The last decades have witnessed an unprecedented technological development in the field of radiocommunications, resulting in the expansion of a growing range of services and applications, from aircraft and maritime navigation to wireless telephony, satellite broadcasting and scientific research, Earth—exploration and satellite news gathering, to name just but a few. Such services and applications increase the demand for radio frequencies and geostationary satellite orbit positions, which are limited natural resources, and for international coordination to avoid harmful interference.
The mission of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is to ensure that all countries get equitable access to satellite orbit space, and that the various bands of the radio-frequency spectrum are used rationally, efficiently and economically, with particular attention to the specific needs of developing countries. At the ITU, this mission is endorsed by the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R). Supported by the Radiocommunication Bureau, world radiocommunication conferences in particular play a vital role in regularly updating the basis for allocation and use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.