Ericsson – a Global IETF Host

Ericsson has become a part of the Global Host program of the Internet Engineering Task Force, IETF. This further strengthens our engagement in the IETF, one of our efforts to provide interoperable and secure Internet technologies to the Internet community.

Head of Implementation Components, CTO office

Head of Implementation Components, CTO office

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Do you know what the IETF does and why it’s important?

The mission of the IETF is to make the Internet work better by producing high quality, relevant technical documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet. In Ericsson, we call our vision for the future the Networked Society – where everything that can benefit from being connected will be connected. Many of the technologies needed to make our vision come true are developed in the IETF – so naturally we want to support them!

Technical work in the IETF is mostly conducted on mailing lists – technical decisions are always made or confirmed on the relevant mailing list. Face-to-face meetings, however, still remain an important aspect of the IETF. They take place three times a year and provide an environment for IETFers to discuss, interact, and, in summary, advance work at a faster pace. The Global IETF Host program aims to make sure the IETF will be able to continue meeting face to face in the future.

In addition to the three main IETF meetings, the IETF organizes several other smaller meetings, like interim meetings and workshops. Ericsson also regularly hosts and supports these types of meetings. For example, we hosted the IAB (Internet Architecture Board) workshop on IoT (Internet of Things) Semantic Interoperability at our offices in San Jose, California in March 2016.

But what about virtual meetings for this Internet core community? Yes, the IETF is looking into ways in which work can be advanced effectively without the need to meet face to face, or require fewer face-to-face meetings. How to support both remote and face-to-face participation in any given meeting is also being studied. When it comes to remote participation, the Meetecho team (from University of Napoli Federico II in Italy) is doing a fantastic job in this area. Thanks to them, today it is much easier for remote participants to follow discussions, make presentations, and even chair meetings.

We in Ericsson follow these efforts with interest and will support the IETF also beyond hosting face-to-face meetings – in ways that are suitable to whatever new working styles are agreed on by the Internet community. Obviously, facilitating inter-personal communications is a very important part of Ericsson. We will also continue working with the Internet Society (ISOC) on finding the best ways to help the Internet community.

We see the IETF as a key forum in a larger ecosystem, which also includes other SDOs (Standards Development Organizations), open source communities, industry fora, etc. IETF technologies are used together with technologies developed elsewhere to eventually provide Internet users with useful and innovative services and applications. For instance, the Internet of Things (IoT), a core piece of the Networked Society, is an area where the IETF plays an important role within a larger ecosystem. Other organizations, such as the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), the IP Smart Object (IPSO) alliance, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) are also developing specifications and implementations that are sometimes complementary and sometimes compete with the IETF technologies in the area. Our engagement in the IETF is, therefore, one out of many efforts by Ericsson to provide interoperable and secure Internet technologies to the Internet community.

It was during the plenary meeting of the 95th IETF meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in April that we announced our intention to support the IETF in the long term, as part of the Global IETF Host program. Ericsson already hosted the 90th IETF meeting in Toronto (Canada) in July 2014. By becoming a Global IETF Host, Ericsson commits to hosting a number of IETF meetings during the next 10 years.

Read more about the IETF on their web.

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