Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)?

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents manufacturers and suppliers of global communications networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking.

TIA enhances the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Our members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment and entertainment.


TIA's principal websites include TIAOnline.org and our online video network TIA NOW. We are active on Twitter @tiaonline and @tia_now; on Google Plus at +tiaonlineorg; on Facebook, and on YouTube at TheTIANow.


The Association is headquartered at 1320 North Courthouse Road, Suite 200 in Arlington, Virginia 22201 USA. We are near the Court House subway station in the Washington, D.C. Metrorail system.

Our main contact number is 703.907.7700. (Press inquiries: Please contact Ashley Simmons, 703.907.7704.)

To learn how TIA membership can advance your company's goals, please contact Susan Schramm, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Membership, 703.907.7007.

2. How are standards developed at TIA?

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standards developing organization (SDO) and is a proud sponsor of ANSI's Standards Boost Business campaign.

Standards projects and technical documents initiated by TIA's engineering committees are formulated according to the guidelines established by the TIA Engineering Committee Operating Procedures (ECOP) and the ANSI Essential Requirements.

Every new standard project begins as a technical contribution in one of TIA's technology-oriented engineering committees or subcommittees. A Project Initiation Notice (PIN) form is completed and submitted for approval by TIA staff. After the project is approved for initiation, the formulating engineering committee or subcommittee will continue to develop the technical parameters of the project.

When the proposed standard nears completion, the engineering group will chose to submit the document for approval as a "TIA Standard", an "American National Standard," or both.

In order to develop an American National Standard, the draft of the proposed document must be circulated as an industry-wide ANSI "Standards Proposal" (SP) ballot/pink ballot. During the balloting period, the ballot is available for pulblic review and any interested entities may submit one of three responses to the ballot: "affirmative," "affirmative (with comment") or "negative (with comment)."

After the final draft of the document has obtained industry consensus, the balloting information and supporting documents are reviewed by TIA, to ensure that process requirements have been met. Upon completion of this review, the document information is forwarded to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Board of Standards Review (BSR) with request for approval. If the document is approved as an American National Standard, the respective TIA committee will approve the ANSI/TIA standards for publication.

3. Where can I find and buy standards?

You can search for standards on TIA's Web site at this link. Each standard will have a link to purchase it online from IHS, Inc. You can also go directly to the IHS Web site and search there. Our two databases are the same. TIA and IHS International Inc. have joined forces in an agreement appointing IHS as the primary distributor of TIA/EIA standards and related publications.

While TIA and its associated groups continue their essential technical and editorial activities, IHS is responsible for publication, sale and distribution. IHS can also provide technical support. Additional contact information for IHS, Inc.: 1.877.413.5187 (U.S. and Canada) +1.303.397.8896 (Outside U.S. and Canada) http://global.ihs.com/home_page_tia.cfm?rid=TIA

4. Why should my company join TIA?

Innovation, Investment, Economic Growth and Global Competitiveness. TIA converts these core values into initiatives to benefit our members and the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry. See more at TIA Membership.

5. What companies are eligible for TIA membership?

TIA has three types of membership:

General Membership: Any company (or a division of a company) formed under the laws of the United States is eligible for general membership if it is engaged in the business of developing, manufacturing, distributing, selling, installing, launching or consulting with respect to communications or information technology products (including software) or services other than common carrier services.

Affiliate Service Provider/Enterprise Membership: Companies engaged substantially in the provision of communications services as a common carrier or providing communications services of any nature, including voice, data transport, video or Internet services and by any transmission means including, but not limited to, wireline, wireless, cable, Internet or satellite are eligible for TIA's Affiliate Service Provider/Enterprise Membership.

Associate Membership: Associate membership in TIA is available to companies that are not principally in the business of manufacturing, developing, distributing, installing, launching or consulting in respect to communications or information technology products or services other than common carrier. Companies that qualify for the General category of membership are not eligible for Associate membership. TIA Associate membership is available to companies engaged in financial or legal services, similarly related businesses or companies that do not qualify for General membership.

All forms of membership within TIA, including participation on engineering committees, require corporate membership (not individual membership). Engineering committee participation is open to employees of corporate non-members, but separate committee fees will apply. Participation is included as a part of regular dues for TIA corporate members. Dues are based upon company revenue. Find all TIA membership applications at this link.

6. Why aren't all TIA standards free?

The standards development process costs a great deal of money.  There are significant expenses other than the cost of printing and distributing hardcopy documents. Much like the United Way or any other volunteer organization, standards developers spend time and resources on coordinating the efforts of volunteers in the development process.

Every five years, a standard must be revised, reaffirmed or withdrawn to address current technology. All these activities require a full-time staff employed by the Standards Development Organization (SDO).

Once a standard is developed, there are additional costs for publishing, printing and public relations. Users frequently require assistance in finding the standards appropriate for their needs, requiring a staff of information specialists to provide support. Considerable resources are spent on promoting the acceptance of standards in the marketplace.

SDOs regularly invest in the education of federal, state and local officials to demonstrate the merit and integrity of standards and the development process. Since users rely on market acceptance of standards to operate commercially, this is an important function provided by SDOs. The distribution and access systems may be the most significant costs of standards. Catalogs are created and maintained so users know what is available. Distribution outlets are staffed to provide fulfillment by hard copy or other format. In the case of electronic dissemination, the costs of printing and distribution are less, but there are weighty costs for electronic document publishing, electronic file maintenance, facilities and equipment for providing online or other methods of access, and customer support for electronic applications.

7. Can I download any free standards?

Yes. TIA, with the permission of certain of its engineering committees, does make some standards available for free download. Specifically, you can download TR-41 Voice over IP (VoIP) standards. You can also download cdma2000® (FDD MC-CDMA or G3G CDMA MC) standards. The TIA/EIA/IS-2000 standard provides cdma2000 Multi-Carrier 1X and 3X air interface specification. Available for download are the six volumes in the TIA/EIA/IS-2000; two additional specifications supporting the OHG Harmonization framework UWC-136 Standards (TIA/EIA-136-xxx).

8. My company is not listed correctly in your directory. How can it be added or corrected?

The directory is a listing of TIA members. If you are a member and need to correct information in your record or do not see your company listed, please contact the Membership Department.

9. How can we submit proposals to speak at TIA events?

Please visit TIA's Events Calendar for a full listing of meetings and contact us. For speaking opportunities, please contact events@tiaonline.org.

10. How or where can I get answers to technical standards-related questions?

If you need more technical help, you can contact standards@tiacomm.org to have your question referred to the related technical committee; however, this process does not guarantee an answer. If you have a question about an order or any standard you just purchased from IHS, Inc., please contact them at 1.877.413.5187 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.303.397.8896 (outside U.S. and Canada), or visit their Technical Research department online.

11. How do I receive copyright permission from TIA regarding standards, specifications or bulletins?

TIA holds the copyright for all Standards, Specifications, or Bulletins produced by its Engineering Committees. Reproduction and/or distribution of these documents, either in hard copy or soft copy, is prohibited without TIA's permission.

Visit TIA's Legal page for copyright permission information.

Examples of instances in which copyright permission may be granted include:

  • For academic purposes such as a presentation at a conference
  • For reference by another association or standards developing organization
  • For insertion into government procurement contracts
  • For translation into another language
  • For publication in a textbook or other manuals.