ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.
An organization based on public-private partnership since its inception, ITU currently has a membership of 193 countries and almost 800 private-sector entities and academic institutions. ITU is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has twelve regional and area offices around the world.
ITU membership represents a cross-section of the global ICT sector, from the world's largest manufacturers and telecoms carriers to small, innovative players working with new and emerging technologies, along with leading R&D institutions and academia.
Founded on the principle of international cooperation between governments (Member States) and the private sector (Sector Members, Associates and Academia), ITU is the premier global forum through which parties work towards consensus on a wide range of issues affecting the future direction of the ICT industry.
We allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
ITU is committed to connecting all the world's people – wherever they live and whatever their means. Through our work, we protect and support everyone's fundamental right to communicate
Today, ICTs underpin everything we do. They help manage and control emergency services, water supplies, power networks and food distribution chains. They support health care, education, government services, financial markets, transportation systems, e-commerce platforms and environmental management. And they allow people to communicate with colleagues, friends and family anytime, and almost anywhere.
With the help of our global membership, ITU brings the benefits of modern communication technologies to people everywhere in an efficient, safe, easy and affordable manner.
ITU membership reads like a Who's Who of the ICT sector. We're unique among UN agencies in having both public and private sector membership. So in addition to our 193 Member States, ITU membership includes ICT regulators, many leading academic institutions and some 700 tech companies.
In an increasingly interconnected world, ITU is the single global organization embracing all players in this dynamic and fast-growing sector.
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.