Companies in this industry make equipment used in telephone, data, radio and TV broadcast, and wireless communications networks. Major companies include Apple, Cisco Systems, Motorola Solutions, and QUALCOMM (all based in the US), as well as Alcatel-Lucent (France), Ericsson (Sweden), Huawei (China), Nokia (Finland), and Samsung (South Korea).
The industry depends on purchases from businesses, telephone companies, cable companies, data communications providers, and TV and radio broadcasters. Profitability for individual companies is linked to technical innovation and the ability to secure high-volume contracts from large customers. Small companies can be successful if they make highly specialized products. There are large economies of scale in manufacturing standard products, but many products are specialized and produced in small manufacturing plants. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 80 percent of revenue.
About 80 percent of US industry revenue comes from equipment for wireless communications (including radio and TV); about 20 percent comes from equipment for line-based communications. The industry produces transmitters and receivers (including satellites); signal boosters; signal processors; connecting devices; power supplies; switches; and phones.