The International Telecommunication Union (ITU is the specialized United Nations agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States. ITU is committed to connecting the world Virtually every facet of modern life – in business, culture or entertainment, at work and at home – depends on information and communication technologies. Today, there are billions of mobile phone subscribers, close to five billion people with access to television, and tens of millions of new Internet users every year. Hundreds of millions of people around the world use satellite services – whether getting directions from a satellite navigation system, checking the weather forecast or watching television from isolated areas. Millions more use video compression every day in mobile phones, music players and cameras.
ITU is at the very heart of the ICT sector, brokering agreement on technologies, services, and allocation of global resources like radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbital positions, to create a seamless global communications system that’s robust, reliable, and constantly evolving.
The global international telecommunications network is the largest and most sophisticated engineering feat ever created. You use it every time you log on to the web, send an e-mail or SMS, listen to the radio, watch television, order something online, travel by plane or ship – and of course every time you use a mobile phone, smartphone or tablet computer.
All of this is thanks to ITU and its membership:
- ITU makes phone calls possible: whether to the office next door or to a friend in another country. ITU standards, protocols and international agreements are the essential elements underpinning the global telecommunication system.
- ITU coordinates the world’s satellites through the management of spectrum and orbits, bringing you television, vehicle GPS navigation, maritime and aeronautical communications, weather information and online maps, and enabling communications in even the remotest parts of the planet.
- ITU makes Internet access possible. The majority of Internet connections are facilitated by ITU standards.
- ITU helps support communications in the wake of disasters and emergencies – through on-the-ground assistance, dedicated emergency communications channels, technical standards for early warning systems, and practical help in rebuilding after a catastrophe.
- ITU works with the industry to define the new technologies that will support tomorrow’s networks and services.
- ITU powers the mobile revolution, forging the technical standards and policy frameworks that make mobile and broadband possible.
- ITU works with public and private sector partners to ensure that ICT access and services are affordable, equitable and universal.
- ITU empowers people around the world through technology education and training.