Posted by Sabine Dahmen-Lhuissier 41635 Hits


Quantum Computing and the risk to security and privacy

The advent of large-scale quantum computing offers great promise to science and society, but brings with it a significant threat to our global information infrastructure. Public-key cryptography - widely used on the internet today - relies upon mathematical problems that are believed to be difficult to solve given the computational power available now and in the medium term.

However, popular cryptographic schemes based on these hard problems – including RSA and Elliptic Curve Cryptography – will be easily broken by a quantum computer. This will rapidly accelerate the obsolescence of our currently deployed security systems and will have dramatic impacts on any industry where information needs to be kept secure.

Quantum-safe cryptography refers to efforts to identify algorithms that are resistant to attacks by both classical and quantum computers, to keep information assets secure even after a large-scale quantum computer has been built.

What is at risk?

Without quantum-safe cryptography and security, all information that is transmitted on public channels now – or in the future – is vulnerable to eavesdropping. Even encrypted data that is safe against current adversaries can be stored for later decryption once a practical quantum computer becomes available. At the same time it will be no longer possible to guarantee the integrity and authenticity of transmitted information, as tampered data will go undetected. From business, ethical, and legal perspectives, this would violate the regulatory requirements for data privacy and security that are in existence today.

Our Role & Activities

Cryptanalysis and the standardization of cryptographic algorithms require significant time and effort for their security to be trusted by governments and industry. ETSI is taking a proactive approach to define the standards that will secure our information in the face of technological advance.

Quantum-safe cryptography and security is essential for:

Protecting government and military communications Securing financial and banking transactions Assuring the confidentiality of medical data and healthcare records Safeguarding the storage of personal data in the cloud Restricting access to confidential corporate networks ETSI Quantum-Safe Cryptography (QSC) working group

The ISG QSC has been closed early 2017 and the work has been transferred to ETSI TC Cyber WG QSC.

The ETSI Quantum-Safe Cryptography (QSC) ISG aimed to assess and make recommendations for quantum-safe cryptographic primitives and protocols, taking into consideration both the current state of academic cryptology and quantum algorithm research, as well as industrial requirements for real-world deployment. ETSI QSC ISG seeked to standardize the relevant algorithms, primitives, and risk management practices as needed to seamlessly preserve our global information security infrastructure.

This group considered the security properties of the proposed algorithms and protocols along with practical considerations, such as extensible security architectures and technology switching costs, which allow these recommendations to support a variety of industrial use cases. We aimed to make pragmatic comparisons and concrete characterisations and recommendations to assist the global technology community to select and deploy the best available quantum-safe alternatives.


A list of related specifications in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search.

Posted by Sabine Dahmen-Lhuissier 210666 Hits


Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) offers application developers and content providers cloud-computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of the network. This environment is characterized by ultra-low latency and high bandwidth as well as real-time access to radio network information that can be leveraged by applications.

MEC provides a new ecosystem and value chain. Operators can open their Radio Access Network (RAN) edge to authorized third-parties, allowing them to flexibly and rapidly deploy innovative applications and services towards mobile subscribers, enterprises and vertical segments.

Strategic relevance of MEC

MEC is a natural development in the evolution of mobile base stations and the convergence of IT and telecommunications networking. Multi-access Edge Computing will enable new vertical business segments and services for consumers and enterprise customers. Use cases include:

video analytics location services Internet-of-Things (IoT) augmented reality optimized local content distribution and data caching

It uniquely allows software applications to tap into local content and real-time information about local-access network conditions. By deploying various services and caching content at the network edge, Mobile core networks are alleviated of further congestion and can efficiently serve local purposes.

MEC industry standards and deployment of MEC platforms will act as enablers for new revenue streams to operators, vendors and third-parties. Differentiation will be enabled through the unique applications deployed in the Edge Cloud.

Our Role & Activities

The Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) initiative is an Industry Specification Group (ISG) within ETSI. The purpose of the ISG is to create a standardized, open environment which will allow the efficient and seamless integration of applications from vendors, service providers, and third-parties across multi-vendor Multi-access Edge Computing platforms.

The initiative aims to benefit a number of entities within the value chain, including mobile operators, application developers, Over the Top (OTT) players, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), telecom equipment vendors, IT platform vendors, system integrators, and technology providers; all of these parties are interested in delivering services based on Multi-access Edge Computing concepts.

The work of the MEC initiative aims to unite the telco and IT-cloud worlds, providing IT and cloud-computing capabilities within the RAN (Radio Access Network). The MEC ISG specifies the elements that are required to enable applications to be hosted in a multi-vendor multi-access edge computing environment.

MEC also enables applications and services to be hosted ‘on top’ of the mobile network elements, i.e. above the network layer. These applications and services can benefit from being in close proximity to the customer and from receiving local radio-network contextual information. The work of the ISG includes development of normative specifications, as well as informative reports, white papers, SW implementation of the standardized APIs and testing and compliance framework. The ISG also actively work to help enable and promote the MEC ecosystem by hosting Proof-of-Concept (PoC) and MEC Deployment Trial (MDT) environments as well as supporting and running Hackathons.

Call for active participation

The various players in the value chain are invited to actively participate in the ISG and to contribute to the development of the specifications based on industry consensus. This is important, since it will ensure that the stakeholders are represented in this newly emerging ecosystem. The participants are encouraged to share best practices and demonstrate Proofs of Concepts (PoCs) together with the benefits of the MEC use cases.

Upcoming meetings

MEC F2F#5: 23-27 March 2020, TBD
MEC#22: 1-5 June 2020, ETSI, Sophia Antipolis, France
MEC#23: 21-25 September 2020, TBD
MEC F2F#6: 2-6 November 2020, TBD
MEC#24: 8-11 December 2020, KDDI Tokyo, Japan


A full list of related specifications in the public domain is accessible via the MEC committee page.


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Founded in November 2012 by seven of the world's leading telecoms network operators, ETSI ISG NFV became the home of the definition and consolidation for Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) technologies.

Almost seven years and over 100 publications later, the ISG NFV community has evolved through several phases, its publications have moved from pre-standardization studies to detailed specifications (see Release 2 and Release 3) and the early Proof of Concepts (PoCs) efforts have evolved and led to interoperability events (NFV Plugtests). This large community is still working intensely to develop the required standards for NFV as well as sharing their experiences of NFV implementation and testing.

ISG NFV, like any other ETSI Industry Specification Group is open to ETSI members and non-members alike, with different conditions depending on ETSI membership status. If you would like to participate in this work, please contact the NFV support team.

Building the Software-Defined Network

Modern telecoms networks contain an ever-increasing variety of proprietary hardware. The launch of new services often demands network reconfiguration and on-site installation of new equipment which in turn requires additional floor space, power, and trained maintenance staff.

In a digital world, the innovation cycles accelerate and require greater flexibility and dynamism than hardware-based appliances allow. Hard-wired network with single functions boxes is tedious to maintain, slow to evolve, and prevent service providers from offering dynamic services.

In the same way that applications are supported by dynamically configurable and fully automated cloud environments, virtualized network functions allow networks to be agile and capable to respond automatically to the needs of the traffic and services running over it.

Key enabling technologies for this vision include SDN (Software Defined Networking) and NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation). SDN and NFV are complementary but increasingly co-dependent. While the former provides the means to dynamically control the network and the provisioning of networks as a service, the latter offers the capability to manage and orchestrate the virtualization of resources for the provisioning of network functions and their composition into higher-layer network services.

Our Role & Activities


ETSI ISG NFV undertakes work in 2-year phases.

Documents published during the first phase (2013-2014) were considered as pre-normative studies and are sometimes referred to as “Release 1” (though at the time of publication there was no release plan in place).

After the first 2-year ‘Phase’, the ISG NFV community, which reached an attendance peak in 2014, decided to develop normative specifications with a higher degree of formalisation. The specification of features and capabilities in releases was started. Subsequent tranches were referenced as ‘Release 2’, ‘Release 3’, etc. Release 2 development of architecture, interfaces and information model aspects ended in Q3 2016 when work on Release 3 started.

Going forward, the ISG NFV continues to develop new specifications that meet the needs of the industry and maintains its already published documents in order to ensure that the specifications are properly referenced by all industry stakeholders, not only by service providers or network equipment vendors, but also other implementers such as open source communities. Progress in the industry is continuously monitored, including feedback from implementation and the identification of gaps to be addressed.

2019-2020: NFV Release 4

NFV Release 4 specification work has been formally launched in summer 2019. While the specific new work items are under progress, some key areas of focus for the future NFV Release 4 have been identified and include:

NFVI evolution, focusing on enhancements to support lightweight virtualization technologies, optimizing NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) abstraction for reducing the coupling of VNFs to infrastructure, and optimizing networking integration into the infrastructure fabric to ease the connectivity for Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) and Network Services (NSes) Enhancing NFV automation and capabilities, covering aspects such as: improving life-cycle management and orchestration, the simplification of VNF and NS management aspects leveraging virtualization, and handling advances in autonomous networking Evolving the NFV-MANO (Management and Orchestration) framework, focusing primarily on optimizing internal NFV-MANO capability exposure and usage Accompanying operationalization aspects which include: the simplification of NFV to ease development and deployment of sustainable NFV based solutions, verification (and certification) procedures and mechanisms, and operationalization, integration and use of NFV with other management and network frameworks

In addition to the above technical areas, several security hardening aspects of NFV and other small specific technical enhancements necessary to maximize the impact of virtualization and future NFV deployments are also expected to be part of the work programme.

Further details will be made available once the work plan and most recent work items become more stable.

2017-2018: NFV Release 3

NFV Release 3 has focused on enriching the NFV Architectural Framework to make NFV “ready” for global deployment and operations. The feature collection period to build Release 3 in 2017 led to a set of 22 new features. By summer 2019, 10 features had been completed, and 2 features had been partly completed to the level of specifying architecture, interfaces and information model. Some features have been closed, and some key others are being carried over to Release 4.

The set of features for Release 3 can be categorized into three main areas:

Support for the latest network technologies, such as edge computing and network slicing New operational aspects, such as multiple administrative domains, policy framework, etc. Advances in virtualization, such as cloud native VNFs, acceleration technologies, etc.

The "Release 3 Definition" document identifies the features and the associated work items that are addressed by the ISG NFV as part of Release 3. Furthermore, a "Release 3 Description" provides the list of features that have been completed so far, the relevant technical scope that has been specified, and the corresponding group reports and specifications that have been either updated or newly documented as part of the Release 3 feature work.

The specification work of architecture, interfaces and information model was completed during summer 2019. Below is the set of completed features that Release 3 brings on top of the features and capabilities that had been already specified in Release 2:

Interfaces for hardware-independent acceleration Interfaces for network acceleration for VNF Requirements for hypervisor-based virtualisation Requirements for the hardware environment in NFV Management of NFV-MANO functional entities VNF snapshotting Policy management framework NFV-MANO administrative domains Host reservation Management and connectivity of multi-site network services Network slicing in NFV VNF software modification NFVI software modification Service availability level Secure sensitive components in NFV framework Security management and monitoring for NFV

The specification of protocols and data models is under way, with expected enhancements to be implemented in the testing specifications soon after completing the solutions work.

More information about the features is available in the "Release 3 Description" document.

2015-2016: NFV Release 2

The need to produce normative specifications to enable end-to-end interworking of equipment and services formed a fundamental part of this phase.

The ISG NFV decided to group most of its normative work into 'NFV Release 2'. Many other reports were also produced, so the Release 2 documentation became a subset of the actual work during the 2015-2016 phase. The work covered the common specification stages of requirements, architecture, interfaces, and information models and protocols all the way through to the specification of test cases and suites.

Release 2 was defined by selecting and prioritizing a set of key capabilities for making NFV deployable at scale yet ensuring the interoperability of NFV solutions used therein.

The main technical focus of Release 2 covered the specification of models and interfaces concerning diverse capabilities (as listed below) for the interoperability across the NFV-MANO functional blocks (VIM, VNFM and NFVO) and towards external systems, according to the reference points specified in the NFV Architectural Framework.

The set of capabilities specified in Release 2 comprises:

Management aspects concerning virtualized resources, including information, provisioning, reservation, capacity, performance and fault management. This scope of management concerns to the functionality produced by the VIM and exposed over the Or-Vi and Vi-Vnfm reference points Lifecycle management, fault, configuration and performance management of VNFs. This management functionality is offered by the VNFM as a producer entity and exposed over the Or-Vnfm and Ve-Vnfm reference points Lifecycle management, fault and performance management of Network Services. This functionality is produced by the NFVO and exposed over the Os-Ma-nfvo reference point Performance metrics associated to virtualised resources, VNF and NS VNF Package management, which is produced by the NFVO and exposed over the Or-Vnfm and Os-Ma-nfvo reference points Software image management VNF information modelling, including the VNF Descriptor and VNF Packaging NS information modelling, which covers the NS Descriptor, VNF Forwarding Graphs and PNF Descriptors Hardware-independent acceleration

The ISG NFV documentation of requirements, interfaces and architecture, which mostly uses the acronym NFV-IFA (standing for “NFV Interfaces and Architecture”) is distributed as follows:

NFV-IFA010 specifies the functional requirements of NFV-MANO and its functional blocks covering the set of capabilities listed above NFV-IFA005, NFV-IFA006, NFV-IFA007, NFV-IFA008, NFV-IFA013 specify the requirements and interfaces covering the functionalities listed above, considering the scope of functionality of the respective producer NFV-MANO functional blocks and the reference points NFV-IFA027 specifies the performance metrics regarding virtualised resources, VNF and NS NFV-IFA002, NFV-IFA003 and NFV-IFA004 specify aspects related to hardware-independent acceleration NFV-IFA011 and NFV-IFA014 specify requirements and information modelling of NFV descriptors and artefacts, such as the VNFD, VNF Packaging and NSD. NFV-IFA015, NFV-IFA016 and NFV-IFA017 consolidate the UML information modelling and the associated modelling guidelines of information elements that have been developed in other reference points specifications (see above). Touchpoints in between the NFV IM and external organization’s information models are documented in NFV-IFA024

In terms of protocols and data models specifications, which use the acronym NFV-SOL (standing for “NFV Solutions”), REST-based APIs have been specified covering the functionalities of the interfaces specified on the reference points Os-Ma-nfvo (in between the OSS/BSS and NFVO) (refer to NFV-SOL005), Or-Vnfm (in between the NFVO and VNFM) (refer to NFV-SOL003), and Ve-Vnfm (in between the VNF/EM and VNFM) (refer to NFV-SOL002). As part of the security enhancements required for authorizing the access to the APIs, additional provisions have been specified (refer to NFV-SEC022), which is referred by the "Specification of common aspects for RESTful NFV-MANO APIs" (refer to NFV-SOL013).

For the NFV descriptors (such as VNFD and NSD), two data model solutions have been specified. The first leverages the “OASIS TOSCA Simple Profile in YAML” specification (refer to NFV-SOL001), and the second provides a YANG-based representation (refer to NFV-SOL006). And finally, in terms of other NFV artefacts, the VNF and PNF Packaging (NFV-SOL004) and NSD file structure specifications (NFV-SOL007) leverage the OASIS Cloud Service Archive (CSAR) format specification. For the case of the NFV artefacts, additional security enhancements are also specified, for the VNF Packaging (refer to NFV-SEC021).

As the final step in the specification process, relevant NFV-TST (standing for “NFV Testing”) specifications are the "Guidelines on Interoperability Testing for MANO" (NFV-TST007) and the "API Conformance Testing Specification" (NFV-TST010).

In addition to the documents listed above, ETSI NFV has produced many more specifications and reports on topics such as reliability (documents which use the acronym NFV-REL, standing for “NFV Reliability and Availability”), security (using the acronym NFV-SEC) and NFV evolution and its ecosystem (documents using the NFV-EVE, standing for “NFV Evolution and Ecosystem”), such as studies to address new use cases, interworking with other technologies, etc.

For an introduction to the Release 2 content and additional description about the capabilities that have been specified, see also the NFV Release 2 description document, available in the ISG NFV "Open" area.


The initial focus in the first two years of the ISG NFV was:

to drive convergence on network operator requirements for NFV to include applicable standards, where they already exist, into industry services and products to simultaneously develop new technical requirements with the goal of stimulating innovation and fostering an open ecosystem of vendors

The original vision outlined in the joint-operator white paper published in October 2012 was:

Defining requirements and architecture for the virtualization of network functions Addressing technical challenges of network virtualization, which included:  simple to operate, manage, and orchestrate (particularly alongside legacy management systems) high performing and portable virtualized network appliances co-existence with legacy hardware secured against attack and configuration errors stability of service and network during appliance load and relocation resilience to hardware and software failures

The first important milestone was the publication of the first five ETSI Group Specifications (GSs) documents in October 2013. Four of them were designed to align understanding about NFV across the industry. They covered NFV use cases (NFV 001), virtualization requirements (NFV 004), an architectural framework (NFV 002), and terminology (NFV 003). The fifth one defined a framework for co-ordinating and promoting public demonstrations of Proof of Concept (PoC) platforms illustrating key aspects of NFV (NFV-PER 002).

In 2014, the publication pace accelerated with the release of 11 other documents:

NFV-INF 001 V1.1.1 "Infrastructure Overview" NFV-INF 003 V1.1.1 "Infrastructure Compute Domain" NFV-INF 004 V1.1.1 "Infrastructure Hypervisor Domain" NFV-INF 005 V1.1.1 "Infrastructure Network Domain" NFV-INF 007 V1.1.1 "Meth. to desc. Interfaces and Abstractions" NFV-INF 010 V1.1.1 "NFV Service Quality Metrics" NFV-MAN 001 V1.1.1 "Management and Orchestration" NFV-REL 001 V1.1.1 "Resiliency Requirements" NFV-SEC 001 V1.1.1 "Security Problem Statement" NFV-SEC 003 V1.1.1 "Security and Trust Guidance" NFV-SWA 001 V1.1.1 "Virtual Network Function Architecture"

This first set of documents closed the first 2-year phase of ISG NFV. At that time the ETSI NFV community considered these documents as “pre-standardization” work. They helped the industry to build a culture and share a common understanding on the important concepts to master when working in network virtualization.

Although these documents were not developed with the formalism of standard specifications, they remain very valuable and constitute a large documentation basis for the reader.

Upcoming meetings

NFV#30: 11-15 May 2020, Palo Alto, USA
NFV#31: 14-18 September 2020, Sophia Antipolis, France
NFV#32: 30 Nov - 04 Dec 2020, China, city TBD


With over 100 NFV publications and over 50 draft specifications in progress it can be tricky to find a document. In order to assist you please find the following guidelines:

Search for publications by Working Group: TST, SOL, REL, IFA, EVE, SEC (including closed WGs: SWA, MAN, PER, INF).

Search for all ISG NFV publications.

Search for specifications within the NFV Architecture Framework:

Find publicly available NFV specifications via the NFV committee page, and subscribe for alerts on updates of specifications.

NFV specifications

Search for Drafts in progress via the ETSI Work Programme.

In addition to the published specifications, ISG NFV makes all of its drafts in progress publicly available for industry comment.


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Posted by Sabine Dahmen-Lhuissier 108009 Hits

NFV proposes a new approach to the implementation and operation of network functions, and may inspire the development and deployment of new types of network functions.

The open demonstration of NFV concepts in a Proof of Concept (PoC) helps to build industrial awareness and confidence in NFV as a viable technologyProofs of Concept also help to develop a diverse, open, NFV ecosystem. Results from PoCs may guide the work in the NFV ISG by providing feedback on interoperability and other technical challenges.

Whether by means of exhibits made at specific events, demonstrators running in laboratories, or even full temporary deployments on experimental networks, any given PoC not only impacts its immediate audience, but the cumulative set of PoCs also provides a measure of industry impact from these NFV concepts. 

PoC Framework

NFV ISG has developed an NFV PoC Framework to coordinate and promote multi-vendor Proofs of Concept illustrating key aspects of NFV ISG work.

The goal for the NFV ISG PoC Framework is to build awareness and confidence and to encourage the development of an open ecosystem by integrating components from different players.

The NFV ISG PoCs are scoped around NFV use cases and architectural framework. They feedback their findings and lessons learnt to the NFV ISG and help to progress the specification work.

In order to help the PoC projects to focus on the most relevant aspects, the NFV ISG maintains a list of Hot Topics for which specific feedback from the Proofs of Concept is requested.

The PoC Process Diagram illustrates the PoC process, roles and responsibilities.

The PoC Framework document describes the NFV PoC Framework and includes the templates for PoC Proposals and PoC Reports.

The NFV wiki contains all the latest information related to NFV PoC activity: PoC details, Hot Topics, templates, guidelines...

Dowload the NFV - Proof of Concept Technology Leaflet

CTI Support

The ETSI Center for Testing and Interoperability (CTI) has experience in supporting the organization of technology evaluations and interoperability events (in many ways similar to PoCs).

This experience may be useful to assist the PoC teams with test expertise, administration and project management support.

NFV ISG PoC Teams may request CTI assistance by contacting


The following NFV Proofs of Concept are developed according to the ETSI NFV ISG Proof of Concept Framework. NFV Proofs of Concept are intended to demonstrate NFV as a viable technology. Results are fed back to the NFV Industry Specification Group.

Neither ETSI, its NFV Industry Specification Group, nor their members make any endorsement of any product or implementation claiming to demonstrate or conform to NFV. No verification or test has been performed by ETSI on any part of these NFV Proofs of Concept.

NFV ISG PoC Projects PoC#1: CloudNFV Open NFV Framework PoC#2: Service Chaining for NW Functin Selection in Carrier Networks PoC#3: Virtual Function State Migration and Interoperability PoC#4: Multi-vendor Distributed NFV PoC#5: E2E vEPC Orchestration in a multi-vendor open NFVI environment PoC#6: Virtualised Mobile Network with Integrated DPI PoC#7: C-RAN virtualisation with dedicated hardware accelerator PoC#8: Automated Network Orchestration PoC#9: VNF Router Performance with DDoS Functionality PoC#10: NFV Ecosystem PoC#11: Multi-Vendor on-boarding of vIMS on a cloud management framework PoC#12: Demonstration of multi-location, scalable, stateful Virtual Network Function PoC#13: SteerFlow: Multi-Layered Traffic Steering for Gi-LAN PoC#14: ForCES Applicability for NFV and integrated SDN PoC#15: Subscriber Aware SGi/Gi-LAN Virtualization PoC#16: NFVIaaS with Secure, SDN-controlled WAN Gateway PoC#17: Operational Efficiency in NFV Capacity Planning, Provisioning and Billing PoC#18: VNF Router Performance with Hierarchical Quality of Service Functionality PoC#19: Service Acceleration of NW Functions in Carrier Networks PoC#20: Virality based content caching in NFV framework PoC#21: Network Intensive and Compute Intensive Hardware Acceleration PoC#22: Demonstration of High Reliability and Availability aspects in a Multivendor NFV Environment PoC#23: Demonstration E2E orchestration of virtualized LTE core-network functions and SDN-based dynamic service chaining of VNFs using VNF FG PoC#24: Constraint based Placement and Scheduling for NFV/Cloud Systems PoC#25: Demonstration of Virtual EPC (vEPC) Applications and Enhanced Resource Management PoC#26: Virtual EPC with SDN Function in Mobile Backhaul Networks PoC#27: VoLTE Service based on vEPC and vIMS Architecture PoC#28: SDN Controlled VNF Forwarding Graph PoC#29: Service orchestration for virtual CDN service over distributed cloud management platform PoC#30: LTE Virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) PoC#31: STB Virtualization in Carrier Networks PoC#32: Distributed Multi-domain Policy Management and Charging Control in a virtualised environment PoC#33: Scalable Service Chaining Technology for Flexible Use of Network Functions PoC#34: SDN Enabled Virtual EPC Gateway PoC#35: Availability Management with Stateful Fault Tolerance PoC#36: Active Video Monitoring in an L3VPN PoC#37: Demonstration high availability vEPC and SDN controlled Service Chain PoC#38: Full ISO 7-layer stack fulfilment, activation and orchestration of VNFs in carrier networks PoC#39: Virtualised service assurance management in vGi-LAN PoC#40: VNFaaS with end-to-end full service orchestration PoC#41: Network Function Acceleration with resource orchestration PoC#42: Mapping ETSI-NFV onto Multi-Vendor, Multi-Domain Transport SDN PoC#43: Toward an efficient dataplane processing

More details about NFV ISG PoC projects and PoC Framework on the NFVwiki.


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A Smart Grid is an electricity network that can cost efficiently integrate the behaviour and actions of all users connected to it – generators, consumers and those that do both – in order to ensure economically efficient, sustainable power system with low losses and high levels of quality and security of supply and safety.
Though elements of smartness also exist in many parts of existing grids, the difference between a today's grid and a smart grid of the future is mainly the grid's capability to handle more complexity than today in an efficient and effective way.

Standardization request M/490 on Smart Grids

The CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Smart Energy Grid Coordination Group (CG-SEG) is the focal point and continue to cooperate with EC Smart Grids Task Force (EC SGTF) that include Experts Groups:

Expert Group 1 – Smart grid standards
Expert Group 2 – Regulatory recommendations for privacy, data protection and cyber-security in the smart grid environment
Expert Group 3 – Regulatory recommendations for smart grid deployment
Expert Group 4 – Smart grid infrastructure deployment
Expert Group 5 – Implementation of smart grid industrial policy

Our Role & Activities

Our Smart Machine-to-Machine communications Technical Committee (TC SmartM2M) actively supports the oneM2M global initiative, especially in relation to European Commission (EC) driven activities, bridging the EC’s needs in the M2M/IoT area and the technical work in oneM2M and other ETSI activities.

TC SmartM2M focus is on an application-independent ‘horizontal’ service platform with architecture capable of supporting a very wide range of services including Smart Metering, Smart Grids, eHealth, city automation (Smart Cities), consumer applications, car automation and smart appliances.

Smart Appliances have been specified on request of EC DG Connect. The Smart Appliances specifications are based on the oneM2M communication framework complemented with Smart Appliance REFerence (SAREF) ontology. SAREF work has contributed to the foundations of the base ontology of oneM2M Release 2.

TC SmartM2M developed Smart Appliances' Reference Ontology and oneM2M Mapping standards and Smart Appliance testing standards. For Smart Appliances SAREF extension investigation in the energy domain, direct inputs from EEBus and Energy@home have been included in TC SmartM2M developments where Energy, Environment and Building sectors are now part of normative work.

CG-SEG lead and other ETSI Groups involved in Smart Grids

ETSI Smart Machine-to-Machine communications Technical Committee (TC SmartM2M) has been named by the ETSI Operational Coordination Group (OCG) as the lead ETSI Technical Body/TB for the coordination of ETSI's responses to the EC standardization request on Smart Grids (M/490) and is now the main ETSI entry point of ETSI participation in CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Smart Energy Grid Coordination Group (CG-SEG) with other ETSI TBs that indicated their interest to respond to the standardization request M490 on smart grids and to take part in CG-SEG:


The ISG OSG (Open Smart Grid Protocol) - now closed - has contributed to the work on Smart Grids in ETSI.

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Cordless audio devices are widely used in the entertainment industry - they include such items as professional radio microphones, cordless audio distribution, foldback and talkback systems. They also include low-cost licence-exempt consumer radio microphones, audio systems used by tour guides, and aids for handicapped people.

Devices such as radio microphones are small and highly mobile. Since the professional versions tend to be moved to different parts of the world, they need to meet local regulations, and the best way to achieve this is for them to be specified at a world-wide level.

The Global Standards Collaboration (GSC), of which ETSI is a partner, has studied requirements for radio microphones and cordless audio equipment in standards organizations throughout the world and adopted a report including globally-acceptable specifications for these products. Participating Standards Organizations were requested to transpose these specifications into their own deliverables. ETSI has done this by adapting the existing standards to align them with the decisions of GSC.

Responding to market needs

Another example of ETSI's work in this area concerns cordless audio devices using VHF Band II. A number of devices (e.g. portable music players) have been developed which contain a very low-power FM broadcast transmitter to send music to a user's radio receiver on an unused channel - typically, this would permit a user to play their MP3 player through their car radio. However, current legislation does not allow the operation of such equipment in European countries, but ETSI has been working with CEPT to develop a standard to allow such operation without causing harmful interference to licensed broadcast services. This has now been incorporated into the relevant standard, EN 301 357 (cordless audio devices).

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As a legally sanctioned official access to private communications, Lawful Interception (LI) is a security process in which a service provider or network operator collects and provides law enforcement officials with intercepted communications of private individuals or organizations.

LI implementation is required by the European Council Resolution from 19951 which allows for LI to prevent crime, including fraud and terrorism.

The ETSI specifications are now in use globally in a large number of countries that require the Lawful Interception of telecommunications, and well as the Retained Data (RD) functionality.

1. Official Journal C 329, 04/11/1996 p. 0001 - 0006 Council Resolution of 17 January 1995 on the lawful interception of telecommunications.

Our Role & Activities

Bringing together the interests of governments and law enforcement agencies (LEAs) as well as mobile network operators and equipment vendors, our Lawful Interception committee (TC LI) develops standards supporting international requirements for LEAs, including the interception and retention of electronic communications data sent over public communication services. We cover the whole spectrum of interception aspects working closely with other ETSI committees and with the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPPTM).

At the core of a ALL IP current and future networks is the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) which provides an access independent platform for a variety of access technologies. IMS is being developed in 3GPPs Service and System Aspects Group, with the handover interface for lawful interception being developed in TC LI.

TC LI activities include work on Retained Data (RD) and the committee published specifications on requirements and on the Retained Data Handover Interface.

TC LI regularly updates its suite of standards by adding needed functionalities to the LI and RD specifications.

In recent years work has been extended to ensure strong collaboration with our group working on Cybersecurity, and that the LI and RD functions are performed in the context of cloud services, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC).


A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the LI committee page.

We collect sources of information on Certification Authorities (CAs) and other Trust Service Providers (TSPs) in Europe, including:

CAs issuing Qualified Certificates meeting requirements of Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 CAs issuing Web Site certificates meeting requirements of the CA/Browser Forum documents Other Trust services including time-stamping and CAs issuing certificates other than qualified certificates

See more detailed information concerning the following items on the ETSI Member Portal:

current and upcoming ETSI Standards trusted lists and other nationally maintained information qualified certificates Audit Bodies that audit conformance of implementations of ETSI Standards

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An electronic (digital) signature is essentially the equivalent of a hand-written signature, with data in electronic form being attached to other electronic subject data (Invoice, Payment slip, Contract, etc.) as a means of authentication.

An electronic seal ensures origin and integrity of data.

Both electronic (digital) signatures and electronic seals can be supported technically by digital signatures which are data appended to, or a cryptographic transformation of a data unit that allows a recipient of the data unit to prove the source and integrity of the data unit and protect against forgery e.g. by the recipient.

With the Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC, electronic signatures and electronic seals have legal effect. The regulation applies since 1 July 2016.

Our Role & Activities

ETSI activity on digital signatures is coordinated by technical committee Electronic Signatures and Infrastructures (ESI).

ETSI ESI is the committee dealing with digital signatures (signature format, certificates), trust service providers and ancillary services (Registered email, Registered e-delivery, Time-Stamping, Long-term data preservation).

Their activity covers signature creation and verification based on CAdES (CMS digital signatures), XAdES (XML digital Signatures), PAdES (PDF digital Signatures), and ASiC (Associated Signature Container). ESI also deals with cryptographic suites recommendations, trust service providers supporting signatures (e.g. certification authorities, time-stamping authorities) and/or providing remote signature creation or validation functions, trust application providers (e.g. registered e-delivery providers, Registered Emails (REM) providers, Information preservation providers), and Trust-service Status List (TSL). TSL, and its EU specific version called Trusted Lists, is defined to enhance the confidence of parties relying on certificates or other services related to digital signatures since they have access to information that will allow them to know whether a given Trust Service Provider was operating under the approval of any recognized scheme at the time of providing their services and of any dependent transaction that took place.

In order to prove interoperability of implementations and enhance standards robustness, ETSI is running regular CAdES/XAdES/PAdES PlugtestsTM events. ETSI also organizes Plugtests events on signature validation.

Latest ESI activities on the ETSI Member Portal.


A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ESI committee page.

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An encryption algorithm is a mathematical procedure used to encrypt data. Through the use of an algorithm and a key, information is encoded into cipher text and requires the use of a 'key' to transform the data back into its original form.

Algorithms are an essential part of a technology to ensure effective and secure authentication, as well as to provide integrity and encryption. ETSI creates cryptographic algorithms and protocols specific to fraud prevention, unauthorized access to public and private telecommunications networks and user data privacy.

ETSI is custodian of these algorithms, as well as algorithms produced by other organizations. We are also custodians of other codes and test suites.

Our Role & Activities

ETSI Security Algorithms Group of Experts (SAGE) provides standards makers with cryptographic algorithms and protocols specific to fraud prevention, unauthorized access to public and private telecommunications networks and user data privacy.

The group's output includes algorithms for audiovisual services, 3GPPTM, DECTTM, GSMTM, TETRA, GPRS and Universal Personal Telecommunications (UPT). Where appropriate, the group collaborates with other ETSI committees and with other organizations in order to ensure that the algorithms produced fully meet the needs of the technologies and services in which they are used.

Mobile communications

For example, working with the 3GPP Organizational Partners, SAGE has produced the A5/3 encryption algorithms for GSM and EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution), and the GEA3 algorithm for the General Packet Radio Service, GPRS.

SAGE is also responsible for the specification of the Milenage algorithm set, an example algorithm set for the 3GPP authentication and key generation functions.

SAGE has also developed security algorithms for the UMTS radio interface (UTRA) in collaboration with the 3GPP™ Organizational Partners.

Whilst the algorithms are considered to be extremely robust, there is always a need to have alternative solutions ready should a breach of security ever occur. For this reason, SAGE has produced an alternative set of security algorithms for UTRA and keeps working on new algorithms to anticipate future security needs.

ETSI's custodian role

Implementation of the various algorithms is generally subject to a license which restricts their utilization to the telecommunications equipment or service for which they have been designed.

ETSI acts as a custodian for the algorithms developed by SAGE, as well as other codes and algorithms, and is responsible for the distribution and licensing of confidential information and documents.