Way back in 1973, the Concorde delivered passengers from NYC to London in less time than it takes to finish an NFL game. And we’ve been Skyping friends and family around the world for nearly two decades. But for all the ways distance has shrunk and boundaries have been erased, it’s taken a while for global texting to take hold because different countries have unique number formats, regulations, fee structures, and carrier choices.
Did you know that the oldest United Nations agency was set up initially to help countries connect their communication systems? The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been around since 1865 and formally joined the U.N. in 1949.¹ ITU committees create the standards that govern radio waves, communications satellites, internet protocols, and even video compression. Without these standards, we wouldn’t be able to call internationally. But despite all of these common standards, there are still separate phone numbering systems businesses have to navigate to send messages around the world.