Largest Telcos (US)
The largest telecommunications companies in the United States ranked by revenue have been entered in rows 2 to 15 of the attached spreadsheet. A few of the companies have been outlined below.
- With a 2018 revenue of $170.8 billion and a market capitalization of $226.9 billion, AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the United States.
- At $233.17 billion, Verizon has the highest market capitalization in the US telecommunications industry. However, in terms of revenue, it is the second largest telecommunications company in the United States. The company had a 2018 revenue of $130.9 billion.
- Charter Communications operates as Spectrum. The company had a revenue of $43.6 billion in 2018.
- Headquartered in Pennsylvania, Comcast is a telecommunications conglomerate that manages three main businesses which are: NBC Universal, Comcast Cable, and Sky. Its 2018 revenue was $94.5 billion.
- Altice USA had a 2018 revenue of $9.6 billion. In April 2019, the company announced that it was acquiring Cheddar, "the digital-first news company, for $200 million."
In order to determine the largest telecommunications companies in the US by revenue, we first searched for existing lists on financial news websites like Business Insider. We found several lists but these lists either ranked the companies by market capitalization or the number of users in the US. A few lists were ranked by 2016 or 2017 revenue. Since we needed to find the largest companies by their 2018 revenue in the telecommunications industry, we proceeded to scour recent market research reports. Our premise was that these market reports would outline the largest companies in the telecommunications industry by their 2018 market share or revenue. Market research websites like Ibisworld identified the main companies in this industry but market share and revenue information for these companies were obstructed by paywalls.
Next, we decided to creatively approach this request by looking for lists of the largest companies in the US ranked by revenue and then identifying the telecommunications companies that appeared on these lists. The most credible list was the Forbes Global 2000. This list had filters which enabled us to only select telecommunications companies in the US. Using this list, we were able to gather some of the largest telecommunications companies in the US. The only issue was that only public companies were listed. To factor in private companies, we leveraged other lists of the largest companies in the US and selected telecommunications companies that were not already mentioned in the Forbes list. Cox Communications, a privately owned company, restricted access to their detailed financial information. However, the company specified that it had a 2016 revenue of $11 billion. Therefore, we utilized its 2016 revenue. In total, we gathered the 14 largest telecommunications companies in the US by revenue.
According to Investopedia, the telecommunications sector comprises companies that "make communication possible on a global scale, whether it is through the phone or the Internet, through airwaves or cables, through wires or wirelessly." Note that a few of these companies manage other businesses and the revenues for these businesses are included in their aggregate revenue. Companies like Charter Communications and Comcast have other media businesses that they manage. We attempted scouring their annual reports for a breakdown of their revenues by segment. Unfortunately, they did not provide a category for telecommunications alone. They only provided categories for "services" and "products" or similar. We also perused data analytics platforms like Statista and financial websites like Macro Trends to no avail. As a result, their aggregate revenues have been provided. Telus, Rogers, and Shaw were not included on our list since these companies are based in Canada, not the United States.