Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
the research laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

What We Do

The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) is the research and engineering laboratory of NTIA. We perform advanced communications research to inform spectrum policy and develop capabilities to solve emerging telecommunications issues. We serve as a principal Federal resource for solving the telecommunications concerns of other Federal agencies, state and local Governments, industry, and international organizations. We work to continually advance the state of the art in radio frequency (RF) propagation measurement, RF propagation modeling, spectrum monitoring and enforcement, electromagnetic compatibility analysis, interference mitigation strategies, evaluation of end-user experience, and engineering analysis of evolving technologies to manage and share spectrum efficiently. Learn more about ITS on our YouTube Channel or read about our research programs in the FY 2017 Technical Progress Report.


May 9, 2019

ITS has a long history of leadership in air-to-ground propagation model development within the International Telecommunications Union – Radiocommunication Sector’s (ITU-R) Study Group 3 – Radiowave Propagation (and its...

March 10, 2019

How can we get more use out of the radio spectrum? One way is by sharing radio bands between users who have never shared before. Consider radio frequencies near 3.5 GHz. Until recently, that part of the spectrum was...

November 26, 2018

Behind every initiative to share spectrum are models of how radio waves in a particular band propagate through different environments. How far will a signal travel before it becomes too faint to be useful or...

August 7, 2018

The record attendance (nearly 170 experts from government, academia, and industry) at the 17th International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART) demonstrated the deep interest in the problem of modeling...

April 24, 2018

As demand for spectrum for commercial use continues to grow, policymakers are exploring spectrum sharing as a way to expand capacity while still fulfilling the needs of federal agencies. This model can work only if rules...

New Publications

This Month in ITS History

September 1954: Radio Building in Boulder Dedicated

On the morning of September 14th, 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first sitting president to visit Boulder, Colorado, when he dedicated the new Boulder Labs for the National Bureau of Standards. After a tour of the labs, President Eisenhower made a brief speech in front of the new Radio Building (Building 1—where ITS is still housed). "It seemed to me," he said, "as I went through (the Radio building) with Dr. Astin, that here we have a new type of frontier. This spot, only a few short decades ago was inhabited by Indians and by buffalo, and later, by trappers and miners. It became the center of a great mining and agricultural region, which has meant so much to the United States in the past – and indeed does now. But the frontier days when we could go out and discover new land – new wonders of geography and of nature – have seemed largely in the past. Here, today, inside the building, we have a frontier of possibly even greater romantic value, as well as greater material value to us, than were some of the discoveries of those days... It is my high privilege to dedicate this facility of the Bureau of Standards to the welfare of humanity – in America and throughout the world." Eisenhower then pushed a button to release a curtain and unveil the building's cornerstone, which is still visible on the north side of Building 1's front courtyard. The National Bureau of Standards no longer exists, but its child agencies NIST and ITS still occupy the Radio Building, exploring scientific frontiers.