How much revenue do CTIA, PCIA and other trade associations take in?

Phil Goldstein

The wireless industry and related telecom industries are full of trade associations, but their financing, revenue and operations can sometimes be opaque. Thanks to tax filings though, our sister publication FierceCable has published data from the telecom industry's 11 largest trade associations that show the groups' yearly revenues, trade show income and more.

By looking at public tax returns from 2013--the latest year that such figures were available--FierceCable was able to break down the top trade groups' funds, including executive salaries and year-over-year comparisons.

CTIA, the wireless industry's main trade association, has usually outstripped its fellow associations by several million dollars. Yet in 2013 the lobbying group fell in total revenue by almost $20 million to $60.6 million. The vast majority of the loss can be attributed to a drop in investment income from 2012, which the company said is due to "the $17.4 million realized gain on the purchase of RCC (building) and $2.3 million unrealized gain on marketable securities." CTIA's decline in income left room for NCTA to become 2013's biggest earner.

Meanwhile, a large number of smaller trade associations, including infrastructure association PCIA and the Competitive Carriers Association, are holding steady in funds, bringing in roughly the same revenue from previous years. 

For more info on all of the trade associations and their finances, check out this special report.--Phil