Questions and Answers February 2001
Question - 1 • 1. Do you agree/disagree that the ITU-T remains one of the best places for Industry? • The ITU should be the primary place for industry to develop its “technical standards” and work with governments in producing regulatory recommendations. However: • The ITU is falling behind in both areas: • Industry is moving its work to special “forums” • Governments are organizing regional regulatory bodies. • The ITU has not considered the impact of: • Deregulation • Privatization • Industry has to divide its attention between too many groups and cannot support any of them adequately. • The ITU is becoming less important
Question - 2 • 2. What are your expectations from ITU-T? If satisfied/or not satisfied by ITU-T, mention the reasons. • It has become too focused on equipment and not on the overall telecommunication system and interworking issues. • It needs to better evaluate the needs of its industry members: • Carriers and service providers (should be a new category instead of ROAs). • Manufacturers and vendors. • Regulatory work lacks the technical understanding required to make realistic decisions. • It has become too political.
Question - 3 • 3. How could we make ITU-T more attractive and more efficient? • More attention needs to be given to engaging the carriers and service providers in the work of the ITU. • Some members belong “out of fear” rather than as a place to accomplish needed work. • Industry members need a “forum” where they can set the agendas and openly discuss the issues. • Focus more on network “system” issues rather then detailed “box” designs: • There are few, if any, places where the multinational carriers and manufacturers can come together with the governments. • The needs of the industry are at the network level and how to coordinate its designs across operators and national boundaries. • The work is in a bottom-up mode rather than a top-down one. • Consider a sub-Council for the Sector instead of the WTSA, and give operational control to the TSAG.
Question - 4 • 4. How to promote the ITU-T? How to convince young people to join ITU-T activities? • More open forums - present format is too structured. • Problem facing most organizations after they “mature”. • Should consider a dual format - open forum for new ideas and structured Study Groups for “standards”. • Make the ITU “appear” less political in its operation.
Question - 5 • 5. Do you think it is time for ITU to cover IT-related technologies in addition to telecommunication technologies? • The ITU should address those that relate to telecommunications, But • It should not become involved in the general area of IT-related technologies. It will detract from the basic mission of telecommunications. It needs to focus on what it does well and not spread itself too thin.
Question - 6 • 6. What would be your suggestions for the ITU Reform? • Create an industry forum inside the T-Sector where industry can set its own agendas and fund those areas of interest to it. • Why do groups leave the ITU and set up industry forums outside? • Restructure the industry memberships classifications. • Operators and service providers should be considered as one group, since ROA does not really represent how the industry is evolving. • Bring together interworking issues with regulatory work. • Focus more on defining network interfaces and less on internal box details. • Address the multinational industry issues: • One government no longer controls all the operations of a carrier or the products of a manufacturer. • Different levels of involvement - local access, regional and global.
Summary • Telecommunications is rapidly changing, but the ITU has not addressed the key issues of this new environment: • A different type of operator has emerged - multinational • Not tied to one country, but has to work with multiple countries. • Owns or controls most, if not all, of its infrastructure world wide. • Decline in the importance of “ box standards” • Operators are generating their own mixture of requirements. • Type certification is going away. • The issue before the T-Sector is not the approval of “standards”, but learning how to work together in an open environment on topics of interest to the industry. • The ITU began as an organization to address operational problems and evolved into an organization focused on equipment. • The problems before the telecommunications industry today are once again operational, and the ITU needs to return to its original roots. • The role of the WTSA is questionable. Industry and governments, if they do not like the results go outside the ITU to accomplish what they want. This governing structure should be reconsidered.