ITU standards to integrate Internet of Things in Smart Cities
New expert group to specialize in Internet of Things and its applications
Geneva, 10 June 2015 – ITU members have established a new
ITU-T Study Group to address the standardization requirements of Internet of
Things (IoT) technologies, with an initial focus on IoT applications in smart
The new group is titled “ITU-T Study Group 20: IoT and its applications,
including smart cities and communities”. It will be responsible for
international standards to enable the coordinated development of IoT
technologies, including machine-to-machine communications and ubiquitous sensor
networks. The group will develop standards that leverage IoT technologies to
address urban-development challenges. A key part of this study will be the
standardization of end-to-end architectures for IoT and mechanisms for the
interoperability of IoT applications and datasets employed by various vertically
oriented industry sectors.
The deployment of IoT technologies is expected to connect an estimated 50
billion devices to the network by year 2020, impacting nearly every aspect of
our daily lives. IoT is contributing to the convergence of industry sectors,
with utilities, healthcare and transportation among the many sectors with a
stake in the future of IoT technologies. The new ITU-T Study Group provides the
specialized IoT standardization platform necessary for this convergence to rest
on a cohesive set of international standards.
IoT technologies offer both developed and developing countries an opportunity
to transform city infrastructure, benefiting from the efficiencies of
intelligent buildings and transportation systems, and smart energy and water
networks. ITU is well positioned to assist government and industry in
capitalizing on this opportunity.
“Building smart sustainable cities will require efficient collaboration
between the public and private sectors,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.
“This new ITU-T Study Group will bring together a diverse selection of
stakeholders, placing ITU’s technical expertise at the service of other industry
sectors as well as the national and metropolitan administrations responsible for
“The coming five years will be crucial in ensuring that IoT technologies meet
their potential,” said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication
Standardization Bureau. “ITU-T is very active in IoT standardization, and we aim
to assist cities around the world in creating the conditions necessary for IoT
technologies to prove their worth in addressing urban-development challenges.”
In May, Dubai became the world’s first city to assess the efficiency and
sustainability of its operations using the key performance indicators developed
ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (FG-SSC). The
two-year pilot project will evaluate the feasibility of the indicators with the
aim of contributing to their international standardization.
“Networks of IoT technologies will improve our understanding of how cities
function, introducing many opportunities for efficiency gains,” said Nasser
Almarzouqi of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the United Arab
Emirates, Chairman of the new Study Group. “With participants representing the
many stakeholders in the field of information and communication technologies,
this Study Group will be influential in promoting the development of the highly
efficient ‘systems of systems’ that will help bridge the digital divide and
enable a more connected world.”
Singapore has offered to host the inaugural meeting of the IoT Study Group.
ITU put forward a vision of IoT in the landmark
“Internet of Things”
report published in 2005 as part of a series of ITU reports on the
Internet. The foundations of the new Study Group are provided by ITU-T’s
experience in the development of IoT standards and the findings of FG-SSC, which
recently concluded its activities with the release of 21 technical reports and
The decision to create a new ITU-T Study Group was made by the
Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) at its
meeting at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 2-5 June. TSAG has the authority to
modify ITU-T’s structure and work programme between quadrennial
Telecommunication Standardization Assemblies, giving ITU-T the
agility required to reflect the changing priorities of its membership.
ITU-T Study Groups develop international standards (ITU-T
Recommendations) that underpin the interconnection and interoperability of
ICT networks and devices.
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