Legal and Regulatory Framework - ITU

Legal and Regulatory Framework - ITU

Information dated: 2017

Lara Srivastava

Counsellor, ITU-T SG3 on Tariff and Accounting Principles, Economic and Policy Issues

Tel: +41 22 730 5884

E-mail: tsbsg3 [at] itu.int


The ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) plays a vital role in the global management of the radio-fre- quency 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.


For more information: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ICTEYE/Default.aspx

ITU-T Study Group 3 (ITU-T SG3)


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. Since its inception in 1865, ITU-T has driven a contribution-led, consensus-based approach to standards development.

ITU‑T Study Group 3, Tariff and accounting principles and international telecommunication/ICT economic and policy issues, is responsible, inter alia, for studying international telecommunication/ICT policy and economic issues and tariff and accounting matters (including costing principles and methodologies), with a view to informing the development of enabling regulatory models and frameworks. To this end, Study Group 3 in particular is fostering collaboration among its participants with a view to the establishment of rates at levels as low as possible consistent with an efficient service and taking into account the necessity for maintaining independent financial administration of telecommunications on a sound basis.

ITU’s technical standardization work is predominantly industry-driven, with business requirements forming the main fuel to standardization. ITU-T Study Group 3 is taking action in response to the perception among ITU members that the alignment of technology, business, regulation and policy will see significant improvement if technical standardization grants equal weight to technical innovation, business needs and policy and regulatory requirement. ITU-T Study Group 3 is studying, among other topics, the economic and regulatory impact of the Internet, convergence (services or infrastructure) and new services, such as OTT, on international telecommunication services and networks, ​international mobile roaming issues (including charging, accounting and settlement mechanisms and roaming at border areas), definition of relevant markets, competition policy and identification of operators with significant market power (SMP) and economic and policy aspects of big data and digital identity in international telecommunications services and networks.