Digital Communications Industry Guide

Facebook on a phone, a headset and a digital world

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the digital communications industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Mobile Phone Shop BOP201 

Mini Business Opportunity Profiles (MBP)

Freelance App Developer  MBP447 
Smartphone and Tablet Repair Service  MBP402 

Sector Updates (SEC)

IT, Digital and Tech  SEC018 

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

eMarketer logo

  • Global Digital Users Update 2018: Affordable Prices Drive Smartphone Adoption in Developing Markets
  • Global Social Network Users 2020: More than 3 Billion People Worldwide Will Use Social Networks in 2020 
  • Global Social Network Users 2019: A Snapshot on Snapchat
  • Mobile Year in Review: The Launch of 5G is the Biggest Story in a Busy Year for Mobile
  • Worldwide Internet and Mobile Users: eMarketer's Updated Estimates and Forecast for 2017 – 2021

EMIS logo

  • United Kingdom - Internet Access (MarketLine)
  • United Kingdom - Wireless Telecommunication Services, October 2019
  • Europe - Telecommunications
  • United Kingdom - IT Services (MarketLine)
  • United Kingdom - Mobile Phones (MarketLine)
  • United Kingdom - Software (MarketLine)
  • United Kingdom - Telecommunication Services (MarketLine)
  • United Kingdom - Wireless Telecommunication Services (MarketLine)

Similar reports, published by MarketLine, cover other countries, Europe and the global market.

Frost and Sullivan logo

  • Global Enterprise Communications Platforms and Endpoints Market, Forecast to 2025
  • Global Tablet Devices Market, Forecast to 2024 
  • Global Online Video Advertising Market, Forecast to 2023
  • Global Online Video Platforms Market, Forecast to 2023
  • Global Smartphone & Mobile OS Market, Forecast to 2023
  • Next Generation Tablet Market, Forecast to 2023

IBISWorld logo

  • App Development in the UK
  • Communication Equipment Manufacturing in the UK
  • Electronic & Telecommunications Equipment Wholesaling in the UK
  • Internet Service Providers in the UK
  • Mobile Telephone Retailers in the UK
  • Satellite Telecommunications Activities in the UK
  • Telecommunications Resellers in the UK
  • Wireless Telecommunications Carriers in the UK
  • Wired Telecommunications Carriers in the UK

Mintel logo

  • Bundled Communications Services - UK - March 2019
  • Digital Engagement Platforms: PC, Mobile and Voice - UK - January 2019
  • Digital Trends Quarterly - UK - January 2020
  • Mobile Device Apps - UK - October 2019
  • Mobile Gaming - UK - October 2019
  • Mobile Network Providers - UK - February 2020
  • Mobile Phones - UK - April 2019
  • Technology Habits of Generation X - UK - March 2019
  • Technology Habits of Generation Z - UK - September 2019
  • The Connected Consumer - UK - October 2017
  • The Connected Home - UK - June 2019

Passport logo

  • Mobile Phones in the United Kingdom 
  • Wearable Electronics in the United Kingdom

Similar reports and statistics, published by Euromonitor International, cover other countries and the global market.

Please note that many articles about the digital communications industry (from business journals and newspapers) are available from our electronic sources: Factiva, Business Source Complete (EBSCO), eMarketer and EMIS. 

Also, contact details and individual reports of companies in the digital communications industry are available from our electronic sources: Fame, Orbis, Market IQ. 

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.

Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Some may need to be ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

Comms Dealer (BPL Business Media) [(P) RQ 61 -E(16)]
For the communications and convergence channel community.

Land mobile: wireless communications for business (MA Business & Leisure) [(P) RR 71 -E(31)]
News and analysis of applications, solutions and technology for business-to-business wireless communication. 
Mobile Europe & European Communications (SJP Business Media) [General Reference Collection ; ZK.9.a.16271]
News and analysis of the broad European communication sector. 
Mobile News (Clark White Publications) [(P) RR 71 -E(5)]
For the UK mobile communications industry covering products, services, distribution and retail. 


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.

GVF directory & satellite resource guide (DS Air Publications, 2019) [(B) DIR 384.51025 BUS]
Membership directory of the Global VSAT Forum which represents firms providing advanced digital satellite systems and services.

Telematics & mobile data guide (Ivory Square Publications, 2015) [(B) DIR 384.3 BUS]
Directory of UK companies providing products and services to transport fleets, vehicles and mobile workers.

Who's who legal. Telecommunications media & technology (Law Business Research, 2019) [(B) DIR 343.0994 BUS]
International directory of 1,266 lawyers in 68 jurisdictions, who can truly be considered leaders in the field. 

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

Digital Europe

The major advocacy group of the European digital economy acting on behalf of the information technology, consumer electronics and telecommunications sectors.  

European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO)

A principal policy group for European electronic communications network operators, with 50 members and observers in 35 countries.  

Federation of Communication Services (FCS)

A trade association representing the communications services industry, including mobile phone distribution and retail.  

Global System Mobile Association (GSMA)

Represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry; spanning 219 countries, it unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.   

International Telecommunications Society (ITS)

An association of professionals in the information, communications, and technology sectors; an independent, non-aligned and not-for-profit organization with a worldwide network of about 400 members.    

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

A United Nations Agency acting as the global focal point for governments and the private sector in developing and managing ICT networks and services.  

Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA)

UK’s Trade Association for providers of Internet services, bringing together the UK internet industry to provide essential support through innovation, knowledge and experience in order to benefit the UK economy and society.   

Mobile UK

Represents the four UK mobile network operators: EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone.  


The UK communications regulator covering TV, radio, fixed-line telecoms, mobile communications and the airwaves over which wireless devices operate; publishes a number of market reports which are free to access.  

OMA SpecWorks

A specifications factory where industry-leading companies bring their ideas and talent to build market-accelerating standards that allow products and services to interoperate seamlessly across fixed and mobile wireless data networks.    


Represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow; has more than 850 companies, ranging from leading FTSE 100 companies to new innovative start-ups, the majority being small and medium sized businesses.  

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

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