High-level public and private sector radiocommunication stakeholders from around the globe gathered in Geneva today to mark 90 years of sustainable development of the Wireless Ecosystem, with the 90th anniversary of the CCIR/ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Study Groups. The achievements of the ITU-R Study Groups was recognized as a testimony of the inspiring global collaboration to produce universally applied regulations, standards and best practices, as illustrated by the continuous growth in the use of wireless communications in the last thirty years and of an ubiquitous wireless world connected by ITU.
The anniversary celebrations in Geneva were attended by more than 266 participants from 57 administrations, including ITU-R sector members, associates and academic experts; former ITU officials; former directors of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau; current and former members of the Radio Regulations Board (RRB); former members of the International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB); as well as ITU-R Study Group chairmen and former CCIR Study Group chairmen.
The event included addresses by Malcolm Johnson, ITU's Deputy Secretary-General, and François Rancy, ITU Radiocommunication Bureau Director. A panel discussion on the importance of CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups activities and their contribution to shaping and enabling the global wireless ecosystem was held in conjunction with the first ITU inter-regional preparation workshop for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference. Industry partners attending the ceremony's panel discussions included representatives of the GSM Association (GSMA), EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), European Commission, Tetra Critical Communications Association (TCCA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Science Committee on Frequency Allocations for Radio Astronomy and Space Science (IUCAF),
Rohde & Schwarz and the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
"Please join me in congratulating the CCIR*/ITU Radiocommunication Sector Study Groups on their 90th Anniversary, which represents a successful global collaboration that has gone a long way to develop universally applied regulations, standards and best practices, to enable the sustainable development of the wireless ecosystem," said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General.
Currently, more than 5,000 specialists, from administrations, the telecommunications industry and academic organizations throughout the world, participate in the work of the ITU-R Study Groups on topics including: 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 communication and radionavigation, Earth exploration, meteorology, space science and radioastronomy.
Key ongoing activities of ITU-R Study Groups include 5G (IMT-2020) and radio-controlled watches, radio headsets to equipment for home and office networking, radio positioning systems for navigation, intelligent transport systems, smart cities, advanced immersive UHDTV technologies, Earth imagery and meteorological satellites, and emergency communications and disaster warning systems.
"Amongst other major achievements is the development and adoption of the IMT mobile broadband standards, which have revolutionized the way people communicate and access the internet, by enabling 3G and 4G, and now the future 5G generation of standards," said Mr Johnson.
"The work of ITU–R Study Groups and before it, that of CCIR, harnesses technological progress to the benefit of all and enables the long-term sustainability of the radiocommunication ecosystem, which has flourished over a century and become a fundamental part of today's world," said Mr Rancy.
ITU-R Study Groups develop the technical bases for important decisions taken at the quadrennial World Radiocommunication Conferences. They also develop Global Standards (Recommendations), Reports and Handbooks on radiocommunication matters.
As part of the celebrations, a series of events were organized throughout the anniversary year, including:
- High-level session of the WSIS Forum on "ITU enabling the wireless ecosystem" on 12 June, showcasing ITU-R Study Groups achievements at the Ministerial level;
- Dedicated Forum panel session at ITU TELECOM World 2017 (Busan, Republic of Korea) "Enabling and shaping the wireless ecosystem" on 27 September.
- Special session organized on 3 October 2017 by ITU-R Study Group 6 to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups and the 45th anniversary of digital TV/HDTV studies;
- Celebration in honour of the 90th Anniversary of the CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups held during the first ITU Inter-regional Workshop on WRC-19 Preparation on 21 November 2017 at ITU Headquarters, Geneva.
During the ceremony, the 90th Anniversary Commemorative Postcard issued by the Russian Administration was presented by Oleg Dukhovnitskiy, Head of the Federal Communications Agency, Russia.
For more information, please see the ceremony programme -
The ceremony webcast is available here -
 International Radio Consultative Committee