Curiosity : Something behind TV and Radio

Watching TVWhile watching TV or Listening to FM Radio, what we do? We switch between channels/stations which in fact is tuning the frequencies  of  electromagnetic spectrum which are measured in Hertz (Hz). By the way who regulates this? What frequency is used for what purpose? Is there any standards? Know more now…

Radio spectrum refers to the part of the electromagnetic spectrum corresponding to radio frequencies – that is, frequencies lower than around 300 GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called radio waves, are used for radio communication and various other applications.

So, your TV or Radio Stations produce the radio waves which you receive and enjoy.

Who can generate the Radio waves? Who controls it? 

The generation of radio waves is strictly regulated by the government in most countries, coordinated by an international standards body called the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Different parts of the radio spectrum are allocated for different radio transmission technologies and applications. In some cases, parts of the radio spectrum is sold or licensed to operators of private radio transmission services (for example, cellular telephone operators or broadcast television stations). Ranges of allocated frequencies are often referred to by their provisioned use (for example, cellular spectrum or television spectrum)

Flag of ITU.svgITU is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies. The ITU coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world, and assists in the development and coordination of worldwide technical standards. The ITU is active in areas including broadband Internet, latest-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology, convergence in fixed-mobile phone, Internet access, data, voice, TV broadcasting, and next-generation networks.

ITU, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a member of the United Nations Development Group. Its membership includes 193 Member States and around 700 Sector Members and Associates.

Okay, what are the frequencies or wave lengths used by our Televisions? What about our mobile phones?

Well, the ITU regulates it along with governments of various countries and allocates the frequencies as bands, for various purposes. The list below will explain the typical allocation.

band is a small section of the spectrum of radio communication frequencies, in which channels are usually used or set aside for the same purpose. Above 300 GHz, the absorption of electromagnetic radiation by Earth’s atmosphere is so great that the atmosphere is effectively opaque, until it becomes transparent again in the near-infrared and optical window frequency ranges.

To prevent interference and allow for efficient use of the radio spectrum, similar services are allocated in bands. For example, broadcasting, mobile radio, or navigation devices, will be allocated in non-overlapping ranges of frequencies. Each of these bands has a basic bandplan which dictates how it is to be used and shared, to avoid interference and to set protocol for the compatibility of transmitters and receivers.

Band name Abbreviation ITU band Frequency
wavelength in air
Example uses
Tremendously low frequency TLF   < 3 Hz
> 100,000 km
Natural and artificial electromagnetic noise
Extremely low frequency ELF   3–30 Hz
100,000 km – 10,000 km
Communication with submarines
Super low frequency SLF   30–300 Hz
10,000 km – 1000 km
Communication with submarines
Ultra low frequency ULF   300–3000 Hz
1000 km – 100 km
Submarine communication, Communication within mines
Very low frequency VLF 4 3–30 kHz
100 km – 10 km
Navigationtime signals, submarine communication, wireless heart rate monitorsgeophysics
Low frequency LF 5 30–300 kHz
10 km – 1 km
Navigation, time signals, AM longwavebroadcasting (Europe and parts of Asia),RFIDamateur radio
Medium frequency MF 6 300–3000 kHz
1 km – 100 m
AM (medium-wave) broadcasts, amateur radio, avalanche beacons
High frequency HF 7 3–30 MHz
100 m – 10 m
Shortwave broadcasts, citizens’ band radio, amateur radio and over-the-horizon aviation communications, RFIDOver-the-horizon radarAutomatic link establishment (ALE) /Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) radio communications, Marine and mobile radio telephony
Very high frequency VHF 8 30–300 MHz
10 m – 1 m
FMtelevision broadcasts and line-of-sight ground-to-aircraft and aircraft-to-aircraft communications. Land Mobile and Maritime Mobile communications, amateur radio,weather radio
Ultra high frequency UHF 9 300–3000 MHz
1 m – 100 mm
Television broadcasts, Microwave oven,Microwave devices/communications, radio astronomymobile phoneswireless LAN,BluetoothZigBeeGPS and two-way radios such as Land Mobile, FRS and GMRSradios, amateur radio
Super high frequency SHF 10 3–30 GHz
100 mm – 10 mm
Radio astronomy, microwave devices/communications, wireless LAN, most modern radarscommunications satellites, satellite television broadcasting,DBS, amateur radio
Extremely high frequency EHF 11 30–300 GHz
10 mm – 1 mm
Radio astronomy, high-frequencymicrowave radio relay, microwave remote sensing, amateur radio, directed-energy weaponmillimeter wave scanner
Terahertz orTremendously high frequency THz or THF 12 300–3,000 GHz
1 mm – 100 μm
Terahertz imaging – a potential replacement for X-rays in some medical applications, ultrafast molecular dynamics,condensed-matter physicsterahertz time-domain spectroscopy, terahertz computing/communications, sub-mm remote sensing, amateur radio

Courtesy : Wikipedia and ITU

Do you want to know about anything in a simpler and understandable way? Please drop a comment about it on any of our posts. We will get back on that in our future posts.

Know : World Trade Organization (WTO)

Brief Overview:

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

The result is assurance. Consumers and producers know that they can enjoy secure supplies and greater choice of the finished products, components, raw materials and services that they use. Producers and exporters know that foreign markets will remain open to them.

The result is also a more prosperous, peaceful and accountable economic world. Virtually all decisions in the WTO are taken by consensus among all member countries and they are ratified by members’ parliaments. Trade friction is channelled into the WTO’s dispute settlement process where the focus is on interpreting agreements and commitments, and how to ensure that countries’ trade policies conform with them. That way, the risk of disputes spilling over into political or military conflict is reduced.

By lowering trade barriers, the WTO’s system also breaks down other barriers between peoples and nations.

At the heart of the system — known as the multilateral trading system — are the WTO’s agreements, negotiated and signed by a large majority of the world’s trading nations, and ratified in their parliaments. These agreements are the legal ground-rules for international commerce. Essentially, they are contracts, guaranteeing member countries important trade rights. They also bind governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits to everybody’s benefit.

The agreements were negotiated and signed by governments. But their purpose is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.

The goal is to improve the welfare of the peoples of the 159 member states.

   Members, dually represented by the European Union

The History : 

The World Trade Organization came into being in 1995. One of the youngest of the international organizations, the WTO is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established in the wake of the Second World War. So while the WTO is still young, the multilateral trading system that was originally set up under GATT is well over 50 years old. (click here to read the complete history)

In 2000, new talks started on agriculture and services. These have now been incorporated into a broader agenda launched at the fourth WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001.

The work programme, the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), adds negotiations and other work on non-agricultural tariffs, trade and environment, WTO rules such as anti-dumping and subsidies, investment, competition policy, trade facilitation, transparency in government procurement, intellectual property, and a range of issues raised by developing countries as difficulties they face in implementing the present WTO agreements.

It does this by:
Administering trade agreements
Acting as a forum for trade negotiations
Settling trade disputes
Reviewing national trade policies
Assisting developing countries in trade policy issues, through technical assistance and training programmes
Cooperating with other international organizations

Organizational Structure

The WTO has about 150 members, accounting for about 95% of world trade. Around 30 others are negotiating membership.

Decisions are made by the entire membership. This is typically by consensus. A majority vote is also possible but it has never been used in the WTO, and was extremely rare under the WTO’s predecessor, GATT. The WTO’s agreements have been ratified in all members’ parliaments.

The WTO’s top level decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference which meets at least once every two years.

Below this is the General Council (normally ambassadors and heads of delegation in Geneva, but sometimes officials sent from members’ capitals) which meets several times a year in the Geneva headquarters. The General Council also meets as the Trade Policy Review Body and the Dispute Settlement Body.

At the next level, the Goods Council, Services Council and Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Council report to the General Council.

Numerous specialized committees, working groups and working parties deal with the individual agreements and other areas such as the environment, development, membership applications and regional trade agreements.


The WTO Secretariat, based in Geneva, has around 600 staff and is headed by a director-general (Roberto Azevêdo). Its annual budget is roughly 160 million Swiss francs. It does not have branch offices outside Geneva. Since decisions are taken by the members themselves, the Secretariat does not have the decision-making role that other inter-Secretariat, Genevanational bureaucracies are given.

The WTO agreements
How can you ensure that trade is as fair as possible, and as free as is practical? By negotiating rules and abiding by them. (Click here to read more about the WTO agreements)

The WTO is ‘rules-based’; its rules are negotiated agreements.

Overview: a navigational guide
Tariffs: more bindings and closer to zero
Agriculture: fairer markets for farmers
Standards and safety
Textiles: back in the mainstream
Services: rules for growth and investment
Intellectual property: protection and enforcement
Anti-dumping, subsidies, safeguards: contingencies, etc
Non-tariff barriers: red tape, etc
Plurilaterals: of minority interest
Trade policy reviews: ensuring transparency

10 benefits of the WTO trading system

From the money in our pockets and the goods and services that we use, to a more peaceful world — the WTO and the trading system offer a range of benefits, some well-known, others not so obvious.

1. The system helps promote peace
2. Disputes are handled constructively
3. Rules make life easier for all
4. Freer trade cuts the costs of living
5. It provides more choice of products and qualities
6. Trade raises incomes
7. Trade stimulates economic growth
8. The basic principles make life more efficient
9. Governments are shielded from lobbying
10. The system encourages good government

10 common misunderstandings about the WTO

Is it a dictatorial tool of the rich and powerful? Does it destroy jobs? Does it ignore the concerns of health, the environment and development?  Emphatically no. Criticisms of the WTO are often based on fundamental misunderstandings of the way the WTO works.

1. WTO dictates?
Blindly for trade?
Ignores development?
Wrecks jobs?
Small left out?
Tool of lobbies?
Weak forced to join?


Courtesy and Source :, Wikipedia and Google