GTRI

Case Study

Georgia Tech Joins United Nations Agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Published: August 14, 2013


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Georgia Tech joins only two other United States universities as members of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations.

With a membership of 193 countries and more than 700 private-sector organizations and academic institutions, ITU represents a cross-section of the global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector working with new and emerging technologies, as well as leading research and development institutions and academia.

Alain Louchez, who is directing a global initiative that is anchored at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and focused on the development and application of Internet of Things technologies, is the point of contact for the ITU at Georgia Tech.

“Although the application to join ITU was processed through the Information and Communications Laboratory (ICL) and the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), the benefits apply to the whole Institute,” Louchez said. “From internship opportunities at ITU and lectures to project collaborations and partnership with member universities, there is something for both our faculty and students.”

Louchez was already involved with ITU’s activities regarding the Internet of Things (IoT), such as the Joint Coordination Activity on IoT, the IoT Global Standards Initiative, the Focus Group on Machine to Machine (M2M) Service Layer and the Global Standards Collaboration M2M Standardization Task Force.

Georgia Tech will participate in ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector, which focuses on developing international standards, also known as ITU-T recommendations. These standards act as defining elements in the global infrastructure of ICT.

“I am delighted to welcome Georgia Tech to our membership,” said ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau Director Malcolm Johnson. “I am certain that, as with our other academia members, there will be mutual benefit in terms of unparalleled opportunities for researchers to engage with other leading experts in the ICT field from around the world, and to see their work reflected in the international standards that underpin technological progress for the benefit of all the world’s inhabitants.”

Founded in Paris in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, ITU became a specialized United Nations agency in 1947. The group allocates radio spectra and satellite orbits, develops technical standards ensuring that networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and help underserved communities across the globe improve their access to information and communication technologies.

“This is a perfect fit for Georgia Tech,” Louchez said. “We have an opportunity to participate in the radical transformation of the telecom world currently under way, which impacts policies, strategies, markets and models. In addition to falling closely in line with Georgia Tech’s strategic vision, and notably its international plan, our collaboration with ITU also aims at fostering productive relationships with industry, academia and other organizations actively working in the ICT arena.”