Who are the wireless and wired telecom trade associations?

There are bunches of wireless and wired telecom trade associations; so many that it can be hard to keep track. Fierce Telecom thought it would be useful for readers to have a resource of the most well-known trade groups in telecom. Here they are in alphabetical order.

ACA Connects

Founded in 1993, ACA Connects is a trade association of over 500 different types of cable, broadband, and phone operators across the country. It specifically caters to independent companies that operate in small to medium-sized municipalities. The larger consortium currently passes over 23 million households with service in all fifty states.

Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) 

ATIS is an information and communications technology group that merges top companies in the industry from across the globe to research and implement new technological solutions. Some of its key areas of interest are 5G network evolution, AI, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud networks. ATIS also launched the Next G Alliance, a subgroup focused on forging the next phase of innovation for 6G mobile technologies nationally.

American Association for Public Broadband

The American Association for Public Broadband (AAPB) was founded by state and municipal broadband officials to advocate for greater competition and choice in local broadband markets. The organization also provides detailed analysis of a variety of state laws and challenges in the telecommunications industry. AAPB also includes electrical co-ops and tribal network owners in its membership pool.

Broadband Forum

Broadband Forum is a nonprofit organization featuring vendors, operators, and leaders in the telecommunications industry. The organization hosts working groups that generate ideas and develop technical capacity to deploy the next generation of broadband technology. Its expertise ranges from 5G to cloud storage.

Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)

Founded in 1992, the Competitive Carriers Association is an association of 100+ wireless carrier members based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to advise Congress on the impacts and benefits of a competitive wireless market across the country. Some of its current areas of interest are access to spectrum and streamlining infrastructure deployments amidst new 5G tower developments.


CTIA represents manufacturers, developers, and carriers in the wireless industry to advise Congress on the impacts of national communications policy. The group is also centered on furthering the economic development and impact of the wireless industry for member organizations and users. CTIA is based in Washington D.C.

Fiber Broadband Association (FBA)The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) helps lawmakers, companies, and communities develop quality fiber internet networks. Its members include organizations like broadband companies, community organizations, and lawmakers to advise on all topics related to fiber deployment. FBA also hosts a variety of working groups and committees that its members specialize in, like fiber supply chains, education, and sustainability.

Fiber Optic Association (FOA)

The Fiber Optic Association (FOA) is the global nonprofit organization responsible for certifying fiber optic technicians to ensure that their training and knowledge meets industry requirements. Founded in 1995, FOA is centered on developing a robust fiber technician workforce through a focus on continual education and training. FOA also shares resources on the closest locations to enroll in a fiber optic technician training program.

Global Mobile Suppliers Association

The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) is an international nonprofit organization of leaders in the supply chain and manufacturing industry for mobile phones. Participating members come from subfields like mobile infrastructure, devices, and app development. GSA sees activity from 200 countries annually on their website from those seeking knowledge on concepts like 4G and 5G roll-outs, energy, transport, and more.


GSMA bands together 1,000 global mobile phone operators and businesses around the world to advocate for greater access to mobile devices and usage to enact social change. GSMA has an adjoining foundation, GSMA Foundation, to help fund projects to increase socioeconomic impacts of mobile connectivity. The organization is also host to what it calls the largest global connectivity event, MWC.


INCOMPAS is a national trade association focused on encouraging wider competition in the broadband, streaming, and technology markets. The organization works to advance its members’ interests by providing policy suggestions to lawmakers and Congress. Its goal is to ensure that all companies, large and small, have access to these larger industry playing fields.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is an agency embedded within the United Nations that disseminates information about technology and communications. ITU was founded in 1865 originally to organize telegraphy infrastructure. In the modern era, their legacy is providing global radio spectrum via satellite orbits that still power intercontinental internet access and phone calls today.

National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) 

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) is a South Dakota-based nonprofit trade association of organizations who erect, operate, and maintain towers and communications infrastructure. NATE works to continually develop safety standards for towers and educational opportunities for workers. It also works to educate governmental agencies, companies, and lawmakers about the best safety plans and practices in the industry.

National Content & Technology Cooperative (NCTC), formerly known as the National Cable Television Cooperative

The National Content & Technology Cooperative (NCTC) is a nonprofit consortium of independent broadband and paid television communications services providers. Its mission is to help members acquire content in a competitive fashion and evolve standards for data solutions. There are currently over 700 members.

National Rural Electric Cooperative (NRECA)

The National Rural Electric Cooperative (NRECA) helps nationwide electrical cooperatives transition into becoming their own local telecommunications provider. NRECA provides training and educational opportunities to assist its members with deciphering the regulatory requirements that come with creating and maintaining a broadband network. NRECA also advises government bodies to vouch for rural and small telecommunications providers in the wider market.

National Wireless Independent Dealer Association (NWIDA)

The National Wireless Independent Dealer Association (NWIDA) bands together independent mobile repair shops nationwide to advocate for policies that benefit members. Across the country NWIDA represents over 40,000 wireless dealers and repair shops. NWIDA was founded in 2017.

NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

NCTA is a consortium of cable TV programmers, operators, and technology leaders who advocate for more quality entertainment across mediums. The organization also advocates for causes on behalf of its members on broadband expansion, rural internet access, and privacy. NCTA also researches and publishes key findings about the impact of the wider cable industry.

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association

NTCA represents over 850 different family-owned and independent telecommunications companies across the country. The organization focuses on advancing quality broadband access in rural America. It also advocates for rural broadband interests with lawmakers for applicable regulatory causes.

Rural Wireless Association

The Rural Wireless Association is a trade organization centering wireless carriers with less than 100,000 subscribers. The group advocates for expanded wireless phone access and options in rural parts of the country. The organization also represents its members to provide regulatory recommendations before lawmakers.

Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE)

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is a nonprofit professional association focused on engineering advancements in cable and telecommunications. Its impact extends over the past 50 years. SCTE also provides professional development, quality standards, and certification options for its members.

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) 

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents organizations that encompass the entirety of the telecommunications spectrum across the supply chain. Founded in 1988, TIA’s focus started with providing engineering input to build and implement the first stages of modern telecommunications infrastructure. TIA also advises lawmakers and governmental bodies around issues related to high-speed broadband connectivity.


USTelecom is a consortium of small, medium, and large broadband companies. The group works to advocate for a variety of causes on behalf of its members, like Affordability, Infrastructure, and Policy & Advocacy. USTelecom also conducts global research on telecommunications industry trends around the world.

Wi-Fi Alliance

Wi-Fi Alliance is an industry group focused on providing robust WiFi around the world. Its mission is to expand WiFi use and adoption to ensure that everyone has the capability to connect to the internet. The group also works towards creating technological advancements for the next generations of WiFi.

Wireless Broadband Alliance

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) was founded in 2003. Its vision is to drive seamless, interoperable service experiences via Wi-Fi within the global wireless ecosystem. WBA’s mission is to enable collaboration between service providers, technology companies, cities, regulators and organizations to achieve that vision.

Wireless Communications Alliance (WCA)

The Wireless Communications Alliance (WCA) consists of service providers, technology companies, and academic institutions who advocate for methods to ensure wireless connectivity across the country. Originally founded in 1994, the organization focuses on advocacy via special interest groups with projects related to Wi-Fi, Smart Cities, and educational opportunities. WCA currently has over 8,000 members.

Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA)

The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) includes wireless carriers, infrastructure providers, and service firms that operate over 135,000 different wireless facilities globally. Its members constitute the wireless ecosystem from start to finish. WIA also focuses on advocacy on the local, state, and federal level for its members’ interests.

Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA)

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) merges small to medium-sized entrepreneurs in the wireless internet service provider space. Beyond providers themselves, WISPA also includes equipment suppliers and support services in its membership pool. Its focus is to share information about current technologies, provide continuing education opportunities, and advocate for wireless internet solutions to policymakers.

World Broadband Association

The World Broadband Association is an industry group comprised of organizations in the broadband and cloud space. Its objectives are to advance the social and economic benefits of greater broadband access and global cloud infrastructure. Some of its key goals are to provide market insights to members, overcome industry challenges across the broadband spectrum, and lead new cloud developments.

WTA, formerly the Western Telecommunications Alliance

WTA is an industry group primarily composed of small telecommunications companies based in the American West, though in 2013 the organization’s membership voted to include small telecommunications companies east of the Mississippi, too. WTA currently has over 360 small operators and 85 industry vendors throughout the United States as members. The organization is seen as one of the most effective advocacy groups to describe broadband deployment challenges in rural America.

Disclaimer: This list does not include standards groups, consumer advocacy groups, workers unions or government telecom agencies.

This story may be updated from time to time.