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Radio Day & 155th Birthday Celebration

Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen

As you know, today, 7 May, is Radio Day.

This celebrates the day in 1895 when Alexander Stepanovich Popov successfully demonstrated his brilliant device for the practical reception of electromagnetic radio waves – thereby ushering in the era of radiocommunications.

And where better for us to celebrate this great man in science, and this great man in the history of our organization, ITU, than in this very room – the Popov Room!

Less than a year after his first demonstration, in March 1896, Professor Popov transmitted radio waves between two different campus buildings in Saint Petersburg.

As many of you will know, St Petersburg is like a second home to me, as I did post-graduate work at what was then the Leningrad Electro-Technical Institute of Communications, and which is now the Bonch-Bruevich Saint-Petersburg State University of Telecommunications.

In 1897, Popov equipped a land station at Kronstadt and the Russian navy cruiser Africa with his wireless apparatus for ship-to-shore communications – ushering in a new era for wireless communications.

Indeed, Popov’s work very quickly went on to save lives, and to make the world a better place for all of us.

So it really is a great honour to recognize his achievements here today, in this room, named in Popov’s honour – and especially in this year, which marks the 155th anniversary of Popov’s birth.

Let me wish all of you a very special Radio Day today.

Thank you for your attention.