A Brief History of INTELEC the International

Telecommunications Energy Conference

In May 1975, Messrs. N. Osifchin, B. J. Yokelson, and Dr. J. J. Suozzi of Bell Telephone Laboratories developed the idea of an international conference on telephone energy systems.  During visits to England, Sweden, Holland, France, Germany, and Italy to discuss power for telecommunications, the idea of an international conference on telecommunications energy was discussed and gained favor with many telecom administrations.

In March 1976, Bell Labs management granted permission to the founding team to work on launching such a conference, sponsored by an entity of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).   In November the plan for the conference was presented to the Meetings and Conferences Department of the IEEE Communications Society (COMSOC) at a meeting in Philadelphia.  COMSOC accepted the proposal and agreed to be the sponsor.  The first conference was scheduled for October 25-27, 1978, at the Sheraton Hotel in Washington, DC with Dr. J. J. Suozzi as Chairman.

The conference was named The International Telephone Energy Conference from which the term INTELEC was derived.  In 1979 the name was changed to The International Telecommunications Energy Conference, and the term INTELEC was retained.

During 1977 and 1978, plans were also being developed to form a governing body for the conference.  This was accomplished in 1978 with the formation of an INTELEC Advisory Committee, representing the world community and presided over by N. Osifchin.  The first Advisory Committee meeting was held in October 1978, during the first INTELEC conference, and an immediate debate arose as to how often INTELEC should be held.  The second INTELEC was planned for November 1979, chaired by W. M. Miller of Lorain Products, and a Planning Committee (later becoming the Conference Executive Committee (CEC)) was mandated to prepare recommendations on the frequency and planning for future meetings. Dr. J.J. Suozzi was appointed to write the Constitution and Bylaws for the INTELEC organization.

The second INTELEC conference was held and it enjoyed an even more enthusiastic turnout than the first.   Plans began for the first INTELEC conference outside of North America, with I. G. White of British Telecom as Chairman.  This conference was scheduled to take place in May 1981.  The success of the 1981 meeting led to the acceptance of the concept of an annual conference.

By 1986, the international character of the INTELEC conference was ensured by constitutional changes providing for a 50%-50% American and non-American balance of Advisory Committee membership and by adopting of a policy of conducting a conference in even years in North America and in odd years in either Europe or Asia.

In 1991, negotiations among COMSOC, INTELEC and the recently formed IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) resulted in an agreement to transfer sponsorship of INTELEC from COMSOC to PELS.

Over its history, INTELEC  has been held  in Washington, DC, London (England), Tokyo (Japan), New Orleans, Munich (Germany), Toronto (Canada), Stockholm (Sweden), San Diego, Florence (Italy), Orlando, Kyoto (Japan), Paris (France), Vancouver (Canada), The Hague (Netherlands), Boston, Melbourne (Australia), San Francisco, Copenhagen (Denmark), Phoenix, Edinburgh (Scotland), Montreal (Canada), Yokohama (Japan), Chicago, Berlin (Germany), Providence, Rome (Italy), and Incheon (Korea). 

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of Eastern Europe borders, there was a strong desire to hold telecommunications energy conferences in Germany and Eastern Europe. The Advisory Committee approved establishment of a smaller conference, the Telecommunications Energy Special Conference (TELESCON) to address this need.  The first TELESCON was held in Berlin, Germany in the spring of 1994.  Additional spring conferences took place in Budapest, Hungary in 1997, Dresden, Germany in 2000, and Vienna, Austria in 2009. 

INTELEC and TELESCON conferences now provide a venue for operators of telecom, datacom, wireless and cable television systems and vendors of energy systems and related power equipment.  A typical conference has technical papers and exhibits covering:

Recent conferences have included tutorial sessions in addition to the technical sessions.  Experts in the subject matter conduct the tutorials, and attendees earn continuing education credits (CEU).  Future conferences will undoubtedly cover new technologies to meet the evolving needs of the participants.

An annual forum for the exchange of ideas and information on
communications energy systems and associated equipment.