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CCIR / ITU-R Study Groups celebrate 90 years

90th Anniversary of CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups

2017 marks the 90th anniversary of the CCIR*/ITU-R Study Groups', a testimony of global collaboration to produce universally applied regulations, standards and best practices and enable the sustainable development of the wireless ecosystem.

Currently, more than 4 000 specialists, from administrations, the telecommunications industry and academic organizations throughout the world, participate in the work of the ITU‑R Study Groups on topics such as efficient use and management of spectrum/orbit resources, radiowave propagation, definition of future radiocommunication systems characteristics and performance, including fixed communications, aeronautical, maritime and land mobile communications, public protection and disaster relief, sound and television broadcasting, radiolocation, satellite communications and radionavigation, Earth exploration, meteorology, space science and radioastronomy. As part of the celebrations, a series of events are taking place throughout the anniversary year of 2017, including:

- A High-level session of the WSIS Forum on "ITU enabling the wireless ecosystem" on 12 June, 16h30 – 18h15, showcasing ITU-R Study Groups achievements at the Ministerial level

- A dedicated session at ITU TELECOM World 2017 (Busan, Republic of Korea) "Enabling and shaping the wireless ecosystem" on 27 September, 16h45 - 18h00

- A celebration ceremony on 21 November 2017, 16h00

Targeting primarily ITU membership, ITU-R Study Groups participants and delegates, specialized technical magazines, research institutions, media, ITU staff and the general public, these events are intended to highlight the eminent role of the ITU-R Study Groups for enabling and shaping the overall wireless ecosystem and ensuring its sustainable development.

*CCIR - International Radiocommunication Consultative Committee

WSIS Forum 2017: High-level session on ‘ITU enabling the wireless ecosystem’

As part of the WSIS Forum 2017 hosted by the ITU a high-level session on ‘ITU enabling the wireless ecosystem', will be held on 12 June 2017, from 16h30 to 18h15.

The overall WSIS forum theme for this year is Information and Knowledge Societies for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The WSIS Forum is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD with the involvement of other UN Agencies, including FAO, ILO, ITC, UNDESA, UNHCR, UNODC, UNEP, UPU, WMO, WIPO, WHO, WFP, UN Women and UN Regional Commissions. The WISIS forum is expected to gather 50 Ministers and 30 Heads of regulators.

The programme of the high-level session on ‘ITU enabling the wireless ecosystem’ includes keynote interventions by four players in the regulation and industry of radiocommunications. They will highlight how the wireless eco-system, which has become so important in our societies and contributes to virtually all the Sustainable Development Goals, has emerged and is flourishing thanks to the various activities carried out in the ITU to adopt international regulations and standards that promote efficient use and spectrum harmonization, enabling economies of scale and affordable service throughout the World.

These keynotes speeches will be followed by interventions from Ministers and Heads of Regulatory Authorities, addressing their vision of the ITU contribution to the development of the wireless ecosystem in their respective countries and regions. The session will conclude on a general discussion.

This session is also held in the framework of the celebrations of the 90th Anniversary of the CCIR / ITU Radiocommunication Study Groups (1927-2017). The studies carried out in these Study Groups since 1992 and previously in CCIR (International Radiocommunication Consultative Committee) are conducted by all spectrum stakeholders in the industry, research, academic and governments sectors and ensure that the eco-system evolves by adopting the most advanced, efficient and affordable technologies while protecting the investments made in spectrum all around the world.

PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION - 12 June 2017, 16h30 – 18h15

High-level session on 'ITU enabling the wireless ecosystem':

16h30 - Opening address
Mr François Rancy, Director ITU Radiocommunication Bureau

16h35 - The Vision of Spectrum Regulators
Mr Eric Fournier, Chairman of ECC and Co-President of CEPT

16h42 - The Mobile Industry Ecosystem
Dr Shiv K. Bakhshi, Vice President Industry Relations, Group Function Technology. Ericsson

17h50 - The Satellite Communications Ecosystem
Dr Aarti Holla Maini, Secretary General EMEA satellite Operators Association (ESOA)

17h57 - The Vision of the Sound and Television Industry
Mr Peter MacAvock, Head of Distribution and Services, Technology and Innovation, European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Chairman, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB)

17h05 - Statements by Ministers and Operators

17h55 - General Discussion
18h15 - Closing remarks
Mr François Rancy, Director ITU Radiocommunication Bureau

Attendance: Official Statements by Ministers and Heads of Regulatory authorities

Ministers and Heads of Regulatory authorities are invited to make three-minute statements at allotted times (and by alphabetical order) during the 'official statements' segments of the Special Session.

Subject: 'How ITU contributes to the wireless ecosystem' within the framework of the overall WSIS theme for this year which is 'Information and Knowledge Societies for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)'.

Who we are

The ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is mandated by ITU Membership to determine the technical characteristics and operational procedures for a huge and growing range of wireless services and systems. Since 1927, the ITU-R Study Groups (former CCIR) also plays a vital role in the preparation of standards presented in "ITU-R Recommendations" for the management of the radio-frequency spectrum – a finite natural resource that is increasingly in demand due to the rapid development of new radio-based services and technologies, such as the enormous growth of mobile and related communications.

As such, the Radiocommunication Assembly 2015 (RA-15) approved a series of Recommendations and Resolutions for new and emerging technologies; initiated further studies for the development of global mobile broadband communications (IMT-2020) and studies related to wireless systems and applications for the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as ways to improve the dissemination of knowledge concerning the applicable regulatory procedures for small satellites, including nanosatellites and picosatellites.

Per se, former CCIR and present ITU-R Study Groups thereby develop the technical bases for decisions taken at World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRCs) and develop global standards or Recommendations, Reports and Handbooks on radiocommunication matters.

The next WRC-19 is scheduled to take place in Geneva from 28 October to 22 November 2019.

Furthermore, the ITU-R Study Groups (SGs) and their Working Parties (WPs) and Task Groups (TGs) meet on a regular basis throughout the year, and you may follow their activities here:


The 90th Anniversary of the CCIR / ITU Radiocommunication (ITU‑R) Study Groups will occur in November, 2017, the anniversary of the signing on 25 November 1927, of the Final Acts of the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington, 1927 which created CCIR (see figure 1).

The "International Radio Consultative Committee" or "Comité Consultatif International pour la Radio" (CCIR) was founded in 1927 as part of the International Telecommunication Union at the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington, 1927.

CCIR's purpose was to carry out technical studies on radiocommunications. Until 1992, CCIR published international standards, reports and handbooks describing the best practices in radiocommunications, and in particular on the optimum use of spectrum. Among these, were the global standards for analog and digital television and sound broadcasting. CCIR Study Groups also conducted the studies in support of World Radiocommunication Conferences decisions on spectrum allocations and associated technical provisions.

In 1992, the CCIR was merged into the Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), created by the Additional Plenipotentiary Conference in Geneva, as part of a reform of ITU to give the Union greater flexibility to adapt to an increasingly complex, interactive and competitive telecommunications environment. ITU's three main areas of activity were organized in "Sectors": telecommunication development, radiocommunications, and telecommunication standardization.

Today, the work of the former CCIR continues to be carried out by the ITU‑R Study Groups, with an extended scope to cover the studies on regulatory and procedural matters for access to spectrum and orbit resources.