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Telecommunication Standardization Sector 

 June 2011  
Forum highlights radio interference fears - Non-ITU compliant home network equipment may cause problems
Concerns that home networking products using power line transmission (PLT) technology may cause interference with radio services led to a Forum last week in Geneva to address the issue. ITU’s own home networking standard ITU-T was considered to have electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and mitigation techniques that go well beyond those considered essential for protecting radio services.

Given the variety of electronic devices in our homes, strict EMC requirements are imperative. Over-the-air broadcast services in particular could be subject to interference from PLT systems.

Full press release
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Audiovisual Media Accessibility group outlines work programme
The kick off meeting of the Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility (FG AVA) took place on 26 May 2011 and was a great success.

There was wide participation from key stakeholders, both physically and virtually using remote participation tools. Those participating included universities and research centres, organizations representing persons with disabilities, AV media companies, network and service providers, vendors, organizations representing consumer electronics manufacturers, WIPO, government and regulatory bodies. The aim of this first meeting was to define the scope of the Group’s work – interpret the objectives, define core terms and agree on procedures.

The Focus Group addressed the need to mainstream audiovisual media accessibility focusing on making digital media accessible for all, in particular for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

It was decided to organize the work within the following areas:
  • Captioning
  • Audio/Video description and spoken captions
  • Visual signing and sign language
  • Emerging access services
  • Electronic Programming Guides and on-air promotion
  • Participation and digital media
  • Digital Broadcast TelevisionIPTVMobile and handheld devices
  • Key Performance Indicators for the accessibility of broadcast television, IPTV and metadata, mobile and hand-held devices
Eight deliverables were agreed, one of which covers guidelines on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. During the 18-month life of the Focus Group, participants will collect issues and problems related to implementation of the Convention as well as real-world problems from persons with disabilities and persons with age-related functional impairments. In addition it will collect examples of good practice through case studies and other means, and prepare guidelines for the inclusion of access services in all new digital AV user devices.

The next meeting will take place 15 September 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland.
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Internet of Things standards work plan
The first meeting of ITU’s new Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI) has ended with industry and government participants agreeing on a solid work plan and on the importance of moving quickly forward with the first stages of that plan. GSI-IoT will act as an umbrella for IoT standards development worldwide. Two further meetings have been scheduled for 2011.

IoT is the realization of the idea that anything can be connected at anytime from any place. The concept of connecting any kind of object to the Internet may be one of the biggest standardization challenges yet. See previous story.

One of the first important steps, as with any new area of standardization, is to agree on the scope of the work and agreed terminology. Thus the initiation of two major work-items are instrumental to the development of a work-plan for IoT standardization. The first work-item IoT Overview is intended to be approved as an ITU-T Recommendation by February 2012, it will clarify the scope of IoT as well as its high level requirements, key features, business models and ecosystem. The second work-item is a draft Recommendation on IoT terminology, that will include a definition of IoT, which is currently seen from two very different viewpoints: IoT as a global information and communication infrastructure or IoT as a philosophy - e.g. a social phenomenon to be considered for developing relevant technologies/specifications in the ICT area.

The group, meeting in Geneva, saw participation from a number of international, national and regional organizations including ISO/IEC JTC1, TIA from USA, and ETSI Europe. The next IoT-GSI event will take place in Geneva, 22-26 August 2011, alongside a meeting of ITU-T’s Cybersecurity group - SG17, to facilitate the participation of experts in ICT security.

The group’s leadership is encouraging participation from all leading SDOs and the various industry sectors where IoT could be deployed in order that the requirements of those sectors can be taken into account at an early stage… Sectors include e-health; e-government, automotive, geo-information, remote sensing, home networking (home automation), e-business and e-commerce, climate change mitigation. Those interested in making a contribution or participating should contact
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Multiple Silicon vendors demo market readiness for ITU home networking standard
Four ITU-T chipset manufacturers converged on Geneva this week to test interoperability between their products. The advanced interoperability demonstrated highlights the maturity of the various vendors' designs and the completeness of the standard. Experts expect products on the market before the end of the year.

Hosted by ITU, the event was a joint effort of HomeGrid Forum and the Broadband Forum, and the first major opportunity for silicon vendors to test the interoperability of their products for the home networking standard. The event was facilitated by the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL).

ITU-T is the first global home networking standard, created to unify home networking services and devices over any wire, including coaxial cable, phone lines or power lines. Lantiq, Marvell, Metanoia, and Sigma Designs participated in the week-long event that covered interoperation in the physical layer.

In parallel, experts met at a workshop designed to ensure that the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) concerns are taken into account in the rollout of the new technology.

“Interoperability is key to the success of any new technology,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “These events give vendors a unique opportunity to prove to service providers that their products are ready for market. And products conforming to the specification comply with the most rigorous EMC requirements that ensure they cause no interference to radio services.”

HomeGrid is poised to launch a formal Compliance and Interoperability program, bringing HomeGrid certified products to the market this year and giving the industry a new benchmark of technology excellence for wired home networking. Another interoperability event is planned later in the year.
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ITU and European Patent Office agree to share information - Patent agreement will smooth new tech adoption globally
ITU and the EPO (European Patent Office) have signed an agreement in recognition of the need for standards makers to share information to help improve the quality of patents.

Standards are essential for the wide adoption of new technologies in the marketplace. However, there is potential for conflict between patents and standards when the implementation of the standard requires the use of technology protected by one or more patents.

The newly signed agreement will help create the right balance between the interests of all relevant stakeholders, including patent holders, implementers of the standards, and end-users while seeking to enable solutions to market-driven needs on a global basis.

Full press release
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Bridging the Standardization Gap Regional Workshop in Fiji
ITU is organizing a Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap for the Asia-Pacific Region on 4-5 July 2011 and an Interactive Training Session and Standardization Tutorial on 6th July 2011.

The event will be hosted by the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) with the kind support of the Telecommunications Technology Association of the Republic of Korea (TTA) and the Korea Communications Commission, Republic of Korea. The Workshop and Interactive Training Session will be held back-to-back with the 4th APT Policy and Regulation Forum for Pacific from 6 to 8 July 2011.The workshop is intended to provide concrete advice and best practices on participation by developing countries in global standards development and building national standards readiness. It will also examine standards work on key new technologies.

The Interactive Training Session and Standardization Tutorial on the second day will provide an interactive learning experience through a simulated Study Group meeting. It will be of greatest interest to those who will be, or who have begun, participating in international meetings and those who have some international experience with plans to move into leadership roles.

The event is intended for ICT standardization experts from the region, ICT companies, service providers, vendors, manufacturers, ICT regulators, national standards bodies and test labs.

For more information about the event see here.
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ITU Universal Charging Solution made greener/leaner - Industry backing for charger update that extends device use
ITU’s one-size fits all universal charging solution has been further improved to maximize the benefits for end users by extending its use to a wider variety of devices and making it even more energy efficient.

A detachable cable with standardized end connectors will allow connection to devices including all mobile phones and other hand-held devices (including MP3/MP4 players, tablet computers, cameras, wireless headphones, GPS devices etc). This also means that it can be used for data transfer, avoiding an unnecessary duplicate cable and thus further reducing costs and e-waste.

Full press release
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6th ITU Climate Change Symposium announced in Ghana
ITU’s Sixth Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change will take place 7-8 July in Ghana. The event will be hosted by the Ministry of Communications (MOC) of Ghana.

The main purpose of the event is to move forward the agenda on using ICTs to monitor climate change, mitigate and adapt to its effects and, identify future requirements for ITU’s related work.

The symposium will also focus on the issue of ICTs, the environment and climate change in Africa and the needs of developing countries. Topics to be discussed will include mitigation and adaptation to climate change, e-waste, disaster planning, cost-effective ICT technologies, methodologies for the environmental impact assessment of ICTs, challenges and opportunities in the transition to a green and resource efficient economy.

The symposium will identify possible goals, commitments and modalities for the ICT sector to be developed in the process leading to the forthcoming 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17-CMP7), to be held in Durban, South Africa in November 2011. The event will also develop a set of recommendations for action in relation to ICTs, the environment and climate change towards a green economy, as a contribution to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD 2012 or Rio+20).The event follows successful symposia between 2008 and 2010 in Kyoto, London, Quito, Seoul and Cairo. It will be preceded by a Training Seminar on Conformity and Interoperability for Africa that will be held from 4 to 6 July. It will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others.

For more information on the symposium see here.
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Framework for exchange of info on cybersecurity
ITU has adopted a suite of global technical standards that provide a common framework for exchanging information on cybersecurity. The suite is known as CYBEX and provides for enhancing protection for all kinds of ICT systems, equipment, and software.

CYBEX focuses on the structured exchange of cybersecurity information and provides coherent common specifications allowing different operators, systems, and security communities to communicate vital cybersecurity information to each other, enhance protection, and identify and understand attacks . CYBEX is an important element in ITU’s array of standards improving confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

The first three standards of this suite of standards (known as ITU-T X.1500 Recommendations) consist of: (1) an overview of the model for trusted exchange of cybersecurity information; (2) the exchange of vulnerability information; and (3) "weighing" of vulnerabilities.

ITU’s security study group (ITU-T Study Group 17) has started new work entitled continuous security monitoring using CYBEX techniques. The work will focus on the use of CYBEX standards by enterprises and network operators to enhance their individual and collective cybersecurity and reduce their risks. Experts say the complexity of existing network infrastructures, equipment, software, and services renders enterprises constantly vulnerable and subject to compromise. The work may also be applicable to cloud computing, virtualization and Smart Grid electrical power management environments.
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Newsletter explores importance of interoperability
The dynamic growth in information technologies since the late 1970s — including computing, telephony, networks, and enterprise systems — has highlighted the vital importance of interoperability and standardization between these systems.The latest newsletter from the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) explores interoperability in the health, building construction, telecom and electric power sectors and how it can result in lower costs, increased operating efficiency, improved reliability and security and new services through competitive innovation.

Read it here.

Sign up for future issues here.
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Results of World Standards Day 2011 poster competition
The World Standards Cooperation (WSC) has announced the results of the poster competition for World Standards Day 2011, which attracted 45 entries and 2,000 votes.

Open to all, the competition was to design a poster for World Standards Day, 14 October, on the theme, “International Standards – Creating confidence globally”. The competition’s organizer, the WSC, comprises the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

First prize and winner of 1,500 Swiss francs goes to Caterina Fiorani, (Italy).

Runners up receiving 500 Swiss francs each are:
  • The team of Alexandra Schoenitz, Eurydice Avoine, Cornell Gorgas and Thibaud Cerdan (France/Germany)
  • Teguh Pribadi Adi Nugroho (Indonesia)
  • Eva Kohl (Germany)
The competition was promoted via social media (Twitter, Facebook) and voting held online. It proved so popular that the deadline had to be extended to late May. The final competing entries were chosen by the WSC and displayed for voting on its Website.

The World Standards Cooperation was set up in 2001 in order to strengthen and advance the voluntary consensus-based international standards systems of IEC, ISO and ITU. Each year on 14 October, the members of the IEC, ISO and ITU celebrate World Standards Day, which is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards. In addition to the poster, the three partners will be producing a World Standards Day message.

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Updated : 2011-10-11