Our history

History of ETSI

ETSI was set up in 1988 by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) in response to proposals from the European Commission.

There have been many significant events and achievements since ETSI was created – and many of them have had a global impact.

The list below highlights some of the landmarks in our history.

  • 2019: Re-election of Luis Jorge Romero as Director-General (2019 to 2024)
  • 2019: First Releases of 5G ready for implementation
  • 2018: Number of standards published passes 40 000 mark
  • 2017: The Radio Equipment Directive (RED) completed its transition period supported by Harmonised Standards from ETSI
  • 2016: oneM2M release 2 specifications published
  • 2015: oneM2M release 1 specifications published
  • 2013: Regulation 1025/2012 replaced Directive 98/34/EC. ETSI is officially confirmed as a European Standards Organization, ETSI can be mandated by EC to produce standards and specifications to meet policy needs, esp. legislative needs (e.g. Harmonised Standards), ICT standardization distinctly recognized, ETSI direct participation model recognized
  • 2012: Number of standards published passes 30 000 mark
  • 2012: ETSI launches Cloud Standards Co-ordination at request of the EC
  • 2012: ETSI is a founding partner in the launch of the oneM2M partnership initiative for the global deployment of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications systems
  • 2011: Election of Luis Jorge Romero as Director-General (2011 to 2016 - 1st term of 5 years & 2016 to 2019 - prolongation until next election)
  • 2009: First LTE Release completed
  • 2008: Number of standards produced passes 20 000 mark
  • 2006: Introduction of Industry Specification Groups (ISGs)
  • 2006: Election of Walter Weigel as Director-General (2006 to 2011)
  • 2002: First releases of UMTS ready for implementation
  • 2002: Number of standards produced passes 10 000 mark
  • 2001: The ETSI Bake-Off service is re-branded as ETSI  PlugtestsTM
  • 2000: ETSI introduces Testing and Test Control Notation version 3 (TTCN-3), which has gone on to become a globally successful test specification language
  • 2000: Launch of ‘eEurope’ by the European Union – ETSI participates to provide standards for ‘An Information Society for All’
  • 2000: Number of standards produced passes 5 000 mark
  • 1999: The ETSI Bake-Off service (later to become Plugtests™) is created
  • 1999: ETSI introduces paperless meetings
  • 1999: ETSI makes all standards freely available on the web
  • 1998: ETSI is a founding partner in the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP™)
  • 1998: Directive 98/34/EC: Replaces Directive 83/189/EEC, ETSI officially recognised as a European Standards Organization
  • 1997: Creation of the ETSI PAS process that enables an ETSI partner to submit Publicly Available Specifications for adoption by ETSI
  • 1997: ETSI starts to create European Standards (ENs), replacing European Telecommunications Standards (ETSs)
  • 1996: ETSI Board created to replace the Technical Assembly
  • 1995: Number of standards produced passes 1 000 mark
  • 1995: ETSI publishes the Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) standard for use by emergency services and others
  • 1993: ETSI establishes its Intellectual Property Rights policy
  • 1993: ETSI officially confirmed as a European Standards Organization under directive 83/189/EEC
  • 1992: ETSI introduces distribution of standards documents to National Standards Organizations via satellite
  • 1990: Global Standards Collaboration process launched, to enhance co-operation between standards organisations around the world
  • 1990: ETSI establishes Joint Technical Committee with the European Broadcasting Union to produce broadcast-related standards (CENELEC joined in 1995)
  • 1990: ETSI, CEN and CENELEC sign joint co-operation agreement
  • 1990: Election of Karl-Heinz Rosenbrock as Director-General (1990 to 2006)
  • 1989: GSM committee transferred from CEPT to ETSI
  • 1988: First GSM specs ready for implementation
  • July 1988: First ETSI Technical Assembly
  • Mid-1988: Secretariat begins work
  • May 1988: Professor Diodato Gagliardi appointed as Director-General of ETSI (1988 to 1990)
  • April 1988: The first stone of ETSI’s new purpose-built headquarters laid
  • March 1988: First ETSI General Assembly
  • January 1988: Creation of ETSI
  • 1987: GSM Memorandum of Understanding signed
  • 1987: The Directors-General of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) take a decision in principle to found ETSI
  • 1987: The EC publishes a Green Paper which first floated the idea of a European Telecommunications Standards Institute
  • 1986: The European Commission (EC) leads a fact-finding mission on telecommunications to the US

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