Sigfox joins ITU to influence international standardization for the Internet of Things


May 18, 2017

May 17, 2017

Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity provider Sigfox has become a member of ITU to influence international standardization for IoT technologies and applications.

Sigfox operates a low-bandwidth network dedicated to providing IoT devices with low-cost, low-power connectivity on a global scale. Sigfox’s participation in ITU standardization will assist the company in its mission ‘to give a voice to the physical world around us and to allow these billions of objects to play a role in economic and social development’.

“IoT technologies and applications will be central to our 5G-enabled future,” said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “Sigfox is certain to make a valuable contribution to the international collaboration that enables ICT networks to evolve in tune with evolving ICT use cases.”

Evolving ICT ecosystem, evolving ITU membership

IoT is contributing to the convergence of industry sectors, with utilities, healthcare and transportation among the many sectors that hold a stake in the future of IoT technologies.

Sigfox is part of a larger movement towards the ICT industry supporting other industry sectors in their application of ICTs as ‘enabling technologies’ to increase efficiency and innovate their service offerings.

Sigfox will contribute to ITU standardization work aimed at ensuring that ICT-enabled convergence rests on a cohesive set of international standards.

“We are honoured to be joining the oldest of the United Nations agencies,” said Christophe Fourtet, co-founder and Scientific Director of Sigfox. “For more than a century, telecommunications have been building bridges between people and societies. Sigfox is proud to take part in this challenge and to work towards a global development and standardization of IoT alongside governments and members of the private sector.”

ITU standardization for the Internet of Things

IoT technologies are adding sensory, computing and communications capabilities to physical infrastructure to create cyber-physical systems capable of adapting their behavior autonomously in the interests of efficiency.

Efficient management of the data generated by IoT systems will yield new insight into where public and private-sector innovation could spur sustainable development. And standardization brings cohesion to ICT innovation by codifying the common understandings that enable ICT innovators to take iterative steps forward.

Standardization has been at the core of ITU’s mandate since the organization’s inception, and ITU’s approach to standardization has adapted to fit the pace of technological change.

ITU-T Study Group 20 (IoT, smart cities and communities) develops international standards to enable the coordinated development of IoT technologies, including machine-to-machine communications and ubiquitous sensor networks. An important aspect of SG20’s work is the development of standards that leverage IoT technologies to address urban-development challenges.

At the core of ITU-T Study Group 20’s work is the standardization of end-to-end architectures for IoT, as well as mechanisms for the interoperability of the IoT systems and datasets employed by various vertically oriented industry sectors.

In March, ITU established a new Focus Group to research data processing and management in the context of smart cities. The group is open to participation by any interested party, leading a consultation process to identify the aspects of data management to benefit from ITU standardization.

The Focus Group will review existing technical platforms and related guidelines for data processing and management, with a view to identifying standardization demands to be addressed by ITU-T Study Group 20.

The Focus Group will promote efficient, scalable approaches to the management of systems data, and one of its key priorities will be to propose mechanisms supporting the interoperability of datasets and data-management systems.

The first meeting of the Focus Group will be held in Geneva, 17-19 July 2017.

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