ITU-T Study Group 11 jumpstarts Conformance and Interoperability Programme

ITU has approved an action plan to drive its Conformance and Interoperability (C&I) Programme and has revamped the Joint Coordination Activity which marshals C&I work undertaken across ITU’s various expert groups.

Conformance with international standards is one of the core principles underlying the global interoperability of ICT networks and devices. The C&I Programme was initiated at the request of ITU’s membership in light of the challenges faced by developing countries in improving interoperability and battling counterfeit goods.

ITU-T Study Group 11 – Protocols and test specifications – was charged with coordinating the C&I Programme by last November’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai.

Meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 25 February to 1 March 2013, SG11 approved a C&I action plan in line with WTSA-12’s revision of Resolution 76 on “Studies related to conformance and interoperability testing, assistance to developing countries, and a possible future ITU Mark programme”.

The SG 11 meeting also saw substantial progress made in ITU’s collaboration with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and advanced the group’s ongoing work on software-defined networking (SDN). Read news on these achievements here.

The Joint Coordination Activity on C&I testing (JCA-CIT), which now falls under the leadership of SG11, will support the coordination of the ITU’s C&I activities while also acting as the first point of contact for organizations interested in contributing to this work. SG11 has revised JCA-CIT’s governing Terms of Reference and has appointed a new Convener in Mr. Martin Brand from Telekom Austria, an active SG11 member over the previous study period and appointed an SG11 Vice-chairman by WTSA-12. The next meeting of JCA-CIT will be held electronically, 25 April 2013, and detailed participation instructions will be provided on the JCA-CIT homepage.

Delivering on a central objective of the C&I program, SG11’s meeting reached first-stage approval (consent) of five new testing suites to become international standards (ITU-T Recommendations).

The meeting also hosted a presentation delivered by the Executive Secretary and Chairman of IECEE, the Worldwide System for Conformity Testing and Certification of Electrotechnical Equipment and Components. IECEE presented on its conformance assessment scheme and encouraged ITU to make full use of this platform in carrying out the C&I Programme.

In addition, SG11 produced an initial list of key technologies within its mandate which the group considers suitable for C&I testing. This will remain a living list and it forms input to the first pillar of the four-pillar C&I Programme which delineates C&I work into four separate but interdependent categories:

1) conformance assessment;

2) interoperability events;

3) human resource and capacity building; and

4) assistance in the establishment of test facilities in developing countries.

More information on ITU’s C&I Programme is available here

More information on ITU-T Study Group 11 is available here

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