WTSA-16 Highlights: Industry leaders discuss telecoms innovation in age of OTT and Gigabit-speed broadband access

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ICT industry executives have highlighted the importance of innovation capitalizing on VoLTE and other unique opportunities presented to network operators by advanced packet-based communications. Leaders agree that Gigabit-speed broadband access and data security will form key priorities to industry in coming years. These executives have also reaffirmed their request for regulation to provide a level playing field for competition between telecoms and OTT players in fields where they provide equivalent services.

These views were among the conclusions adopted by a meeting of 24 ICT industry executives and the strategic management of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) in Hammamet, Tunisia, 23 October, hosted by Tunisie Télécom.

The meeting’s full set of conclusions were issued as a communiqué.

The meeting’s communiqué calls for ITU-T to provide a platform for the development of international standards addressing the OTT market environment.

The view of the meeting was that the guidance provided by OTT-related international standards would be especially beneficial to telecoms operators in developing countries, placing them in a stronger position to compete internationally and provide a wide choice of high-quality products and services.

The meeting called for all ICT stakeholders to increase their collaboration in addressing the new challenges to security and privacy introduced by data-driven OTT applications and services. It was said that a transition from system-centric to data-centric security will be necessary to address these new challenges, and ITU-T was encouraged to play a more active role in enabling this transition.

Gigabit-speed broadband access technologies are becoming essential to the reliable delivery of bandwidth-intensive services such as HD video.

The meeting reviewed recent industry innovations in the deployment of broadband access networks, many of which are based on ITU-standardized solutions such as G.fast, G.hn, VDSL2 and passive optical networks (e.g., NG-PON2).

Participants highlighted the value of fixed wireless access and solutions combining two or more heterogeneous networks (e.g., LTE and Wi‑Fi) to achieve increases in bandwidth and reductions in network cost. The meeting invited ITU-T to consider the inclusion of these hybrid approaches in its portfolio of broadband access standards, recognizing that hybrid, technology-agnostic networks will forge a path towards true fixed-mobile convergence, an important requirement for the development of IMT-2020 (5G) systems.

Augmented reality (AR) and online virtual reality (VR) are prime use cases for gigabit-speed connections and 5G systems.

AR and VR applications are very demanding of the network with respect to throughput and latency, giving further impetus to industry’s work to develop innovative technologies in the fields of transport and access networking, media coding and cloud and edge computing. The meeting recommended that ITU consider AR and VR as topics of great strategic importance, highlighting the value of ITU standards in supporting the interoperability of new ICT products and services.

The meeting of industry leaders was held the day prior to the 3rd Global Standards Symposium, themed ‘Security, Privacy and Trust in Standardization’. The symposium precedes the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2016, an ITU governing conference held every four years for ITU members to refine the strategic direction and structure of ITU’s standardization arm. Learn more…

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