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Telecommunication Standardization Sector 

 April 2012  
ITU and WHO to host a Workshop on e-Health Standards and Interoperability
Organizations developing e-health standards, and a variety of other stakeholders, have been invited to an ITU/WHO workshop to define the current state of the e-health industry, discuss barriers to e-health technology adoption and to establish an ITU/WHO roadmap signposting the industry’s future course. The workshop will take place at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 26-27 April 2012, and is open to ITU members and WHO Member States.

Ageing societies and the world’s growing population are exerting progressively greater pressures on healthcare infrastructures. Providing equitable, affordable healthcare services to the world’s citizens is a challenge overwhelming traditional healthcare systems. e-Health is thus soon expected to form part of mainstream healthcare systems, but also to become the centerpiece of many national administrations’ healthcare offerings in years to come.

To encourage widespread deployment of e-health applications, particularly in developing countries, it is essential to achieve interoperability among systems and to reduce the cost of devices through economies of scale. Open, global, interoperable standards are the tools to achieve this, and will also be key to ensuring an open, competitive market for e-health innovation in the future.

Much work has been conducted on the development of e-health standards and frameworks for interoperability, but these efforts have not been followed by proportional standard implementation or e-health service deployment. April’s workshop will address this disparity by clearly identifying the necessary future standardisation work, in particular to ensure interoperability, as well as the roles to be played by different stakeholders in progressing this work. In addition, meeting participants will discuss the creation of an e-health policy and strategic framework to guide the development of a sustainable e-health industry.

For more information on the workshop’s content, venue or participants, please consult the workshop's webpage.
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Community bicycle application wins ITU-Telefonica Green ICT Hackathon
Asier Arranz from Spain has been awarded $3000 and a Nokia Lumia mobile phone as first prize in the Green ICT Hackathon, an event organized by ITU and Telefónica and run in parallel to last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Arranz’ proposed ‘Bicing Gamification’ application aims to encourage users of Bicing, the community bicycle program in Barcelona, to deposit bicycles at underserved Bicing stations. Currently, bicycle-moving vans are necessary to maintain an optimal distribution of bicycles around the city. The application therefore makes use of a geo-location system to notify Bicing users of the stations in need of more bicycles. To encourage users to deposit their bicycles at these underserved stations, Arranz suggests micropayments be made those who do, possibly in the form of deductions to their annual Bicing subscription fees.

“The aim of the ‘Bicing Gamification’ application,” says Arranz, “is to reduce costs and CO2 emissions and ‘gamify’ (turn into a game) this green transport system to encourage its use and make cities more sustainable.”

Second prize, $2000 and Nokia Lumia, was awarded to Dirceu Dirs from Brazil for an application targeting drivers of electric vehicles and petroleum-fueled cars alike. The “Easy Refuel” application was developed on the Arduino electronics platform and points drivers towards the nearest, cheapest fuel stations when their vehicles require refueling or recharging.

Third prize, a Nokia Lumia, went to Aaron Franco from the USA for his “Jatrobot” application which aims to harness social interaction to encourage a widespread production of biodiesel. The name stems from the “Jatropha Curcas” tree, the seeds of which can be pressed to yield an oil used to produce biodiesel. The Jatrobot app allows users to signal their approval of an environmentally-friendly product by way of a ‘like’ button, an action which triggers the planting of Jatropha tree seeds by a web-connected robot.

The aim of the Green ICT Hackathon was to encourage the development of applications promoting “Sustainable Energy for All”. Of further importance to ITU and Telefónica is the Hackathon’s contribution to the creation of a global network of ‘green’ ICT developers, one promoting the use of ICT to improve energy efficiency and technology transfer; two key goals to be addressed at Rio+20.

ITU and Telefónica thank their partners in this initiative; Nokia, SAP and the Joint Research Center of the European Commission and WMO. ITU also wishes to thank Telefónica and, specifically, Telefónica’s Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and BlueVia Movistar Spain (Telefónica Digital).In addition to the Hackathon, ITU and Telefonica are organizing the 2nd Green ICT Application Challenge to find the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT application to help promote “Sustainable Energy for All”.

Send us your Concept Paper by 13 April 2012. More information about the Hackathon and Challenge can be found at: or by contacting us at
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Cloud Computing and standardization: Technical Reports published
ITU-T’s Focus Group on Cloud Computing has completed its preliminary study into cloud computing’s standardization ecosystem and has released its FG Cloud Technical Report (Parts 1 to 7). The reports signal the conclusion of the Focus Group’s study period and its findings come to form input for the cloud computing work taking place across the ITU-T under the leadership of Study Group 13 (Future Networks), overseen by the Joint Coordination Activity on Cloud Computing.

Clear industry demand for the technology and the promise of new revenues to ICT players has led to great market optimism, with one forecast predicting that global cloud IP traffic will account for more than one-third of total data center traffic by 2015. Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2010–2015.

International standards will be key to ensuring a competitive market for cloud service provision, one where services are affordable and the clouds offered by different vendors interoperate. FG Cloud’s Technical Reports provide a detailed overview of cloud computing standardization and benefits from telecommunication and ICT perspectives. Two new cloud services categories are identified, communication and network as a service (CaaS and NaaS). In addition, cloud ecosystems and a first ICT cloud reference architecture are defined. These outputs will form a strong reference base for the ITU-T Study Groups engaged with cloud standards development.

Technical Reports - seven separate but complementary reports:
  • Introduction to the cloud ecosystem: definitions, taxonomies, use cases and high-level requirements
  • Functional requirements and reference architecture
  • Requirements and framework architecture of cloud infrastructure
  • Cloud resource management gap analysis
  • Cloud security
  • Overview of SDOs involved in cloud computing
  • Cloud computing benefits from telecommunication and ICT perspectives.
The interest sparked by ITU’s cloud computing work has resulted in several new memberships. For more on our cloud activities, please see the ITU Joint Coordination Activity on Cloud Computing, ITU-T Study Group 13 and other Study Groups: SG 17, SG 2, SG 5.
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ITU joins SDOs from China, Japan and Korea to enhance cooperation
Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ITU and the four standardisation bodies of China, Japan and Korea (CJK) last year, see press release here, Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, led a delegation from the ITU Secretariat to the eleventh CJK Meeting (CJK-11) 14-16 March at the Seagaia Convention Centre in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. The Indian standards body GISFI also attended the meeting as an observer as it has requested to join the MoU.

The meeting addressed global ICT standardization questions of common interest to the region’s key standards bodies: ARIB, CCSA, TTA and TTC.

In his opening speech Johnson noted that CJK governments together account for 15 per cent of the total financial contributions received by ITU from Member States, and private entities from these nations account for 20 per cent of the contributions ITU-T receives from the private sector. Moreover, CJK makes a significant number contribution to ITU meetings: 38 percent more contributions in 2011 than in 2009.

Full speech can be seen here.

CJK meetings seek to maintain and improve the commitment to mutual understanding and cooperation, and recognise the imperative of coordinated international standards for the sound progression of each of the countries’ ICT industries. The meeting identified the following topics as candidates for collaboration under the MoU: M2M and Dynamic Spectrum Access; Future IMT; smart grid; cloud computing and security; and the work on environment and climate change.

The Deputy Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, Fabio Leite, also participated in the meeting stressing the importance of collaboration with ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), in particular on M2M access networks where there is a clear need for interoperability between radio-based systems.
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Tutorial on ITU methodologies for assessing the environmental impact of ICTs
ITU will hold an Information and Training Session on ITU Methodologies for Assessing the Environmental Impact of ICT at ITU headquarters, Geneva, 12 April.

The event will provide a tutorial on the content and application of ITU-T's new L.1400 series of Recommendations which detail standardized methodologies to assess the life-cycle environmental impact of ICTs, both in terms of their own emissions and the emissions-savings created through ICT applications in other industry sectors.

ICTs can play a key role in improving the environmental sustainability of all industry sectors, particularly in those most harmful to the environment; such as energy generation, transportation, building construction and waste disposal.

The new standard methodologies will generate figures upon which businesses can model future revenues, costs and efficiency gains provided by green ICTs; and figures enabling governments and regulators to identify the gains in social and economic welfare that green ICTs can achieve.

The workshop, for which remote participation is available, will cover the first three* Recommendations of the L.1400 series: *final two parts of the L.1400 series, ICT in Cities and ICT in Countries or Groups of Countries, are under development by experts working on Question 18 in ITU-T Study Group 5
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Take part in the World Standards Day 2012 poster competition!
A competition open to all has been launched to design a poster for World Standards Day, 14 October, on the theme, “Less waste, better results – Standards increase efficiency”.

The competition is being held by the World Standards Cooperation (WSC), which comprises the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The designer(s) of the best poster will win 1 500 Swiss francs, with the three runners-up receiving 500 Swiss francs each.

To compete, designers should send their entries in .jpg or .png format to the following e-mail address: Submissions will be accepted until 30 April.

IEC, ISO and ITU representatives will choose the finalists. The shortlisted entries will be published on the WSC Website. The general public will choose the winning designs.

People can follow the World Standards Day poster competition on Twitter and Facebook.

To help prospective World Standards Day poster artists, the WSC Website includes a number of resources: Any questions about the competition should be sent to:, Twitter or Facebook.

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.
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First meeting of Focus Group to create a common M2M service layer
ITU’s new Focus Group on the Machine-to-Machine service layer (FG M2M) will meet for the first time at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 17-18 April 2012. M2M service layer standards will act as important catalysts for the market’s growth, and an earlier newslog announcement of FG M2M’s formation has attracted the interest of an array of M2M-focused organizations, both within and outside ITU’s membership. See FG M2M’s homepage here.

The M2M market is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years and, as part of the more broadly-defined Internet of Things (see ITU’s JCA-IoT), will encompass a wide variety of industry sectors. Some forecasts predict that 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020.

Considering the wide range of M2M’s possible applications – enabling services across vertical markets including healthcare, logistics, transport, utilities and countless others – this prediction may hold true; but certainly not without the interoperability enabled by global ICT standards. A common M2M service layer, agreed at the international level by stakeholders in the M2M and relevant vertical markets, will provide a cost-efficient platform able to be easily deployed in hardware and software, in a multi-vendor environment, across industry sectors.

FG M2M will identify a minimum set of requirements common to vertical markets, and thereby create the knowledge-base needed to begin the development of open, international ITU standards. In analyzing the requirements of vertical markets, the group will initially focus on the healthcare market by investigating application programming interfaces (APIs) and protocols supporting e-health applications and services.

The deadline for submission of input documents is 10 April, and the meeting is open to all interested parties from ITU Member States. Registration for both on-site and remote participation is available at
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Updated : 2012-04-04