Plenipot goes “Busan style” in 2014

Introducing Busan, host city of ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014

These representatives of Korea Communications Commission used the buzz of WTSA-12 to introduce delegates to Busan, host city of ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014.

Busan is located on the south-eastern tip of the Korean Peninsula. The country’s second largest city is known for its seafood, beautiful beaches, hot springs and scenic mountains.

The Plenipotentiary Conference is where ITU Member States decide on the future role of the organization. Plenipot is the top policy-making body of the ITU. Held every four years, it:

PP-14 will take place from 20 October to 7 November 2014 at BEXCO (Busan Exhibition and Convention Center).


Telecommunications crucial when disaster strikes

Debris Field

Hurricane Sandy aftermath, November 2012, Union Beach, New Jersey, United States of America. Photo by Liz Roll/FEMA

Recent events have clearly demonstrated the need for telecommunications networks to be resilient to natural and human-induced disasters, as they are critical to rescue efforts and restoring normality in the wake of disasters.

The third and last side event – 23 November, 18h00, Room E – will review aspects of network resilience and telecoms infrastructure recovery following disasters and how these requirements can be reflected in ICT standardization. In addition, the panel will showcase ICTs supporting disaster relief for individuals (e.g., to enable victims to notify next of kin) and disaster relief guidance (e.g., to guide those affected to evacuation shelters or hospitals).

Opening remarks will be delivered by Mr Hideo Fuseda, Director, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan. Mr Noriyuki Araki, Chairman of ITU-T Focus Group on disaster relief systems, network resiliency and recovery, will share experiences from the Great East Japan Earthquake and introduce recent R&D activities on technologies for network resilience and recovery. Mr Leo Lehmann, a Focus Group Vice-chairman, will give an overview of related work in ITU and other organizations.

The next official meeting of the Focus Group on disaster relief systems, network resiliency and recovery will take place 11-13 December 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey, kindly co-hosted by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, Turkey, and Istanbul Technical University. A workshop on disaster relief will take place on the first day (11 December), and both the workshop and the Focus Group meeting will be free of charge and open to non-members of ITU.

Details are available on the Focus Group website.

USD 5,000 for your innovative app

ICT Innovation App ChallengeA cash prize of USD 5,000 is offered to the winner of a new ITU Application Challenge seeking to uncover apps extending the reach of mobile health, mobile money, e-learning, e-government and intelligent transport systems.

The ICT Innovation Application Challenge was launched tonight at the ICT Innovations side event. The challenge aims to promote sustainable, equitable economic growth in emerging economies by unearthing apps targeting the social and economic inclusion of traditionally underserved communities.

More at

ICT innovation side event

The second of the three WTSA side events will take place at 18h00 on Thursday 22 November in Room E, here at the Dubai World Trade Center.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, will open the event and four invited speakers will share their experience on ICT Innovations in emerging economies.

Ajay MishraAjay Ranjan Mishra is the Chairman of ITU-T Focus Group bridging the gap: from innovation to standards and will moderate the side event. He will also give a talk about the objectives of the Focus Group, and  on the progress made so far.

Until recently, Ajay has worked with Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks in roles such as Global Head of Industry Environment, Global Head of Business Development (Emerging Markets) and Global Head of Services Innovation Management.

Ramy AhmedRamy Ahmed, the second panelist, is a Senior Manager for the Digital Services Policies at the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Egypt. He has over 10 years of experience in telecommunications regulations and management, especially in the area of market modeling and services planning. He is the technical lead of the market modeling and investment feasibility assessment done in the recently announced Egyptian national broadband plan, eMisr, which proposes different strategic directives to meet Egypt’s broadband innovation and service needs.

Rahmy’s talk From Innovations to Collaborative Standardization will focus on how developing countries could play a more important role in standardization through the establishment of ICT ecosystems that foster innovation.

Deepak RamachandranDeepak Ramachandran is Co-founder & CTO of SourceN, a global provider of online community-building and technology consulting services. Deepak brings to the table over 20 years of engineering experience in the Web and Mobile arena. At SourceN, he guides and leads the Technical Architects and Technical Project Managers during the software design and development phases.

Karma BhutiaAlso with SourceN, Karma Bhutia is a Seasoned Entrepreneur, Co-founder & Managing Partner. He has around 17+ years experience in the IT industry primarily in banking, trade finance, telecoms, logistics, etc.

Deepak and Karma will talk about The Citizen Initiative System – a participatory view of e-Governance.

Helmut SchinkDr Helmut Schink is responsible for telco standards at Nokia Siemens Network. He holds the position of Vice-chairman of ITU-T Study Group 15 (Transport and Access Networks), responsible for Innovation and Marketing. Helmut’s talk will present views on how and where innovations happen. It will discuss innovation mechanisms typically used in industry, along with a few economic aspects and factors in innovation success. Looking at telecoms networks in particular, the talk will discuss how developing countries can contribute to, benefit from, and advocate for a win-win approach to ICT development and innovation that offers attractive incentives for all stakeholders involved.

Bright future for academic membership

Academia event

Wael Bazzi (American University in Dubai, UAE), Maurizio Talamo (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy), Malcolm Johnson (Director TSB, ITU), Bilel Jamoussi (ITU), Ramjee Prasad (Aalborg University, Denmark), Toby Johnson (ITU) in WTSA-12 academia session

At an event dedicated to academia at WTSA-12, academic members of ITU-T have expressed their belief that ITU-T membership represents a valuable opportunity for academics to bring their research to life through standardization, exchange ideas with other experts,  and raise the profiles of their institutions.

Monday’s event comprised two sessions, the first led by the ITU secretariat offering an introduction to the importance of standards (read Director Malcolm Johnson’s opening remarks here), a detailed overview of the academia membership category and an outline of the many ITU-T initiatives serving academic members. ​Academic institutions can raise their profile by contributing to ITU-T standards and see the advancement and recognition of their research through the adoption of global standards. The opportunity to network with peers, ICT industry and government representatives is another major benefit enjoyed by the now 36 academic members that have joined ITU-T.

This first session concluded with an invitation to the next ITU Kaleidoscope academic conference on “Building Sustainable Communities” taking place at Kyoto University in Japan, 22-24 April 2013.

The second session heard from three representatives of ITU-T’s academic membership: the American University in Dubai, Aalborg University and the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. The message from each was that their investment in membership had already resulted in significant returns and that, as they’ve become accustomed to ITU-T’s working methods, these returns have continued to grow.

ITU-T has sought the expertise of academia to inform the development of the still very young academic membership category, and all present in Dubai committed to the same spirit of collaboration in the future.

e-Health: one swallow does not make a summer?

Despite the remarkable potential of e-health as an agent for improvement in quality, safety, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of healthcare, adoption has been slow. While more and more countries adopt e-health solutions, lack of interoperability is a barrier to adoption and scalability.

The first of three WTSA side events will take place at 18h00 this evening in Room B, here at the Dubai World Trade Center.

Four invited speakers will share their experience in the e-health domain and address challenges faced in the adoption of ICT-enabled healthcare services and applications.

Bright SimonsBright Simons is president of the mPedigree Network, where he pioneered a system that allows consumers to check instantly whether their medicines are counterfeits by sending a free text message. He is director of development research at IMANI, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils, Young Global Leaders, and Technology Pioneers Communities, a TED and Ashoka fellow, and a Brain Trust member of the Evian Group at IMD. He is a recipient of numerous awards, ranging from an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Award, Marie Curie and Commonwealth Vision Grants to a PPARC Scholarship in Gamma Ray Astronomy. Bright regularly serves as a consultant and resource person on innovation strategy to international organizations such as the World Bank, UNECA, USAID, and the Commonwealth. Bright is a regular contributor to BBC Business and Harvard Business Review, and is regularly cited in many of the world’s leading news media.

Bright’s talk will focus on the delicate task of aligning sometimes contradicting incentives across diverse stakeholders to ensure sustainable success in e-health deployments. It will also make the point that a good pilot or important partnership is not enough to create the fertile ecosystem required for e-health to take off on a large scale.

Najeeb Al-ShorbajiDr Najeeb Al-Shorbaji has been working as Director, Department of Knowledge Management and Sharing at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva since September 2008. Prior to that he held the posts of Information Scientist,  Regional Advisor for Health Information Management and Telecommunication and Coordinator for Knowledge Management and Sharing at the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office. He is from Jordan, married and holds a PhD in Information Sciences. Dr Al-Shorbaji’s current portfolio covers WHO publishing activities and programmes, library services, knowledge networks, e-health, knowledge translation and WHO Collaborating Centres. Through his career in WHO, he initiated and lead a number of information and telecommunication technology projects and knowledge networks.

Najeeb’s intervention will highlight why interoperability is crucial to e-health adoption and acceptance.

Oliver HarrisonDr Oliver Harrison is Director of Strategy at the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi, responsible for setting the direction for healthcare, managing capacity, health economics, healthcare regulation, and e-health development.  He is known for his passion for implementing rigorous evidence-based approaches, particularly in tackling the Emirate’s high burden of non-communicable diseases.

Before joining HAAD, Oliver worked extensively on healthcare reform with McKinsey.  He is a medical doctor (Psychiatry) with a Masters in Public Health (Johns Hopkins), a Foundation Scholar at Jesus College – Cambridge, an Honorary Lecturer at Imperial College London, and a member of the World Economic Forum council on Behaviour and Cognitive Science.

Oliver’s presentation will showcase e-health success stories and lessons learned from the Arab Region with a particular focus on Abu Dhabi.

Chuck ParkerCharles (Chuck) Parker is the Executive Director of the Continua Health Alliance – a membership-driven company focused on developing an ecosystem of interoperable personal health devices.  Through working with Standards bodies and industry experts, Continua publishes certification standards built upon international criteria from IEEE, HL7, Bluetooth, USB, and others. Chuck leads the many workgroups and day-to-day operations of the Alliance. Chuck has over 20 years of experience in healthcare technology, policy, and the strategic design of evaluation and measurement strategies. He has led national programs for practice transformation and has served on national committees for assessing adoption requirements. Chuck holds a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Informatics from Northeastern University. He earned his BA in Communication Studies and Business Management at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

According to Chuck, interoperability is a key driver for adoption in mobile health, and his presentation at the WTSA e-health side event will highlight Continua’s approach to making personal connected health a reality.

Bilel JamoussiThe side event will be moderated by Dr Bilel Jamoussi. As Chief of the Study Groups Department Bilel leads the ITU-T Standards Development Staff. Before joining ITU, Bilel worked for Nortel for 15 years in Canada and then in the United States where he held several leadership positions including Strategic Standards, Advanced Technology, University Research, Software Development for routing/switching platforms, and Data Network Engineering of major international customer networks.

IPTV showcasing today at WTSA-12

IPTV showcasing

Simão Campos (ITU/TSB), Masahito Kawamori (NTT) and Hideki Yamamoto (OKI) at the IPTV showcasing booth

WTSA-12 is showcasing live video streams deploying ITU-standardized IPTV technologies and running over ITU’s IPTV Global IPv6 Testbed. The transcontinental test is demonstrating the maturity of both IPv6 technology and ITU-T’s suite of IPTV standards; particularly Recommendations ITU-T H.721’s IPTV set-top boxes, ITU-T H.761‘s Ginga/NCL and ITU-T H.762‘s Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment (LIME) for IPTV services. Applications being showcased include ‘e-health’ using Continua Health Alliance compliant devices to demonstrate how new services can be integrated to provide users with better services and service providers with new revenue streams.

The test runs 20-21 November at WTSA-12 in Dubai, receiving live video from ITU’s headquarters in Geneva and from Hokkaido Television Broadcasting (HTB) in Hokkaido, Japan.

Other ITU-T IPTV standards also formed part of the infrastructure: H.770 IPTV Service discovery, H.721 IPTV terminal for VoD and Linear TV, H.701 IPTV Error correction, H.750 IPTV Metadata, and the Primetime Emmy Award winning H.264 Video compression codec. The experiments also used Openflow, PCE/VNTM and sa46t.

For more on ITU’s IPTV standardization work, please see ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative here.