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Testing Labs Collaborate to Maximize 5G Impact

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. Photo: ITU

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. Photo: ITU

Standardization experts have formed a new focus group at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to optimize the “testbeds” for rolling out effective, sustainable fifth-generation (5G) infrastructure and services.

With 5G poised to ramp up digital transformation worldwide, research communities are joining forces to maximize their collective return on testbed investments.

The new ITU Focus Group on ‘Testbeds federations for IMT-2020 and beyond’ responds to urgent needs to build a technical and business ecosystem for the sustainable development, evolution, and federation of testbeds – the physical and virtual laboratories and testing spaces for new and emerging technologies.

“The accelerating digital transformation of our economies relies on the combination of increasingly complex technologies in fields from 5G and the Internet of Things to big data, cloud computing and machine learning,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “This focus group aims to build new partnerships to help test labs making mutually reinforcing contributions to innovation, to everyone’s benefit.”

Accelerating industry automation spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the urgency to create the international cooperation framework for 5G testbeds.

Open to all interested parties, the focus group aims to build broader knowledge of the specializations of different testbeds and identify opportunities for mutually beneficial interactions. It will also provide a platform to harmonize specifications for testbed interoperability, fostering and enabling high degrees of quality assurance and security.

The focus group will report to ITU’s expert group on standardization for protocols and test specifications, ITU-T Study Group 11.

Its work is intended to build on the new ITU standard Q.4068 specifying open application programming interfaces for interoperable testbed federations, which defines a generic reference model for such federations and describes the foundational elements of this model.

The first meeting of the focus group is scheduled for 4-7 April 2022 online. You can sign-up as a participant and join the mailing list on the focus group’s homepage.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations.

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