This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (December 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
ETSI stands for European Telecommunications Standards Institute. ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit, standardization organization in the information and communications technology industry fulfilling European and global market needs. It is based in Sophia-Antipolis, France. ETSI supports the development and testing of globally applicable technical standards for ICT-enabled systems, applications and services that are widely deployed across all sectors of industry and society.
ETSI was set up in 1988 by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) in response to proposals from the European Commission. ETSI is the regional body officially responsible for the standardization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). It is one of only three bodies (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI) officially recognized by the EU as a European Standards Organization (ESO) to support EU regulation and policies through the creation of Harmonised European Standards. Only standards developed by ESOs are recognized as European Standards (ENs).
ETSI’s activities in ICT standardization is organized around sectors: Home & Office, Better Living with ICT, Content Delivery, Networks, Wireless Systems, Transportation, Connecting Things, Interoperability, Public Safety and Security. Each sector represents a major component of a global ICT architecture and covers the work of ETSI technical committees and working groups around a number of technologies.
Standardization work is carried out in different technical groups: Technical Committee (TC), ETSI Project (EP), ETSI Partnership Project (EPP), Industry Specification Group (ISG), Special Committee (SC) and Specialist Task Force (STF)
Significant technologies standardized in ETSI include SmartM2M (for machine-to-machine communications), Intelligent Transport Systems, Network Functions Virtualisation, Cyber Security, Electronic Signatures and Infrastructures, Quantum-Safe Cryptography, 5G, edge computing, distributed ledger, non-IP networking etc.
The list of all ETSI technical committees, working and industry specification groups are accessible via the website.
ETSI has more than 900 member organizations worldwide, drawn from 65 countries and five continents. Its diverse community includes all the key players in the ICT sector: private companies, research entities, academia, government and public bodies as well as societal stakeholders. More than a quarter of ETSI's members are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).The list of current members can be found on the ETSI website.
ETSI has different types of membership:
· Members (established in a country within the CEPT area) and associate members
(established in a country outside the CEPT area)
· Not-for-profit user associations, universities, public research bodies and Micro-Enterprises
· Governmental organizations
Membership contributions are calculated depending on the type of membership. Members' and associate members' contributions are calculated by class which is derived from the member company's annual ECRT band.
ETSI works closely with the European Commission (EC) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). As a European Standardization Organization (ESO), ETSI provides world class standards and specifications to support European Union (EU) legislation and public policies. ETSI also works with European country's national standards body or ‘National Standards Organization’ (NSO). Many of them are members of ETSI.
In the approval of European Standards (ENs), the NSOs have the exclusive responsibility for ensuring the transposition of ENs into national standards and ensuring withdrawal of any conflicting national standard
Co-operation reduces fragmentation in standardisation and is a key factor when dealing with the convergence of technologies so ETSI has built up a portfolio of over 100 active partnership agreements with fora, consortia and international and regional Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) around the world.
ETSI is a founding partner of two major international partnership projects, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for 4G and 5G mobile communication and oneM2M that develops standards for IoT communications.
The list of partnership agreements is available on the ETSI Member Portal.
ETSI deliverable types
Available to all, ETSI standards are freely accessible from the ETSI website. Over 1 800 standards are published annually and over 48 500 standards have been published in total.
ETSI produces specifications, standards, reports and guides, each with its own purpose.
European Standard, telecommunications series (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 an EC/EFTA mandate.
ETSI Standard (ES): Used when the document contains normative requirements and it is necessary to submit the document to the whole ETSI membership for approval.
ETSI Guide (EG): Used when the document contains guidance on handling of technical standardization activities, it is submitted to the whole ETSI membership for approval.
Special Report (SR): Used for various purposes, including giving public availability to information not produced within a technical committee. ETSI SRs are also used for "virtual" documents, e.g. documents that are dynamically generated by a query to a database via the web. An SR is published by the technical committee in which it was produced.
ETSI Technical Specification (TS): Used when the document contains normative requirements and when short time-to-market, validation and maintenance are essential, it is approved by the technical committee that drafted it.
ETSI Technical Report (TR): Used when the document contains mainly informative elements, it is approved by the technical committee that drafted it.
ETSI Group Specification (GS): Used by Industry Specification Groups according to the decision-making procedures defined in the group's Terms of Reference. This deliverable type is approved and adopted by the Industry Specification Group that drafted it.
Testing and Interoperability
The Centre for Testing and Interoperability (CTI) provides hands-on support on the application of testing and validation techniques in standards-making to the ETSI technical committees, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP™) and the oneM2M Partnership Project.
The CTI plans and develops conformance and interoperability test specifications, many of those being used in external certification schemes.
The CTI organizes Interoperability events called Plugtests™ . The first ETSI Plugtests™ event took place in 1999. An average of 12 Plugtests events is organized by ETSI every year, covering diverse technologies,
The Plugtest events enable engineers to get together to test the interoperability of their implementations. The outcome of the events help to improve the interoperability of products and services, support the deployment of new technologies, enable networking between stakeholders and validate ETSI standards.
Research and Innovation
ETSI maintains close relationships with research bodies in order to identify new areas for standardization at the early stage of the development of the technologies that may drive tomorrow’s digital economy.
ETSI offers several paths for interaction between researchers and its standards committees:
Workshops, summits and webinars that represent platforms to disseminate research results and identify next steps for standardization.
Contact with relevant European Technology Platforms, Public Private Partnerships and Joint Technology Initiatives
Close collaboration with National Standards Organizations and with Small- and Medium-sized enterprises that are well-placed to identify new technologies.
Education about standardization
In collaboration with the European Commission and the European Free Trade Association Secretariat, ETSI has developed a comprehensive suite of educational materials on ICT standardization. It includes a comprehensive textbook, “Understanding ICT Standardization: Principles and Practice”, and an extensive set of over 380 slides to be used as teaching aides.
The teaching materials are targeted at third-level education, primarily for students of engineering or scientific subjects.
- Advanced electronic signature
- British Standards Institution
- Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications
- Digital Subscriber System No. 1
- European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization
- European Committee for Standardization
- Integrated Services Digital Network
- International Telecommunication Union
- Open Mobile Alliance
- Project 25
- Single Wire Protocol