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Welcome to the World of Standards
Standardization has a major impact on our lives, yet most people know little about the process or about the standards themselves.
Standards make products and services more convenient to use and provide greater choice for consumers. They play a significant role by providing a clear framework for developers who wish to make their products and services accessible to all. And standards assist regulators in specifying the acceptable technical options for a particular territory or application.
ETSI is a world-leader in developing standards for Information and Communication Technologies, known as ICT. Founded initially to serve European needs, we have become highly-respected worldwide.
With over 700 Members from over 60 countries, ETSI is truly global, providing technical specifications and standards, support to industry and regulation and expertise in specification and testing.
ETSI members include manufacturers, network operators, service and content providers, national administrations, ministries, universities, research bodies, consultancies and user organizations. Nearly a third of our members are small businesses.
Above all, ETSI is totally independent and respected for its neutrality and its world-leading intellectual property rights policy.
ETSI works in many technical areas and has adopted a cluster concept to facilitate access to its activities based on business relevance or applications domains. Each cluster represents a major component of a global ICT architecture and encapsulates the work of a number of Technical Committees and associated Working Groups that share a common technological scope and vision.
I am currently seeing what I call a “new merger”. It seems to me that traditional ICT industry players are coming into the “web business” - such as hardware suppliers moving into web applications - and the web industry is going into the ICT business, for example Internet companies are offering mobile phones or IP telephony. For me it’s clear that the strategies for standardization in these two fields are quite different –formal versus open - and that we have to position ETSI in this new “merging market”. For example we are seeing research results impacting the “Internet of the future” – as in the case of Machine–to-Machine applications.
In ETSI we consider machine-to-machine communications as the automated exchange of data without - or with only a very limited - human intervention. As the name implies, the communication is between machines in the widest sense, including both physical and virtual machines, such as software applications. One of the best known examples of an M2M application is Smart Metering and the related domain of energy and smart grids. Smart grids involves the transfer of data between many millions of communicating meters for electricity, gas, water and heat and these are being deployed at the moment across Europe and globally. ETSI is actively working on the smart metering and smart grid mandates from the European Commission.
M2M related technologies are firmly in place and M2M applications already demonstrate massive potential for growth. Providing globally compatible standards for an open market is vital if this technology is to reach its true potential. ETSI is perfectly placed to meet this challenge.
There is also a clear trend that, in many “vertical” industries, ICT is an extremely important enabler with a big influence on future competitiveness. Examples include intelligent transport systems, smart grid applications, aeronautical technology and e-health. Moreover, the whole broadcasting industry is in a process of change, with IPTV in particular developing rapidly. In ETSI we are actively addressing these trends. Standardization in ETSI is very efficient in terms of speed and cost, and helps industry to reduce its involvement in too many standards organizations, fora and consortia.
The GSM mobile system was initially a European activity that blossomed in to a huge international success. In 1998, 3GPP, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, was created to build on the international success of GSM and to prepare future mobile technologies. In order to maintain the international impetus of these developments, the project deliberately included partners from Japan, North America, Korea and China, with ETSI as the European founding partner.
3GPP brings together six standardization bodies and many other industry groupings from around the world to ensure that as the GSM standard evolves, it does so in an international manner and one which is not bound by European or other regional borders. LTE, the next generation mobile technology, is a major success story for ETSI Members and will become the technology of choice for all the world’s mobile operators for many years to come.
The importance of standards to industry and governments continues to grow. We now have over 27,000 standards and reports which can be downloaded free of charge from our website. Our working methods are designed to minimize cost and maximize efficiency. By joining ETSI you will become a partner in the development of world class ICT standards.