ITU Radio Regulations


Emblem of the United Nations.svg
Basic data
Short title: ITU Radio Regulations
Long title: Radio Regulations of the
International Telecommunication Union
Type: Treaty
Legal status: International law
Jurisdiction: international
Abbreviation: RR
Treaty countries: ca. 200
Announcement: December 22, 1992
Current version: "Edition of 2020"[1]

The ITU Radio Regulations (short: RR) regulates on law of nations scale radiocommunication services and the utilisation of radio frequencies. It is the supplementation to the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU Constitution and Convention). In line to the ITU Constitution and Convention and the ITU International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR), this ITU Radio Regulations belong to the basic documents of the International Telecommunication Union. The ITU Radio Regulations comprise and regulate the part of the allocated electromagnetic spectrum (also: radio frequency spectrum) from 9 kHz to 275 GHz.


The current approved version of the ITU Radio Regulations (addition 2012) is structured as follows:

Volume 1 – Articles

  • CHAPTER I – Terminology and technical characteristics
    • Section I – General terms (article 1.1-1.15)
    • Section II – Specific terms related to frequency management (article 1.16-1.18)
    • Section III – Radiocommunication services (article 1.19-1.60)
    • Section IV – Radio stations and systems (article 1.61-1.115)
    • Section V – Operational terms (article 1.116-1.136)
    • Section VI – Characteristics of Emissions and Radio Equipment (article 1.137-1.165)
    • Section VII – Frequency Sharing (article 1.166-1.176)
    • Section VIII – Technical terms relating to space (article 1.177-1.191)
  • CHAPTER II – Frequencies
  • CHAPTER III – Coordination, notification and recording of frequency assignments and Plan modifications
  • CHAPTER IV – Interferences
  • CHAPTER V – Administrative provisions
  • CHAPTER VI – Provisions for services and stations
  • CHAPTER VII – Distress and safety communications
  • CHAPTER VIII – Aeronautical services
  • CHAPTER IX – Maritime services
  • CHAPTER X – Provisions for entry into force of the Radio Regulations

Volume 2 – Appendices
Volume 3 – Resolutions and Recommendations
Volume 4 – ITU-R Recommendations incorporated by reference
Maps to be used in relation to Appendix 27


The Radio Regulations define:

  • the allocation of different frequency bands to different radio services;
  • the mandatory technical parameters to be observed by radio stations, especially transmitters;
  • procedures for the coordination (ensuring technical compatibility) and notification (formal recording and protection in the Master International Frequency Register) of frequency assignments made to radio stations by national governments;
  • other procedures and operational provisions.

The drafting, revision and adoption of the Radio Regulations is the responsibility of the World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRCs) of the ITU,[2] meetings of which are typically held every three or four years.[3]

Recent WRCs are:

  • Geneva, 1995 (WRC-95) [4]
  • Geneva, 1997 (WRC-97)) [5]
  • Istanbul, 2000 (WRC-2000) [6]
  • Geneva, 2003 (WRC-03) [7]
  • Geneva, 2007 (WRC-07) [8]
  • Geneva, 2012 (WRC-12) [9]
  • Geneva, 2015 (WRC-15) [10]
  • Sharm el-Sheikh, 2019 (WRC-19) [11]

The most recent published version[12] of the Radio Regulations, the "Edition of 2016"[13] contains the complete texts of the Radio Regulations as adopted and revised by WRC-15, including all articles, appendices, resolutions, and a subset of the recommendations issued by ITU-R (previously known as the CCIR) (those "recommendations" which have a mandatory nature, as a result of being cited in the Radio Regulations).

The "Edition of 2020", adopted and reviewed by the WRC-19, is scheduled for publication in October 2020.[1][14]


  1. ^ a b Edition of 2020
  2. ^ Final Acts of the WRCs
  3. ^ World Radiocommunication Conferences
  4. ^ WRC-95
  5. ^ WRC-97
  6. ^ WRC-00
  7. ^ WRC-03
  8. ^ WRC-07
  9. ^ WRC-12
  10. ^ WRC-15
  11. ^ WRC-19
  12. ^ The Radio Regulations on the ITU website
  13. ^ Edition of 2016
  14. ^ Edition of 2020 - Publication notice

External links

  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • Radio Regulations website
  • World Radiocommunication Conferences website
  • Historic editions of the Radio Regulations (History of ITU Portal) at the Library of Congress Web Archives (archived 2012-08-03)
  • 100 Years of ITU Radio Regulations (1906-2006)
  • 100 years of International Radio Regulations
  • Contents of the Radio Regulations (including selected sections)
  • ICT Regulation Toolkit by infoDev in cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union

National and Regional Radio Regulatory Agencies

  • European Radiocommunications Office
  • Federal Communications Commission (USA)
  • Ofcom (UK)
  • Agence Nationale des Fréquences (France)
  • Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (UAE)
  • Australian Communications and Media Authority (Australia)