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>X-From_: [log in to unmask] Thu Jun 10 17:01:28 1999
>Envelope-to: [log in to unmask]
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>From: ITU Press Office <[log in to unmask]>
>To: "David Lush, THE NAMIBIAN"<[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Agreement reached on important new standard for the control of
>Internet voice gateways
>Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 18:00:09 +0100
>
>NP/99-4
>10 June 1999
>ORIGINAL: English
>Agreement reached on important new standard for the control of Internet
>voice gateways
>
>Geneva - The ITU reached a milestone agreement last week in the definition
>of an important new Internet-related standard. At the meeting of the ITU-T
>Study Group 16 (Multimedia services and systems) held in Santiago, Chile
>(17-28 May 1999) at the invitation of the University of Chile, experts
>involved in multimedia communications over the Internet came together to
>agree the first stage of the approval process for the new standard, which
>has been referred to as H.gcp (Gateway Control Protocol) during its
>development phase.
>
>The agreement also marks the culmination of several months of close
>collaboration between experts in the Megaco Group of the Internet
>Engineering Task Force (IETF) - the international body responsible for
>Internet standards - and ITU-T Study Group 16 towards achieving a single
>standard on the control of gateway devices.
>
>"The short timescales for this project and the close co-operation between
>experts in the ITU-T and IETF reflect the urgent need for a single
>standard in this area". said Pierre-André Probst, chairman of ITU-T Study
>Group 16, "we hope that this collaboration will lead to stability in a
>market where a number of incompatible protocols already exist."
>
>Scott Bradner, Transport Area Director in the IETF and VP of Standards in
>the Internet Society (ISOC) said "this is an important new protocol and it
>draws upon the work of both standards organizations. Pooling expertise on
>this project will lead to the best overall solution in the shortest
>timescales."
>
>The new standard permits control of gateway devices that pass voice,
>video, facsimile and data traffic between conventional telephony networks
>and packet based data networks such as the Internet. Connections through
>these gateways allow callers from a normal telephone to make long distance
>voice calls over the Internet or other packet networks. H.gcp is seen as
>an important addition to the H.323 family of Recommendations which have
>already been widely adopted by the industry as the standards for
>multimedia communications over the Internet.
>
>Use of packet based networks for carrying voice and other multimedia
>traffic is generating intense interest from both Internet users and
>Internet service providers. Users are excited by the prospect of lower
>cost long distance telephony, and service providers see new opportunities
>in the telephony market, as well as the prospect of offering new services
>based on the integration of facsimile, voice, video and data. Industry
>analysts estimate that international telephone traffic over Internet
>gateways will grow from a mere 1% of all traffic in 1997 to 25% by 2003
>with a market value of US$7 billion.
>
>The H.323 family of standards already provides an extensive framework for
>the provision of these new services; the new Recommendation will permit
>low-cost gateway devices for the first time to be interfaced in a standard
>way with the signalling systems found in conventional telephony networks.
>
>Work on the new standard started at the September 1998 meeting of ITU-T
>Study Group 16 and, with the first approval phase now completed, the work
>programme is on target for final approval at the next meeting of the Study
>Group 16 in February 2000 at which time the standard will come into effect
>if unanimously adopted.
>
>For further information, please contact:
>
>Mr Pierre André Probst
>Chairman of Study Group 16
>Tel: +41 31 342 7993
>Fax: +41 31 342 7520
>E-mail: [log in to unmask]
>
>Mr. F. Tosco
>Chairman of WP 2/16
>Tel: +39 11 228 5321
>Fax: +39 11 228 5295
>E-mail: [log in to unmask]
>
>Mr Fabio Bigi
>Deputy Director, TSB
>Tel: +41 22 730 5860
>Fax: +41 22 730 5853
>E-mail: [log in to unmask]
>

David Lush
Freelance Journalist
PO Box 8828, Bachbrecht, Windhoek, Namibia
Tel. +264 61 252946
e-mail: [log in to unmask]