Fast track to success
In today’s fast-moving world, speed to market is key to success. ITU has acknowledged this with the development of an initiative to by-pass much of the bureaucracy involved in the development of standards. The Alternative Approval Process (AAP) was developed — by the ITU-T sector in response to members’ demands — as a fast-track approval procedure for technical standards.
As network operators look to implement third-generation services, the interoperability of equipment is imperative. AAP is designed to make sure that standards reach Recommendation stage as quickly as possible. But AAP is not just about saving ITU study group members’ time. With these standards in place, network operators will have the confidence to roll out next generation services quickly and efficiently.
As well as redefining many of the procedures involved, the aim of AAP is to automate much of the approval process. Under AAP, once a meeting considers that a draft Recommendation is ready for approval, it is posted on the ITU website
and the rest of the process can be completed electronically with no further meeting necessary.
In 2001, of 244 Recommendations received, 69 per cent were approved within less than six weeks. This compares with approval times of nine months in the late 1990s, and as much as four years in the early eighties. The hope is that AAP will bring year-on-year improvements in the number of approvals made, with the knock-on effect that commercial organizations can get quicker returns on next generation networks.