International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

ITU is the United Nations’ specialized agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). ITU was founded in 1865 to facilitate international connectivity in communications networks. India is its member since 1869.

ITU allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and works towards improving access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide. ITU’s global membership includes 193 member states as well as some 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations. ​ At ITU, members from the public and private sectors work together to help shape the future ICT policy and regulatory environment, global standards, and best practices to help spread access to ICT services.

The ITU comprises of three Sectors, each managing a different aspect of the matters handled by the Union: -

ITU Radio-communication Sector (ITU-R)

plays a vital role in the global management of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits 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.

ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T)

was established in 1956 as the International Telephone and Telegraph Consultative Committee or CCITT (from its French name Comité consultatif international téléphonique et télégraphique) and this Sector standardizes global telecommunications. The Study Groups of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) assemble experts from around the world to develop international standards known as ITU-T Recommendations which act as defining elements in the global infrastructure of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Standards are critical to the interoperability of ICTs and whether it’s exchange of voice, video or data messages, standards enable global communications by ensuring that countries’ ICT networks and devices are speaking the same language.

ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D)

fosters international cooperation and solidarity in the delivery of technical assistance and in the creation, development and improvement of telecommunication and ICT equipment and networks in developing countries. ITU-D is required to discharge the Union's dual responsibility as a United Nations specialized agency and executing agency for implementing projects under the United Nations development system or other funding arrangements, so as to facilitate and enhance telecommunic​ation/ICT development by offering, organizing and coordinating technical cooperation and assistance activities.

The framework of ITU-T comprises of World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA), Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG), Study Groups (SGs), Workshops & Seminars, Technology Watch. The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) sets the overall direction and structure for ITU-T. WTSA meets every four years and defines the general policy for the Sector, establishes the study groups, approves their expected work programme for the next four-year period, and appoints their chairmen and vice-chairmen.

The Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) provides ITU-T with flexibility between WTSAs by reviewing priorities, programmes, operations, financial matters and strategies for the Sector. It also follows up on the accomplishments of the work programme, restructures and establishes ITU-T study groups, provides guidelines to the study groups, advises the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), and produces organization and working procedures in the shape of A Series Recommendations.

The Study Groups - ​​​Standardization work is carried out by the technical Study Groups (SGs) in which representatives of the ITU-T membership develop Recommendations (standards) for the various fields of international telecommunications. The various ITU-T study groups are as follows:


  • Study Group 2: Operational Aspects
  • Study Group 3: Tariff and Accounting Principles and International Telecommunication/ICT economic and policy issues.
  • Study Group 5: Environment and Circular Economy
  • Study Group 9: Broadband Cable and TV
  • Study Group 11: Signalling requirements, protocols, test specifications and combating counterfeit products.
  • Study Group 12: Performance, QoS and QoE
  • Study Group 13: Future Networks, with focus on IMT-2020, cloud computing and trusted network infrastructures.
  • Study Group 15: Transport, Access and Home
  • Study Group 16: Multimedia
  • Study Group 17: Security
  • Study Group 20: Internet of Things (IOT), Smart Cities and Communities (SC&C)

Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) is an ISO 9000:2015 certified technical wing of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that works as standards setting organization (SSO) in the field of telecom & related ICT sector. It formulates standards and specifications like Generic Requirements (GR), Interface Requirements (IR), System Requirements (SR) and Essential requirements (ER) for telecom equipment, networks, systems and services. Department of Telecommunications is the nodal department representing government of India in ITU and TEC is the body coordinating the Indian activities corresponding to ITU-T study groups. Sr.DDG TEC is the nodal officer from India for coordinating national activities related to ITU-T study groups.