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SG13 Chairman's blog

Are ICTs deserving of our trust? 

July 2016

To what extent are we willing to trust that data will be used for the purposes expressed by data custodians? How do we decide whether an information and communication technology (ICT) resource performs its function reliably enough to be deserving of our trust? And how are these decisions affected by the level of trust prevailing in the ICT ecosystem, an ecosystem where a technology’s ability to be trustworthy is affected by the degree to which it can trust the other technologies with which it interacts?

These questions will grow in importance as we approach year 2020, the expected arrival of the era of 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Sustainable Cities.

When imagining the possibilities of the 5G era, we speak of seamless connectivity for all the world’s people. We speak of advanced virtual-reality applications; highly automated, connected vehicles; remote medical surgery; and robotics controlled with an imperceptible time-lag. ICTs will add sensory, computing and communications capabilities to physical infrastructure, with Smart Sustainable Cities hosting billions of connected devices, things and objects to create cyber-physical systems capable of adapting their behaviour autonomously in the interests of efficiency.

Technologies are becoming more autonomous in their interaction and decision-making, increasing the gravity of debate around whether ICTs are deserving of our trust.
Taking an example from the IoT family of technologies, should a sensor record a change in the physical environment, the sensor’s virtual counterparts in cyberspace should register that change and react accordingly. Any failure to register a change and react accordingly will lead to a mismatch between physical space and cyberspace, a mismatch that will erode our trust in the ability of cyberspace to support critical real-world functions. Such a mismatch could have calamitous consequences in areas such as automated, connected driving or other safety-critical ICT applications.

New ITU Technical Report on Trust

Trust is highly dynamic, affected by past interactions and associated expectations for the future – the degree of trust in social-cyber-physical space is an accumulated value of the degree of trust present in the vast web of relationships that forms the Information Society.

Quantifying trust in the ICT ecosystem must account for the level of trust between people, people and technology, and technologies themselves, as well as the cumulative, always-evolving effect of interactions in social-cyber-physical space.

If we are to become a ‘Knowledge Society’, where ICTs will assist us in understanding more of our world than we ever have before, building greater trust into the ICT ecosystem will be essential. This ecosystem is always growing in scale and complexity. If we are to quantify and increase the level of trust in the ICT ecosystem, we will need new ways of thinking about the complex web of relationships that gives life to the ICT ecosystem.

How we should go about this is the topic of the new ITU-T Technical Report on “Trust Provisioning for future ICT infrastructures and services”, developed by the ITU standardization expert group for future networks and cloud, ITU-T Study Group 13. The report is essential reading for experts interested in contributing to ITU’s study of trust, a study expected to fuel our standardization work for years to come.

The report describes the importance and necessity of trust in the ICT context, highlighting its relevance to our evolution into a Knowledge Society. It describes the concepts and key features of trust, and following an identification of key challenges and technical issues, the report presents an architectural overview of trusted ICT infrastructures. It goes on to introduce trust-based ICT service models and use cases, and proposes strategies for future standardization on trust. Appendices to the report summarize trust-related activities in other standardization bodies, and provide background information on frameworks for ICT service-model analysis and detailed use cases.

Join our work

Trust informs our investments in our relationships. It is the expectation of reliability that encourages us to share more, collaborate more and build valuable long-term relationships.

There are great returns to be achieved from financial and intellectual investment in the Information Society. The ICT ecosystem is made up of countless productive relationships, where data is constantly being exchanged and people and technologies are constantly communicating and contributing to a growing body of knowledge.

We will see greater benefits from this hyperconnnectivity and growing ICT autonomy and intelligence if we can be assured of a trusted ICT environment.

ITU-T is researching the dynamics of trust in the ICT ecosystem, and we invite you to participate in the second phase of this study to begin with the upcoming ITU workshop on “Future Trust and Knowledge Infrastructure” on 1 July at ITU Headquarters in Geneva.

The workshop on trust is being held in conjunction with a meeting of the ITU standardization expert group for future networks and cloud, ITU-T Study Group 13. The meeting of Study Group 13 runs from 27 June to 8 July, and will analyze more than ten proposals from ITU members on the topic of trust.

The original version of this article appeared in the ITU Blog. 

(By Dr Gyu Myoung Lee)

End-to-end cloud computing management from the SG2 and SG13 perspectives

June 2016

ITU-T Study Groups 2 and 13 recently approved a new joint Recommendation ITU-T M.3070/Y.3521 “Overview of end-to-end cloud computing management”. This Recommendation was developed under the aegis of the joint Rapporteur group on cloud computing management (JRG-CCM), by SGs 2 and 13.

This Recommendation provides a much-needed approach to unifying traditional telecommunications management approaches with the developing cloud computing management architectures. With cloud computing emerging from the enterprise IT world rather than traditional telecommunications, it was inevitable that different paradigms for management would have to be reconciled somehow.

The approach we have adopted in Recommendation ITU-T M.3070/Y.3521 was to build on the previous cloud computing management framework in Y.3520, based on the Service Management Interface (SMI) concept developed in the TM Forum. This gives us the conceptual view and management layering, whereby we distinguish management at the customer, product, service, and resource layers, and ties this to the cloud computing reference architecture in Y.3502.


The new Recommendation goes much further by providing a new “common model” showing how this SMI-based cloud computing management approach can be introduced into a traditional telecommunications management architecture. The figure below shows the general case of such a model, though we also describe the situation where the telco is itself offering cloud computing services. Note that this figure also clarifies the difference between “end-to-end multi-cloud management” compared to “inter-cloud” and “end-to-end cloud-integrated telecom management”.

In developing this model, it was essential for the JRG-CCM to draw upon both the cloud computing experts of Study Group 13 and the management systems experts of Study Group 2. At the outset both study groups were attempting to solve this problem independently, and in producing Y.3521 the JRG-CCM combined two early draft Recommendations into this single common standard. This was exactly the purpose for which the JRG-CCM was created, and it has proved very fruitful, with both groups of experts learning from each other and collaborating to develop this common view.


The new Recommendation also provides far greater detail on the cloud computing management functionality already identified in the common ITU-T/ISO/IEC cloud computing reference architecture in Y.3502, by breaking down the broad functions described there into the specific functions required in each of the four management layer identified above.

Finally, the new Recommendation includes an Annex that illustrates Y.3520 SMIs in use end-to-end across a Y.3502 based multi-cloud architecture, and an Appendix that provides a “worked example” of how this management architecture can be employed across all of these layers and across multiple telecommunications and cloud computing service providers to support complex multi-part service offerings.

The new Recommendation is available at

(By Mark Jeffrey)

ITU-T Study Group 13 successfully finished the transfer of its Internet of Things related activities to ITU-T Study Group 20

March 2016

At the recent meeting in December 2015 ITU-T Study Group 13 successfully finished its Internet of Things (IoT) related activities. Among others Recommendation ITU-T Y.2076 “Semantics based requirements and framework of the Internet of Things” has been consented at the last SG13 meeting in Geneva, 30 Nov-11 Dec 2015. Furthermore, it was approved on 13 February 2016. The Recommendation - developed within Q2/13 with contributions from numerous parties (main ones from China, Algeria and Japan) - promotes the usage of semantic technologies in the IoT, benefiting the industry and the market adoption of IoT technologies by enhancing the capabilities of IoT enabled systems, especially via an increased level of interoperability. Y.2076 constitutes the first ITU-T deliverable - in principle, of a set of future deliverables - dealing with the important area of semantics in the IoT. The approach followed in the Recommendation is innovative with respect to existing studies in the area (e.g. the published ETSI Technical Report 101 584 “Machine-to-Machine Communications - Study on Semantic Support for M2M Data”), developing an extended value proposition of the usage of semantics in IoT systems and addressing semantics based requirements at the different levels of the IoT infrastructure (the layers and the cross-layer capabilities of the IoT Reference Model, as defined in the foundational specification ITU-T Y.2060 “Overview of the IoT”). Semantic technologies reveal outstanding features for the support of cross-domain requirements of the IoT, including interoperability, discovery, consistency, scalability, reusability, composability, enhanced human-machine interaction, automatic operations, analysis and processing activities concerning IoT data, resources and services.

The consented version of Y.2076 has been liaised to W3C (pioneer of the studies on semantics via its Semantic Web activities) and oneM2M (which has ongoing studies on semantics in IoT). Study Group 13 has transferred now all IoT related studies to new Study Group 20 and closed its IoT related activities. New ITU-T Study Group 20 will continue in the future cross-SDO coordination and collaboration in the perspective of its studies in this important area.

(By Marco Carugi)

SG13 and Future Networks

December 2015

IMT2020/5G is currently gaining huge attention in the telecommunication world. Major public and industry-led initiatives have been launched worldwide. ITU and other relevant Standards-Developing Organizations (SDOs) are developing initial standardization work on 5G. In April 2015, ITU-T Study Group 13 launched the new Focus Group IMT-2020 with the goal to produce a gap analysis and to identify necessary study areas on non-radio aspects of the network. Based on these findings, SG13 will make constructive contributions and actions to develop network aspects of IMT-2020. Being the lead study group on Future Networks (FNs), ITU-T Study Group 13 continues to progress the research and development of FN technologies, such as network virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN), information-centric networking (ICN), cloud computing, autonomic management of networks, and open connectivity. Having begun its activities on FNs in January 2009, several deliverables on FN became ITU-T Y.3000 series Recommendations. A large extent of these Recommendations includes principles that relate directly to 5G study topics. In particular, the following Recommendations have been published and are available on the ITU-T website.

Basic Recommendation ITU-T Y.3001 – Future Networks: Objectives and Design Goals, describes objectives and design goals of FNs and, as such, presents the first standard definition and description of FNs. Objectives are fundamental issues to which not enough attention was paid in designing current networks, with the effect that they represent the differential characteristics of FNs as compared with current networks.

The four objectives identified and described in Recommendation ITU-T Y.3001 are service awareness, data awareness, environmental awareness, and social and economic awareness. Twelve design goals were identified as advanced capabilities and features that are needed together in the realization of FNs.

Service-awareness Data-awareness Environment-awareness Socio-Economic awareness Smart Ubiquitous Network

Therefore SG13 activity based on the findings of the FN work and deliverables enables smooth and effective start of standardization work on the network aspects of IMT-2020.

(By Alojz Hudobivnik)