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 Thursday, October 11, 2012

A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report entitled “Standards for Technology-enabled Learning” investigates the technologies and services quickly emerging as viable tools to breed more dynamic, more affordable and far more inclusive approaches to education and training.

With the potential to overcome challenges posed by distance or levels of economic and infrastructural development, information and communication technologies (ICTs) role in education policy in both developed and developing nations is sure to strengthen.

The report distinguishes between purpose-built learning devices and all-purpose ICTs, and notes a trend in the shift from specialized educational devices towards developing educational apps running on existing all-purpose devices; contributing to the increasing scalability and sustainability of “ICT-in-education” initiatives. The report also explores the content of educational resources as well as the strategies through which they are distributed; highlighting, for example, the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement gaining support from a number of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, and some of the many “classroom-management” tools today available to teachers and their students.

By identifying emerging innovations in the tech-learning field, the report aims to highlight the characteristics common to the most successful “ICT-in-education” models. Noting no shortage of research, development or examples of successful implementations, the report concludes that standards will have a key role to play in addressing the current disparity between the development and implementation of tech-learning products and services. In this regard, the report provides an overview of the standardization work already underway in this field, and additionally recommends the coupling of technical standards with supplementary best-practice guidelines on the rollout and maintenance of tech-rich education systems.

The report and additional resources are available at http://itu.int/en/ITU-T/techwatch/Pages/learning-standards.aspx.

Experts from industry or academic and research institutes are invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts for future reports in the ITU-T Technology Watch series. Interested experts are encouraged to contact the TechWatch team at tsbtechwatch@itu.int.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:25:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 08, 2012

In conjunction with ITS World Congress 2012, ITU is hosting meetings to chart the way forward for the global communications standards needed to enable widespread, interoperable Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). The events will discuss ITSs’ requisite standardization frameworks, means of facilitating essential cross-sector collaboration, and the creation of standards able to reduce driver distraction attributed to information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Hosted by the Telecommunications Research Centre (FTW) at Tech Gate Vienna, the sixth meeting of the ITU Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards will take place 28 October, followed by the seventh meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction, 29-30 October. The meetings are open to any individual from an ITU Member State, free of charge, with the opportunity to ‘participate remotely’ from one’s home country.

The Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards will continue to pursue its aim of enacting an internationally-accepted, globally-harmonized set of ITS communication standards to enable the rapid deployment of interoperable ITS products and services. In addition, the ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction will progress its work deliverables addressing the safe use of installed, connected and nomadic ICT devices, networks and applications accessed by drivers of all types of road vehicles.

Directions to the venue are available here. Register for on-site or remote participation in the meeting of ITU’s Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards here, and for the meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction here.

For more information, please contact Martin Adolph.

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Monday, October 08, 2012 1:58:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Standards Education Workshop, hosted by Aalborg University, 8-9 October, will outline ICT standardization courses currently on offer, discussing their approach to the interdisciplinary nature of ICT standardization and determining means of increasing the weight assigned to standardization in universities’ ICT curricula. Ideas generated by the workshop will feed into the work of the TSB Director’s Ad Hoc Group on Standards Education, a group currently under formation, intending to support academia in its efforts to produce standards-minded graduates.
 
The event is jointly organized by ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T), the Global ICT Standardization Forum for India (GISFI), Dansk Standard (DS) and Aalborg University’s Center for TeleInFrastruktur (CTIF).
 
Items on the agenda include:

- Technical presentations by academic institutions on their experiences with standards education
- The merits of Problem-Based Learning
- “Brainstorming” regarding how best to structure academic courses on ICT standardization
 
The event builds on the success of a previous ITU Webinar on Standards Education, 30 April 2012, and is part of ITU-T’s ongoing efforts to better understand and serve the needs of ITU-T’s academic membership.
 
Specifically, in discussing the aims and methodologies of different universities’ standards courses, October’s workshop will aid in the development of an ITU repository of standards courses offered across the globe – providing a resource to individuals interested in the study of ICT standards, and to universities deciding on the content of courses as they develop them.
 
The event will host panelists and participants from a broad cross-section of the standards-development community, including academic institutions, research centres and laboratories; national and regional administrations; national and international standards development organizations (SDOs); industry associations; private companies; and entrepreneurs interested in international standards’ ability to grant innovations access to global markets.
 
Remote Participation will be provided, and details on how to participate from one’s home country are available on the workshop’s webpage. The event’s page also provides all details relevant to participation in Aalborg, such as the workshop’s programme and practical information (hotels, visas, etc.).
 
Visit the workshop’s webpage here...

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Thursday, October 04, 2012 2:12:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The programme of the ITU event examining the patent wars dogging the ICT industry has been announced with all key players registered to attend.

Representatives from Apple, Nokia, Ericsson, Microsoft, Samsung, Research in Motion, Motorola Mobility and several other key industry players will join regulators, government representatives and experts in intellectual property law to discuss how to avoid harm to the industry from litigation stemming from the use of standards essential patents.

The full day event will kick-off with a welcome address from ITU Secretary General, Hamadoun I. Touré, followed by a keynote speech from a high-level expert and then perspectives from different competition authorities.

The second part of the day will ask key stakeholders to present views unique totheir different perspectives in a “360 view” format, meaning that speakers are allowed 360 seconds to present their ideas. The sectors represented are standards development organizations (SDOs); industry players; patent offices; and academic institutions.

After lunch, participants will engage in a World Café environment allowing all participants an opportunity to exchange ideas in an interactive format. Results from this session will be fed into the final roundtable discussions moderated by a key expert in the field, Robert Barr, Berkeley University.

The two morning sessions of the ITU Patent Roundtable will be broadcast online to accredited journalists. In order to create an atmosphere conducive to fruitful negotiations, the two afternoon sessions of the Roundtable will not be webcast, recorded or accessible to the press. The Roundtable’s attendees will be permitted to report the results of discussions through their various channels, providing they adhere to the Chatham House Rule (see below).

Conclusions and closing remarks will be given by Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU.

Journalists wishing to learn the results of the discussions and negotiations are welcome to attend the ITU press conference, either in person or remotely, at the close of the event. For details of press participation please contact toby.johnson@itu.int.

Participants in the ITU Patent Roundtable, as well as non-participants, are invited and encouraged to submit written contributions to ITU concerning the issue of SEP litigation and RAND licensing commitments. Contributions should be submitted to the ITU no later than October 5, 2012 at tsbworkshops@itu.int. These contributions will be communicated to the participants and made available to the public on the ITU’s website, but will not be presented during the meeting.

Chatham house rule:

When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.


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Wednesday, October 03, 2012 7:59:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 28, 2012

ITU-T Study Group 15 – Transport and Access – has modified its standards on narrowband powerline communications (NB-PLC) following requests from administrations and utilities to accelerate deployments of Smart Grid. The group also advanced its “G.fast” project which promises to enable fibre-optic data speeds over “last-mile” copper connections from fibre termination points to customers’ homes.

Meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 10-21 September, SG 15 hosted 370 delegates from 38 countries and received 439 contributions to its work on access network transport, optical technology and optical transport systems.

The meeting agreed the repackaging of Recommendations ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956, on NB-PLC, into four Recommendations, a move designed to increase the clarity of this important family of standards and thereby stimulate industry adoption. G.9955 and G.9956, detailed in an ITU press release here, 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. Standardizing next-generation NB-PLC transceivers, the Recommendations are optimized for the various topologies and characteristics of power grids around the world, and will provide a 'smart' link between electricity and communications networks through their support of the use of power lines as a communications medium.

“G.fast for FTTdp (Fibre-to-the-Distribution Point)” is the working title of a project seeking to combine the high-bit rates of FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home) and the customer self-installation ease of ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line). The G.fast project will offer a broadband access solution taking fibre to a distribution point very near a customer’s home, leaving a maximum of 250 metres of copper for the “last-mile” connection to a transceiver in a customer’s home. Many of the copper loop lengths are expected to be short enough to support aggregate bitrates exceeding 500 Mb/s on a single pair; enabling the provision of next-generation IPTV services as well as super-fast broadband access for small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). SG 15’s September meeting addressed 37 contributions to the G.fast project which is on course to meeting its target of consent by July 2013 and approval as an ITU-T Recommendation by March 2014.

For more on the work of ITU-T Study Group 15, please see the group’s webpage here…

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Friday, September 28, 2012 2:21:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |