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International Radiotelegraph Conference (Madrid, 1932)

3 September - 9 December 1932 - Madrid, Spain

This conference was held simultaneously with the International Telegraph Conference. The most significant decision made at this conference was to fuse the International Telegraph Union and the International Radiotelegraph Union to create a single organization: the International Telecommunication Union. In addition, a new convention was created by combining the International Telegraph Convention (1875) and the Radiotelegraph Convention (1927). The new International Telecommunication Convention was redrafted to include general principles common to telegraph, telephone and radio services. The International Telecommunication Convention replaced the previous Telegraph and Radiotelegraph Conventions.

Coinciding with the creation of the International Telecommunication Union was the renaming of the central office of the union in Berne. As a result of this decision it was renamed the Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union.

Several other important decisions were made at the 1932 conferences including a discussion around the official languages of the union. At this conference, it was decided that French would continue to be used for drafting all documents; however, French and English could both be used during discussions and interpreters would be provided by the Bureau.

The word “radiotelegraph” was replaced by “radiocommunications” to reflect the changes in the evolution of radio technology.

The allocation and proper use of frequencies was discussed and, as a result, two tables were inserted into the regulations: a table of tolerances and a table giving the acceptable band widths for various types of emissions. Registration of radio frequencies was strengthened and administrations were now obligated to inform the Bureau prior to putting a new frequency in service and/or making changes to the power of a frequency. In addition, changes were made to the regulation of the Maritime Mobile Service. Changes were also made to the regulations concerning the International Consultative Committee on Radio (CCIR). Permanent rules of procedure were established and the time between meetings was changed from every two years to every five years.

Finally, the radiocommunications regulations were revised and annexed to the new convention.

On 10 October 2007, ITU, the Spanish Government and the Asociación Española de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación (Spanish Association of Telecommunication Engineers) held a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1932 International Telecommunication Convention signed at Madrid. For more information on this event please visit the event page on the Asociación Española de Ingerieros de Telecomunicaciones website [in Spanish only]. In addition, two articles were published in ITU News (Issue 10, 2007) to recognize the 75th anniversary event:
International Radiotelegraph Conference (Madrid, 1932)
    • International Telecommunication Convention (Madrid, 1932)
      (English)
    • General Radiocommunication and Additional Regulations (Madrid, 1932)
      (English)
    • Convention internationale des télécommunications (Madrid, 1932)
      (Français)
    • Réglement général et additionnel des radiocommunications (Madrid, 1932)
      (Français)
    • Documents de la Conférence radiotélégraphique internationale (Madrid, 1932): Tome I
      (Français)
    • Documents de la Conférence radiotélégraphique internationale (Madrid, 1932): Tome II
      (Français)

Chairman

Mr. Santiago Casares Quiroga, Minister of the Interior (Spain)

Countries participating

68

Observers

64

    List of participants

    • Liste des participants de la Conférence radiotélégraphique internationale (Madrid, 1932)
      (Français)

Further Reading

  • "50th Anniversary of the Madrid Conferences." Telecommunication Journal 49, no. 9 (1982): 510-511.
    (English)
  • "Les Conférences télégraphique et radiotélégraphique internationales de Madrid - Compte rendu partie 1-3." Journal télégraphique, 56 (1932).
    (Français)
  • "A la veille de la Conférence de Madrid : La fusion des Conventions télégraphique et radiotélégraphique." Journal des télécommunications 56, no. 6 (1932): 153-163.
    (Français)
  • "Les règlements intéreurs des Conférences télégraphique et radiotélégraphiques internationales." Journal des télécommunications 1, no.1 (1934): 35-42.
    (Français)
  • "Quelques observations au sujet des réglements de Madrid." Journal des télécommunications 1, no. 4 (1934): 101-103.
    (Français)
  • "Les réformes de la Conférence de Madrid : le point de vue des hommes d'affaires." Journal des télécommunications 1, no. 4 (1934): 109-113.
    (Français)

Library Catalogue

  • Link to the ITU Library Catalogue (Madrid, 1932)
    (Multilingual)
YearConference NameAcronymRadio ServicesRegionsPlace

1903

Preliminary Conference on Wireless Telegraphy (Berlin, 1903)

Mobile - MaritimeWorldBerlin

1906

International Radiotelegraph Conference (Berlin, 1906)

Mobile - MaritimeWorldBerlin

1912

International Radiotelegraph Conference (London, 1912)

Mobile - MaritimeWorldLondon

1927

International Radiotelegraph Conference (Washington, 1927)

All servicesWorldWashington, D.C.

1929

European Radiotelegraph Conference (Prague, 1929)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesPrague

1932

International Radiotelegraph Conference (Madrid, 1932)

All servicesWorldMadrid

1933

European Radio Conference (Lucerne, 1933)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesLucerne

1938

Conférence radiotéléphonique maritime (Revision des arrangements régionaux de la Mer du Nord et de la Mer Baltique) (The Hague, 1938)

Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesThe Hague

1938

International Radiocommunication Conference (Cairo, 1938)

All servicesWorldCairo

1939

European Broadcasting Conference (Montreux, 1939)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesMontreux

1947

International Radio Conference (Atlantic City, 1947)

All servicesWorldAtlantic City

1947

International HF Broadcasting Conference (Atlantic City, 1947)

BroadcastingWorldAtlantic City

1948

European Broadcasting Conference (Copenhagen, 1948)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesCopenhagen

1948

Regional Maritime Radio Conference (Copenhagen, 1948)

MAR-48Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesCopenhagen

1948

International Administrative Radio Conference for Aeronautical Communications (1st Session) (Geneva, 1948)

Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1948

International HF Broadcasting Conference (Mexico, 1948-1949)

BroadcastingWorldMexico City

1949

Special Administrative Conference for the North-East Atlantic (Geneva, 1949)

Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1949

Administrative Radio Conference for Region 1 (Geneva, 1949)

All servicesRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1949

Administrative Radio Conference for Region 3 (Geneva, 1949)

All servicesRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1949

North American Regional Broadcasting Conference (1st Session) (Montreal, 1949)

NARBABroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesMontreal

1949

International Telecommunication Conference for Region 2 (Washington, 1949)

All servicesRegional - Radio ConferencesWashington, D.C.

1949

Aeronautical Radio Conference for Region 2 (Washington, 1949)

Mobile - AeronauticalRegional - Radio ConferencesWashington, D.C.

1949

International Administrative Radio Conference for Aeronautical Communications (2nd Session) (Geneva, 1949)

Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1950

North American Regional Broadcasting Conference (2nd Session) (Washington, 1950)

NARBABroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesWashington, D.C.

1950

2nd International HF Broadcasting Conference (Florence-Rapallo, 1950)

BroadcastingWorldFlorence-Rapallo

1951

Conference for the Reorganization of Maritime Radiobeacons in the European Area (Paris, 1951)

Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesParis

1951

Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1951)

EARC-51All servicesWorldGeneva

1952

European VHF Broadcasting Conference (Stockholm, 1952)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesStockholm

1955

Baltic and North Sea Radiotelephone Conference (Gothenburg, 1955)

BNRCMobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesGothenburg

1957

International Maritime VHF Radiotelephone Conference (The Hague, 1957)

Mobile - MaritimeWorldThe Hague

1959

Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1959)

All servicesWorldGeneva

1960

Special Regional Conference (Geneva, 1960)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1961

European VHF/UHF Broadcasting Conference (Special Regional Conference) (Stockholm, 1961)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesStockholm

1963

African VHF/UHF Broadcasting Conference (Geneva, 1963)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1963

Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference to allocate frequency bands for space radiocommunication purposes - Space Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1963)

EARC-63SpaceWorldGeneva

1964

African LF/MF Broadcasting Conference (Geneva, 1964)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1964

Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference for the preparation of a revised allotment plan for the aeronautical mobile (R) service (1st session) (Geneva, 1964)

EARC-64Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1966

African LF/MF Broadcasting Conference (Geneva, 1966)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1966

Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference for the preparation of a revised allotment plan for the aeronautical mobile (R) service (2nd session) (Geneva, 1966)

EARC-66Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1967

World Administrative Radio Conference to deal with matters relating to the maritime mobile service (Geneva, 1967)

WARC MarMobile - MaritimeWorldGeneva

1971

World Administrative Radio Conference for Space Telecommunications (Geneva, 1971)

WARC-71 / WARC-STSpaceWorldGeneva

1974

Regional Administrative Conference (Regions 1 and 3) for drawing up frequency assignment plans for LF and MF broadcasting (1st session) (Geneva, 1974)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1974

World Maritime Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1974)

WMARC-74Mobile - MaritimeWorldGeneva

1975

Regional Administrative Conference (Regions 1 and 3) for drawing up frequency assignment plans for LF and MF broadcasting (2nd session) (Geneva, 1975)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1977

World Administrative Radio Conference for the Planning of the Broadcasting-Satellite Service in Frequency Bands 11.7-12.2 GHz (Regions 2 and 3) and 11.7-12.5 GHz (Region 1) (Geneva, 1977)

WARC SAT-77Mobile - Maritime, BroadcastingWorldGeneva

1978

World Administrative Radio Conference on the Aeronautical Mobile (R) Service (Geneva, 1978)

WARC-Aer2Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1979

World Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1979)

WARC-79All servicesWorldGeneva

1980

Regional Administrative MF Broadcasting Conference (Region 2) (1st session) (Buenos Aires, 1980)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesBuenos Aires

1981

Regional Administrative MF Broadcasting Conference (Region 2) (2nd session) (Rio de Janeiro, 1981)

CARR-2BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesRio de Janeiro

1982

Regional Administrative Conference for FM Sound Broadcasting in the VHF band (Region 1 and certain countries concerned in Region 3) (1st session) (Geneva, 1982)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1983

Regional Administrative Conference for the Planning of the Broadcasting-Satellite Service in Region 2 (Geneva, 1983)

SAT-83 or SAT-R2Broadcasting, SpaceRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1983

World Administrative Radio Conference for the Mobile Services (Geneva, 1983)

WARC MOB-83Mobile - Land, Mobile - Maritime, Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1984

Regional Administrative Conference for FM Sound Broadcasting in the VHF band (Region 1 and certain countries concerned in Region 3) (2nd session) (Geneva, 1984)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1984

World Administrative Radio Conference for the Planning of the HF Bands Allocated to the Broadcasting Service (1st session) (Geneva, 1984)

WARC HFBC-84BroadcastingWorldGeneva

1985

Regional Administrative Radio Conference for the Maritime Mobile Service and the Aeronautical Radionavigation Service in certain parts of the MF band in Region 1 (Geneva, 1985)

Mobile - Maritime, Mobile - AeronauticalRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1985

Regional Administrative Radio Conference for the Planning of Frequencies for Maritime Radiobeacons in the European Maritime Area (Geneva, 1985)

Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1985

Regional Administrative Radio Conference of the Members of the Union in the African Broadcasting Area to abrogate certain parts of the Geneva Agreement (1963) (Geneva, 1985)

GE85BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1985

Regional Administrative Radio Conference of the Members of the Union in the European Broadcasting Area to revise certain parts of the Stockholm Agreement (1961) (Geneva, 1985)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1985

World Administrative Radio Conference on the use of the geostationary-satellite orbit and the planning of the space services utilizing it (1st session) (Geneva, 1985)

WARC ORB-85SpaceWorldGeneva

1986

Regional Administrative Radio Conference to establish a plan for the broadcasting service in the band 1605-1705 kHz in Region 2 (1st session) (Geneva, 1986)

RARC BC-R2(1)BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1986

Regional Administrative Radio Conference for the planning of VHF/UHF television broadcasting in the African broadcasting area and neighbouring countries (1st session) (Nairobi, 1986)

RARC AFBC(1)BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesNairobi

1987

World Administrative Radio Conference for the Planning of the HF Bands Allocated to the Broadcasting Service (2nd session) (Geneva, 1987)

WARC HFBC-87BroadcastingWorldGeneva

1987

World Administrative Radio Conference for the Mobile Services (Geneva, 1987)

WARC MOB-87Mobile - Land, Mobile - Maritime, Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1988

Regional Administrative Radio Conference to establish a plan for the broadcasting service in the band 1605-1705 kHz in Region 2 (2nd session) (Rio de Janeiro, 1988)

RARC BC-R2(2)BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesRio de Janeiro

1988

World Administrative Radio Conference on the use of the geostationary-satellite orbit and the planning of the space services utilizing it (2nd session) (Geneva, 1988)

WARC ORB-88SpaceWorldGeneva

1989

Regional Administrative Radio Conference for the Planning of VHF/UHF Television Broadcasting in the African Broadcasting Area and Neighbouring Countries (2nd session) (Geneva, 1989)

RARC AFBC-2BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1989

Regional Administrative Conference of the Members of the Union in the African Broadcasting Area to abrogate the Regional Agreement for the African Broadcasting Area (Geneva, 1963) (Geneva, 1989)

GE89BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1992

World Administrative Radio Conference for Dealing with Frequency Allocations in Certain Parts of the Spectrum (Málaga-Torremolinos, 1992)

WARC-92All servicesWorldMalaga-Torremolinos

1993

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1993)

WRC-93All servicesWorldGeneva

1995

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1995)

WRC-95All servicesWorldGeneva

1997

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1997)

WRC-97All servicesWorldGeneva

2000

World Radiocommunication Conference (Istanbul, 2000)

WRC-2000All servicesWorldIstanbul

2003

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2003)

WRC-03All servicesWorldGeneva

2004

Regional Radiocommunication Conference for planning of the digital terrestrial broadcasting service in parts of Regions 1 and 3, in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz

RRC-04BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

2006

Regional Radiocommunication Conference for planning of the digital terrestrial broadcasting service in parts of Regions 1 and 3, in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz (2nd session) (Geneva, 2006)

RRC-06BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

2006

Regional Radiocommunication Conference for the revision of the Stockholm 1961 Agreement, in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz (Geneva, 2006)

RRC-06-EURBroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

2006

Regional Radiocommunication Conference for the revision of the Geneva 1989 Agreement, in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz (Geneva, 2006)

RRC-06-AFRBroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

2007

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2007)

WRC-07All servicesWorldGeneva

2012

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2012)

WRC-12All servicesWorldGeneva