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 Tuesday, 06 March 2012

Asier Arranz from Spain has been awarded $3000 and a Nokia Lumia mobile phone as first prize in the Green ICT Hackathon, an event organized by ITU and Telefónica and run in parallel to last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Arranz’ proposed ‘Bicing Gamification’ application aims to encourage users of Bicing, the community bicycle program in Barcelona, to deposit bicycles at underserved Bicing stations. Currently, bicycle-moving vans are necessary to maintain an optimal distribution of bicycles around the city. The application therefore makes use of a geo-location system to notify Bicing users of the stations in need of more bicycles. To encourage users to deposit their bicycles at these underserved stations, Arranz suggests micropayments be made those who do, possibly in the form of deductions to their annual Bicing subscription fees.

“The aim of the ‘Bicing Gamification’ application,” says Arranz, “is to reduce costs and CO2 emissions and ‘gamify’ (turn into a game) this green transport system to encourage its use and make cities more sustainable.”

Second prize, $2000 and Nokia Lumia, was awarded to Dirceu Dirs from Brazil for an application targeting drivers of electric vehicles and petroleum-fueled cars alike. The “Easy Refuel” application was developed on the Arduino electronics platform and points drivers towards the nearest, cheapest fuel stations when their vehicles require refueling or recharging. 

Third prize, a Nokia Lumia, went to Aaron Franco from the USA for his “Jatrobot” application which aims to harness social interaction to encourage a widespread production of biodiesel. The name stems from the “Jatropha Curcas” tree, the seeds of which can be pressed to yield an oil used to produce biodiesel. The Jatrobot app allows users to signal their approval of an environmentally-friendly product by way of a ‘like’ button, an action which triggers the planting of Jatropha tree seeds by a web-connected robot.

The aim of the Green ICT Hackathon was to encourage the development of applications promoting “Sustainable Energy for All”. Of further importance to ITU and Telefónica is the Hackathon’s contribution to the creation of a global network of ‘green’ ICT developers, one promoting the use of ICT to improve energy efficiency and technology transfer; two key goals to be addressed at Rio+20.

ITU and Telefónica thank their partners in this initiative; Nokia, SAP and the Joint Research Center of the European Commission and WMO. ITU also wishes to thank Telefónica and, specifically, Telefónica’s Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and BlueVia Movistar Spain (Telefónica Digital).

In addition to the Hackathon, ITU and Telefonica are organizing the 2nd Green ICT Application Challenge to find the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT application to help promote “Sustainable Energy for All”.  Send us your Concept Paper by 13 April 2012. More information about the Hackathon and Challenge can be found at: or by contacting us at

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Tuesday, 06 March 2012 11:40:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 01 March 2012
 Thursday, 23 February 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, 23 February 2012 10:03:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 10 February 2012

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

Registration Form

Collective Letter

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Friday, 10 February 2012 10:07:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 08 February 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, 08 February 2012 16:20:58 (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, 08 February 2012 14:54:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |