ITU work on addressing counterfeit ICT devices gains momentum in ITU-T

ITU discussions to address the growing problem of counterfeit ICT devices was actively participated, contributed to and progressed at the latest ITU-T SG11 (Protocols and test specifications) meeting held in Geneva from 9-16 July 2014.

A group of experts from various administrations and industry, as well as international organizations including the World Trade Organization (WTO), World Custom Organization (WCO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the Mobile Manufacturing Forum (MMF), contributed to the progress of the draft Technical Report on “Counterfeited and Substandard ICT Equipment”, which is anticipated as a baseline document for further developments in this area.

Several forums and conferences have called for ITU’s assistance in addressing the growing problem of counterfeit telecommunications/ICT products and devices, which is adversely affecting all stakeholders in the ICT field (vendors, governments, operators and consumers).  As a result, ITU-T SG11 agreed to revise the terms of reference of its Question 8(Q8/11) ‘Guidelines for implementations of signalling and protocols, and for addressing counterfeit ICT devices’, which is the group dealing with this work.

Mr Isaac Boateng, National Communications Authority, Ghana, and Rapporteur of Q8/11said: “The study on Counterfeit ICT devices currently going on in SG11 was driven by Resolution 177 (Guadalajara, 2010) of the Plenipotentiary Conference, on Conformance and Interoperability which ‘instructs the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, in close collaboration with the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau and the Director of the Radio communication Bureau, to assist Member States in addressing their concerns with respect to counterfeit equipment’. I expect that the publication of the Technical Report could support the ITU Member States, particularly those in developing countries, to develop policies and regulatory framework to combat counterfeit devices in their national telecommunications/ICT strategies.”

An event on “Combating counterfeit and substandard ICT devices” will be taking place on 17 and 18 November 2014 at ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland. Substandard and fake ICT products are a serious issue that impacts developed and developing economies, the ICT industry, as well as the consumer population around the world. The objectives of this event are threefold, namely to: (1) discuss the global scope and impact of counterfeiting and substandard ICT products on various stakeholders; (2) highlight the common concerns, challenges, initiatives, practices and opportunities of the various stakeholders in their fight against counterfeiting and substandard ICT products; and (3) examine the possible role of ICT standards development organizations (SDOs), and in particular the ITU, as part of the global strategy and solution to curtail counterfeiting and substandard ICT products.

The ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) also approved in Dubai (2014) a new Resolution on “The role of telecommunications/information and communication technologies in combating and dealing with counterfeit telecommunication/information and communication devices” (see draft final report Members restricted).

The next physical meetings of the group focusing on Counterfeiting in ITU-T (Q8/11) will take place back-to-back with the “Combating counterfeit and substandard ICT devices” event in ITU Headquarters on 19-21 November 2014. The Technical Report on “Counterfeited and Substandard ICT Equipment” will then be stable for approval. ITU Members are also invited to submit Contributions to Q8/11 to start new work items on this topic.

For updated information, see ITU-T Study Group 11.

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