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 Wednesday, 03 April 2013

Geneva, 3 April 2013 – Representatives of Central American governments, private companies, universities and non-governmental organizations have agreed on a 20-point Agenda aiming to promote advances in the handling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or ”e-waste”) in the region. Key will be the application and identification of business models that leverage recycling opportunities and create new employment.

The new Agenda was agreed by the 86 participants in the ITU/UNEP Workshop for Capacity Building on Environmentally Responsible Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), organized in San Salvador, March 19-21 with the support of ITU Sector Member Telefónica.

The Agenda emphasizes increased collaboration between all parties, as well as the development of online learning programmes and workshops aimed at policy-makers. It calls on ITU and UNEP/PACE to assist Central America and the Caribbean in the development of regulations, legislation and international standards to mitigate e-waste’s potentially damaging effects on the environment and the health of local populations.

Full press release

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Wednesday, 03 April 2013 13:52:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 02 April 2013

ITU-T member EXFO took the opportunity at the recent meeting of Study Group 12 to demonstrate a new product based on Recommendation ITU-T Y.1564.

ITU-T Y.1564 defines a test methodology to assess and troubleshoot the proper configuration and performance of an Ethernet network to deliver Ethernet-based services. The standard has already gained momentum in the test and measurement industry.

With multiclass Ethernet services being deployed globally, products built according to the standard can aid the deployment of Ethernet services and assist the validation of service-level agreements.

Bruno Giguère, of EXFO was on hand to demonstrate a product from the company’s range of Ethernet field-testing instruments (FTB-200 chassis with an FTB-8130NGE test module). Giguère was the editor of the Recommendation and played a key role in its development. He says that his company’s particpation in the standards process is an important way of showing leadership and demonstrating that it is not waiting for standards but playing an active role in actually producing them.

“Fully adapted to today’s mobile backhaul, commercial and wholesale services, the new ITU-T Y.1564 standard is truly beneficial for our customers to optimize the quality of service and reduce operational costs”, said Étienne Gagnon, EXFO’s Vice-President, Wireline Division and Corporate Marketing.

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Tuesday, 02 April 2013 08:58:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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 Director’s 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 ITU’s Patent Policy and related Guidelines– the Union’s 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 – also referred to as patent hold-ups – 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)  #     |