European Telecommunications Standards Institute

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The European Telecommunications Standards Institute ( ETSI ; English European Telecommunications Standards Institute ) is one of the three major standards organizations in Europe , based in Sophia Antipolis ( France ). ETSI is a non-profit organization that is recognized by the European Union as a European organization for standardization and aims to create globally applicable standards for information and communication technologies.


The institute was founded in 1988 on the initiative of the European Commission and in 2012 had a total of 700 members from over 60 countries, including network operators, service providers, administrations, users and manufacturers. It emerged from the Conférence Européenne des Administrations des Postes et des Télécommunications (CEPT), in which the former European telecommunications administrations (at the time of the monopoly, now the national regulatory authorities) came together to clarify organizational and technical issues. After the ETSI was founded, the technical questions were transferred to it; today, CEPT only deals with questions of frequency management and regulation.

In 2005, the budget was more than 20 million euros and consisted of membership fees, income from commercial activities and grants, 10% of which came from the European Community.


ETSI is responsible for European standardization in the telecommunications sector . Together with the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), ETSI forms the European system for technical standards. In accordance with its membership structure, the institute's working method is demand-oriented, i. In other words, it develops standards and norms according to the needs of its members - in contrast to its predecessor organization, which was organized as an authority and which established regulations to which the companies concerned had to comply. There must be at least four members to apply for a so-called “work item” for the creation of a new standard.

Important standards that were created by ETSI, or on which it has worked within the ITU framework, are, for example, DSS1 , GSM , UMTS , DECT , SDR and GMR (satellite telephony), TETRA and Next Generation Network (NGN).

For the standardization of UMTS and the further development of GSM, ETSI has joined forces with five other standardization bodies to form the global 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

In the technical committee " Lawful Interception ", ETSI is working on technical standards which, in accordance with the legal situation of the European states, should enable law enforcement authorities and secret services to access telecommunications for citizens with standardized, manufacturer-independent interfaces. Recourse to American techniques is to be made unnecessary with our own European procedures. Critics such as Constanze Kurz complain that these monitoring interfaces build insecurities into computer systems that have already been exploited several times for industrial espionage and that could endanger fundamental and civil rights . As a result of its attempt to incorporate a back door into the new version 1.3 of the TLS transport encryption standard , the Technical Committee CYBER of ETSI 2019 received the negative BigBrotherAward :

"For his efforts to define the" Enterprise Transport Security "protocol (ETS) as part of the new technical standard for encryption on the Internet and thus to equip secure connections with a predetermined breaking point"

- Frank Rosengart : laudation at the BigBrotherAwards

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Lawful Interception. (No longer available online.) ETSI, archived from the original on September 28, 2012 ; Retrieved September 15, 2012 .
  2. Constanze Kurz: Nachtigall, I hear you snorkeling. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. September 15, 2012, accessed September 15, 2012 .
  3. Frank Rosengart: Laudation technology: “Technical Committee CYBER” of the European Institute for Telecommunications Standards (ETSI). In: June 8, 2019, accessed June 21, 2019 .