March 30, 2015 - Posted by: 


The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has a series of study groups withing its Telecommunications Standardisation Sector (ITU-T). These groups assemble experts from around the world to develop international standards known as ITU-T Recommendations which act as defining elements in the global infrastructure of information and communication technologies (ICTs).Standards are critical to the interoperability of ICTs and whether we exchange voice, video or data messages, standards enable global communications by ensuring that countries’ ICT networks and devices are speaking the same language.

ITU-T Study Group 20 – Internet of Things (IoT) and its applications including smart cities and communities (SC&C) is working to address the standardisation requirements of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, with an initial focus on IoT applications in smart cities and communities (SC&C). SG20 develops international standards to enable the coordinated development of IoT technologies, including machine-to-machine communications and ubiquitous sensor networks. A central part of this study is the standardisation of end-to-end architectures for IoT, and mechanisms for the interoperability of IoT applications and datasets employed by various vertically oriented industry sectors.

About ITU-T Study Group 20

IoT is contributing to the convergence of industry sectors, and SG20 provides the specialised IoT standardisation platform necessary for this convergence to rest on a cohesive set of international standards. An important aspect of SG20’s work is the development of standards that use IoT technologies to address urban-development challenges.

IoT is a key enabler of the Information Society and offers an opportunity to transform city infrastructure, benefiting from the efficiencies of intelligent buildings and transportation systems, and smart energy and water networks. SG20 will assist government and industry in capitalising on this opportunity, providing a platform to influence the development of international IoT standards and their application as part of urban-development master plans.

IoT credentials

ITU put forward a vision of IoT in the landmark “Internet of Things” report published in 2005 as part of a series of ITU reports on the Internet. The foundations of the new Study Group are provided by ITU-T’s experience in the development of IoT standards and the findings of the ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (FG-SSC), which concluded its activities in May 2015 with the release of 21 technical reports and specifications.

The decision to create SG20 was made by the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) at its meeting at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 2-5 June 2015, exercising TSAG’s authority to modify ITU-T’s structure and work programme between quadrennial World Telecommunication Standardization Assemblies.

IoT application areas covered:

Study Group 20 is responsible for studies relating to Internet of Things (IoT) and its applications, with an initial focus on Smart Cities and Communities (SC&C).

ITU-T SG 20 will work on a range of IoT-related topics. An up to date list can be found here.

IoT technology areas covered:

The ITU-T is focused on standardisation surrounding ICT networking. It pays particular attention to establishing functional architectures for IoT including for:

–  signalling requirements and protocols

–  end user networks

–  interworking

–  smart sustainable cities requirements

Links to further information and ongoing standardisation projects:

In category: Affiliates, IoT Universe, Standards

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