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 Thursday, 20 June 2013

This coming Saturday, 22 June, the IS Department will conduct an exercise testing its disaster recovery (DR) plan for our email service.  We would like to test this plan by simulating a "disaster" and consequently activating the DR plan.  The exercise will allow us to verify the effectiveness of the DR plan. We will test roles and responsibilities, recover data, restore email service at a secondary location, and restore network connectivity to a new service.

The exercise will start on 22 June at 09:00 and should be finished by 18:00. During this time, there will be limited access to the email service for ITU staff, first at around 09:00 for 3 hours and again at around 15:00 for about another 3 hours, so 9:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 18:00.  Access interruption will be experienced from Outlook client, Outlook Web Access, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Android devices, etc.

It is important to note that no email will be lost. It is only staff access to the email service that will be interrupted.  The service will continue to receive emails, so any email sent by external contacts will be delivered to the respective ITU mailboxes and can be viewed as soon as access is restored. 

If you have any questions, please contact the ITU Service Desk at

Thursday, 20 June 2013 14:43:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 18 June 2013

While ITU is able to provision electronic facilities for remote participation in meetings, please be informed that due to staff cuts in support staff TSB no longer will be able to assist in starting and conducting such remote sessions when meetings are held outside ITU headquarters.

Rapporteurs would therefore need to rely on a person local at the meeting to start and manage the remote participation session. TSB will provide to the Rapporteur-designated person the details of a Gotomeeting account that has the necessary admin rights to perform those two tasks. Delegates may want to take a look at the support articles and training videos available online at

It should be noted that ITU will continue to provide staff support during sessions with remote participation for meetings taking place in ITU HQs, when they are booked with three weeks in advance.

As before, requests for setting up remote meeting participation facilities should be sent to the applicable group secretariat.



Tuesday, 18 June 2013 15:00:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Today it is estimated that 65 per cent of the world’s population live in cities, with the number set to grow as 1.3 million people move into urban areas every week. This migration has contributed to the rise of megacities, of which there were only three in 1975, now 21 and rising. Experts predict that by 2050 more than 6 billion people will live in urban areas.

To face the challenge of this growing population and meet the rising demand of resources and services, cities need to move towards a path of sustainable growth and development, while remaining respectful of the environment. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be the driver for such solutions.

And here is where you come in...

Now in its third year, ITU and Telefónica are delighted to again present their Green ICT Application Challenge, inviting developers to submit the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT application to help build Smart Sustainable Cities and achieve environmental sustainability in urban areas.

Ideas for topic areas are:

  • Energy management
  • Water management and sanitation
  • Waste management
  • Transport and mobility
  • Urban planning, including smart buildings
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Smart societies, community engagement and environmental education

The challenge is open to individuals from ITU Member States, and the author of the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT Application will be awarded a 5,000 USD cash prize in Madrid, Spain on 18 September 2013 during the 3rd ITU Green Standards Week.

But hurry… submission ends on 15 July 2013 at 12:00 PM CET.

For more information please click here

Learn more about ITU-T’s work on ICTs, the environment and climate change here.

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Tuesday, 18 June 2013 08:38:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 17 June 2013

ITU experts are discussing ways to meet user and operator demand for a standardized methodology for measuring Internet access speeds. The establishment of such a framework would inspire greater consumer confidence in advertised speeds and ensure that accurate comparisons can be made between offerings from different operators.

The experts meeting under the auspices of the ITU-T Joint Coordination Activity on Conformance and Interoperability Testing (JCA-CIT) are discussing how end-to-end testing can be facilitated via remote access to world-class testing facilities.

A meeting of JCA-CIT, 25 April 2013, analyzed the proposal of an independent speed-testing methodology from a variety of perspectives; taking presentations from a national regulator, a national testing laboratory and a manufacturer of testing equipment.

Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) presented its study evaluating the status quo of received Internet access speed as compared to advertised or contracted broadband speeds. The ultimate goal of Germany’s research in this field is to produce fundamental considerations for the development of a quality-measurement methodology accessible to end-users. The study attempts to gain an informed basis on various QoS aspects with regard to Article 20 (Contracts) and Article 22 (Quality of Service) of the “Universal Service Directive” of the European Union, Directive 2002/22/EC on “universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services”.

The testing laboratory of the Central Research Telecommunication Institute (ZNIIS, Russia) presented its implementation plan for the joint ITU-ZNIIS project to establish a ‘virtual laboratory’ granting developing countries remote access to cutting-edge tools for the assessment of network performance, Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE).

A central goal in the ITU-ZNIIS project is the development of a framework for the remote testing of fixed and mobile Internet access speeds. This goal is the subject of a contribution made by the Russian Federation to ITU-T Study Group 11 which proposes a new work item focused on standardizing the framework and protocols needed to enable the testing of end-to-end Internet access speed. The proposal advocates for the independent estimation of the quality of end-user access to the Internet and the interconnection speeds between carrier networks, thereby offering means to aid operators in drafting service-level agreements (SLAs) with their customers and other operators.

The presentations from the Federal Network Agency of Germany and ZNIIS were supported by a manufacturer’s perspective in the form of a presentation on QoS/QoE assessment from a maker of telecom testing equipment, Arcatech (UK).

JCA-CIT enters the 2013-2016 study period with a strengthened mandate, assisting ITU-T Study Group 11 (Protocols and test specifications) in coordinating the implementation of the ITU Conformity and Interoperability (C&I) programme.

Read the report from the most recent meeting of JCA-CIT here (TIES restricted)

More information on the implementation of the ITU C&I Programme is available in the C&I Portal

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Monday, 17 June 2013 12:00:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 14 June 2013

An upcoming Joint ATU-ITU Seminar on the outcomes of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) and the World Conference on International Telecommunications ( WCIT-12) will offer Africa’s ICT executives and policy makers an insight into the meaning and significance of these conference’s outcomes with a view to ensuring their effective implementation. The event will be preceded by two workshops geared towards key directives issued by WTSA-12 and WCIT-12, that of countering spam and ensuring the eco-friendly management of e-waste. The two full-day workshops are free of charge and open to all interested parties, including non-members of ITU.

The three events will be hosted by South Africa’s Department of Communications at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa:

The 2012 meeting of ITU-T’s main decision-making body, WTSA, adopted the first-ever Resolutions on e-health, software-defined networking and e-waste. ITU-T also saw its mandate re-emphasized and strengthened in crucial areas such as accessibility, climate change, and conformity and interoperability, along with encouragement for the greater participation of academia.

WCIT-12’s revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) was especially relevant to ITU-T, with the new treaty requiring Member States to encourage the application of relevant ITU-T Recommendations in areas including Quality of Service (QoS), numbering, international calling line identification, international roaming, emergency communications, countering spam, energy-efficiency, e-waste and accessibility. WCIT-12 also called on ITU-T to study the regulatory, technical and economic issues which need to be addressed in the transition from dedicated phone and data networks to converged IP-based networks.

The workshop on “Countering and Combating Spam” responds to Article 7 of the new ITRs on “unsolicited bulk electronic communications” which encourages Member States to cooperate in taking necessary measures to prevent the propagation of spam and minimize its impact on international telecommunication services.

The workshop on the “Environmentally Sound Management of e-Waste” responds to Article 8 of the new ITRs which encourages Member States to adopt energy-efficiency and e-waste best practices, taking into account relevant ITU-T Recommendations. WTSA-12 offered another boost to ITU’s mandate in this arena by agreeing a new Resolution on e-waste; giving further impetus to ITU’s standardization work on the subject and requesting ITU’s standardization and development sectors, ITU-T and ITU-D, to assist Member States in instituting policy frameworks that limit e-waste’s negative environmental effects. It also instructs ITU-T Study Group 5 to develop Recommendations, methodologies and other publications relating to handling and controlling e-waste as well as methods of treating it.

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Friday, 14 June 2013 09:16:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The latest ITU-T Technology Watch report charts the rise of mobile money, illustrating the importance of global standards in supporting recent advances in mobile payments enabled by near field communication (NFC) and in fortifying mobile money’s inroads into enhancing financial inclusion in developing countries.

Just 15 years ago the mobile phone was used almost exclusively to make calls, send texts and play simple games. Mobile phones today access the Internet, make video calls, take photos, find your location on a map, purchase tickets for public transport, and provide electronic banking services. Innovation in financial services, mobile technology and NFC continues to expand these applications and our ever-present mobile devices are fast evolving into substitutes for wallets and bank accounts, transforming the way we transfer money and pay for goods and services.

The report is published in two parts, the first focused on NFC-enabled mobile payments and the second on mobile money’s game-changing impacts in developing countries. Read or download the full report here.

Part 1 analyses innovations in ‘tap and go’ NFC mobile payments and their likely impact on future standardization activities. A mobile device’s electronic account or “mobile wallet” serves to replace deposit accounts, credit accounts, loyalty accounts, merchant accounts, gift cards and coupons. In developed countries the mobile wallet is also playing a role as a container for different currencies and bank accounts.

Part 2 considers the innovations driving mobile money transfer apps in developing countries. Globally, more than 2.5 billion adults do not have access to a formal bank account and mobile money is thus seen as a crucial means through which to tackle the low levels of financial inclusion that continue to pose a barrier to socio-economic development in emerging economies. In keeping with mobile money’s importance in the transfer of money between migrant labourers and their dependents, the report also reviews the technical standards working behind the scenes to ensure the security of mobile money transfer services. 

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Tuesday, 11 June 2013 07:29:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |