Standardization and open-source projects both stand to benefit from close interaction. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to play an increasingly important role in network operation and maintenance. Standards are key to the deployment of quantum information technologies and their interoperability.
These were among the key conclusions of an ITU consultation meeting with Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) from China, Japan and Korea held earlier this week in Tokyo, Japan, hosted by Japan’s Telecommunication Technology Committee.
The meeting brought CTOs together to discuss industry needs and associated standardization priorities. The meeting issued a communiqué summarizing trends in information and communication technology (ICT) of growing relevance to ITU standardization.
The importance of open innovation to the development of both software and hardware will lead to more diversified standardization activities, said CTOs, activities that must be capable of supporting technological as well as business aspects of open innovation.
CTOs discussed ITU’s interaction with open-source communities, highlighting the value of this interaction to both standardization and open-source projects. Proactive interaction, said CTOs, delivers working instances of standards and practical feedback to standardization projects, as well as standard-compliant code to open-source projects.
CTOs discussed the value of AI to the automation of network service control, automation that CTOs said will grow in importance alongside the need to support the coexistence of a diverse range of ICT services using specialized network slices.
ITU was encouraged to promote the availability of open data, an effort that CTOs said would require the development of a framework for data sharing as well as methods for the assurance and refinement of data quality. CTOs requested in addition that ITU develop standards promoting interoperable AI techniques with respect to networks, technologies and data.
CTOs highlighted their support for ITU’s ongoing standardization activities on security and network aspects of quantum information technologies, technologies based on the properties of quantum physics.
CTOs expressed their commitment to the expansion of the ecosystem of quantum specialists within ITU. They encouraged ITU to take a forward-looking approach to quantum information technologies so as to anticipate emerging standardization demands. CTOs also called for ITU to take up a leading role in bringing standards bodies together to ensure the effective coordination of quantum-relevant standardization activities.
Fibre-optic networks form the ‘backbone’ of the Information Society. Investment in fibre continues to rise, with fibre recognized as the key infrastructure underlying today’s ultra-broadband Gigabit era. CTOs highlighted that 1-5 Gbit/s access speeds can support Virtual Reality, cloud gaming and smart cities. 5-10 Gbit/s access speeds, said CTOs, could bring us applications such as holographic communications and telemedicine.
CTOs thus encouraged ITU to analyze standardization gaps relevant to the relationship between advanced FTTH technologies; high-quality service experience marked by ultra-low latency; all-scenario optical networking including datacentres and home networking; cloud computing and network slicing; and automated network operation and maintenance with AI.
Increasing the speed and capacity of connections between servers, said CTOs, will call for the evolution of cables and connectors, network slicing, and the virtualization of network nodes. CTOs also highlighted the potential of High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power supply to increase the energy efficiency of datacentre operations.
CTOs encouraged ITU to promote 400 Gbit/s connections between servers as well as the adoption of HVDC power supplies. CTOs in addition requested that ITU investigate datacentre-relevant standardization activities underway across standards bodies with a view to identifying issues to be addressed by ITU standards.