ETSI: an overview on the information and communication technologies standards

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is an independent, not-for-profit, world-leading standards developing organization for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) which was founded in 1988 by CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations). Its headquarters are based in Sophia-Antipolis, France.

Initially, ETSI was intended to be officially responsible for standardization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) within Europe and, as such, it is officially recognized by the European Commission and the EFTA secretariat. Over the years, ETSI was acknowledged to be a competent producer of standards suitable for worldwide use. ETSI counts today over 800 members from 68 countries, all EU Members States are represented.

The members of ETSI include manufacturers, network operators, national administrations, ministries, research bodies, service providers and user organizations: a powerful mix of resources, know-hows and skills.

They are mostly represented by young experts and more than 30% of ETSI’s members are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) eager to be involved in such cutting edge technologies.

ETSI produces a range of specifications, standards, reports and guides, each with its own particular purpose. Collectively they are all called standards or ‘deliverables’.

ETSI publishes between 2.000 and 2.500 documents every year. Since its establishment, it produced almost 40.000 documents, among which there are over 3.000 Technical Reports, about 5.000 EN standards and some 30.000 Technical Specifications. These include also the standards that enable key global technologies such as GSM cell phone system, 3G, 4G and DECT, only to name the well-known ones.

All Technical Committees, Working and Industry Specification Groups (ISGs) are accessible via the ETSI Portal. Also, all published standards are available for free download from the same portal.

From the ETSI portal, it is possible to collect the list of the various deliverables as listed below. The development, distribution and approval, is mainly done through web-conferences and often summarized in dedicated webinars and workshops; these procedures are extraordinarily efficient and fast, as necessary for documents related to technologies that develop extremely quickly.

  • European Standard (EN) – Used when the document is intended to meet needs specific to Europe and requires transposition into national standards, or when the drafting of the document is required under a mandate from the European Commission (EC)/European Free Trade Association (EFTA). An EN is drafted by a Technical Committee and approved by a European Standards Organizations (ESOs).
  • ETSI Standard (ES) – Used when the document contains technical requirements. An ES is submitted to the whole ETSI membership for approval.
  • ETSI Guide (EG) – Used for guidance to ETSI in general on the handling of specific technical standardization activities. It is submitted to the whole ETSI membership for approval.
  • ETSI Technical Specification (TS) – Used when the document contains technical requirements and it is important that it is available for use quickly. A TS is approved by the Technical Committee that drafted it.
  • ETSI Technical Report (TR) – Used when the document contains explanatory material. A TR is approved by the Technical Committee that drafted it.
  • ETSI Special Report (SR) – Used for various purposes, including to make information publicly available for reference. An SR is approved by the Technical Committee which produced it.
  • ETSI Group Report (GR) –  An ETSI deliverable, containing only informative elements, approved for publication by an Industry Specification Group.
  • ETSI Group Specification (GS) – Provides technical requirements or explanatory material or both. Produced and approved within the Industry Specification Groups (ISGs).

The most important ETSI Technical Committees and Industry Specification Groups (ISGs) include SmartM2M (for machine-to-machine communications), Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), Electronic Signatures and Infrastructures (ESI), Cyber Security (CS), etc.

ETSI is member ofoneM2M” a global organization that creates requirements, architecture, Application Programming Interface (API) specifications, security solutions and interoperability for Machine-to-Machine and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies. The “oneM2M” specifications provide a framework to support a wide range of applications and services such as smart cities, smart grid, connected car, home automation, public safety and health.

The speed at which all these interconnections grow in volume, capabilities, speed, efficiency and importance lead also part of the lift industry to evaluate the opportunity to help implementing some of those technologies: to improve the efficiency and reliability of the related services, so as to keep the pace of most other activities related to the management of the buildings’ resources.

This lead also to the decision to initiate a cooperation with the most suitable ETSI Technical Committee, the Smart M2M, in order to contribute to the preparation of Technical Reports and Technical Specifications to suit the identification and definition of clever standard requirements for the handling of communications between each single lift and a related data management centre. This with the aim to achieve the optimization of the resources and the improvement of the services provided to customers and users, including also the ever growing surrounding network of interconnected smart objects in the IoT (Internet of Things) environment, with all the related advantages for the whole community.

EFESME is currently at the very beginning of such cooperation. We plan to keep all those interested in such development duly and timely informed about the various preliminary plans and the relevant progressing steps towards the final objective of this, hopefully, success story of cutting edge

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