The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has established a new ITU-T Study Group to address the standardisation requirements of IoT technologies, with an initial focus on IoT applications in smart cities.
According to the ITU, the new group, ITU-T Study Group 20: IoT and its applications, including smart cities and communities will be responsible for international standards to enable the coordinated development of IoT technologies, including machine-to-machine communications and ubiquitous sensor networks and will develop standards that leverage IoT technologies to address urban-development challenges.
ITU secretary-general, Houlin Zhao, said: “Building smart sustainable cities will require efficient collaboration between the public and private sectors. This new ITU-T Study Group will bring together a diverse selection of stakeholders, placing ITU’s technical expertise at the service of other industry sectors as well as the national and metropolitan administrations responsible for urban development.”
Key role for Dubai
The new study group is chaired by Nasser Almarzouqi of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates. In May the UAE city of Dubai became the world’s first city to assess the efficiency and sustainability of its operations using the key performance indicators developed by the ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (FG-SSC). The two-year pilot project will evaluate the feasibility of the indicators with the aim of contributing to their international standardisation.
Almarzouqi said: “Networks of IoT technologies will improve our understanding of how cities function, introducing many opportunities for efficiency gains. With participants representing the many stakeholders in the field of information and communication technologies, this Study Group will be influential in promoting the development of the highly efficient ‘systems of systems’ that will help bridge the digital divide and enable a more connected world.”
The ITU said a key part of the group’s work will be the standardisation of end-to-end architectures for IoT and mechanisms for the interoperability of IoT applications and datasets employed by various vertically oriented industry sectors. “IoT is contributing to the convergence of industry sectors, with utilities, healthcare and transportation among the many sectors with a stake in the future of IoT technologies. The new ITU-T Study Group provides the specialised IoT standardisation platform necessary for this convergence to rest on a cohesive set of international standards.”
First meeting in Singapore
The decision to create the new ITU-T Study Group was made by the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) at its meeting at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 2-5 June The ITU said that Singapore had offered to host the inaugural meeting of group, but has not indicated when it will be held.
The ITU put forward a vision of IoT in its “Internet of Things” report published in 2005 as part of a series of ITU reports on the Internet. The ITU said its experience in the development of IoT standards and the findings of its Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (FG-SSC) – which recently concluded its activities with the release of 21 technical reports and specifications – had provided the foundations for the new study group.