FITCE began life in 1961 and within a year it became a federation of national associations from Belgium, Luxembourg, France, The Netherlands, Germany, and Italy. By 1981 its membership had grown to include Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain, and Greece. Subsequently FITCE gained National Associations from Portugal, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania. However, the rapidly changing telecommunications and ICT industry in Europe over the last few years has resulted in the loss of several national associations from the membership of the federation.
Originally the Fédération des Ingénieurs des Télécommunications de la Communauté Européenne (‘FITCE’) was, as its name suggests, specifically focussed on qualified telecommunications engineers within the European Community. However, during the years, FITCE has evolved to be able to embrace all the geographical European area. Also, as the telecommunications market within Europe developed – with the move to competition between network operators and the growing importance of ICT services and technology – the membership of several of the Federation’s national associations since 2000 has widened to include all professional people working in the industry.
Every year since its formation FITCE has held a congress hosted by one of its national associations, which offered technical, social, and accompanying persons programmes. These annual congresses have formed the focal point of the year, providing the opportunity for technical discussions between delegates and presenters. However, one of the main characteristics of the FITCE congresses has been the enduring friendships and networking, strengthened by the social programmes and the loyalty of the members. To date, Luxembourg have hosted three congresses in addition to the inaugural congress in 1962; Italy has hosted eight congresses; Germany has hosted six and Belgium has hosted seven congresses; France and Spain have each hosted five congresses; Greece, UK and Poland have hosted four congresses; Ireland has hosted three congresses; Austria has hosted two congresses; and a congress was held in the Czech Republic in 2009.
In addition to active participation in the annual congresses, the national associations have responded as appropriate to their members’ needs by providing a range of services, including: local and regional seminars and conferences, publications of journals, informative web sites, webinars, technical visits, training, and awarding professional qualifications.
The FITCE Chain is in passed from FITCE President to FITCE President where it is worn form formal events.
There are many legends of FITCE engineers and their capabilities, but few mention their prowess in the art of musical composition. The attached MP3 file features a short piece of music composed by FITCE members in the early days of the organisation.