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UK unveils bid for top spot at UN’s telecoms agency 

The UK”s Tech Minister Chris Philp is set to kick off the country’s campaign for a council seat at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – the UN telecoms agency which helps manage the world’s phone and satellite networks. The ITU allocates global spectrum (the specific radio waves used for sending and receiving information) and develops technical standards which enable everyday technologies such as mobile phones, television, vehicle GPS navigation, weather information and online maps to function.

On a mission to connect the world

For instance, the ITU was behind the development of country codes for mobile phone numbers (e.g. +44 in the UK) which allow people to make a call to virtually any country in the world.

Minister for Tech and Digital Economy Chris Philp said: “We are delighted to be launching our manifesto today as part of our bid for a seat at the International Telecommunication Union’s governing council. ITU’s mission to connect the world has never been more important and we share its ambition to tackle the sector’s biggest challenges, such as closing the digital divide. The UK, with its thriving tech sector and world-leading academic expertise, has a great deal to offer.”

Growing demand for radio spectrum

Being a member of the ITU’s governing council would bolster the UK’s efforts to tackle the growing demand for radio spectrum caused by the growth of new wireless technologies and closing the global digital divide by widening access to information and communication technologies. The minister will launch the UK’s election manifesto at the event in Geneva today which is being attended by ambassadors and other stakeholders. The election will take place in the first week of the ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference at the end of September 2022.