Legal and Regulatory Framework > International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

The ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) plays a vital role in the global management of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits - finite natural resources which are increasingly in demand from a large and growing number of services such as fixed, mobile, broadcasting, amateur, space research, emergency telecommunications, meteorology, global positioning systems, environmental monitoring and communication services - that ensure safety of life on land, at sea and in the skies.

World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC) are held every three to four years. It is the job of WRC to review, and, if necessary, revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and the geostationary-satellite and non-geostationary-satellite orbits. Revisions are made on the basis of an agenda determined by the ITU Council, which takes into account recommendations made by previous world radiocommunication conferences.

The general scope of the agenda of world Radiocommunication Conferences is established four to six years in advance, with the final agenda set by the ITU Council two years before the conference, with the concurrence of a majority of Member States.

Under the terms of the ITU Constitution, a WRC can:

  • Revise the Radio Regulations and any associated Frequency assignment and allotment Plans;
  • Address any radiocommunication matter of worldwide character;
  • Instruct the Radio Regulations Board and the Radiocommunication Bureau, and review their activities;
  • Determine Questions for study by the Radiocommunication Assembly and its Study Groups in preparation for future Radiocommunication Conferences.

On the basis of contributions from administrations, the Special Committee, the Radiocommunication Study Groups, and other sources (see Article 19 of the Convention (Geneva, 1992)) concerning the regulatory, technical, operational and procedural matters to be considered by World and Regional Radiocommunication Conferences, the Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) shall prepare a consolidated report to be used in support of the work of such conferences.


The ICT “eye” website is a one-stop-shop for ICT information and provides telecommunication/ICT indicators and statistics, regulatory and policy profiles, national tariff policies and scientific institutions.

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Global Industry Leaders’ Forum (GILF)

GILF provides a high-level forum for CEOs and other industry leaders to convey their views and make proposals regarding key regulatory and policy issues affecting their businesses and the ICT/telecommunications industry more broadly, as part of an interactive exchange with regulators and policy-makers.

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Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR)

The annual Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) organized by ITU has provided a venue for regulators and policy-makers from both developed and developing countries to meet and exchange views and experiences. The meeting fosters an open dialogue between regulators and key ICT stakeholders: the private sector, investors and consumers.

The ICT Regulation Toolkit

In order to respond to developing countries’ need for practical, relevant guidance and assistance in an ever changing environment, infoDev (the global development financing programme coordinated by a secretariat housed in the World bank), in cooperation with the ITU, has developed an ICT Regulation Toolkit. The Toolkit is intended to assist regulators with the design of effective and enabling regulatory frameworks to harness the latest technological and market advances. Its most prevalent themes are the impact of changing technology, the role of competition, and the regulatory implications of the transition from traditional telephony to next-generation networks (NGN).

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Tariff Policies Database

The objective of this database is to track and show trends in the application of tariff policies related to pricing, cost/tariff models, analytical accounting, interconnection charges, management of universal service and price control in different countries. Data is provided annually by telecommunication regulatory authorities and network operators.

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