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Question 11

Multimedia systems, terminals, gateways and data conferencing

(Continuation of Questions 1/16, 2/16, 3/16 and 5/16)

As the lead study group on multimedia coding, systems and applications, Study Group 16 strives to make advances in multimedia communication systems that take advantage of emerging technologies, as well as advances in and deeper understanding of existing technologies, in an effort to enable new and better forms of communication capabilities.

To that end, Study Group 16 developed several sets of videoconferencing Recommendations: ITU‑T H.320 for audiovisual communication systems for N-ISDN environments; ITU‑T H.323, one of the most widely used packet-switched communication systems supporting audio, video, and data collaboration; ITU‑T H.324 for audiovisual communications over fixed and mobile (wireless) telephone networks; and ITU‑T H.310-series for point-to-point and multipoint communications on B-ISDN networks. For data conferencing in point-to-point and multipoint environments, the T.120-series of ITU‑T Recommendations was developed, enabling capabilities like file transfer, electronic whiteboarding, and screen sharing. To enable an H.323 gateway to be realized as two components from different vendors distributed across different physical platforms, the ITU‑T H.248-series, which decomposes the H.323 gateway function defined in ITU‑T H.246 into functional subcomponents called media gateway controllers and media gateways, was developed to specify the protocols these components use to communicate. While originally addressing H.323 gateways, the H.248 protocol is applicable to many different types of gateways.

Several enhancements, with particular attention to the support of advanced coding technologies, security features, interworking with other terminals accommodated in different networks and enhancements to cover other services, may need to be developed in the form of new Recommendations or revision to existing ones to assure existing systems remain competitive in the marketplace. In line with its objective to improve the lives of users through improved multimedia communications capabilities, Study Group 16 continues its study of newer multimedia communications systems and functions that include applications like telepresence, which offers a user-rich immersive experience.

In addition to the core multimedia system specifications, various supporting protocols and functions are essential to successful deployment of terminals, gateways, gatekeepers, multipoint control units, and other elements that comprise a system. This Question explores advanced multimedia functions that will enable videoconferencing, data conferencing, telepresence, distance learning, e-health, interactive multimedia information distribution, real-time multimedia collaboration in future networks environment and existing packet-based networks. Aspects include multimedia directory services, quality of service (QoS), quality of experience (QoE), multimedia security, and multimedia mobility.

This Question considers multimedia gateway architecture and the development of multimedia gateway control protocols for gateways interworking existing networks and new networks.

This Question also deals with extension and maintenance of this large body of multimedia conferencing standards.

Study items
Study items to be considered include, but are not limited to: Tasks
Tasks include, but are not limited to: An up-to-date status of work under this Question is found in the Study Group 16 work programme (


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