ITU finally grapples with multimedia services and systems

Geneva - July 12, 1996 - The Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) reached an important agreement concerning the future work of the ITU's Standardization Sector (ITU-T) on audiovisual multimedia services (AVMMS). The agreement was reached at TSAG's seventh and final meeting before the World Telecommunication Standardization Conference (WTSC) to be be held in Geneva from 9 to 18 October 1996.

It is proposed to create a new Study Group to carry out studies on multimedia services and systems in the next study period (1997-2000) which were until now undertaken by five study groups coordinated by a Joint Coordination Group known as JCG/AVMMS. If approved by WTSC, the newly created Study Group will, in particular, be responsible for studies related to multimedia service definition and multimedia systems, including the associated terminals, modems, protocols and signal processing. It would also serve as the focal point for coordination with other organizations and forums and consortia developing standards in this field. This coordination will be essential for global interconnectivity of networks and the global interoperability of applications and services. This approach to standardization should provide consumers with access to an increasing range of products and services and reduce the risk of market chaos.

Other key Questions to be studied by the proposed new Study Group include: audio-visual multimedia services (formerly the domain of Study Group 1); data protocols for multimedia conferencing, (formerly the domain of Study Group 8); modems for switched telephone network and leased-type circuits, ISDN adapters, (formerly the domains of Study Group 14); circuit switched network (CSN) audio-visual communication systems and terminals, B-ISDN multimedia systems and terminals, common protocols, advanced video coding, interaction of high-speed voiceband data with signal processing, software and hardware tools (formerly the domains of Study Group 15).

The agreement is another step taken by the ITU to respond quickly to the requirements of emerging services and market expectations. This move is seen by many participants as a significant stride in addressing the concerns of the evolution towards the convergence of different technologies and communications media such as broadcasting, cable television, and the computer industry.

This consolidation of activities in a single study group is expected to:

For more information, please contact:

Mr Fabio Bigi
Telecommunication Standardization Bureau
Phone: +41 22 730 5860
Fax: +41 22 730 5853