Skip Navigation Links and Jump to Page Content  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Business Reference Services (Science, Technology, and Business Division)
  Home >> Guides >> Telecommunications Industry: Sources of Information

cell tower

Telecommunications Industry Codes

Standardized industrial classification codes assigned by the Census Bureau to businesses based on the information provided by the business establishment reflect their primary and secondary markets. The codes can be used in many business subscription databases to extract information about the telecommunication industry and telecommunication company profiles. The U.S. government has two industry classification systems described here.

Telecommunications Industry: Sources of Information

 Table of Contents

Telecommunications Industry Codes
Subscription Databases
Internet Resources
Industry News & Blogs
Trade Associations
LC Catalog Searches

Image (left): "We Don't Communicate Anymore"
Photographer: Kevin Spencer
Courtesy of PhotoPin
Creative Commons License

The old Standard Industrial Classification Codes (SIC) were last updated 1987 and are no longer used by the Census Bureau.
Example: Radio telephone communications were classified by SIC code 4812

The newer North American Industrial Classification Codes (2012) will be updated again in 2017. The NAICS system strives for compatibility with the two-digit level of the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC Rev. 4) of the United Nations.
The 2012 NAICS accommodated more modern technologies including the Internet-related businesses.
Example: If you use the above link and search the term, VoIP, you get the following search results:

517110  VoIP service providers, using own operated wired telecommunications infrastructure
517919  VoIP service providers, using client-supplied telecommunications connections

Search other terms in NAICS to acquire the classification numbers for other parts of the telecommunications industry. Then use the numbers you find in the business subscription databases below to acquire information on companies who choose these numbers as their “primary NAICS” business or “secondary NAICS” business activities.

North American Industrial Product Lists
Scroll down to 517 industry area to see telecom products lists and the definitions to better understand how telecommunication products and services are classified by this system. There are other related industries on this list which may also be of interest.

For further information on industry classification codes please see our Guide to Industry Research.

Last updated: 12/05/2015

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Guides >> Telecommunications Industry: Sources of Information
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  December 7, 2015
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian