ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ITU-T Celebrates Fifty Years of Telecommunications and ICT Standardization

New York, Jul 20, 2006

Information and communications devices—such as computers, televisions, and phones—have become an essential part of everyday life, underpinning our business, social, and financial interactions. From online payment options to mobile phones, information and communications technologies (ICT) have transformed our lives, simplifying many tasks to a click of a mouse or button. Continued advancements in emerging ICT applications promise new innovations in a wide range of products and services.

Today, some of the most influential players in telecommunications and ICT gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the ITU-T, the standardization arm of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Participants assembled at the International Conference Centre for an official ceremony followed by keynote addresses from leading experts in international standardization, including Yoshio Utsumi, ITU secretary-general, and Aharon Amit, general secretary of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

While celebrating past achievements in developing international telecommunications and ICT standards, the anniversary celebration was forward-looking in focus. The event featured two round table discussions that highlighted up-and-coming technologies and the standards, strategies, and leadership needed to support their continued growth. The discussions were led by top ICT executives from organizations around the globe that are driving the emerging technologies.

ITU-T develops international standards to support the emergence of new ICT applications. Next generation network services, internet-protocol television, radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies, and wireless networks are among the ITU-T’s primary areas of focus. Upcoming areas of concentration are expected to address internet governance and cyber security.

The ITU-T was formed in 1956 when the International Telephone Consultative Committee (CCIT) and the International Telegraph Consultative Committee (CCIT), merged to more effectively manage telephone and telegraph communications. Today, ITU-T membership has expanded to include 190 member states, 354 sector members and 107 associates.

ITU-T develops approximately 210 standards every year. More than 3,000 ITU-T international standards are currently in use worldwide.