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 Monday, 26 August 2013

ITU will host a High Level Workshop to review developments in International Mobile Roaming services (IMRs), 23-24 September in Geneva.

The event will bring together senior representatives of relevant ministries, regulatory bodies and operators to review developments in IMRs, by examining the economic and regulatory steps which have been taken to reduce prices and improve competition.

Results of a new ITU Report on “International mobile roaming services: Facilitating competition and protecting users ” will be presented during the Workshop. The paper analyses initiatives to address high prices for international mobile roaming services as well as measures to improve protection for users. Providing analysis of a number of policy and regulatory initiatives and changes in the roaming business model and marketplace, the paper examines developments and discusses best practices and recommendations to develop more efficient markets for international mobile roaming services.

Roaming was a hot topic at the recent World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) with Article 4 of the International Telecommunication Regulations on International Telecommunication Services stating:

4.4 Member States shall foster measures to ensure that authorized operating agencies provide free-of-charge, transparent, up-to-date and accurate information to end users on international  telecommunication services, including international roaming prices and the associated relevant conditions, in a timely manner.

4.5 Member States shall foster measures to ensure that telecommunication services in international roaming of satisfactory quality are provided to visiting users.

4.6 Member States should foster cooperation among authorized operating agencies in order to avoid and mitigate inadvertent roaming charges in border zones.

4.7 Member States shall endeavour to promote competition in the provision of international roaming services and are encouraged to develop policies that foster competitive roaming prices for the benefit of end users.

The text within the international treaty followed agreement by ITU Members from the public and private sectors on measures to reduce ‘bill-shock’ whereby consumers are faced with unexpected and excessive charges for mobile roaming. In September 2012 they approved Recommendation ITU-T D.98, which includes a number of measures to empower consumers and encourage operators to lower tariffs. These measures  represented the first truly international agreement taking steps towards lowering roaming costs.

Participants at the High Level Workshop will be given the opportunity to discuss this Resolution and Recommendation as well as other Recommendations, best practices and initiatives which have led or could lead to lower prices, facilitating more competition and protecting users.

The event is free of charge and open to all ITU Members, mandatory registration is via this webpage. All the information about this High Level Workshop is available on the website:

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Monday, 26 August 2013 12:26:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In the latest ITU blog, Miguel Raimilla, Executive Director of the Foundation, writes on accessibility differences faced by today's youth. One of the subjects of the next Global Youth Summit in Costa Rica. More

Monday, 26 August 2013 10:21:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 07 August 2013

Living in a converged world – impossible without standards? That’s the question posed as the title of the sixth ITU Kaleidoscope academic conference. Kaleidoscope 2014 will be hosted by Bonch-Bruevich Saint-Petersburg State University of Telecommunications (SPbSUT), Russian Federation, 3-5 June 2014.

Kaleidoscope events are peer-reviewed academic conferences that increase dialogue between academics and experts working on ICT standardization.

Kaleidoscope 2014 is calling for academic papers offering innovative approaches to research on the role of ICT standardization in today’s global economy characterized by accelerating convergence of industry sectors and technologies.

The conference will uncover ideas to leverage this convergence in service of the public interest. It will highlight areas where ICT standards will improve energy efficiency and ease the introduction of new services in fields spanning healthcare, education, transport, banking, energy and more. The event will also explore means to enhance the inclusivity of the Information Society; addressing the demands of people with disabilities, and the need for standards to be accessible to people of different countries and languages.

Kaleidoscope 2014 is being organized by ITU with the technical co-sponsorship of the IEEE ComSoc, the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers (IEICE) of Japan and the Popov Society of the Russian Federation. Partners in the organization of 2014’s event are the Ministry of Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation; Waseda University; the Institute of Image Electronics Engineers of Japan (I.I.E.E.J.); the European Academy for Standardization (EURAS); the University of the Basque Country; and Tampere University of Technology.

A Call for Papers has been issued and invites submissions until 25 November 2013. A prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers. Selected papers will be published in the conference’s proceedings and in IEEE Xplore. The best papers will be evaluated for potential publication in IEEE Communications Magazine. In addition, selected papers will be considered for publication in the International Journal of Technology Marketing or the International Journal of IT Standards & Standardization Research. Young authors presenting a paper at the conference will receive Young Author Recognition certificates.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact the ITU-T Kaleidoscope secretariat at

For additional information, please see Kaleidoscope 2014’s webpage here.

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Wednesday, 07 August 2013 16:57:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 02 August 2013

The 3rd ITU Green Standards Week is set to tackle an agenda featuring ‘Smart Sustainable Cities’, e-waste, mobile device eco-rating schemes, and climate monitoring and disaster warning using submarine communications networks.

The 2013 event is being organized by ITU and hosted by Telefónica at its headquarters in Madrid, Spain, 16-20 September 2013, with partners comprising the Basel Convention,CEDARE, UNEP, UNESCO-IOC, the United Nations University, WMO and sponsors such as Huawei and Fujitsu.

Cities are the hubs of innovation that drive economic development, but, particularly in the early years of a city’s growth, urbanization can have adverse effects on the health of the environment and, consequently, that of citizens.

Governments, businesses and technologists are devising ways to encourage a 21st-century brand of urbanization that leverages ICTs to match technological and economic progress with improvements in environmental sustainability and social wellbeing. Standardization is a means through which to ensure that smart-city breakthroughs become accessible to all cities around the world, expanding the number of people to benefit from smarter ways of living and putting more minds to the task of building more environmentally responsible cities.

Green Standards Week’s agenda includes a High Level Segment on Smart Sustainable Cities, the second meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities, 17 September, as well as the prize-giving for the Telefónica-supported 3rd ITU Green ICT Application Challenge, 18 September. The week’s discussions will take shape as follows:

  • 16 September 2013: ITU, UNEP, UNU, CEDARE Forum on e-Waste
  • 17 September 2013 (morning): Forum on Greening Mobile Devices: Building Eco-Rating Schemes
  • 17 September 2013 (afternoon): 2nd Meeting of the Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities
  • 18 September 2013: High Level Segment on Smart Sustainable Cities
  • 19-20 September 2013 (morning): 3rd ITU/WMO/UNESCO-IOC Workshop on Propelling a Pilot Project on Green Cables
  • 20 September 2013 (afternoon): Closed Meeting of the ITU/WMO/UNESCO-IOC Joint Task Force on Submarine Communications Networks For Climate Monitoring and Disaster Warning

The event is free of charge and open to all interested parties, also offering online ‘remote participation’.

Interested stakeholders are invited to take up a sponsorship at ITU Green Standards Week 2013.

Green Standards Week will offer exceptional opportunities to reach highly influential audiences, both broad and targeted.

For more information on the programme and sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Find more information, including practical information on hotels and visas and details of how to register as an onsite or online participant, here.

Find more information on ITU-T, the Environment and Climate Change here.

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Friday, 02 August 2013 13:43:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 01 August 2013

What do you expect from ITU in the future and where should we be directing our efforts to best serve everyone? What do you see as future challenges? We want to hear your thoughts for our strategy and priorities in the coming years:

Thursday, 01 August 2013 14:54:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 29 July 2013

ITU-T events in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso have strengthened African regional positions on standardization to enhance environmental responsibility and quality of service (QoS); calling for harmonized regional policy on imports of ICT equipment and the management of e-waste, and sharing knowledge of national experiences in maintaining adequate QoS for Africa’s rapidly expanding communications networks.

Organized by ITU and hosted by Burkina Faso’s Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP), two capacity-building workshops – free of charge and open to all – accompanied meetings of the African ‘Regional Groups’ tasked with coordinating African contributions to the standardization work of ITU-T Study Groups 5 (Environment and climate change) and 12 (Performance, QoS and QoE).

A workshop on "Building a Sustainable Future through Green ICT Standards", 15-16 July, introduced participants to the activities of SG5 and its Regional Group for Africa (SG5 RG-AFR). It discussed the role of ICT in tackling climate change in Africa and challenges and opportunities associated with e-waste, also offering a technical tutorial on Green ICT standards. A session sought to refine the priorities of SG5 RG-AFR to fuel the discussions of the Regional Group meeting, 16-17 July, which subsequently reached significant conclusions:

  • Emphasis was placed on the need for a Green ICT Roadmap for the African region.
  • Recognizing that local ICT players are predominantly importers, rather than manufacturers, of ICT equipment, participants stressed the need for countries to harmonize their relevant trade policies accordingly; a move which would strengthen their collective bargaining position.
  • Participants noted the need for a regional e-Waste Roadmap and support was expressed for the multi-stakeholder approach to e-waste management recommended by the East Africa Communications Organisation (EACO).

A second workshop on “Benchmarking QoS Evaluation of Multimedia Networks”, 18 July, fulfilled a similar function to the ‘Green ICT’ workshop by providing an opportunity for high-level discussion and information exchange in the run-up to the meeting of the SG12 Regional Group for Africa (SG12 RG-AFR) on 19 July.

Ensuring QoS in today’s converged, increasingly IP-based, communications ecosystem is a complex challenge, and even more so for African countries experiencing an unrelenting surge in demand for communications services and consequent network performance concerns.

The workshop and meeting of SG12 RG-AFR attracted regulators as well as operators, with discussions around ‘Mobile QoS’ highlighting the importance of the topic to the region. Participants discussed the draft new Recommendation ITU-T E.MQoS on mobile QoS parameters, a methodology which looks at mobile QoS parameters from a user’s perspective, and Morocco presented its national experience in mobile Internet QoS evaluation. ‘Broadband Internet QoS’ followed, introducing the country cases of Burkina Faso, Mauritius and Rwanda, and discussing QoS contractual parameters (with reference to Recommendation ITU-T E.803) and the way to harmonize non-standardized parameters with standards.

More information on ITU-T, the Environment and Climate Change is available here.

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Monday, 29 July 2013 10:00:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |