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 Thursday, 26 July 2012

The ITU, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC) have published three new reports analyzing the potential use of submarine communications cables to monitor the environment and provide disaster warnings. The reports provide an examination of the project’s engineering and legal considerations, and offer a “strategy and roadmap” to move the agenda forward.


The reports are freely available on ITU’s website...


Equipping ‘repeaters’– instruments amplifying optical signals, placed an average of 100 km apart on a submarine communications cable – with climate-monitoring sensors could make the telecommunications network part of a real-time global ocean-observation network.


An Engineering Feasibility Study (Peter Phibbs and Stephen Lentz, Mallin Consultants Ltd.) investigates the technical feasibility of the project, outlining the requirements of a “green repeater” equipped with scientific sensors to provide decades-long time series of the rate and degree of climatic change. Concluding that it is possible to equip repeaters with a modest number of low-power scientific instruments, the report finds that the project’s principal engineering challenge remains the construction of green repeaters with a reliability and longevity equal to that of robust communications cables.


Opportunities and Legal Challenges (Kent Bressie, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP.) analyzes the project’s legal considerations; noting that commercial telecommunications and scientific applications of submarine fibre-optic cables have traditionally operated independently of one another, and that the convergence of these applications presents a scenario not easily fitting within the jurisdictional categories established by international law.


Finally, a Strategy and Roadmap (Rhett Butler, University of Hawaii) takes into account the scientific, business, engineering and legal considerations of this ambitious project; offering a United Nations “strategy and roadmap” to advance the agenda led by ITU, WMO and UNESCO-IOC.


The reports’ conclusions will provide fuel to discussions at an upcoming workshop on the subject, 20-21 September, hosted by ITU, WMO and UNESCO-IOC. The workshop is part of the second ITU Green Standards Week in Paris, 17-21 September, an event gathering players from all industry sectors to determine how ‘green ICT’ standards can effect economy-wide improvements in environmental sustainability.


More information on the 2nd ITU Green Standards Week

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Thursday, 26 July 2012 12:10:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

10 September 2012 is the submission deadline for academic papers discussing ICT’s role as an essential tool in “Building Sustainable Communities”. Kaleidoscope 2013 will be held at Kyoto University, Japan, 22-24 April, and a prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers, which will also be considered for publication in a special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine.


Kaleidoscope events are peer-reviewed academic conferences with the aim of increasing dialogue between academics and experts working on the standardization of ICTs.


Kaleidoscope 2013 is being organized by ITU with the technical co-sponsorship of IEEE ComSoc and the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers (IEICE) of Japan; with financial support from Telkom SA; and in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan, Waseda University, the Institute of Image Electronics Engineers of Japan (I.I.E.E.J.), and the European Academy for Standardization (EURAS).


Additionally, Kaleidoscope 2013 recently announced the membership of its Technical Programme Committee, and has attracted two new partners from Japan: the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT), and the Telecommunications Technology Committee (TTC). Research in Motion (RIM) has also offered its support for the event, donating two Blackberry Playbooks as awards for the best papers produced by those eligible for Young Author Recognition Certificates (presented to authors under 30 years old).


The aim of the event, detailed in April’s announcement of Kaleidoscope 2013’s theme, is to identify emerging ICT developments able to effect the socio-economic change needed for communities to meet the challenges posed by the new millennium. Sustainable communities will be those that prepare as well as they can for future challenges, and this will require a careful balance of human-centric technology and sound ethical values.


ICT standards will be key to enabling the co-evolution of technology and sustainable communities. Developing these standards will require concerted global efforts by stakeholders across industry sectors. Kaleidoscope 2013 therefore promotes collaboration in this regard and will highlight the multidisciplinary nature of future ICTs.


Visit the event’s webpage here...

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Thursday, 26 July 2012 09:28:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 05 July 2012

ITU and the European Telecommunications Standardization Institute (ETSI) have agreed on a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will smooth the way for regional standards, developed by ETSI, to be recognised internationally.

In addition, the new MoU creates a single framework through which to channel ITU, ETSI collaboration. The agreement will replace existing MoUs with ITU-T and ITU-R, signed in 2000 and 2002 respectively.

ITU and ETSI possess complementary roles as Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), with ITU recognized as an international standardization body in the ICT field and ETSI as the European standardization organization for telecommunications.

The agreement between ETSI and ITU follows last year’s MoU between key Asian standards developers ARIB, CCSA, TTA and TTC. See press release here.

Mutual cooperation between SDOs is key to ensuring a coordinated approach to standards development. International standardization re-engineers regional standards to allow them international reach, or reconciles regional standards to form cohesive international standards.

Clear, coordinated action from standards bodies, will provide the business community with greater clarity regarding standards under development. This increased certainty will promote a faster, more efficient adoption of standards in products manufactured; leading to greater economies of scale and lower costs to consumers.

Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “ITU standards allow international access to the innovations progressing our Information Society. This is achieved through cooperation with national and regional standards bodies to uncover the most valuable innovations and standards, no matter where they originate. It is thus very encouraging to see an extension of ITU’s MoU with ETSI, an action which will ensure ITU standards reflect the current ‘state of the art’ in European ICT standardization at the international level.”

Luis Jorge Romero, Director General, ETSI: “ETSI isrecognized by industry for its work in standards for ICT in the fixed, radio, mobile and broadcast domains, and our drive for excellence can be seen in our continuing focus on testing and interoperability. Our membership has grown to become global and in many cases is common with the ITU, which has resulted in a strong partnership and common goals being built up between us. Today we welcome the renewal of our relationship with the ITU and the extension of our co-operation into new fields.”

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Thursday, 05 July 2012 09:50:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 04 July 2012

ITU-T Study Group 13 – Future Networks including Cloud Computing and NGN – has approved new standards offering a definition of the Internet of Things (IoT), characterizing the emerging IoT environment, and outlining the functional requirements of machine-oriented communication applications in an NGN context:
- Recommendation ITU-T Y.2060 “Overview of the Internet of Things”
- Recommendation ITU-T Y.2061 “Requirements for support of machine-oriented communication applications in the NGN environment”

ITU-T Y.2060 marks ITU members’ approval of a definition of IoT, terming it: “A global infrastructure for the Information Society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on, existing and evolving, interoperable information and communication technologies.”

Recommendation ITU-T Y.2060 provides an overview of the Internet of Things (IoT), clarifying the concept and scope of IoT, identifying its fundamental characteristics and high-level requirements, and offering adetailed description of the IoT reference model. Additionally, the standardpresents an informative appendix discussing the IoT ecosystem and the business models of which it will be composed.
The definition is accompanied by a qualification which notes that, from a broad perspective, IoT can be perceived as a vision with technological and societal implications; which will, through the exploitation of identification, data capture, processing and communication capabilities, make full use of "Things" to offer services to all kinds of applications, whilst ensuring that security and privacy requirements are fulfilled.
Recommendation ITU-T Y.2061 provides an overview of machine-oriented communication (MOC) applications in next-generation network (NGN) environments; covering the NGN extensions, additions and device capabilities required to support MOC applications. Additionally, the standard’s appendices describe the actors in an MOC ecosystem and the roles they are to play, as well as a number of use cases relevant to the study of MOC applications in an NGN environment. 
 SG 13 has also approved Recommendation ITU-T Y.2080, Functional architecture of distributed service networking, and  has consented the approval of another fourteen new standards, the most noteworthy being Recommendations ITU-T Y.2069, Terms and definitions of the Internet of Things; Y.2705, Minimum Security Requirements for Interconnection of Emergency Telecommunications Service (ETS); Y.2027, Functional Architecture of Multi-connection; and Y.2063, Framework of Web of Things.
For more information, please consult Study Group 13’s webpage here.

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Wednesday, 04 July 2012 11:00:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 03 July 2012

Andreas Kamilaris, a PhD student at the University of Cyprus, has been awarded first prize in the second ITU Green ICT Application Challenge for his “Social Electricity” proposal. The Facebook application lends a competitive edge to smart-meter readings by enabling users to compare their energy consumption with that of friends and family, or with neighborhood, state and national averages.
Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), ITU, and Silvia Guzmán Araña, Telefónica’s Global Sustainablity and Reputation Director, will present Andreas first prize of USD 3,000 at an award ceremony to be held on the 19th of September in Paris, at the ITU Green Standards Week. Telefónica co-organized the competition together with ITU.
Kamilaris’ motivation for the application was to create a means of better quantifying the energy-consumption data produced by smart meters. The Challenge’s panel of judges – representing ITU, Telefónica, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the European Commission – deemed his socially-powered concept the best to satisfy the Challenge’s theme of“Sustainable Energy for All”. The development of the app is almost complete and, at Green Standards Week, Kamilaris will showcase its use and operation as well as any preliminary results garnered from the “Social Electricity” pilot soon to be launched across Cyprus. Electricity-related measurements will beprovided by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, which supports this project.
Honourable Mentions were awarded to another four promising apps, all similarly targeting ICT-enabled energy management.
New Delhi’s Gauri Dutt Sharma proposed an application termed a “Standby Monitor for Home Appliances”, a living-room monitor signaling which appliances are idle and which are consuming electricity by way of sensors attached to these appliances’ power cables.
Gopal Tiwari, from India’s Sagar Institute of Technology and Management, produced “Electrosoft” which details an electricity-supply scheduling system of use to both households and businesses. The app regulates the electricity supply to certain energy-intensive processes, scheduling energy-consuming operations in such a way that it minimizes the energy wasted as result of human error.
Andy Bäcker from Spain, CEO and founder of Sustainable Reference, proposed an app entitled “SURE!” which offers a point-scoring system whereby commercial activities, at all levels of the value chain, are awarded pointsbased on the degree of their operations’ environmental sustainability.
Dr. Tohru Asami of the University of Tokyo proposed “An Energy Proportional Power Supply Control for Rural ICT Systems” which presents a methodology to power rural ICT systems using the surplus power produced by photovoltaic (solar) power generation units designed to serve mobile-phone base stations.
More information on the 2nd ITU Green ICT Application Challenge is available here.

Tuesday, 03 July 2012 20:40:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Alexander Ntoko has taken up a new role in the ITU as Chief of the TSB’s Operations and Planning Department, a post of critical importance in crafting and executing the strategic movements of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).
Ntoko relinquishes the post he held for five years as Chief of ITU’s Corporate Strategy Division (CSD) where his responsibilities included ensuring organization-wide consensus and support for the development, implementation and evaluation of the ITU Strategic Plan. He has also assisted and advised the Secretary-General in policy and strategic decisions and was responsible for the coordination of ITU’s inter-sectoral activities in many areas, perhaps most notably regarding the Internet and Cybersecurity.

He has been a member of ITU’s staff for more than 20 years; playing a key role in the introduction of Internet and Cybersecurity to ITU’s work plan in the ’90s, and leading the implementation of projects related to the Internet, ICT applications (e.g., e-health, e-government, e-agriculture, e-education, e-payment and e-business) and cybersecurity solutions involving advanced security technologies such as biometric authentication and Public Key Infrastructure.

Ntoko’s appointment follows a rigourous application process receiving 250 individual applications and interviewing 12 candidates in a first-round of interviews as well as another 4 in a second.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), ITU: “Alex Ntoko will add great value to the activities of ITU-T, and we are very pleased to have filled this important position with someone of his caliber. Drawing from his extensive experience in the ICT field, Alex won’t hesitate to effect the changes needed to improve our services, and we are privileged to count him a member of ITU-T’s strategic management team.”

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Tuesday, 03 July 2012 13:54:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 29 June 2012
ITU Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap, Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 30-31 July 2012

Convening Letter (TSB Circular 290)

On-line registration

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Friday, 29 June 2012 15:06:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Study Group 5 Regional Group for Africa (SG5 RG-AFR) Third Regional Group meeting, 20 July 2012,  Cotonou,

Meeting announcement


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Friday, 29 June 2012 15:04:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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