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Calls for ITU to lead cross-sector ICT standardization

by david.nunes

Calls for ITU to lead cross-sector ICT standardization

WTSA-12 assembles government and industry leaders

Dubai, 20 November 2012 — Meeting at yesterday’s Global Standards Symposium (GSS-12, 19 November) government ministers, private-sector executives and the standardization community urged ITU to create standardization mechanisms to serve the needs of ‘vertical markets’ that are becoming increasingly dependent on information and communication technologies (ICTs). In addition, participants encouraged ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) to provide leadership in driving standards education and ICT innovation in developing countries.

ICT now cuts across all industries via the common platform of the IP-based network. But technology is applied in different ways by different sectors. To accelerate innovation in areas like e-health, intelligent transport systems and smart grids, GSS-12 participants encouraged ITU to create effective, flexible mechanisms that allow the ICT sector to more effectively collaborate with vertical-market standards makers and industry players.

GSS-12 also offered further support for ITU’s efforts to bridge the ‘standardization gap’, whereby most technical standards are developed in a handful of highly industrialized markets. Improving the standardization capabilities of emerging markets would leverage the network effects of large populations to stimulate the spread of game-changing ICT innovation in developing regions.

In addition to calling on ITU to ensure that international standards reflect the best of innovations rooted in developing countries, GSS-12 proposed the establishment of national standardization secretariats able to define a country’s standardization requirements and channel participation in regional and international standardization work.

The report produced by GSS-12 provides input to the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12), opening today in Dubai, UAE (20-29 November). Held every four years, WTSA gathers ITU-T’s global membership to decide the Sector’s structure and working methods, elect the leaders of its advisory and study groups, and produce Resolutions to guide ITU-T’s standardization work over the coming study period.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: “WTSA is our chance to streamline the structure of our standards work and make sure that it meets the demands of today’s fast-paced Information Society. ITU as the only international intergovernmental standards organization will be instrumental in ushering in the next period of ICT development, and over the next two weeks we will determine the most important areas of focus and assign them to the relevant expert groups.”

Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary General, ITU: “Standards are at the heart of all ICTs. From a technical perspective, ITU has been the driving force pushing forward the frontiers of the future Internet. These new frontiers of ICT include cloud computing, the Internet of Things, intelligent transport systems, the transition to IPv6, advanced multimedia, and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV). ITU-T’s work is helping to realize the vision of a fully-networked society, and it is through the guidance of WTSA that ITU-T Recommendations satisfy the needs of the global ICT industry and thereby grant users access to high-speed services anytime, anywhere, over any device.”

About ITU

ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology. For over 145 years, ITU has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to new-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology and converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. www.itu.int

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