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World Telecommunications Day'97


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A history of telecommunications and the ITU

1837 Invention of the first electric telegraph

1865 (17 May) Foundation of the International Telegraph Union by twenty States with the adoption of the first Convention. First Telegraph Regulations

1876 Alexander Graham Bell patents his invention of the telephone

1885 Berlin - Telegraph Conference. First provisions for international telephone service

1895 First signals transmitted by radio-relay system

1902 First radio transmissions of the human voice

1906 Adoption of SOS signal. First trials of broadcasting (voice and music) using radiotelephony

1920 Birth of sound-broadcasting

1932 Madrid - Plenipotentiary Conference. Telegraph and Radiotelegraph Conventions merged into a single International Telecommunication Convention. Telegraph Union changes name to International Telecommunication Union

1947 Atlantic City - Plenipotentiary Conference. Creation of IFRB (International Frequency Registration Board). ITU becomes a specialized agency of the United Nations

1957 Launching of Sputnik-1, the Earth's first artificial satellite

1963 Geneva - First World Space Radiocommunication Conference

1983 World Communications Year (WCY)

1990 125th anniversary of the ITU

1993 Helsinki - First World Telecommunication Standardization Conference Geneva

[Timeline adapted from the ITU]


  1. Using the dates above create a Telecom Timeline.

  2. Add other important Telecommunication dates. Consider, for example, the creation of the internet.

  3. Add your personal dates: create a timeline of the first time you used such technologies, from the phone and radio to e-mail and the web.
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