This year marked the 110th anniversary of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations — the international treaty supporting mobile communication services including Amateur Radio. ITU paid tribute on December 12 to the international cooperation among member states that the Radio Regulations represent. The ITU Radio Regulations govern the use of the radio frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. The treaty “ensures interference-free operation of radiocommunication systems and provide all countries with equitable access to the radio spectrum — a scarce natural resource that does not distinguish between national borders and needs to be harmonized globally,” ITU explained in a news release.
ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao proclaimed the Radio Regulations “a success story of international cooperation through consensus building among its member states with the inestimable support of telecommunication industry partners.” He said that with the growing complexity of an interconnected world and wireless systems, it’s “more important than ever to maintain the pace and efficiency of radiocommunication conferences to ensure the timely and responsive evolution of this precious instrument.” The next World Radiocommunication Conference is in 2019.
Established on November 3, 1906, at the first International Radio Telegraph Convention in Berlin, the Radio Regulations have grown with 110 years of revisions and innovations into the current five-volume treaty of 2000 pages, covering more than 40 radiocommunication services and spectrum ranging from 9 kHz to 3,000 GHz. The 2016 version was adopted by consensus at WRC-15.