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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

ITU creates focus group on IPTv

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has created a focus group for the Internet Protocol Television (IPTv FG) to boost its deployment globally and market penetration.

Communication Officer at ITU, Mr. Toby Johnson who disclosed this said the creation of the group was an outcome of a consultative meeting that ended recently in Geneva, Switzerland.

The two-day meeting, which attracted about 120 experts worldwide, he said, were made up of world’s leading Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies to back up ITU’s role in the coordination of global IPTv standards.

According to him, the decision was taken considering the benefits of worldwide standards for all players in the IPTV value chain and the need to achieve rapid progress to avoid market fragmentation.

He also revealed that the first meeting of this group would be held in early June 2006.

ITU also acknowledged that standards work is ongoing at different parts of the world, stressing that the group forum is a reaction to an industry call for ITU to push forward and coordinate global standardization effort in the field.

IPTV is a system where a digital television service is delivered to consumers using internet protocol over a broadband connection.

Mr. Johnson further informed, it will help in paving the way for players, many of whom are already moving to IP-based Next Generation Networks (NGN) infrastructure, to offer a triple-play of video, voice and data.

ITU explained that standards are necessary in order to give service providers, whether traditional broadcasters, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or telecommunication service providers, control over their platforms and their offerings.

“Standards here will encourage innovation, help mask the complexity of services, guarantee quality of service (QoS), ensure interoperability and ultimately help players remain competitive,” Mr. Johnson said in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel.

The mission of IPTV FG, the officer noted, would be to coordinate and promote the development of global IPTV standards taking into account the existing work of the ITU study groups as well as other Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), forums and consortiums.

Specifically, the group would tend to define IPTv by identifying scenarios, drivers and relationships with other services and networks, requirements and framework architecture.

The group would also review and gap analysis of existing standards and ongoing works, while identifying opportunities for ITU interventions and activities that ITU would encourage other organizations to pursue.

Equally, the group is to coordinate existing standardization activities, harmonize the development of new standards and encourage interoperability with existing systems where viable.

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