The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the entire supply chain of companies that build and support the communications technologies and information networks of today and tomorrow.

For 80+ years we have earned the trust of the world's most recognized Information and Communications Technology (ICT) brands that serve the global marketplace across every industry. While our name has changed, our mission to accelerate connectivity, encourage investment and drive innovation, jobs and economic opportunity hasn’t.

Today, TIA continues to evolve as the ICT industry navigates complex technology shifts and a changing policy landscape. Whether it is our leadership in U.S. and international policy advocacy, technology and standards development, or facilitating new business opportunities and industry research, TIA and its member companies are advancing global connectivity to deliver wide societal benefits.

Our History

  • In 1924,a small group of telecommunications suppliers to the independent telephone industry organized an industry trade show.
  • The Communications Act of 1934 was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio communications, and created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to execute and enforce the provisions of the Act.
  • In 1941, that group of telecommunications suppliers becomes a formal committee of the United States Independent Telephone Association.
  • In 1957, the association for the Radio Electronic Television Manufacturers (RETMA) is renamed the Electronic Industries Association (EIA).
  • In 1959, the members of EIA publish the first voluntary, industry-led Structural Standard for Steel Transmitting Antennas, Supporting Steel Towers, EIA-RS-222.
  • In 1979, the committee of telecommunications suppliers at the U.S. Independent Telephone Association splits off as a separate, but affiliated association, the United States Telecommunications Suppliers Association (USTSA), and becomes one of the world's premier organizers of telecom exhibitions and seminars.
  • In 1984, the first Electronic Serial Number (ESN) number is assigned by ElA allowing for the identification of phones on the wireless network.
  • In April of 1988 the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is officially formed through the merger of two groups, the United States Telecommunications Suppliers Association (USTSA) and the information and Telecommunications Technologies Group of the Electric Industries Association (EIA).
  • For the next 12 years, TIA advocates for numerous policy issues on behalf of its members, sponsors critical engineering committees that sets the standards determining the pace of development in the industry, providing a marketplace for members and their customers to do business, and serves as a forum for the examination of industry issues and industry information.
  • In 1991, TIA publishes ANSI/TIA-568, a requirement addressing structured cabling system standards for commercial buildings, and between buildings in campus environments for telecommunications products and services.
  • Initiated by TIA in 1992, CDMA2000 – the family of 3G mobile technology standards for sending voice, data, and signaling data between mobile phones and cell sites is created and becomes a registered trademark of TIA
  • In 1994, the U.S. Congress passes the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). TIA leads the development of the voluntary, consensus-based lawful interception standard to comply with CALEA, J-STD-025, through collaboration with telecommunications equipment manufacturers, service providers, government agencies, academic institutions, and end-users.
  • The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first significant overhaul of telecommunications law in more than sixty years, amending the Communications Act of 1934. The Act provided a de-regulatory national policy framework designed to accelerate the rapid private sector deployment of advanced information and communications technologies and services to all Americans by opening all telecommunications markets to competition.
  • In the fall of 2000, the MultiMedia Telecommunications Association (MMTA) is integrated into TIAand the association restructures internally to focus on global marketplace development.
  • In 2007, TIA defines operating rules assigned for MEID and EUIM-ID Administration to identify mobile devices for recognition by the 3G network.
  • TIA successfully advocates for $7.2 Billion toward broadband infrastructure investment in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
  • In 2011, TIA NOW launches as the premier online video network providing an outlet of industry insight, thought leadership and education through video webinars, live panel discussions, custom video productions, documentaries and more.
  • In 2011, TIA advocacy efforts lead to the addition of $9 Billion to the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (USF) and modernization of the program to include broadband.
  • In 2012, TIA successfully advocates for the passage of Title VI of the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, otherwise known as the “Spectrum Act.” The law significantly re-shaped America’s spectrum policy, including authorizing more spectrum auctions and creating a nationwide public safety broadband network (FirstNet), driving huge benefits for communities, companies and consumers.
  • In 2014, TIA secures passage of the Enhance Labeling, Accessing, and Branding of Electronic Licenses Act (E-Label Act), which President Barack Obama signed into law (Public Law No: 113-197) requiring the FCC to circulate regulations to allow manufacturers of radiofrequency devices with display the option to use electronic labeling for the equipment in place of affixing physical labels to the equipment.
  • In 2017, the FCC completed the first-of-its-kind voluntary incentive auction to provide new spectrum for mobile broadband.
  • In 2017, QuEST Forum - the global association dedicated to common performance, quality metrics and sustainability in the ICT industry, is integrated into TIA. The merger expands TIA’s global community to more than 500 members, engineering committee and partner organizations across the Americas, Europe-Middle East, and Asia-Pacific.
  • In 2020, TIA leads efforts to exclude untrusted vendors from U.S. networks culminating in the FCC’s establishment of the “Rip and Replace” program as well as the passage of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act.
  • In 2022, the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act is signed in to law. It is intended to entice microchip manufacturing back to the United States.
  • In 2022, TIA publishes the first-ever global Cybersecurity and Supply Chain Security Standard for the ICT industry. Revision 2 of the standard was released in 2023.
  • In 2023, TIA successfully advocates for a limited, waiver of Build America, Buy America (BABA) requirements for NTIA’s Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.
  • In 2023, The Costa Rican government becomes the first in Latin America to mandate that vendors certify to the SCS 9001 Supply Chain Security standard.
  • In 2024, TIA publishes the third revision of the TIA-942 data center infrastructure standard which has been used to certify over 375 data centers across 48 countries in 6 continents.
  • In 2024, TIA together with Fierce Network (parent Questex) to initiates Broadband Nation workforce development program to attract, train and deliver the future workforce.