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Industry leaders focus on 5G research, development and standardization

Chief Technology Officers highlight strategic priorities for ITU standardization

Budapest, 14 October 2015 – Chief Technology Officers (CTO) of leading companies in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) have reaffirmed that 5G research and development, and supporting standardization, will be industry’s top priority over the coming five years. CTOs have also identified service interoperability in fixed-mobile hybrid environments, trusted information infrastructure and open-source solutions as topics of particular strategic importance to industry as we approach the 5G era.

Fourteen ICT leaders and the strategic management of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) met for the seventh annual Chief Technology Officers’ meeting, held in conjunction with ITU Telecom World 2015 in session in Budapest, Hungary, 12-15 October.

The CTO meeting issued a communiqué outlining emerging trends in the ICT industry and associated demands on ITU standardization.

“ICTs will play a central role in shifting the world onto a sustainable and resilient development path,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao in addressing the CTO meeting. “I commend CTOs for their recognition of smart cities, IoT applications and 5G systems as key technological developments to assist in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in September.”

In 2012, ITU established a programme on International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) for 2020 and beyond, which provides the framework for 5G research and development worldwide. ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is coordinating the international standardization for 5G mobile development. ITU-T will play a similar convening role for the technologies and architectures of the wireline elements of 5G networks.

5G systems are expected to provide a future-proof basis for communications from year 2020 onwards. Virtualization will play a key role in 5G networks, giving networks the flexibility to adapt to changes in service requirements. Highlighting that 5G will require an evolution of the concepts and architectures of core networks, CTOs welcomed the efforts of the ITU-T Focus Group on IMT-2020 to collect the views of experts on how ITU-T standardization will contribute to this evolution. The CTO meeting also welcomed the recent agreement of the TSB Director’s Ad Hoc Group on Intellectual Property Rights to study potential approaches to the management of intellectual property rights (IPR) for 5G standards, and the interplay between IPR and open-source solutions in a standardization context.

Service interoperability in fixed-mobile hybrid environments, including IoT, will be crucial in supporting a wide variety of high-quality services. CTOs recognized the need to expand access to high-quality, bi-directional services and invited ITU-T to encourage the standardization, testing and interoperability necessary to stimulate the rollout of these services in fields such as voice and video. CTOs also highlighted the need to overcome interoperability challenges in the IoT space. Acknowledging that IoT platforms are being developed in segments according to the requirements of each vertical industry, the CTO meeting encouraged ITU-T to focus its IoT standardization work on enabling interoperability between different IoT segments.

Strengthening trust in telecommunications systems and ICTs will grant users the confidence to expand the scope of their interactions within the Information Society. CTOs agreed that trust should be considered a key component of the core design principles of future ICT infrastructure. The CTO meeting offered support for ITU-T to develop the frameworks required for trust provisioning in fields such as IoT, cloud computing and big data, considering the new business models emerging as part of the ‘sharing economy’.

Open-source software implementing virtualized infrastructure components is playing an increasingly important role in the network, and CTOs present in Budapest held the view that collaboration between the standardization and open-source communities will provide further impetus to ICT convergence. The CTO meeting encouraged ITU-T to study how it might accommodate the open-source community, with prime areas for collaboration identified in network-function virtualization, software-defined networking, cloud computing, IoT and video coding. CTOs noted in addition that open-source implementations of certain high-profile ITU-T standards might augment their influence, breadth of application and ease of deployment.

For more information, please contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU
telephone +41 22 730 5046
mobile +41 79 249 4861
email sanjay.acharya@itu.int

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