ITU Day 3: CTOs, Innovation & IMS
Away from the public eye
While a selection of CTOs took to the stage here to talk about ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and climate change, a group of 19 chief technologists and other CXOs convened at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) headquarters in Geneva to share ideas, look to the future, and tell the Union what's bugging them. (See Behind Closed Doors.)
And one of the things that's bugging the likes of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Orange (NYSE: FTE), Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , KDDI Corp. , KT Corp. , Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Nokia Networks , NTT Group (NYSE: NTT), Telecom Italia (TIM) , Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), all of which were represented at the meeting, is the number of current standards groups that eat up time, money, and resources.
All agreed that standards are vitally important, but as a group they challenged the ITU, one of the telecom sector's most influential and important standards bodies, to "streamline and clarify the standardization landscape," according to a statement from the Union seen by Light Reading.
"The standardization landscape has become too complicated and fragmented, with hundreds of industry forums and consortia," notes the ITU. "CTOs agreed that it has become increasingly challenging to identify and prioritize how to concentrate standardization resources." And with a greater number of IT standards groups becoming more and more relevant to the telecom market, the number of bodies producing technical specifications that could affect product development and deployment is likely to grow, handing the ITU a tough task.
As an initial response, the ITU is to host a Web portal to identify the standards groups and their areas of focus in an effort to "facilitate the work of industry and standards makers while promoting cooperation and collaboration and avoiding duplication."
In addition, the CXOs agreed that more intra-industry collaboration is needed to help integrate the IT and telecom sectors, and, perhaps surprisingly, there was "broad support" to use IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) specifications, which are still subject to criticism in many quarters (for being too complex and costly to implement), as the foundation for IP services.
Fujitsu steals the forum show
At the Telecom World Forum, CTOs and senior executives from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), BT, France Telecom, Huawei, KT Corp., and NSN, took to the stage to talk about their visions for the future, and generally agreed that the correct implementation of ICT can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that greater cooperation is needed across the industry.
But it was Kazuo Murano, president of Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. , who stole the show by unveiling a concrete vision about how a number of new technologies can, when combined, create a new "human centric" ecosystem for real-world application development.
His vision, and it's one that Fujitsu is currently trying to turn into reality, involves the collection (using wireless broadband) of data from connected devices such as mobile handsets and everyday items that have embedded wireless capabilities. That data (for example, location and presence information) would be held and stored "in the cloud" in massive storage networks, and then translated into "knowledge" using sophisticated data mining techniques.
That "knowledge" could then be used as the basis of new applications development that could enable the control of resources such as public lighting or the relief of traffic congestion, and help in critical sectors such as agriculture, all of which could ultimately help to reduce carbon footprints and increase resource efficiencies.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading