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 Tuesday, 02 July 2013

Stefano Galli, ITU-T’s lead expert on smart grid communications, is one of 2013’s recipients of the prestigious IEEE Donald G. Fink Award in recognition of his contribution to the field of power line communications (PLC) and the technology’s application in the development of smart grid.

Galli leads ITU-T’s smart-grid standardization work in his role as Rapporteur for Question 15: Communications for Smart Grid, a task team of ITU-T Study Group 15 (Networks, Technologies and Infrastructures for Transport, Access and Home). He is, in addition, a Co-convener of ITU-T’s Joint Coordination Activity on Smart Grid and Home Networking (JCA-SG&HN), the group coordinating smart-grid and home-networking standardization work across ITU and acting as the first point of contact for organizations interested in contributing to this work.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) established the IEEE Donald G. Fink Award in 1979 to reward excellence in the authoring of surveys, reviews or tutorial papers published in the IEEE Transactions, Journals, Magazines, or in the Proceedings of the IEEE. The award is named in honour of Donald G. Fink: a distinguished editor and author, past President of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE), and the first General Manager and Executive Director of IEEE.

Galli earned the award for his role played in authoring a paper titled, “For the Grid and Through the Grid: The Role of Power Line Communications in the Smart Grid”, published in the Proceedings of the IEEE (vol. 99, no. 6, pp. 998–1027). IEEE notes that the paper “is considered the most complete review of power line communications (PLC) technology published to date,” and that it “has quickly become a key reference document for the application of PLC technology in smart grids.” The paper offers a detailed breakdown of the role played by communications technologies in smart grid, familiarizing readers with the history of PLC methods and the latest advances in work to leverage PLC in the smart-grid functions for which the technology is best suited.

The paper was co-authored by Galli, an IEEE Fellow and Director of Technology Strategy with ASSIA, Inc. (Redwood City, CA, USA); Dr. Anna Scaglione, an IEEE Fellow and professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California (Davis, CA, USA); and Dr. Zhifang Wang, an IEEE Member and assistant professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA, USA).

In December 2011 – representing the culmination of a standards effort in which Galli played an integral role – ITU members approved Recommendations ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956, a family of international narrowband powerline communications (NB-PLC) standards that 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.

The next-generation NB-PLC transceivers defined in the ITU standards family are optimized for the various topologies and characteristics of power grids around the world, and the family’s support for Ethernet, IPv4 and IPv6 ensures that smart grid networks can easily be integrated with IP-based networks. The standards contain the physical layer (PHY) and the data link layer (DLL) specifications, respectively, for NB-PLC transceivers based on OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing).

Read more on ITU’s family of NB-PLC standards in a press release issued upon its approval.

Subsequent to the standards' approval in 2011, September 2012 saw ITU-T Study Group 15 experts agreeing to the repackaging of Recommendations ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956 into four Recommendations (G.9901, G.9902, G.9903 and G.9904), a move designed to increase the clarity of this important family of standards and thereby stimulate industry adoption. Read the newslog article reporting this decision here.  

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Tuesday, 02 July 2013 15:46:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Participants in a workshop jointly organized by ITU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) have agreed an Action Plan to guide and strengthen the two organizations’ collaboration in leveraging intelligent transport systems (ITS) to enhance road safety in emerging markets.

Each year road accidents claim the lives of 1.2 million people and leave another 20-50 million injured. Developing countries are by far the hardest hit, and the global financial toll of these accidents is estimated at an annual half a trillion US Dollars. Technologies have long contributed to making roads safer through, for example, anti-lock braking systems and airbags. ITS and vehicle communications have the potential to springboard very significant leaps forward in vehicle safety.

The ITU-UNECE workshop, “Intelligent transport systems in emerging markets – drivers for safe and sustainable growth”, was held at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 27 June 2013. The event took place during the eighth meeting of the Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards at the same venue, on 26 and 28 June 2013; also drawing a number of its participants from attendees of a meeting of UNECE’s Working Party 29 on Vehicle Regulations in the Palais des Nations, 25-28 June 2013.

The workshop opened with welcoming remarks from Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, followed by a keynote presentation from Eva Molnar, Director of the UNECE Transport Division. Alongside experts from the ITS and ICT communities, the car industry was well represented by the likes of FIA, Volvo and BMW.

The workshop’s first session offered a “Global ITS update”, looking at ITS technologies’ deployment status in different regions of the world, regulatory frameworks, radiofrequency issues and standards. The second session focused on “ITS in emerging markets” by discussing case studies from India and South Africa, and by pinpointing the key challenges and opportunities.

The workshop’s afternoon sessions took aim at road safety, first discussing the use of “ITS to increase road safety in emerging markets”, followed by an in-depth analysis of means of “Tackling the [driver] distraction challenge”.

The workshop concluded with an Action Plan which directs ITU and UNECE to collaborate with governments, policy makers, regulators, standards development organizations (SDOs), industry, civil society and relevant international and regional organizations, to:

  • Lead with vision in fostering the adoption of best practices and effective policies for using ITS and vehicle communications as means to increase road safety and reduce the number of road traffic accidents worldwide.
  • Standardize, adopt and promote globally harmonized ITS-related vehicle and infrastructure regulation, communication standards and radio spectrum, and accelerate the development and adoption of standards that address the growing dangers of technology-caused driver distraction.
  • Share knowledge, raise awareness and provide education to promote ITS information and education resources suitable for all communities, stakeholders, governments and academia; raising awareness for the crucial role of vehicle communications to increase road safety globally.
  • Shape the agenda, boost partnerships and mobilize expertise in the areas of ITS, vehicle communications, road safety and driver distraction.

The workshop and Action Plan follow the spirit of the 2013 World Telecommunication/Information Society Day held on 17 May and themed ICTs and Improving Road Safety.

The full text of the Action Plan is available here.

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Tuesday, 02 July 2013 15:39:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Les TIC vertes et la qualité de service sont le thème de réunions organisées au Burkina Faso

La ville de Ouagadougou, au Burkina Faso, sera l'hôte de réunions de l'UIT consacrées aux TIC et aux changements climatiques, ainsi qu'à la qualité de service et à la qualité d'expérience, du 15 au 19 juillet 2013.

Ces réunions seront organisées avec la collaboration de l'Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes (ARCEP) du Burkina Faso.

La participation à la première de ces réunions, un atelier intitulé "Bâtir un avenir durable par l'adoption de normes sur les TIC vertes", est gratuite et ouverte à tous. Cet atelier aura pour objet de sensibiliser à l'importance de l'utilisation de normes TIC dans l'édification d'une économie verte. Les séances, qui mettront plus particulièrement l'accent sur la région Afrique, porteront, entre autres, sur le rôle des TIC dans la lutte contre les effets des changements climatiques, sur les opportunités offertes par les TIC vertes et sur les enjeux qu'elles représentent, sur les déchets d'équipements électriques et électroniques et sur la formation à l'utilisation de normes relatives aux TIC vertes.

Après cet atelier qui durera un jour et demi, le Groupe régional pour l'Afrique de la Commission d'études 5 (CE 5 RG-AFR) de l'UIT-T tiendra sa première réunion les 16 et 17 juillet. Cette réunion sera ouverte aux seuls Membres de l'UIT-T. La Commission d'études 5 est la Commission d'études de l'UIT-T qui étudie les interactions entre les TIC et les changements climatiques. Elle examine aussi les questions de compatibilité électromagnétique, qui est une préoccupation majeure dans les pays en développement.

Un atelier sur le thème "Etablir des critères de référence pour l'évaluation de la qualité de service des réseaux multimédias" aura lieu le 18 juillet. La participation à cet atelier sera, là aussi, gratuite et ouverte à tous. Cet atelier facilitera les discussions du Groupe régional de la CE 12 sur la qualité de service pour la région Afrique (CE 12 RG-AFR); il donnera en effet des informations sur l'établissement de critères pour l'évaluation de la qualité de service des réseaux multimédias. Le lendemain, le 19 juillet, le Groupe CE 12 RG-AFR tiendra sa première réunion, à laquelle ne pourront participer que les Membres de l'UIT. La Commission d'études 12, qui axe ses travaux sur les normes de qualité de fonctionnement et de qualité de service, joue un rôle de plus en plus important du fait de la mise en service des réseaux commerciaux VoIP et des réseaux à commutation par paquets.

Cliquer ici pour en savoir plus sur la Commission d'études 5.

Cliquer ici pour en  savoir plus sur la Commission d'études 12.

Cliquer ici pour en savoir plus sur les travaux de l'UIT-T concernant l'environnement et les changements climatiques.


Burkina Faso events focus on Green ICT and Quality of Service

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso will play host to ITU events focussing on ICT and climate change as well as quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) from 15 to 19 July 2013.

The events will be held in collaboration with the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP) of Burkina Faso.

The first event, Building a Sustainable Future Through Green ICT Standards, is free and open to all and will serve as a platform to raise awareness of the importance of using ICT standards to build a green economy. With special focus on the African region, sessions will include the role of ICTs in tackling climate change, green ICT opportunities and challenges, e-waste and training on green ICT standards.

Following that one and a half day event, the first meeting of the ITU-T Study Group 5 Regional Group for Africa (SG5  RG-AFR) will take place between 16 and 17 July. This event is open only to ITU-T Members. Study Group 5 is the ITU-T Study Group responsible for studies on the interplay between ICTs and climate change. Also under its mandate is electromagentic compatibility (EMC), a major concern in developing countries.

July 18 will see a workshop on Benchmarking QoS Evaluation of Multimedia Networks. This event, also free and open, will facilitate the meeting of the Regional Group of Study Group 12 on QoS for the Africa Region (SG12 RG-AFR) by providing information on benchmarking of QoS evaluation of multimedia networks. The first meeting of SG12 RG-AFR will follow on July 19, this event is for ITU Members only. Study Group 12 focuses on standards for performance and QoS, a role that is increasingly important with the advent of commercial VoIP and packet-based networks.

Find more about Study Group 5 here.

Find more about Study Group 12 here.

Find out more on ITU-T's work on the environment and climate change here.

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Tuesday, 02 July 2013 14:38:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Celebramos en Latinoamérica talleres sobre campos electromagnéticos y residuos electrónicos

El próximo mes de agosto se celebrarán en Quito (Ecuador) dos talleres gratuitos que reunirán a expertos de Latinoamérica y del mundo, del ámbito de las nuevas tecnologías y el medio ambiente, la política, los negocios y la regulación, para discutir sobre un adecuado reciclaje de desechos eléctricos y la exposición a los campos electromagnéticos (CEM) creados por las comunicaciones inalámbricas.

La industria de las TIC sigue creciendo e innovando a un ritmo inigualable con otras industrias. La velocidad de la expansión de la industria y la rapidez a la que sus productos y servicios evolucionan nos colocan frente a importantes desafíos en la gestión de los desechos electrónicos, así como la resistencia de las comunidades a la construcción de antenas e instalaciones TIC en su entorno.

Los residuos eléctricos se están convirtiendo, en especial, en un reto ambiental importante. La Universidad de Naciones Unidas (UNU) estima que en 2013 se han producido hasta la fecha 53 millones de toneladas de desechos electrónicos, una cifra cuantificada mejor a través de otra estimación y es que se han introducido 67 millones de toneladas de nuevos aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos en el mercado durante este período de tiempo.

Teniendo en cuenta esta situación, la UIT y Telefónica están organizando dos talleres de forma conjunta en Quito. El próximo 13 de agosto tendrá lugar el primer de ellos, sobre el manejo ambientalmente responsable de los desechos electrónicos en América Latina, mientras que el próximo 14 de agosto, el taller se centrará en la exposición a los campos electromagnéticos (CEM).

El taller de desechos electrónicos reunirá a los principales expertos, con el fin de identificar los medios de mejorar la gestión de estos desechos a través de la cooperación regional, de unos marcos regulatorios eficientes y de asociaciones público-privadas capaces de aprovechar este reto, para crear nuevas oportunidades de trabajo sostenible en el reciclaje de aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos.El taller sobre campos electromagnéticos responde a la resolución de la UIT No. 72 AMNT-12 sobre "Problemas de medición relativos a la exposición humana a los campos electromagnéticos". El evento ofrecerá una visión general de las políticas y normas que informan sobre la responsabilidad de los campos electromagnéticos emitidos por las instalaciones TIC, su regulación y otros temas importantes dentro de la agenda sobre seguridad en las comunicaciones inalámbricas.

Estos eventos forman parte del programa de asociación UIT-T/Telefónica para reducir la brecha de normalización y promover normas TIC ecológicas en América Latina.

Más información sobre los talleres se puede encontrar aquí.

Más información sobre las actividades del UIT-T sobre las TIC, medio ambiente y cambio climático se puede encontrar aquí.

Más información sobre las actividades del UIT-T sobre la exposición humana a los campos electromagnéticos (CEM) se puede encontrar aquí.

Workshops in Latin America on e-waste and electromagnetic fields

Quito, Ecuador will, in August, see two free of charge, open-to-all workshops bringing together the region’s ICT and environmental experts, from the policy, business and standardization spheres, to discuss the environmentally sound management of e-waste and the responsible consideration of human exposure to the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that underpin wireless communications.

The ICT industry continues to grow and innovate at a pace matched by few, if any, other industry sectors. The speed of the industry’s expansion and the rate at which its products and services evolve gives rise to significant challenges in the management of e-waste as well as in communities’ resistance to the scaled-up construction of ICT installations in their surrounds.

e-Waste in particular is growing into a challenge of considerable weight. The United Nations University (UNU) estimates that 2013 has so far produced 53 million tons of e-waste, a figure best quantified through a comparison with UNU’s estimate that 67 million tons of new electrical and electronic goods have been introduced to the market in the same timeframe.

A workshop jointly organized by ITU and Telefónica on the “Environmentally Sound Management of e-Waste in Latin America”, 13 August 2013, will be followed by an ITU workshop on “Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields”, 14 August 2013, with both workshops kindly hosted by Telefónica in Quito, Ecuador.

The e-waste workshop will bring together key stakeholders in the region to identify means of improving the management of e-waste through regional cooperation, efficient regulatory frameworks, and public-private partnerships capable of leveraging the e-waste challenge to create new, sustainable job opportunities in the disposal and recycling of electrical and electronic goods.

The EMF workshop responds to WTSA-12 Resolution 72, “Measurement concerns related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields”. The event will provide an overview of the policies and standards that inform the responsible consideration of EMFs emitted by ICT installations, giving regulators and other stakeholders insight into central tenets of safety in wireless communications.

These events are part of the ITU-T/Telefónica partnership programme to bridge the standardization gap and promote green ICT standards in Latin America.

More information on the workshops can be found here

More information on ITU-T activities on ICTs, Environment and Climate Change can be found here

More information on ITU-T activities on Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) can be found here

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Tuesday, 02 July 2013 14:29:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 28 June 2013

Standardization work on software-defined networking (SDN), a key priority for ITU-T in 2013, is progressing well in ITU-T’s Study Group 11 (SG11) with a number of important specifications nearing maturity following a meeting of two specialized groups in June.

SG11 is tasked with developing the signalling requirements and protocols on SDN. The work will align with the functional requirements and architectures developed by ITU-T’s Study Group 13. In addition a Joint Coordination Activity on SDN was recently established to coordinate the work.

Matt Lopez, NEC Corporation and Rapporteur on Question 4/11 Signalling requirements and protocols for Bearer and Resource control in emerging telecommunication environments: “ITU-T’s consensus-based standards process provides an opportunity for the industry to agree common objectives for the emerging SDN environment, and resulting standards will do much to unify industry players in their work to introduce SDN on a large scale.” 

Draft Recommendations in progress include a document specifying the scenarios and signalling requirements using SDN technologies in Broadband Access Network (BAN). A software-defined BAN (SBAN) simplifies network configuration, making deployment of new services easier and improving broadband service provision. Working document is available here (members only).

Another document provides a gap analysis of SDN work going on across ITU and other standardization bodies as well as a framework, requirements and architecture for signalling in SDN. Working document is available here (members only).

In addition SG 11 experts are working on a Recommendation that describes the scenarios and signalling requirements for a unified intelligent programmable interface for IPv6 service deployment. This working document is available here.

The next physical meetings of the groups focusing on SDN will take place November 2013 in Uganda. For updated information see ITU-T Study Group 11 homepage.

See previous story published after ITU-T SG11 meeting in February 2013 here and a report of a workshop focusing on the topic here.

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Friday, 28 June 2013 17:13:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU regrets to announce the death of Marie-Thérèse Alajouanine (1950-2013).  

Marie-Thérèse was a valued and prolific contributor to the work of ITU and as such a familiar face, will be sadly missed by the many colleagues and delegates of the various ITU groups that she led with vision and energy. 

Read the full text of the obituary and offer condolences to her family here.

Friday, 28 June 2013 15:16:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Lucía Ramón Torres, a Mexican lawyer working as an advisor to the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, has written an ITU blog post illustrating how ICTs are the key tool for performing her professional work, and how they can be the key for the full digital inclusion of thousands of persons with disabilities around the world.

Read the full text on ITU blog here.

Friday, 28 June 2013 14:53:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 27 June 2013

ITU Headquarters in Geneva will in July host back-to-back meetings of ITU-T Study Group 15 and IEEE 802, two of the world’s foremost expert groups in the development of the international standards that give shape to global optical transport networks and the array of wireless, optical and copper-based access technologies through which end-users connect.

The meeting of ITU-T Study Group 15 (Networks, Technologies and Infrastructures for Transport, Access and Home), 1-12 July, will be followed by the 14-17 July Plenary Session of IEEE  802, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) expert group renowned for its influential stable of Ethernet and WiFi specifications. In parallel on 13 July, a free of charge, open to all workshop jointly organized by ITU/IEEE-SA will gather experts from ITU-T SG 15 and IEEE 802.1 (Higher Layer LAN Protocols Working Group) to present and discuss their work on Ethernet protection and packet synchronization. The event is a continuation of ITU-T Study Group 15 and the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee's effort to ensure the efficient coordination of their work.

ITU-T Study Group 15 develops international standards (ITU-T Recommendations) that define technologies and architectures of optical transport networks enabling long-haul global information exchange; fibre- or copper-based access networks through which subscribers connect; home networks connecting in-premises devices and interfacing with the outside world and smart grid technologies.

Meeting in July, the group will continue working towards the completion of key standards set for approval in 2013, including 40-Gigabit-capable passive optical networks (NG-PON2) and the full series of Recommendations in the ITU-T G.989 series describing the time and wavelength division multiplexed (TWDM) PON system.

Also planned for approval in 2013, under the working name ‘G.epon’, are standards on Ethernet PON using optical network terminal (ONT) management and control interface (OMCI), as well as standards under ‘G.multi’ to specify control aspects of multiple wavelength PONs. Study Group 15 also expects to reach first-stage approval (‘consent’) of ‘’ before the close of 2013. The new specification promises to enable fibre-optic data speeds up to of 1 Gbit/s over “last-mile” copper connections from fibre termination points to customers’ homes.

IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee develops and maintains networking standards and recommended practices for a range of networks including local, metropolitan and other area networks; applying an open, internationally accredited standards process and advocating for the implementation of its standards on a global basis.

IEEE 802 standards having gained widespread adoption include those for Ethernet, Bridging and Virtual Bridged LANs, Wireless LAN, Wireless PAN, Wireless MAN, Wireless Coexistence, Media Independent Handover Services, and Wireless RAN.

The upcoming IEEE 802 Plenary Session in Geneva will see participation from the full range of IEEE 802’s Working Groups: 802.1 (Higher Layer LAN Protocols); 802.3 (Ethernet); 802.11 (Wireless LAN); 802.15 (Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN)); 802.16 (Broadband Wireless Access); 802.18 (Radio Regulatory TAG); 802.19 (Wireless Coexistence); 802.21 (Media Independent Handover Services); 802.22 (Wireless Regional Area Networks); 802.24 (Smart Grid TAG); and the  OmniRAN EC Study Group.

Read more on ITU standards for Transport, Access and Home on the ITU-T Study Group 15 at a Glance page.

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Thursday, 27 June 2013 13:45:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In the latest ITU blog post, Scott Pennock, Chairman of the now-terminated Focus Group on Driver Distraction, writes on how the automotive and ICT communities are working towards a convergence of automobiles and ICTs that prioritizes drivers' safety. More...

Thursday, 27 June 2013 10:49:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 25 June 2013

In the latest post to the ITU blog, ITU-T Study Group 2 Chairman, Sherif Guinena, describes the upsurge in numbering fraud and what SG2 is doing to counter it. More...

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 08:21:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 24 June 2013

Frederica Scott Vollrath (Germany) has clinched first prize in the 2013 World Standards Day poster competition, receiving the lion’s share of the deciding vote with a poster depicting manufacturing blueprints as an illustration of 2013’s World Standards Day theme: International standards ensure positive change.

Frederica wins 1, 500 Swiss francs courtesy of IEC, ISO and ITU, the three international standards developing organizations (SDOs) comprising the World Standards Cooperation (WSC). Her poster will provide the visual identity to this year’s World Standards Day, 14 October, appearing worldwide in the promotion and celebration of this international day of observance.

Motivating the conceptual basis for her poster design, Frederica explains that as a “sustainable product designer,” she has been “trained to capture complex 3D design ideas as 2D technical drawings in the interest of providing simple plans for manufacturers to follow.” Conveying how standards simplify otherwise complex industrial processes, Frederica centred her poster around a designer’s working drawings of blueprints, which she notes can be “both intriguing and visually appealing; almost works of art in themselves.”

The poster competition in addition awarded cash prizes of 500 Swiss francs to each of the three runners-up: Seuwandi Yapa and Samith Roshan (Sri Lanka); Taylor Marquis (Canada); and Dimitri Monnois (France).

See the posters designed by the winner and three runners-up here

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Monday, 24 June 2013 12:46:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |