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100 Years of ITU Radio Regulations: 1906 - 2006
In 1906 the first International Radiotelegraph Conference gathered 29 states in Berlin to sign the International Radiotelegraph Convention  establishing the principle of compulsory intercommunication between vessels at sea and the land. The annex to this Convention contained the first regulations governing wireless telegraphy. These regulations, which have since been expanded and revised by numerous radio conferences, are now known as the Radio Regulations.

Centenary of the ITU Radio Regulations

In 2006, ITU membership has good reason to celebrate the centenary of the Radio Regulations. The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) process has been instrumental in providing for timely and effective international regulatory frameworks for the establishment of advanced new wireless services and applications, while safeguarding the interests and rights of existing radiocommunication users. One hundred years after 1906 we are witnessing innovative technological solutions, using radio transmission, setting the grounds for a wireless world.

From Radiotelegraph to the Wireless World

Radio has become pervasive in our lives - from devices and appliances (such as personal mobile phones, radio-controlled watches, radio headsets); home and office networking (such as wireless access to networks, PC radio connection devices, remote control); navigation (radio positioning systems); intelligent transportation systems (toll control, collision avoidance, etc.); broadcasting (radio, TV and data);  emergency communications (comprehensive radio disaster warning and relief systems), and object identification (e.g. RFID tags) as well as other more conventional applications. We are now observing the full deployment of cellular systems of the third generation (3G), based on ITU standards know as IMT-2000 and the adoption of steps towards the implementation of digital broadcasting systems within the framework of ITU-based regulations (see Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06)).

The next 100 years of itu radio regulations

Industry's look forward to the next 100 years
of ITU Radio Regulations

(Rohde & Schwarz, Nortel and ERO)

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Celebrations in honour of the 100th anniversary of the ITU Radio Regulations (1906-2006), Geneva, 30 October 2006

30 Oct. 2006, 0930 hours


Ceremony Programme
Media Advisory

Commemorative Edition on 100 Years of Radio Regulations

ITU News Magazine No. 3, April 2006

This special edition of ITU News provides a collection of authoritative articles on the technical, regulatory and international aspects of radiocommunications, stressing the important role ITU-based regulations and procedures have played in fostering the rapid evolution and expansion of wireless systems on a global scale.

Feature Article

From radiotelegraphy to worldwide wireless
Valery Timofeev, Director, ITU Radiocommunication Bureau

An overview of how ITU helped to form the modern world of radiocommunications through a century of progress promoting radio regulations.


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Updated : 2006-11-09