THE International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has stressed the need for the standardisation of the Fifth Generation (5G) network across the globe.
This, it said, has become necessary as countries, including Nigeria, get more serious about 5G network deployment.
This is even as standardisation experts have formed a new focus group at the ITU to optimise the “testbeds” for rolling out effective, sustainable 5G infrastructure and services.
With 5G poised to ramp up digital transformation worldwide, ITU noted in a document yesterday, that 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.
ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, said the accelerating digital transformation of the global economies rely on the combination of increasingly complex technologies in fields from 5G and the Internet of Things to big data, cloud computing and machine learning.
“This focus group aims to build new partnerships to help test labs making mutually reinforcing contributions to innovation, to everyone’s benefit.”
He stressed the need for an urgent, broader 5G cooperation among member-nations.
According to him, accelerating industry automation spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the urgency to create the international cooperation framework for 5G testbeds.
ITU, which is the United Nations (UN) specialised arm in charge of global communications, noted that while the focus group is open to all interested parties, it (focus group) aims to build broader knowledge of the specializations of different testbeds and identify opportunities for mutually beneficial interactions.
The telecoms body said the move will also provide a platform to harmonize specifications for testbed interoperability, fostering and enabling high degrees of quality assurance and security.
Focus Group Chairman from ITU and member Telecom Italia, Giulio Maggiore, said: “Testing certain technologies and associated use cases requires an extensive set of components and resources that few test labs are able to host in isolation, and this is becoming especially apparent as we enter the 5G era.
“Federated testbeds could ‘open source’ test results to bring greater sustainability to industry and academia’s work to decrease time to market for promising innovations.”
On growing complexity, the ITU noted that testbeds run by industry and academia play an essential part in bringing game-changing digital technology breakthroughs to market.
But it stressed that increasingly complex networks call for more sophisticated and more expensive testing environments to support the coexistence of a diverse range of information and communication technology (ICT) applications and services.