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 Monday, 04 June 2012
 Monday, 28 May 2012
 Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Meeting in Geneva, 30 April to 11 May, ITU-T Study Group 16 Ė ITUís lead study group on multimedia coding, systems and applications Ė in collaboration with the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC29 Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) - agreed to the development of 3D extensions to the Primetime Emmy award winning H.264 and the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. Further, building on the HEVC collaboration under the JCT-VC (see previous story), SG 16 also agreed to a Call for Proposals for Scalability Coding Extension to the new video codec.

In addition SG16 has approved the first ITU-T Recommendation on digital signage: ITU-T H.780, Digital signage: Service requirements and IPTV-based architecture. It is the first in a series of ITU-T standards aiming to stimulate the roll-out of digital signage technologies. Centrally-managed, large-scale networks of high-definition digital displays are of key value to companies in targeting and engaging with consumers, as well to municipalities and governments in communicating vital information to the public. The proprietary nature of current digital signage solutions not only restricts the integration of applications across different networks and vendors, but also makes solutions more expensive and can be prohibitive for small and medium enterprises. ITU International standards are therefore required as the common platform to unlock the industryís multi-billion dollar potential.

The meeting also saw various new and updated voice and image coding standards entering the approval process. The complete list of results can be found here.

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012 08:37:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 18 May 2012

ITUís Telecommunication Standardization and Development Sectors (ITU-T and ITU-D) are organizing an ITU Forum on Conformance and Interoperability for the Americas and Caribbean Region in Brasilia (Brazil), 12-15 June; aiming to assist the region in its development of ICT conformance and interoperability programmes.

It is particularly important to instill a culture of conformance and interoperability testing in developing countries, as the wide-spread adoption of international standards can quickly translate into marked interoperability improvements and rapid expansions of regional ICT markets.

Conformance with ITUís international standards maximizes the probability that an ICT vendorís products will interoperate with those of other vendors. ITUís Conformance and Interoperability (C&I) programme targets the increased adoption of ITU standards, and thus increased ICT interoperability, through the application of four key pillars:

  • Conformity assessment, evaluating productsí degree of compliance with ITUís standards
  • Interoperability events, analyzing the ability of different vendorsí products to interoperate
  • Capacity building events, educating policy-makers and businesses on the importance of conformance and interoperability testing
  • Creation of conformance and interoperability testing centres in different regions of the world

The ITU Forum in Brasilia will show the progress of the ITU Conformity and Interoperability programme and assist the Americas and Caribbean region in its implementation of the four pillars. Conformity assessment, accreditation and certification are key to increase the probability of interoperability. They are also key elements towards achieving the desired level of connectivity and Ďusabilityí of services for end-users and to comply with the mission of ITU to connect the world. Capacity building refers to education on the essentiality of conformity assessment, certification and accreditation based on international standards, adoption of test suites and will mobilize the political will necessary to implement them effectively. Furthermore, regional conformance assessment testing centres will form part of a global network of such centres, mandating the strictest adherence to best-practice guidelines on their construction.

For more on the upcoming ITU C&I Forum, including a draft program, see the eventís homepage here.

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Friday, 18 May 2012 08:16:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T has established a new Focus Group on Smart Cable Television (FG SmartCable). FG SmartCable
aims to map the Smart Cable Television landscape and thereby provide the foundations for ITU-Tís future standardization work in this regard.

Information and communication technology (ICT) is enabling the provision of innovative audiovisual experiences over cable networks; from ultra-high definition and 3D television to cable-based video
communication and telepresence, interactive home environment control/monitoring, and improvements to broadcasting technology itself.

The group will in particular analyse the system requirements and capabilities to support Smart Cable Television, and identify study areas to support the development of Smart Cable Television standards development in ITU-T.

The first meeting of FG SmartCable will be at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 19-21 June 2012. The deadline for submission of input documents is 11 June 2012, and the meeting is open to all interested
parties from ITU Member States. Remote participation will be provided and registration for both on-site and remote participation is available at

ITU-T Study Group 9
Ė Television and sound transmission and integrated broadband cable networks Ė is the parent group to FG SmartCable.
The group will cooperate and collaborate with other ITU Study Groups, and other standardization communities active in the field including universities, research institutes.

For more information on FG SmartCable, please see the groupís webpage
here , or contact the groupís secretariat at


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Friday, 18 May 2012 08:01:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 14 May 2012

The ITU Standardization Sectorís alliance with Academia Session will be held on 16 May 2012 (13h30 Ė 14h00) and will provide an overview of ITU-T initiatives to engage universities and research institutions in the development of international ICT standards.

This session will focus on the new membership category as well as other initiatives to engage academia including Kaleidoscope academic conferences, international events bringing together universities, industry and research institutions to share knowledge and identify emerging ICT developments.
By welcoming academia to its meetings as fully-fledged members or by consulting with universities on future trends in standardization, ITU has acknowledged the important role of academia in the development of ICTs.

ITUís membership of 193 member states and over 700 private-sector entities represents an extraordinary opportunity for academics to bring their ideas to life through standardization, raise the profiles of their institutions and uncover potential sources of future funding. Since introducing an ďAcademiaĒ membership category in ITU at the start of this year, 40 academic institutions have joined. By participating academia can gain global recognition and play a formative role in determining how their innovations are reflected in standards and public policy.

WSIS Forum 2012, jointly organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP, is a platform for key global players in the field of ICTs to network, discuss and exchange on future ICT developments and applications, as well as to engage in new partnerships. Hosted in Geneva by ITU from 14 to 18 May 2012, the forum will offer participants a series of high-level panels, a ministerial round table, facilitation meetings, thematic workshops and knowledge exchanges, as well as an exhibition. The celebration of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day will take place during the Forum, on 16 May 2012, the same day of the ITU and Academia Briefing Session. The draft agenda is available at:

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Monday, 14 May 2012 11:10:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Monday, 14 May 2012 10:11:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU Workshop on ďMaking Television Accessible Ė From idea to realityĒ hosted and supported by Nippon HŰsŰ KyŰkai (NHK), Tokyo, Japan, 28 May 2012

On-line registration

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Monday, 14 May 2012 10:08:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU has established a new Joint Coordination Activity on Child Online Protection (JCA-COP) to coordinate the COP work across ITUís sectors and Study Groups as well as cooperate with outside stakeholders engaged in COP. ITU-T Study Group 17 is the parent group to JCA-COP, and will leverage its well-developed network of ICT security stakeholders to harmonize these different elements to ensure a unified approach to the creation of global COP standards.
JCA-COP is chaired by Ashley Heineman of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), USA.
In keeping with its Terms of Reference, JCA-COP will coordinate the COP work already underway within ITU-T (particularly that of SGs 2, 9, 13, 15, 16 and 17), and will liaise with ITU-R, ITU-D and ITUís Council Working Group on COP.
JCA-COP seeks to study and understand the composition of the COP ecosystem as it relates to the most relevant stakeholders, and technical, legal or regulatory questions. It will act as the first point of contact for any organization interested in ITU-Tís work on COP, and will also actively pursue means of collaborating with external bodies working in the field.
JCA-COPís internal coordination mandate is thus accompanied by an external research and outreach capacity; to be carried out in a globally-inclusive manner. Cooperation and collaboration with external bodies is always crucial to ITU-Tís standardization work, and it will ensure that ITUís forthcoming COP standards are agreed, and consequently implemented, on an international basis.
More information:

   ē   SG 17ís homepage
   ē   The brand-new JCA-COP homepage
   ē   ITU's Child Online Protection (COP) initiative, the ITU Secretariat framework for COP activities across ITU-T, ITU-R and ITU-D.

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Monday, 14 May 2012 08:09:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |