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CCIR / ITU-R Study Groups celebrate 90 years

90th Anniversary of CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups

2017 marks the 90th anniversary of the CCIR*/ITU-R Study Groups', a testimony of global collaboration to produce universally applied regulations, standards and best practices and enable the sustainable development of the wireless ecosystem.

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 such as 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 communications and radionavigation, Earth exploration, meteorology, space science and radioastronomy.

As part of the celebrations, a series of events have taken place during the anniversary year of 2017, including:

- A High-level session of the WSIS Forum on "ITU enabling the wireless ecosystem" showcasing ITU-R Study Groups achievements at the Ministerial level which was held on 12 June, 16h30 – 18h15 at ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

- A dedicated session at ITU TELECOM World 2017 "Enabling and shaping the wireless ecosystem" which was held on 27 September, 16h45 - 18h00 in Busan, Republic of Korea.

- A celebration in honour of the 90th Anniversary of the CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups which was held on 21 November, 16h00 - 18h00 during the 1st ITU Inter-regional Workshop on WRC-19 Preparation at ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

Targeting primarily ITU membership, ITU-R Study Groups participants and delegates, specialized technical magazines, research institutions, media, ITU staff and the general public, these events highlighted the eminent role of the ITU-R Study Groups in enabling and shaping the overall wireless ecosystem and ensuring its sustainable development.

*CCIR - International Radiocommunication Consultative Committee

Workshop on WRC-19 Prep.

A celebration in honour of the 90th Anniversary of the CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups was held during the 1st ITU Inter-regional Workshop on WRC-19 Preparation on 21 November 2017 at 16:00 hours, in the ITU Headquarters, Geneva.

It was attended by Administrations who have largely contributed by their efforts and years-of-service to the 90-year history of the CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups: the former officials of the Radiocommunciation Bureau, the Radio Regulations Board, and the former IFRB, the former Chairs of the ITU-R Study Groups, including the Radiocommunication Advisory Group, the Conference Preparatory Meeting and the Special Committee, and of the former CCIR Study Groups. It was also attended by participants of the 1st ITU Inter-regional Workshop on WRC-19 Preparation

The keynotes speeches by the panelists addressed their vision of ITU's contribution to the development of the wireless ecosystem in their respective countries and regions. The session concluded on a general discussion and closing remarks by Mr François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. It was followed by a cocktail reception.

The anniversary celebration was held in the framework of the celebrations of the 90th Anniversary of the CCIR / ITU Radiocommunication Study Groups (1927-2017) and the 111th Anniversary of the ITU Radio Regulations (1906 - 2017). The studies carried out in the ITU-R Study Groups since 1992 and previously in CCIR (International Radiocommunication Consultative Committee) are conducted by all spectrum stakeholders in the industry, research, academic and governments sectors and ensure that the eco-system evolves by adopting the most advanced, efficient and affordable technologies while protecting the investments made in spectrum all around the world.

PROGRAMME - 21 Nov. 2017, 16h00

Celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups (1927 – 2017):

Date: Tuesday 21 November 2017, in conjunction with the first ITU Inter-Regional Workshop on WRC-19 Preparation, at ITU Headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland

Venue: Popov Room, ITU Headquarters, Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland

16h00 – Opening

Mr Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General, ITU
Mr François Rancy, Director ITU Radiocommunication Bureau

16h30 - Panel discussion - The importance of the CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups activities and their contribution to shaping and enabling the global wireless ecosystem.


• Mr Andrew Hudson, Head of Policy, GSMA
• Ms Aarti Holla, Secretary General, ESOA
• Dr Walid Sami, EBU (ITU-R Study Group 6 Vice-Chairman)
• Mr Petteri Taalas, Secretary General, WMO
• Mr Dominic Hayes, European Commission
• Mr Jeppe Jepsen, Spectrum Director, TCCA
• Mr John Zuzek, NASA (ITU-R Study Group 7 Chairman)
• Mr Harvey Liszt, Secretary, IUCAF
• Mr Uwe Baeder, Director - International Relations, Rohde & Schwarz
• Mr Timothy S. Ellam, President, IARU

17h45 – Presentation of the Commemorative Postcard

• Mr Valery Butenko, Director General, Radio Research and Development Institute (NIIR), Russia

18h00 – Conclusion

18h15 – Cocktail Reception

Who we are

The ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is mandated by ITU Membership to determine the technical characteristics and operational procedures for a huge and growing range of wireless services and systems. Since 1927, the ITU-R Study Groups (former CCIR) also plays a vital role in the preparation of standards presented in "ITU-R Recommendations" for the management of the radio-frequency spectrum – a finite natural resource that is increasingly in demand due to the rapid development of new radio-based services and technologies, such as the enormous growth of mobile and related communications.

As such, the Radiocommunication Assembly 2015 (RA-15) approved a series of Recommendations and Resolutions for new and emerging technologies; initiated further studies for the development of global mobile broadband communications (IMT-2020) and studies related to wireless systems and applications for the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as ways to improve the dissemination of knowledge concerning the applicable regulatory procedures for small satellites, including nanosatellites and picosatellites.

Per se, former CCIR and present ITU-R Study Groups thereby develop the technical bases for decisions taken at World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRCs) and develop global standards or Recommendations, Reports and Handbooks on radiocommunication matters.

The next WRC-19 is scheduled to take place from 28 October to 22 November 2019.

Furthermore, the ITU-R Study Groups (SGs) and their Working Parties (WPs) and Task Groups (TGs) meet on a regular basis throughout the year, and you may follow their activities here:


The 90th Anniversary of the CCIR / ITU Radiocommunication (ITU‑R) Study Groups occured in November 2017, to honour the anniversary of the signing on 25 November 1927, of the Final Acts of the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington, 1927 which created CCIR (see figure 1).

The "International Radio Consultative Committee" or "Comité Consultatif International pour la Radio" (CCIR) was founded in 1927 as part of the International Telecommunication Union at the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington, 1927.

CCIR's purpose was to carry out technical studies on radiocommunications. Until 1992, CCIR published international standards, reports and handbooks describing the best practices in radiocommunications, and in particular on the optimum use of spectrum. Among these, were the global standards for analog and digital television and sound broadcasting. CCIR Study Groups also conducted the studies in support of World Radiocommunication Conferences decisions on spectrum allocations and associated technical provisions.

In 1992, the CCIR was merged into the Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), created by the Additional Plenipotentiary Conference in Geneva, as part of a reform of ITU to give the Union greater flexibility to adapt to an increasingly complex, interactive and competitive telecommunications environment. ITU's three main areas of activity were organized in "Sectors": radiocommunications,  telecommunication standardization and telecommunication development. 

Today, the work of the former CCIR continues to be carried out by the ITU‑R Study Groups, with an extended scope to cover the studies on regulatory and procedural matters for access to spectrum and orbit resources.