In 1932, in Madrid, a plenipotentiary Telegraph Conference and the International Radiotelegraph Conference met simultaneously and decided to merge into a single entity, the International Telecommunication Union. The Telegraph Convention of 1875 and the Radiotelegraph Convention of 1927 were combined into a single convention embracing the three fields of telegraphy, telephony and radio. The new International Telecommunication Convention served as the Union’s charter and constitution, establishing its legal existence and setting forth its purposes, compositions, structure and functions.
It was decided to separate the Telegraph Regulations from the Telephone Regulations, and to create three distinct sets of Telecommunication Regulations: Radio, Telephone and Telegraph Regulations. These regulations were annexed to and supplemented the Convention.
Further to the integration of the two Conventions, a new name was chosen for the International Telegraph Union: the International Telecommunication Union.
The new term “telecommunication” was defined in the Convention as follows:
any telegraphic or telephonic communication of signs, signals, writing, facsimiles and sounds of any kind, by wire, wireless or other systems or processes of electric signaling or visual signaling (semaphores).
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: