The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been at the center of advances in communication about a century and a half. This has developed from telegraphy to the modern world of satellites, mobile phone, and the Internet.
ITU is one of the international collaboration, among governments, private companies, and other stakeholders. This mission is continuing to achieve the best practical solutions for integrating new technologies as they develop and to open out their benefits to everyone.
The main purpose of ITU is to coordinate telecommunication operation and services across the World. ITU is responsible for issues that distress the information and communication technologies.
Origin And Role Of ITU
Originally established in 1865, as the International Telegraph Union, it is the oldest existing international organization. The headquarters of ITU is in Geneva, Switzerland and has 12 regional area offices around the World.
ITU emerged with an agreement between 20 European states, to make sure that the standardization of international telegraph networks between its signatory members.
ITU is an agency of the United Nations which plays an important role in international telecommunication management for nearly 150 years. However, ITU has faced much opposition from global development.
Three Major Challenges
Digital technologies such as the Internet came into the view of formalized institutional structures. This exhausted the position of the ITU as a key factor in management and supervision of communication networks.
- The boundless nature of the digital communication networks has led other global institutions to hold in policymaking towards the new information structure.
- Finally, Conflicts from some actors, especially the United States of America towards the ITU led to involve in the new infrastructure at bay.
- These oppositions led to a debate about the function and benefit of ITU as the central player in managing the new information infrastructure.
Role Of ITU
- In 1947, ITU became a UN agency and its instruction can be described as that of playing a role in carrying out three tasks:
- ITU manages the international radio-frequency spectrum
- It maintains the telecommunication service standards
- It ensures access to ICT for the developing world.
- These three tasks are executed in three different sectors. They are Radio (ITU-R), Telecommunication Standardization (ITU-T) and Development (ITU-D).
- The ITU focuses on its main rule – ‘connecting the world’ and it deals with this in certain areas through its three sectors.
- These areas include mobile telephony, broadband communication, and unique numbering systems for telephones to be portrayed on Internet Addresses.
- ITU also provides huge support to the developing world, through enhancing capacity and support for developing infrastructure.
- ITU organizes many World Fora on issues like Radio development, Telecommunication policy and it was the organizer of the World Summit on the Information Society.
- It continues to play role in the initiative of Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
Evolution Of Telecommunication Sector
For thousands of years, the fastest method of sending important messages over a long distance was with a courier or horseback.
The International Telegraph union dates were launched to provide a turn to the living framework through the evolution of international communications technologies ease the dialogue and creating amendments to the initial agreement.
After certain years, the ITU was busily working in developing the international standards for telephony and radio communication.
Radio was used to transmit information across the country long before the development of the Internet.
The interactive services have caused the many regulatory changes for national and global institutions with choices like telephone, Teletext, Videotext, and Minitel exhibiting the properties of interactivity in various degrees.
The statistics have shown that how commercial interest proved to be the driving element in upgrading the electric telegraph, the Victorian internet which was developed by Victorian society.
Another statics named Zacher traced the development of ITU, established to give the fine development of international telegraph traffic.
In 1960, the process of digitalization started and has resulted in the convergence between media, communication, and other services.
As well as the growth of digital technology, a second factor has contributed to the evolution of the telecommunication sector in the structure of the market.
Computing technology and telecommunication technology had been treated as separate commercial terms, but the move of these two sectors into the information processing industry had produced a dramatically industrial restructuring.
The Future For The ITU
The ITU has faced many challenges to its position, particularly due to the growth in digital technologies and the shifts in global governance in recent years. This has generated a variation in the opinion of ITU’s management of dynamic global telecommunication environment.
ITU also faces strong competition from other standards like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and ICANN that have emerged since the internet and the World Wide Web has come into the view as general purpose technology. The ITU can be considered as a unique partnership of government and industry. The most work carried out by ITU is indeed technical.
This work is done within the framework set and is formally approved by the Member States.
The policy work of ITU relates only to matters of all governments agree that should have collaborated at the international level.
Therefore, the International Telecommunication plays a vital global role in coordinating and executing the policy in the telecommunication sector.
It is concluded that future agreements, formal implicit, will surely reflect the degree of mutual understanding affected through the existing international communication system.
So it is unquestionable that communication will be determinative of the future World reflecting the harmony.
Especially, world understanding through international communication is a precondition to World Peace.