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International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Project Report


The improvement of computerized technologies and the convergence of broadcasting, informatics and technologies offer a sizeable opportunity for the execution of developing so as to fit new developing countries. In order to ensure these technologies are following the right policies and standards, there had been several information technology standard bodies who register any company who desire to work with them to ensure they are under the right control and their manufactures are regulated. To successfully serve the world with a uniform purpose and given out the best technology with respect to the I.T and telecommunication, an important regulatory body is discussed in this content – International Telecommunication Union. A global union under the United Nations that had thrived excellently for years and ensured all telecommunication industries follows the right policies and standards. They lay down rules with respect to radiocommunication, telecommunication and other related technological standards.


How will the world follow a particular standard of manufacturing products and services to suit safety regulations? How will the Information Technology (I.T.) sector be efficient and effective without a standard to guide all concern I.T. based organizations? There’s therefore a persistent need for standard bodies to stand as regulatory authorities for the global I.T organizations.

There are thousands of standards organizations around the globe, and they can put strict standards on anything to make life less demanding, more secure, and more profitable. Regularly, these bodies have agreements to cooperate with one another. They may support one another’s standards, expand upon them, or deliberately abstain from duplicating endeavors. But the human nature being what it is, these standard bodies compete with one another. The information technology sector is influenced by these myriad standards and the also the organizations that endorse and produce them. Here are some I.T standard bodies in no specific order we’ve be acquainted with in one way or the order:

  1. International Organization for Standardization (IS))
  2. International Electro-technical Commission (IEC)
  3. International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  4. The Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC)
  5. American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  6. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  7. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  8. European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA)
  9. European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization
  10. Japan Electronic Industries Development Association (JEIFA)

Just to mention but a few. This research is aimed at outlining the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and digging as deep as possible the functional and operational strategy of the standard body.

Overview of ITU

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was originally known as the International Telegraph Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) which plays the role of issues concerning the information and International Telecommunication Union (ITU)communication technologies. (“About ITU”)

The ITU basically coordinates the shared worldwide utilization of the radio spectrum, advances universal participation in assigning satellite orbits, attempts to enhance telecom framework in the developing world, and helps with the improvement and coordination of overall specialized standards. The ITU is dynamic in regions including broadband Internet, most recent generation remote advances, radio space science, aeronautical and maritime navigation, satellite-based meteorology, meeting in settled cellular telephone, Internet access, information, voice, TV television, and cutting edge systems. (“About ITU”)

Additionally ITU organizes global and regional forums and exhibition, for example, ITU telecom world, uniting representatives of government and ICT and telecommunications industry to exchange ideas, technology and knowledge.

Brief History of International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

The International Telecommunication Union has been the focal point of advances in communication since 1865. ITU have being part of the innovative regulation from telegraphy through to the present day satellites, internet and mobile phones. (“ITU History”)

Sending messages over a long distance was the use of courier on horseback, back then in past years and overtime, through various innovations, there exist the electrical innovation – The commercial telegraph service opened in London by Charles Wheatstone. After a while of this system moving through different major locations across different countries, submarine telegraph wire was provided to link Britain and France in 1850. With this concept, frameworks were created to standardize telegraphy equipment and then set uniform operating instructions as well as laid down international tariff and accounting rules. (“ITU History”)

As the innovation continued, the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris on May 17, 1865 by some founding members and that day became the remarkable day for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. (“ITU History”)

Years after, the patenting of telephone occurred in 1876 and this was when ITU began drawing up international legislation governing telephony. This involved a wire method and was an impending problem. After a while, radio signaling around 1901 when the first experimental human voice was established. With years of many more innovation and up till today, International Telegraph Union kept up with the progress and came up with the incorporation of the International Long-distance Telephone Consultative Committee (CCIT), and through this, the name was changed to International Telecommunication Union in January 1, 1934. And on November 15, 1947, ITU signed an agreement with the newly created United Nations who recognized ITU as the specialized agency for telecommunication. (“ITU History”)

Sectors and Functions of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Specialization

There are three major sectors that comprise of the ITU, each of these manage a specific aspect of matters related to the Union, and also the ITU Telecom. (“ITU Membership”) These sectors were created when the ITU was to be reconstructed at its 1992 Plenipotentiary Conference. (Deutsches Institut Fur Normung, 1998) These sectors include:

Radio Communication: This was established in 1927 and plays the role of managing the international radio-frequency spectrum as well as the satellite orbit resources. This is known as ITU-R.

Standardization: This sector was the major purpose of ITU since it was established in 1956 as the International Telephone and Telegraph Consultative Committee which is also known as Comité consultative international pour la radio in French. The role this sector plays is to standardize global telecommunications except for radio. After a while, the CCITT became ITU-T. (“ITU Membership”)

Development: This sector was established in 1992 and performed the operation of spreading equitable, affordable and sustainable access to information communication technologies (ICT).

ITU Telecom (ITU-T): The major role this sector plays is to organize major events for the world’s ICT society. Such as the first event that was held in 1971 during their 40th Anniversary. (“ITU Telecom World”)

ITU Structural Pattern

The new structure of ITU joins the exercises of its past bodies into three “pillars” supporting the work commanded by the Plenipotentiary Conference: the Radiocommunication Sector, the Telecommunication Standardization Sector, and the Development Sector. Every sector’s work is coordinated by global and regional conferences, and also supported by a department under the organization of a director. The bureau directors are helped by “Advisory Groups” that are interested in representatives of national telecom organizations, approved associations, and study groups.

The Plenipotentiary Conference likewise chooses the ITU Council, which acts as an intersessional managerial body controlling the organization’s work in the four-year interims between conferences. The organization’s General Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva, is controlled by a Secretary-General, helped by a Deputy Secretary-General and also the chiefs of Radiocommunication Bureau, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, and the Telecommunication Development Bureau. Yoshio Utsumi of Japan was chosen ITU Secretary-General by the Minneapolis Plenipotentiary Conference (October 1998). (“ITU Plenipotentiary”)

The Legal System of ITU

The essential texts of the ITU are received by the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. (“ITU Plenipotentiary, 2010”) The founding archive of the ITU was the 1865 International Telegraph Convention, which has been altered and amended a few times and is currently entitled the “Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union”. Additionally, to the Constitution and Convention, the combined essential texts incorporate the Optional Protocol on the settlement of disputes, the Decisions, Resolutions and Recommendations in power, and the General Rules of Conferences, Assemblies and Meetings of the Union (“ITU Plenipotentiary, 2010”)

The Changes ITU made to International Telecommunication Regulations:

The present regulatory structure depended on voice telecommunications, when the Internet was still in its infancy. (Wikipedia, 2015) In 1988, telecommunications worked under managed regulatory business models in many nations. As the Internet has developed, organizations such as ICANN have appeared to oversee key assets, such as Internet Addresses and Domain Names. Some of those outside the United States were confident that the United States applies an excessive amount of impact over the Internet’s administration.

The Radiocommunications Sector

World Radiocommunication Conferences

World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRCs) revises the radio regulations and any related recurrent assignment and allotment plans; address any radiocommunication matter of overall character; also instruct the Radio Regulations Board and the Radiocommunication Bureau, and survey their activities; and then focus questions for study by the Radiocommunication Assembly and its study bunches in planning for future Radio-correspondence Conferences. The WRCs are regularly convened every two or even three years. (“ITU Radiocommunications Sector”)

Radiocommunication Bureau

The Radiocommunication Bureau, or BR, is the official arm of the Radiocommunication Sector, and is headed by an elected executive. BR’s director acts as Executive Secretary to the Radio Regulations Board, and is in charge of the work’s coordination of the division. The BR gives technical and administrative support to radiocommunications assemblies, conferences and study groups; records and registers, frequent assignments and orbital attributes of space services; gives advice on to member states on the reasonable and successful utilization of the radio-frequency range and satellite orbits, and helps with determining instances of unsafe obstruction; gets ready and edits related publications created within the area; gives specialized data, and works nearly with the Telecommunication Development Bureau in helping developing nations.

Radio Regulations Board

The Radio Regulations Board is apart-time board constituting 12-member body of specialists that endorses the rules of procedure to enlist radio frequency assignments and also equitable use of the geo-stationary satellite orbit. It additionally explores complaints by ITU individuals about frequency impedance, and defines recommendations to determine such issues. It holds up to four conferences a year in Geneva. The board members, who were elected at the Plenipotentiary Conference, serve as overseers of international public custodians and not as representatives of their respective member region or state; hence, they can’t be a part of national designations at the conferences. The Radio Regulations Board replaced the previous five-member International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB), which was a full time body. (“Encyclopedia”)

Radiocommunication Advisory Group (RAG)

The Radiocommunication Advisory Group (RAG) has the following responsibilities: to audit the needs and techniques adopted in the Radiocommunication Sector; to monitor the progress of the work of major Study Groups; to give direction to the work of Study Groups; and also to recommend measures for encouraging participation and coordination with different organizations and other ITU divisions. The RAG gives counsel on these matters to the Radiocommunication’s Director Bureau. Radiocommunication Assemblies may refer particular matters within its skill to RAG. (“ITU Radiocommunication”)

The Telecommunication Standardization Sector

World Telecommunication Standardization Assemblies

These assemblies are held at regular intervals to affirm, modify, or reject draft standards often called “Recommendations” as a result of their deliberate character. The conferences set the work program for the study bunches that expound these proposals. The Telecommunication Standardization Study Groups will be groups of specialists in which organizations and open/private sector entities take part. They concentrate on the standardization of telecom services, frameworks, systems, operation and execution of hardware, networks, accounting methods and tariffs. (“ITU Telecommunication”)

Telecom Standardization Bureau

The department is going by a chief chose by the emissary. It gets ready for congregations and gatherings and forms and distributes data got from organizations about the International’s utilization Telecommunication Regulations. This data incorporates universal phone courses, insights, warnings, and operational notices. It likewise is in charge of upgrading the reports and information bases of the Telecommunication Standardization Sector. (“ITU Telecommunication”)

The Telecommunication Development Sector

The Regional and Global Telecommunication Development Conferences

These conferences fix goals and diverse strategies for adjusting regional and worldwide development in telecommunication. They serve as a major forum concentrating on studying policy, operation, organization, services, technical, regulatory, and financial inquiries identified with the needs of developing nations. A World Telecommunication Development Conference is held within a particular period and various Regional Telecommunication Development Conferences are held around that same period. The choices, resolutions, recommendations, and reports of the conferences are submitted to the plenipotentiary. However, the development conferences coordinate the Telecommunications Development Bureau’s work. (“Encyclopedia”)

Effectiveness of the International Telecommunication Union

The International Telecommunication Union had retained its standards as the most formal of all the formal telecommunications standards organizations globally. (“Communications Standard Review”) They have successfully carried out all necessary functions in the major sectors they are specialized – ITU-Telecommunication and ITU-Radio.

An important aspect of their effectiveness is the maintenance and extension of international cooperation among all its members state for the purpose of improvement and the general utilization of telecommunications of all kinds. This has been an important area the ITU has been effective which was clearly stated in the purposes of the union. (“ITU”)

The general public might have not really known the organization, ITU’s work over more than one hundred years has developed a worldwide communication system which now incorporates an enormous scope of technologies, yet stays a standout amongst the most reliable system ever created. As the utilization of telecom innovation and radio communication-based frameworks spreads to incorporate an ever-more extensive scope of exercises, the crucial work did by ITU is tackling developing significance in the regular existences of individuals all around the globe. (“Canadian international”)

ITU has helped standardization activities encouraged the development of new technologies, for example, cellular phones and the Internet, are currently being put to use in characterizing the building pieces of the rising global information infrastructure, and outlining propelled mixed media frameworks which deftly handle a blend of voice, sound, data and video signals. On the same vein, ITU’s proceeding role in managing the radio-frequency spectrum guarantees that radio-based frameworks like phones and pagers, navigation, systems, aircraft, scientific research stations, radio and TV as well as satellite communication systems all keep on working easily and provide dependable reliable wireless services to the inhabitants of the world. (Canadian International”) ITU’s inexorably imperative role as a catalyst for fashioning development partnerships between private industry and government is achieving fast upgrades in telecom system in the under-developed economies of the world. (“Canadian International”)

ITU Core Areas of Operation

The Union additionally plays an important role on policy- making role4 through the ID and observing of the key patterns forming the ICT business. Data from around the world is gathered and dissected by ITU specialists; with a perspective to encouraging a superior understanding of industry development and helping open and private sector members create powerful techniques that target development opportunities. The ITU serves as a fair-minded international forum for dialogue within the government and industry players on strategy, policy, innovation and financial issues, for the advantage of the worldwide telecom group. (“UN-NGLS”)

Private Sector

The earlier days had exposed ITU to work extremely closely with the private sectors to create and deploy ICT systems that meet the requests of clients.

ITU Sector Members Sector Members in the three ITU Sectors are the main impetus behind ITU’s initiative in adding to the specialized guidelines that guarantee worldwide inoperability and the fair utilization of shared assets like radio frequency spectrum and the satellite orbit. These delegates from the world’s driving open and private organization work agreeably under the support of an extensive variety of specific ITU Study Groups, giving their time and expertise uninhibitedly for the business’ advantage as a whole. The Sector Members likewise appreciate access to important ITU meetings and conferences, where top-level decision makers take part in talks that can bring about new business opportunities or joint ventures. The Sector Members can likewise be included in the organization and co-sponsorship of ITU workshops, and seminars, giving specialists and instructors, training facilities and other assets. (“UN-NGLS”)

ITU Associates In 1998, the idea of “Associate” was presented as a path for small entities organizations to partake in ITU’s work. Partners may join in during the time spent planning ITU specialized Recommendations within a single ITU Study Group and its subordinate groups, incorporating interest in gatherings, accommodation of commitments, and capacity to submit remarks before the reception of Recommendations. (“UN-NGLS”)

In addition to public accessible information, communication tools and resources were provided on the ITU site, Sector Members and Associates additionally have entry to a huge volume of restricted data, for example, draft archives, development plan, statistics, training modules, and so on. Also, Sector Members get invitations with related documentation to all ITU occasions. Segment Members and Associates additionally benefit from a TIES (Telecom Information Exchange Services) account that permits them to get to limited databases, archives and technical databases (“UN-NGLS”)

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