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Register now for the Technical Symposium at ITU Telecom World 2011

A Technical Symposium, to be held during ITU Telecom World 2011 being staged in Geneva on 24–27 October, will take an indepth look at cutting-edge technological developments that are defining and influencing the future of networks and services in areas such as e-health, e-government, and next-generation wireless standardization and deployment.

Co-sponsored by the Communications Society (ComSoc) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the symposium will focus on the trends shaping tomorrow’s information and communication technology (ICT) industry, featuring insights direct from research and development organizations. Designed for engineers and technical specialists, the event will be free of marketing hype.

Twelve themes will be discussed: Security Issues in Future Networks; Green Solutions for Sustainable Growth; Innovations in Broadband; Improving Healthcare through eHealth Services; New Concepts for Future Networks; Efficiency Challenges of eGovernment; LTE Deployment Challenges; Broadband Networks for Rural Service Delivery; Small Cells in Future Wireless Networks; Standardization in Practice; Cognitive Management of Spectrum; and Dependability of Emerging Economies on ICT.

To ensure a high-calibre, wholly original programme, presentations will be selected via peer review by a panel of experts drawn from technical committees and study groups of influential organizations such as IEEE and ITU–T (ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector).

Delegate registration for ITU Telecom World 2011 is now open. Participating delegates also have the chance to be part of the high-level networking and knowledge-sharing taking place throughout the week in Geneva. Delegates registering before mid-September will benefit from “early bird” discounts.

The full programme of the ITU Telecom Technical Symposium, including session timings and speakers is available at:
http://world2011.itu.int/sites/default/files/Event_Calendar.pdf.


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Photo credit: AFP
Celebrating independence in the world’s newest nation

Country code 211 assigned to South Sudan

On 14 July 2011, ITU announced that the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan, has officially been assigned the international dialling code 211, following the country’s formal recognition as a United Nations Member State.

The fledgling South Sudan Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services welcomed the new code, which has particular resonance for South Sudan’s citizens as representing the year in which South Sudan gained independence (2011), the date of its referendum (which took place in the first day of the first month of 2011), and a symbol of good fortune. The number had been specifically requested following a special Council of Ministers Resolution.

On independence and recognition by the United Nations General Assembly, a country can apply to ITU for a country code. In this case, ITU officials had been in contact with South Sudanese officials since January 2011 to explain the procedures in the case of independence, which meant the country code could be preallocated and assigned as soon as the UN General Assembly gave South Sudan recognition.

The global country code numbering system is defined in an ITU standard known as ITU–T Recommendation E.164. ITU communicates this information to other Member States and the world’s telecommunication operators in a publication called the ITU Operational Bulletin. In addition to the country code, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan will be assigned a mobile country code and a signalling area/network code, which facilitates all telephone calls by indicating how they should be routed.


ITU’s message to global climate change conference

Ahead of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17), which will take place in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011, participants in the ITU Symposium on ICT and Climate Change, held in Accra, Ghana, on 7–8 July 2011 renewed calls for global leaders to recognize the power of information and communication technologies (ICT) to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

An outcome document calls on ITU, as the UN specialized agency for ICT, to lead a coalition urging COP-17 delegates to look to the enormous potential of ICT to cut emissions across all sectors. The document advocates a “closed loop” approach to manufacturing and recycling, in order to reduce the need to extract and process raw materials. It also emphasizes the value of ICT in monitoring deforestation, crop patterns and other environmental phenomena.

Specific mention of ICT in the COP-17 negotiating text as an element of national adaptation or mitigation plans, along with the adoption of an agreed method for measuring the carbon footprint of ICT equipment, would provide an incentive to the ICT industry to invest in developing countries, help reduce the digital divide, and at the same time contribute to fighting climate change — a win-win scenario. ITU is already actively developing a method that could serve as a reliable global benchmark for assessing the carbon footprint of a wide range of ICT equipment.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré stressed the Union’s commitment to providing the technical know-how to mitigate and adapt to climate change. “It is now clear to most observers that ICT have a very important role to play here. Recognition of this at the international level will provide countries with a solid argument to roll out climate change strategies with a strong ICT element,” he stated.

Speaking at the opening of the Ghana symposium, Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, said: “Today, a world without ICT is unthinkable. ICT are integrated into almost all parts of our society and economy. Yet while the increasingly widespread use of ICT has changed people’s lives dramatically and boosted economic growth, the success of technology means it is itself a growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, ICT probably provide the most significant opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the major high emissions industries of energy generation, waste disposal, building and transport. This is a message we must carry to COP-17.”

ITU launches a project on ICT and climate change in Ghana

During the event, ITU launched a project on ICT and climate change in Ghana, which will be based on two pillars. The first will look at how ICT can be used to help Ghana adapt to the effects of climate change, and will be led by the Ministry of Communications and sponsored by Research in Motion (RIM). The second, which will be led by Ghana’s Environment Protection Agency with sponsorship from Vodafone Ghana, will look at how telecommunications in that country can reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions. This project will be the first test of the ITU’s assessment method, as set out in Environmental Assessment for the ICT Sector.

The Ghana event was the sixth ITU symposium on ICT, the environment and climate change. It followed successful events in Kyoto, London, Quito, Seoul and Cairo, beginning in 2008. It was the first to address the broader issue of sustainable development, identifying a number of possible recommendations from the ICT sector that could be presented to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD 2012 or Rio+20). It was opened by John Dramani Mahama, Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, and welcomed more than 350 delegates from around the world, as well as some 40 people participating remotely.

Further information about ITU´s activities on climate change is available at www.itu.int/climate.


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New ITU App Challenge calls for IPTV creativity

ITU’s latest global Application Challenge encourages developers around the world to create innovative Internet Protocol television (IPTV) apps running on ITU standards.

Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about the IPTV platform and the opportunities it offers. The best app submitted by an individual or small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) will be awarded USD 10 000, thanks to sponsors Sumitomo Electric Networks, Inc. and Dentsu Inc. There is a separate category for corporate entries. Winners will receive their awards at a special event at the ITU Telecom World 2011 show in Geneva in October.

While highlighting the rapidly expanding range of the IPTV ecosystem, this latest ITU App Challenge is designed to stimulate ground-breaking ideas from all corners of the globe. “ITU has pioneered a raft of standards for IPTV, which are set to transform global viewing habits. Global standards such as these will be key to take-up,” said Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, ITU. “With this technology we have all the advantages of traditional ”linear” television combined with the flexibility that the Internet offers.”

IPTV represents a major new business opportunity for telecommunication companies, content providers and existing broadcasters. ITU’s IPTV standards cover a wide range of topics including interactive services, content location, terminal specifications, metadata and quality of service (QoS).

Companies from Brazil, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, France, and elsewhere have already incorporated ITU’s IPTV standards in commercial television and set-top-box products. In China and Japan, ITU IPTV is already deployed with several million subscribers. And a test service is being conducted in Singapore.

ITU App Challenge entrants are encouraged to be creative in areas such as:

  • linear (channel service) broadcast television, electronic programme guide and video on demand

  • games

  • e-government, e-publishing, e-commerce, e-learning and e-health services

  • photo albums

  • user-generated content

  • fixed-mobile convergence.

The deadline for registering for the competition is 16 September 2011, and entries must be submitted by 23 September. Full details are available at:
www.itu.int/challenges/iptv/.


ITU teams up with leading Asian standards organizations to bring new technologies to market more quickly and at lower cost

ITU has signed an agreement with key Asian standards developers that will mean new technologies come to market quicker and at lower cost. Japan’s Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB); China Communications Standardization Association (CCSA); the Republic of Korea’s Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA); and Japan’s Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITU recognizing ITU as the pre-eminent global ICT standards body. The agreement seeks to smooth the way for regional standards, developed in these four key regional bodies, to be internationally recognized. This will enable product manufacturers to more efficiently incorporate globally standardized solutions in their products, leading to greater economies of scale and lower costs to consumers.

The agreement will bring better access for ARIB, CCSA, TTA and TTC to international standards-making activities, allowing all partners to profit from information sharing on the standardization aspects of nascent technologies. The MoU will also encourage the identification of topics for joint work programmes in order to avoid duplication.

“China, Japan and the Republic of Korea have been at the forefront of the development of many of the technologies that underpin the information society. At the same time, all three countries have shown a commitment to the development of the international standards that provide the interoperability needed to seamlessly connect the world. This agreement cements the relationship between ITU and four premier standards organizations in the region”, said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré.

Masayoshi Wakao, Secretary General of ARIB considers that “This MoU presents an enormous range of benefits to the ICT industry. While our joint efforts will benefit all participating organizations, the real winners will be industry and ultimately consumers. More efficient and effective global standardization activities will facilitate an open global market for systems, lowering costs and providing for global interoperability.”

Zemin Yang, Secretary-General of CCSA, confirms that “ITU is the globally recognized leader in international ICT standards. CCSA is a long-time contributor to and supporter of the ITU standards process. We welcome the opportunity to join with regional partners to improve efficiency and underline this relationship.”

Keun-Hyeob Lee, President of TTA also welcomed the MoU as the foundation for further strengthening the relationship among the five organizations. “TTA believes that this MoU will create the momentum for moving forward with international standardization of newly emerging ICT technologies”, he said. Yoichi Maeda, CEO of TTC added that the MoU leverages expertise in some of the most technologically innovative minds in the world today. “This is a sign of visionary and constructive thinking”, he commented.

 

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