International Telecommunication Union   ITU
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Tuesday, 16 October 2012

ITU members have agreed first-stage approval (consent) of a new Universal Power Adapter standard for devices such as modems, set-top boxes, home networking equipment and fixed telephones.

ITU-T Study Group 5 – Environment and climate change – consented the new draft Recommendation ITU-T L.1001 standardizing the requirements of “External universal power adapter (UPA) solutions for ICT equipment for stationary use”.

The standard will complement ITU’s very successful Universal Charging Solution for mobile devices (Recommendation ITU-T L.1000); enacting further energy savings, reductions in e-waste and heightened consumer convenience by expanding the concept’s application to the vast majority of ICT devices.

As with ITU-T L.1000, ITU-T L.1001 will also work to the benefit of countries not equipped with reliable AC grids as it will be compatible with standalone AC produced by renewable energy sources including the 5V and 12V power interfaces of small photovoltaic systems (solar energy).

Recommendation ITU-T L.1001 will reduce the number of power adapters manufactured by widening the range of compatible devices, facilitating their reuse and recycling, and increasing their build-quality and resilience to overvoltages in such a way that UPAs will enjoy a lifespan of no less than 10 years. By serving more ICT devices, over an increased lifespan, the standardized adapters will drive substantial reductions in energy consumption, limit device duplication, reduce strain on raw materials and enable enormous reductions in e-waste.

A study carried out by the University of Genoa, commissioned by ITU and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)  estimates that the widespread adoption of an energy-efficient UPA solution will eliminate an estimated 300,000 tonnes of e-waste annually.  In addition, the study shows it could reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of external power supplies by between 25 and 50 per cent. The report outlining the findings of the study is available here

The new standard includes basic configurations and general requirements of UPAs and their interfaces: cable; connectors; voltage; current; ripple; noise; energy efficiency; safety; electromagnetic compatibility; resistibility and eco-environmental specifications. The UPAs are designed for ICT devices in people’s homes, and provide a low-voltage input to a device by converting the AC mains voltage to a low-voltage DC output.
Future capabilities of the standard could include compatibility with a DC interface from renewable energy systems or power sockets found in transportation systems (boats, trains, planes, buses, etc.).

For more on the work of ITU-T Study Group 5, please see the group’s webpage here

More on ITU-T’s activities on ICTs, the environment and climate change here

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 16 October 2012 08:11:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In a bid to find a globally agreed solution to concerns that patent hold-ups may reduce innovation and competition, ITU hosted a roundtable on 11 October.

Standards essential patents (SEPs) relate to technology essential for the implementation of a standard in which it is
incorporated, and require the patent holder to make a commitment to license the patent under RAND (Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) terms.

The high-level roundtable was attended by representatives of Apple, Nokia, Ericsson, Microsoft, Samsung, Research in
Motion, Motorola Mobility and several other key industry players, as well as regulators, patent offices, government
representatives, and experts in intellectual property law. 

Many of the participants attended a meeting of the TSB Director’s Ad Hoc Group during the following two days. This meeting
agreed a roadmap to address the main concerns in particular: the conditions under which companies that have made RAND
commitments should be allowed to seek injunctions; and clarification of the meaning of the word "reasonable" in RAND.

The next meetings of the group will be 24-25 January 2013.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 16 October 2012 07:52:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 11 October 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

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

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 11 October 2012 14:25:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 08 October 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.

Bookmark and Share

Monday, 08 October 2012 13:58:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 04 October 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...

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 04 October 2012 14:12:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 03 October 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

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 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.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 03 October 2012 07:59:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |