International Telecommunications Union, ITU members have established a new ITU-T Study Group to address the standardisation requirements of Internet of Things, IoT technologies, with an initial focus on IoT applications in smart cities.
The new group is titled “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.
The group will develop standards that leverage IoT technologies to address urban-development challenges. A key part of this study will be the standardization of end-to-end architectures for IoT and mechanisms for the interoperability of IoT applications and datasets employed by various vertically oriented industry sectors.
The deployment of IoT technologies is expected to connect an estimated 50 billion devices to the network by year 2020, impacting nearly every aspect of our daily lives. 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 specialized IoT standardization platform necessary for this convergence to rest on a cohesive set of international standards.
IoT technologies offer both developed and developing countries an opportunity to transform city infrastructure, benefiting from the efficiencies of intelligent buildings and. transportation systems, and smart energy and water networks.
ITU is well positioned to assist government and industry in capitalizing on this opportunity.
ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao, “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.”
Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Chaesub Lee said, “The coming five years will be crucial in ensuring that IoT technologies meet their potential.
“ITU-T is very active in IoT standardization, and we aim to assist cities around the world in creating the conditions necessary for IoT technologies to prove their worth in addressing urban-development challenges.”
In May, 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 standardization.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates, Chairman of the new Study Group, Nasser Almarzouqi, “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.”

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