations from Japan, Singapore and Thailand in what is the first transcontinental broadcast of a live event using IPTV technology standardized end-to-end by ITU. The connection uses native IPv6 from ITU Headquarters to Japan.

Proprietary IPTV services have hampered the growth of this exciting new market, and such experiments - together with ITU IPTV Interoperability events – are important steps towards broadening the IPTV market through globally-interoperable services. Standardized IPTV will lead to a whole new market for innovation, and ITU standards will ensure this market remains open, competitive and accessible to all.

First approved in 2009, Recommendation ITU-T H.762, a “Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment” (LIME) for IPTV services, is the standard with which Sapporo’s live-stream IPTV application complies. Hokkaido Television Broadcasting (HTB) developed this application, and is one of many broadcasters, manufacturers and research institutes involved in the IPTV experiments. The experiments have been organized by Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications (NICT) and are being conducted over its IPv6 research network, Japan Gigabit Network-eXtreme (JGN-X).

Other ITU-T IPTV standards also formed part of the infrastructure: H.770 IPTV Service discovery, H.721 IPTV terminal for VoD and Linear TV, H.701 IPTV Error correction, H.750 IPTV Metadata and the Primetime Emmy Award winning H.264 Video compression codec. The experiments also used Openflow, PCE/VNTM and sa46t.

For more on ITU’s IPTV standardization work, please see ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative here.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012 2:54:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 03, 2012

The January meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on Disaster Relief Systems, Network Resilience and Recovery (FG-DR&NRR).

A spate of recent natural disasters has underlined the need for preemptive disaster-response planning. ICT networks must be resilient enough to withstand disasters, but have also proven to be pivotal in providing relief to the people affected by major climatic fluctuations.

The Focus Group will coordinate ITU-T’s current work in this field, and will expand this work into two important new areas: (1) disaster relief for individuals (to notify relatives, friends or employers of a victim’s situation) and (2) disaster relief guidance (to show victims the routes to evacuation shelters, home, etc.).

 For these types of standardized emergency communications to exist, ICT network resilience and recovery capabilities need to be such that networks can resume normal service quickly after disaster strikes. TSAG has thus directed the Focus Group to identify all the standardization requirements of network resilience and recovery; a study which may extend beyond current ITU work in this field.

The Focus Group’s scope is as follows:

  • identify requirements for disaster relief and network resilience and familiarize the ITU-T and standardization communities with those requirements;
  • identify existing standards and existing work related to the requirements mentioned above;
  • identify any additional standards that may need to be developed and identify future work items for specific ITU-T Study groups and related actions;
  • encourage collaboration among ITU-T Study Groups, in particular SG2, SG5, SG13, SG15, and SG17, ITU-R, ITU-D and relevant organizations and communities, including the PCP/TDR.

The Focus Group will collaborate with worldwide relevant communities (e.g., research institutes, forums, academia) including other SDOs and consortia.

Comments invited by 10 February 2012

The group’s Terms of Reference are subject to consultation. The Membership is therefore invited to send comments to bruce.gracie@ic.gc.ca (TSAG Chairman), with copy to tsbtsag@itu.int or to t09tsagall@lists.itu.int (TSAG general mailing list), by no later than Friday, 10 February 2012.

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Friday, February 03, 2012 9:03:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 02, 2012

ITU and Telefónica co-host 2012 app-development contests

Geneva, 1 February 2012 - ITU and Telefónica have announced two challenges to uncover innovative ICT approaches to support the 2012 UN-declared ‘International Year for Sustainable Energy for All’.

The Green ICT Hackathon will take place on 28-29 February during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, while the 2nd Green ICT Application Challenge is now open for the submission of Concept Papers until 13 April, 2012.

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “Sustainable energy for all is crucial to the future of modern civilization. ITU is committed to stimulating the creation of innovative ICT apps founded on new modes of thinking; ideas to effect the change needed to achieve a sustainable future.”

Alberto Andreu Pinillos, Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer at Telefónica: “The Green ICT Hackathon is part of the joint activities of Telefónica’s Global Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Office, Movistar Spain and Bluevia, Telefónica’s global developer platform. These initiatives have a double objective – first, to support developers with great ideas, and second, to foster green ICT applications for energy efficiency and sustainable development.”

Full press release

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Thursday, February 02, 2012 8:38:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |