Global Industry Overview: Telecommunications Equipment

Telecommunications hardware manufacturers build multiple components to sustain the world's communications systems. Serving both commercial and residential users, examples of industry products include transmission and switching equipment, telephones, and related devices for facilitating and managing voice and data communications. For information regarding providers of communication services using such equipment, see Telecommunications Services.

Industry Snapshot

The outlook for the telecommunications industry remained positive worldwide through the first decade of the twenty-first century. Demand for telecommunications equipment continued to register healthy gains as mobile cellular subscriptions reached 5.3 billion at the end of 2010. Ninety percent of the world had access to mobile networks, including 80 percent of the population living in rural areas. Having access to fixed, or landline, phone service was no longer sufficient for a large portion of the world population. At the end of the first decade of the 2000s, 940 million people in both industrialized and developing nations subscribed to 3G services. By 2010, 143 nations offered 3G technology compared to 95 countries in 2007. Global telecommunication revenues reached US$2.1 trillion in 2004, according to the TIA, and were expected to reach $2 trillion worldwide by 2007. The network equipment market was expected to reach $16.4 billion in 2005, followed by 7 percent annual growth through 2007.