International Telecommunication Union

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – is an international organization that is a specialized agency of the United Nations in the sphere of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with headquarters in Geneva (Swiss Confederation).

ITU is one of the oldest international organizations, which was founded in Paris on May 17, 1865 under the name “International Telegraph Union”.

ITU distributes radio frequency spectrum and satellite orbits, develops technical standards that enable the effective connectivity of networks and technologies, and improves access to ICT for communities around the world.

193 countries are ITU members and more than 700 members in sectors and associations (scientific and industrial enterprises, public and private telecommunication operators, broadcasting companies, regional and international organizations).

ITU structure

The governing body is the Plenipotentiary Conference which is convened once every four years and elects the ITU Council of 46 members, which holds its meetings annually. At the Plenipotentiary Conference representatives of all ITU member countries determine the main lines of activity of each sector, form new working groups and approve plans of work for the next four years.

The structure of ITU includes the following divisions:

ITU-R - Radiocommunication Sector

ITU-T - Telecommunication Standardization Sector

ITU-D - Telecommunication Development Sector

All sectors have research committees.

Key ITU events

The key ITU events are held once every four years. Including:

World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC)

WRC is conducted every three or four years. The tasks of the WRC include analysis and, if necessary, revision of the Radio Regulations. Reviews are based on the agenda, which is determined by the ITU Council and considers the recommendations of the previous WRCs.

Previous WRC agenda is set in advance for four to six years, and the final agenda is set by the Council of the ITU in two years before the conference, with the agreement of the majority of the member states.

Referring to the ITU Statute, WRC can:

  • review Radio Regulations and any related frequency assignment plans and frequency allocations;
  • consider any radiocommunication issues of a worldwide nature;
  • give instructions to the Radio Regulatory Committee and the Radiocommunication Bureau and analyse their activity;
  • identify issues for studying by the Radiocommunication Assembly and its research committees during preparation for the forthcoming Radiocommunication conference.

Based on contributions received from administrations, the Ad hoc Committee, Radiocommunication Research Committees and other sources related to regulatory, technical, operational and procedural issues that are considered by world and regional radiocommunication conferences, Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) prepare consolidated reports that should be used to support the work of such conferences.

Radio Regulations (2012)

Radio Regulation (2016)