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 Thursday, 28 March 2013

An upcoming ITU workshop on ICT as an Enabler for Smart Water Management will be held in Luxor, Egypt on 14-15 April 2013.

Economic growth, seasonal climatic conditions and rising population are all affecting availability of water resources. Moreover, a number of effects linked to climate change, such as lengthy droughts and extreme weather events, are worsening the situation. Water shortages are at the core of many of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of which is to reduce by half the number of people without safe access to water by 2015. According to the UN World Water Development Report, by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of freshwater.

ICT provides a unique opportunity for water stakeholders to obtain information in near real-time about a number of physical and environmental variables such as temperature, soil moisture levels and rainfall through web enabled sensors and communication networks. Smart metering technologies can also provide individuals, businesses and water companies with information about their own water use, thus raising awareness about usage, locating leakages and having better control over water demand.

Organized by ITU at the kind invitation of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Egypt this first ITU workshop to address this serious topic will address a number of issues including: weather forecasting; technological solutions and standards; smart metering; climate smart agriculture; water governance, institutions and regulations; stakeholder engagement; and planning water resources and land use.

It will result in a Call For Action for countries in the Nile River Basin area to implement best practices for smart water management in agriculture, consumption in cities, river flow forecasting to prevent calamities such as flooding and identification of leakages in the water distribution network.


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Thursday, 28 March 2013 15:43:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany, an ITU-T academic member, made a significant contribution to the current meeting of ITU-T Study Group 12, on a method of video quality of experience (QoE) monitoring which drills deep into network performance, identifying service degradation by precisely calculating video stalling and rebuffering times.

Progressive download video services, such as YouTube, are responsible for a major part of the data volume in the telecommunication networks. Streaming video quality depends on sustainable throughput during transmission. To ensure acceptable video quality, the customer's perceived quality (QoE) needs to be monitored.

Experts have been calling for algorithms that provide measurement results that can give insight to end user QoE, that can in turn be used for network planning and traffic engineering. The Chemnitz University contribution was timely as a separate contribution to the same meeting called for exactly such a method to be developed.

The contribution proposes a network-based parameter-extraction applicable to video QoE estimation that allows for transparent monitoring without the need to install tools at end-user devices or on the server.

Study Group 12 has considered the contribution as part of a new international standard (ITU-T Recommendation). Consequently the two authors, Thomas Knoll and Marcus Eckert, will have their contribution recognised internationally.

Knoll and Eckert chose to supplement their formal presentation to Study Group 12 with an implementation and online demonstration, which according to the study group Chairman, Kwame Baah-Acheamfuor, was a first that gave delegates an unprecedented opportunity to see exactly how the contribution could be applied.

Participation of academics in the work of ITU-T provides invaluable networking opportunities and the chance to gain an understanding of the requirements of the industry.

More details can be found in the contributions (ITU members only) here and here. Alternatively here or for contribution details and publications.

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Thursday, 28 March 2013 09:41:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 21-22 March 2013, the TSB Directorís Ad Hoc Group on IPR (IPR AHG) has continued making headway in its bid to ensure protection of the integrity of the standards-development process by clarifying aspects of ITUís Patent Policy and related GuidelinesĖ the Unionís main tool to manage the challenges associated with the incorporation of patents in standards (ITU-T Recommendations).

The licensing of standards-essential patents (SEPs) on reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) terms is a cornerstone of the standards-development process. The incorporation of SEPs on a RAND basis incentivizes the inclusion of cutting-edge patented technology in technical standards, while also ensuring that the holder of a SEP cannot abuse the dominant market position it gains from widespread adoption of a voluntary technical standard.

The IPR AHG has been active for over fiften years, providing a forum for experts to exchange views on IPR matters and offer advice on the best approach to the patent-standard relationship.

In recent months, certain stakeholders as well as competition authorities have raised concerns regarding the increase in standards-related patent litigation as well as the possible use of SEPs to exclude competitors from a market. American and European regulators have in addition expressed concerns with the possible use of SEPs to pressure standards implementers into accepting higher royalties in bi-lateral licensing negotiations Ė also referred to as patent hold-ups Ė an act which undermines the aims of RAND to the disadvantage of standards implementers, hurting the consumers ultimately shouldering these higher costs.

Against this backdrop, ITU held a high-profile Patent Roundtable in October 2012 which assembled all the key private-sector and regulatory players to unravel the source of SEP-related litigation and to plot the course to an appropriate remedy.

Acting on the conclusions of this Roundtable, the IPR AHG is currently undertaking an accelerated series of meetings, targeting two specific questions:

the conditions under which companies that have made RAND commitments should or should not be allowed to seek injunctions; and the clarification of the meaning of the word "reasonable" in the RAND context.

The next meeting of the IPR AHG will take place at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 25-26 April 2013.

A video message from the TSB Director to the IPR AHG can be viewed here.

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Wednesday, 27 March 2013 14:10:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 22 March 2013

TSB is pleased to launch a new interface for subscriptions to mailing lists and the informal FTP areas (IFAs).

The new interface is simpler and more intuitive to use. It allows users to subscribe automatically or request subscription to reserved services.   See below some bullets with other details.

Major Improvements

  • User-friendly interface: It shows complete details of the service, allows quick subscription through direct access to a group containing the different services, and provides current status of any subscriptions pending approval.
  • Enhanced visibility of services: Every user (TIES and Guest) will be allowed to see the entire ITU service catalog and to subscribe automatically to open services or request subscriptions to restricted or previously hidden services.

The new interface is accessible at

We invite you to try the new subscription interface and to provide feedback to before the end field trial phase on 30 April 2013.

Friday, 22 March 2013 18:12:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 20 March 2013

ITU members have agreed new standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on cloud computing, Ďsmartí ubiquitous networks and security requirements for the interconnection of emergency telecoms services.

The standards were agreed at a recent meeting of ITU-T Study Group 13 Ė Future Networks including cloud computing, mobile and next-generation networks. The meeting also agreed the publication of three new technical papers:

  • Migration scenarios from legacy networks to NGN in developing countries
  • How to increase QoS/QoE of IP-based Platform
  • Mobility Management in ITU-T: Its Current development and Next Steps Heading Towards Future Networks

The SG13 meeting finalized the approval of Recommendation ITU-T Y.2705, Minimum Security Requirements for Interconnection of Emergency Telecommunications Service (ETS), and reached first-stage approval (consent) of the first ITU standards on cloud computing:

  • Recommendation ITU-T Y.3501, Cloud computing framework and high-level requirements
  • Recommendation ITU-T Y.3510, Cloud Computing Infrastructure Requirements
  • Recommendation ITU-T Y.3520, Cloud computing framework for end to end resource management

Other noteworthy standards reaching first-stage approval include two new recommendations on smart ubiquitous networks, a central force in the evolution towards more human-centric ICTs:

  • Recommendation ITU-T Y.3041, Smart Ubiquitous Networks Ė Overview
  • Recommendation ITU-T Y.3042, Smart Ubiquitous Networks Ė Smart Traffic Control and Resource Management Functions

Following the adoption of a Resolution on Software Defined Networking (SDN) at last Novemberís World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai, much discussion was also dedicated to planning the course of ITUís standardization work on this important work area. In addition, ITU-T Study Group 17 participants were invited to discuss the division of work between the two groups as it relates to standards for security in cloud computing.

More information on ITU-T Study Group 13 is available here

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Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:54:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 14 March 2013

ITU has approved an action plan to drive its Conformance and Interoperability (C&I) Programme and has revamped the Joint Coordination Activity which marshals C&I work undertaken across ITUís various expert groups.

Conformance with international standards is one of the core principles underlying the global interoperability of ICT networks and devices. The C&I Programme was initiated at the request of ITUís membership in light of the challenges faced by developing countries in improving interoperability and battling counterfeit goods.

ITU-T Study Group 11 Ė Protocols and test specifications Ė was charged with coordinating the C&I Programme by last Novemberís World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai.

Meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 25 February to 1 March 2013, SG11 approved a C&I action plan in line with WTSA-12ís revision of Resolution 76 on ďStudies related to conformance and interoperability testing, assistance to developing countries, and a possible future ITU Mark programmeĒ.

The SG11 meeting also saw substantial progress made in ITUís collaboration with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and advanced the groupís ongoing work on software-defined networking (SDN). Read news on these achievements here.

The Joint Coordination Activity on C&I testing (JCA-CIT), which now falls under the leadership of SG11, will support the coordination of the ITUís C&I activities while also acting as the first point of contact for organizations interested in contributing to this work. SG11 has revised JCA-CITís governing Terms of Reference and has appointed a new Convener in Mr. Martin Brand from Telekom Austria, an active SG11 member over the previous study period and appointed an SG11 Vice-chairman by WTSA-12. The next meeting of JCA-CIT will be held electronically, 25 April 2013, and detailed participation instructions will be provided on the JCA-CIT homepage.

Delivering on a central objective of the C&I program, SG11ís meeting reached first-stage approval (consent) of five new testing suites to become international standards (ITU-T Recommendations).

The meeting also hosted a presentation delivered by the Executive Secretary and Chairman of IECEE, the Worldwide System for Conformity Testing and Certification of Electrotechnical Equipment and Components. IECEE presented on its conformance assessment scheme and encouraged ITU to make full use of this platform in carrying out the C&I Programme.

In addition, SG11 produced an initial list of key technologies within its mandate which the group considers suitable for C&I testing. This will remain a living list and it forms input to the first pillar of the four-pillar C&I Programme which delineates C&I work into four separate but interdependent categories:

1) conformance assessment;

2) interoperability events;

3) human resource and capacity building; and

4) assistance in the establishment of test facilities in developing countries.


More information on ITUís C&I Programme is available here

More information on ITU-T Study Group 11 is available here

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Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:22:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |