Industry leaders in Asia highlight the importance of ITU standardization to 5G, IoT and the future of video
Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) of leading ICT companies in China, Japan and Korea have called on ITU to prioritize its standardization work in support of industry’s aspirations for 5G systems, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the future of video. CTOs acknowledged the significance of the upcoming WTSA-16 to be held from 25 October to 3 November 2016 in Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia, as an opportunity to ensure that ITU standardization is well positioned to assist ICT innovators in enabling the post-2020 ‘5G era’.
Sixteen ICT leaders from China, Japan and Korea and the strategic management of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) were hosted by KT in Seoul, Korea, 21 March 2016, for a CTO consultation meeting convened by the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.
The consultation meeting concluded with the issue of a communiqué calling for ITU-T to support the innovations in network architecture necessary to meet the ambitious performance targets of 5G systems and the significant technical demands of the rapid growth in video traffic. The communiqué also emphasized the strategic importance of ITU-T’s support for the integrated management of IoT cyber-physical systems and collaboration between telecoms and open-source communities.
Fixed-mobile hybrid networks in support of 5G
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.
CTOs present in Seoul commended the strong momentum of the work underway in the ITU-T Focus Group on network aspects of IMT-2020 (5G). Following the presentation of its initial findings in December 2015, the Focus Group received an extension to its lifetime and a new directive to build collaboration with open-source communities by introducing them to the challenges that telecoms players must overcome in the development of the 5G ecosystem (ITU press release: Expert Group identifies emerging demands of ‘5G’ to fuel ITU standardization).
The Focus Group will conclude its work by the close of 2016 with the delivery of several drafts of new ITU-T standards in areas such as end-to-end network management; network architecture and fixed-mobile convergence; information-centric networking; and network softwarization and slicing, including for fronthaul and backhaul. This output is expected to comprise proofs of concept to showcase the work of the Focus Group and place it in the context of related open-source initiatives.
Billions of connected devices, things and objects
IoT technologies and applications, enabled by massive machine-type communications, are a key usage scenario for 5G communications. Cyber-physical systems will soon host billions of connected devices, things and objects. CTOs present in Seoul shared the view that ITU-T standardization will offer critical support to these systems in the areas of security, privacy, interoperability, and the management of identities and identifiers.
CTOs encouraged ITU-T to build greater IoT interoperability to prevent the emergence of data ‘silos’ that could form barriers to transparent, integrated data sharing and analysis. CTOs welcomed the work of ITU-T Study Group 20 (IoT and Smart Cities) in support of this aim, particularly in building collaboration between the ICT industry and other industry sectors to enable the provision of end-to-end experiences in the context of Smart Sustainable Cities.
Video traffic soars to unprecedented heights
Video traffic accounts for over 50 per cent of bandwidth use and this figure is projected to increase to over 80 per cent by 2019. The CTO consultation meeting highlighted that demanding requirements on network infrastructure have resulted from this growth in video traffic and increasing user expectations with respect to video quality, reliability and availability.
The future of video will be enabled by a wide range of industry players. Social video and other emerging video services will diminish the distinction between video producers and consumers, increasing the dynamism of the video market. ITU-T standards will support this future by providing common platforms for innovation and market growth.
CTOs view the approach to the post-2020 5G era as an opportune period of time to develop strategies to ensure high video availability, optimize bandwidth consumption, minimize the reworking of video content, and reflect best practices for handling video traffic in international standards. Participants welcomed the work underway on the evaluation of video quality in ITU-T Study Group 12 (Performance, QoS and QoE).