ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R)

What is the ITU-R? What do they do?

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- everything RF

Nov 11, 2021

The ITU Radiocommunication Sector, or ITU-R, is one of the fundamental sectors/units of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It typically manages tasks that concern international radio-frequency spectrum or satellite orbit resources and further develop standards for radiocommunication systems. The International Telecommunication Union or ITU is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible to manage all issues related to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Objectives of ITU-R

The primary objective of ITU-R is to ensure interference-free operation of radiocommunication systems. To achieve this, ITU-R implements the Radio Regulations and regional agreements, further they update these instruments in an efficient and timely manner through the processes of world and regional radiocommunication conferences. ITU-R ensures rational, equitable, efficient and economical use of the radio frequency spectrum by all existing radiocommunication services. This supervision also encompasses service providers that uses satellite orbits. 

ITU-R further carries out studies, funds research, and approves recommendations on radiocommunication matters. ITU-R approved recommendations are intended to assure the necessary performance and quality in operating radiocommunication systems. 

ITU-R is responsible for providing global connectivity and interoperability along with improved performance, quality, affordability and timeliness of service. It ensures an overall system economy in radiocommunications including through the development of International Standards.

What is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)?

ITU, formerly called as the International Telegraph Union, was established on 17 May 1865. It is considered to be one of the oldest international organizations that is still in operation. ITU works towards improving telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world and assists in the development and coordination of worldwide technical standards. ITU is based in Geneva, Switzerland and its global membership includes 193 countries and around 900 business, academic institutions, and international and regional organizations. ITU is governed by the Plenipotentiary Conference (PP) and the Administrative Council.

ITU Sectors

The ITU mainly consists of three sectors, each of the which are responsible to look into different aspect of the matters handled by the Union. The three sectors are:

  • Radio communication, or ITU-R
  • Standardization, or ITU-T
  • Development, or ITU-D