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Telecommunication Standardization Sector 

 June 2012  
Roundtable on the effectiveness of patent policies
ITU is organizing a roundtable on the effectiveness of RAND-based (reasonable and non-discriminatory) patent policies, 10 October 2012.

The ITU Patent Roundtable is being held in light of the recent worldwide increase in patent litigation, and possible lack of adherence to standards bodies’ existing IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) policies.

The event, which will be run using a World Café methodology, will provide a neutral venue for industry, standards bodies and regulators to exchange ideas that will guide future discussions on whether current patent policies and existing industry practices adequately respond to the needs of the various stakeholders. It will bring together standards bodies, industry players and government representatives from around the world aiming to find solutions to the key issues today affecting the ICT industry’s engagement with patents and standards.

More here.
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ITU event closes with green call to international community
Participants at the 7th ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change have issued a Declaration that encourages ICT manufacturers to make their products more easily upgradable without need for replacing the entire device. The call to promote a life cycle approach in the design of ICTs (eco-design) also means better taking into account how components in a device can be recycled. Reducing e-waste and providing incentives and encouragement for e-waste take back schemes were just some of the issues included in the Declaration issued at the end of the event on Friday, 31 May.

The Declaration adopted by the approximately 150 participants at the event also called for enabling policies to encourage investment in smart technologies and ICT based clean technologies (cleantech) as a way of promoting green growth and sustainable development. In addition the support of ITU methodologies to measure the impact of ICT and a recommendation to ramp up research and development on the use of ICTs for monitoring, mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change are mentioned.

Full press release
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ITU signs Memorandum of Understanding with IAF and ILAC
ITU has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). The MoU strengthens the three organizations’ commitment to cooperation and collaboration, and will lend further impetus to the development of ITU-T's Conformity and Interoperability (C&I) programme.

ITU international standards (Recommendations) seek above all to enable the interoperability of ICT products and services, allowing people access to the Information Society regardless of their location or chosen ICT device. Conformance with ITU’s international standards increases the probability that an ICT vendor’s products will interoperate with those of other vendors.

ITU’s C&I program is taking measures to increase the conformance and interoperability of ICT goods. A key part of this initiative lies in the adoption of test suites applicable to ITU international standards, and in the implementation of accredited conformity assessment activities including the establishment of a global network of regional conformance testing centres – tasked with evaluating products’ degree of compliance with ITU’s international standards, and thereby assessing the associated likelihood of interoperability.

Accreditation bodies independently evaluate the compliance of conformity assessment bodies against recognized international standards, verifying their competence and impartiality. Overlaying this assessment role is the peer evaluation of accreditation bodies that in turn provides the foundation for the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) and the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLAs) signed between accreditation bodies around the world. Such agreements encourage consumer confidence in tested products, increase market opportunities, encourage trade and technology transfer, and contribute to the removal of technical barriers to trade.

For more on ITU’s C&I programme, see ITU’s C&I portal.

Full story.
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New: Database access to MCCs and MNCs
An online database of mobile country codes (MCCs) and mobile network codes (MNCs), defined by Recommendation ITU-T E.212: The international identification plan for public networks and subscriptions, is the latest addition to ITU-T’s International Numbering Resources (INR database).

MCCs are used to identify mobile telephony installations in wireless telephone networks and are used in combination with MNCs to uniquely identify network operators. The new database also provides listings of shared international mobile telephony codes, and MCC+MNC configurations used extra-territorially (MCC+MNC assigned to an operator in one country, but used in another through the establishment of a foreign base station by that operator).Slaheddine Maaref, Tunisie Telecom: “In the past, authoritative MCC+MNC information was available only through ITU-T’s Operational Bulletin. The online database is thus a welcome addition to ITU-T’s services; offering me information of a quality and accuracy comparable to that of the Bulletin, but with the added benefits of real-time updates to its content and an ability to select and export only the information I am looking for.”

Access to the database is a membership benefit available only to ITU Member States and ITU-T Sector Members.

The database is navigable through such search criteria as codes, countries/regions or network operators. Search results can be exported to MS Word or Excel files, and can be bookmarked as favourites in one’s Internet browser.
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New ITU standards on next-generation 3D multimedia services
Meeting in Geneva, 30 April to 11 May, ITU-T Study Group 16 – ITU’s lead study group on multimedia coding, systems and applications – in collaboration with the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC29 Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) - agreed to the development of 3D extensions to the Primetime Emmy award winning H.264 and the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. Further, building on the HEVC collaboration under the JCT-VC (see previous story), SG 16 also agreed to a Call for Proposals for Scalability Coding Extension to the new video codec.

In addition SG16 has approved the first ITU-T Recommendation on digital signage: ITU-T H.780, Digital signage: Service requirements and IPTV-based architecture. It is the first in a series of ITU-T standards aiming to stimulate the roll-out of digital signage technologies. Centrally-managed, large-scale networks of high-definition digital displays are of key value to companies in targeting and engaging with consumers, as well to municipalities and governments in communicating vital information to the public. The proprietary nature of current digital signage solutions not only restricts the integration of applications across different networks and vendors, but also makes solutions more expensive and can be prohibitive for small and medium enterprises. ITU International standards are therefore required as the common platform to unlock the industry’s multi-billion dollar potential.

The meeting also saw various new and updated voice and image coding standards entering the approval process. The complete list of results can be found here.
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ITU-T establishes new Focus Group on Smart Cable Television
ITU-T has established a new Focus Group on Smart Cable Television (FG SmartCable). FG SmartCable aims to map the Smart Cable Television landscape and thereby provide the foundations for ITU-T’s future standardization work in this regard.

Information and communication technology (ICT) is enabling the provision of innovative audiovisual experiences over cable networks; from ultra-high definition and 3D television to cable-based video communication and telepresence, interactive home environment control/monitoring, and improvements to broadcasting technology itself.

The group will in particular analyse the system requirements and capabilities to support Smart Cable Television, and identify study areas to support the development of Smart Cable Television standards development in ITU-T.

The first meeting of FG SmartCable was held at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 19-21 June 2012.

ITU-T Study Group 9 – Television and sound transmission and integrated broadband cable networks – is the parent group to FG SmartCable.

The group will cooperate and collaborate with other ITU Study Groups, and other standardization communities active in the field including universities, research institutes.

For more information on FG SmartCable, please see the group’s webpage here , or contact the group’s secretariat at
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Joint Coordination Activity on Child Online Protection established
ITU has established a new Joint Coordination Activity on Child Online Protection (JCA-COP) to coordinate the COP work across ITU’s sectors and Study Groups as well as cooperate with outside stakeholders engaged in COP. ITU-T Study Group 17 is the parent group to JCA-COP, and will leverage its well-developed network of ICT security stakeholders to harmonize these different elements to ensure a unified approach to the creation of global COP standards.

JCA-COP is chaired by Ashley Heineman of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), USA.

In keeping with its Terms of Reference, JCA-COP will coordinate the COP work already underway within ITU-T (particularly that of SGs 2, 9, 13, 15, 16 and 17), and will liaise with ITU-R, ITU-D and ITU’s Council Working Group on COP.

JCA-COP seeks to study and understand the composition of the COP ecosystem as it relates to the most relevant stakeholders, and technical, legal or regulatory questions. It will act as the first point of contact for any organization interested in ITU-T’s work on COP, and will also actively pursue means of collaborating with external bodies working in the field.

JCA-COP’s internal coordination mandate is thus accompanied by an external research and outreach capacity; to be carried out in a globally-inclusive manner. Cooperation and collaboration with external bodies is always crucial to ITU-T’s standardization work, and it will ensure that ITU’s forthcoming COP standards are agreed, and consequently implemented, on an international basis.

More information:
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Updated : 2012-06-22