Companies in this industry provide services such as local and long-distance calling, internet access, and TV program distribution over fixed-line telecommunications networks. Major US companies include AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, and Verizon Communications; major international wireline carriers include BT Group (the UK), China Telecom, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (Japan), and Orange (France).
Demand is driven by new services and growth in business activity. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and effective marketing. Large companies have economies of scale in building and maintaining networks. Smaller companies can compete effectively in small markets or by providing specialty services. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate more than 90% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major services are local and long-distance calling, TV distribution, and internet access services. Cable and other TV programming distribution and broadband internet access together for about half of industry revenue; local and long-distance calling combined account for about 20%. Other services include network access, data transmission, private networks, installation, equipment sales, and calling features such as caller ID and voice mail. Network access charges are levied against other carriers, mainly long-distance and wireless service providers, that need access to local wired phone systems.