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ITU members define a new era for ITU’s standards sector

WTSA-12 targets e-health, SDN, e-waste and collaboration with verticals

Dubai, 30 November 2012 – ITU’s membership has called on ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) to expand its work on e-health, software-defined networking (SDN) and e-waste. In addition, members have called for the establishment of a Review Committee to ensure that ITU-T’s structure continues to meet the needs of the continually evolving and convergent ICT landscape, particularly as collaboration with vertical markets increases. This will help to enable such innovations as e-health, intelligent transport systems, smart grid, mobile money and e-learning.

The four-yearly World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) also called on ITU-T to ensure that new ITU standards (ITU-T Recommendations) are accompanied by implementation guidelines. A separate press release covers a Resolution inviting ITU Member States to refrain from taking any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede access to the Internet.

These new Resolutions of ITU’s membership were adopted by the WTSA-12 in Dubai, 20-29 November, the crucial gathering of ITU-T’s membership to evaluate the Sector’s structure and working methods, elect the leaders of its advisory and study groups, and decide the strategic path of ITU-T.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB): “During this World Assembly, and the Global Standards Symposium that preceded it, the importance of collaboration and cooperation with other standards bodies, and vertical sectors, has been emphasized, recognizing the competitive forces and the many challenges that ITU-T faces. I am pleased that we have the new Review Committee as a forum with the time to discuss these issues seriously and come up with suggestions on how ITU-T, as the only truly global ICT standards body, can best ensure that it remains the place to come to develop international standards.

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “ITU’s standards for broadband are a vital component of the information society. Indeed, the broadband services that we have come to rely on would simply not work without ITU-T standards providing the access technologies to homes and businesses, and the transport mechanisms to carry information from one side of the world to another.”

WTSA-12 was the best-attended WTSA yet, attracting over 1000 participants from 101 countries. The Assembly appointed four new Chairs and more than fifty new Vice-chairs to ITU-T’s expert groups. Deliberations took into account over 240 documents in over 30 different working groups.

A side event on ‘ICT Innovation’ launched the ICT Innovation Application Challenge which will award a cash prize of USD 5,000 to the app developer producing the most innovative app targeting mobile health, mobile money, e-learning, e-government or intelligent transport systems. The app challenge is open to individuals as well as corporations; more details are available in an earlier ITU press release.

Alongside adopting six new Resolutions and revising 49, the Assembly also revised seven of the A series Recommendations that guide ITU-T’s work, and in addition approved six new ITU standards including two Recommendations on MPLS-TP which are required by operators to increase network efficiency and reduce costs. A key Recommendation on management of network access devices was also approved.

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Parkes
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU
tel +41 22 730 6135
mobile +41 79 599 1439
email sarah.parkes@itu.int   
Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer, ITU
mobile +41 79 249 4868
email toby.johnson@itu.int 


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