Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in ETSI

We recognize the strategic role of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the European economy. SMEs in turn recognize that standardization and being part of the standards-making process can benefit their businesses significantly.

As a result, nearly a quarter of our members are SMEs and micro-enterprises. More than half of these take part in our technical committees, working alongside the world’s leading telecommunications companies. Many SMEs are highly influential in ETSI – about one-tenth hold official positions such as Chairman or Vice-Chairman.

Whatever their size, all our members have the same rights and level of access and can participate directly in our standards-making activities. Time, expertise and a willingness to contribute and work with others count for much more than a company’s size.

To ensure SMEs are heard at the highest levels in ETSI, we have designated a seat on our Board specifically for this category of member.

SMEs and micro-enterprises also benefit from reduced membership fees.

Benefits of participation

As a member of ETSI, SMEs can:

  • Keep up to date with the latest standards – and influence their development
  • Develop their products in parallel with our standards and gain a competitive edge
  • Network with the leading players in the field
  • Increase their visibility and enhance their reputation
  • Gain insights into the latest developments to improve their competitiveness
  • Increase their knowledge of international best practices
  • Create new partnerships
  • Gain access to new customers

The rights and benefits of membership of ETSI include attending meetings and taking part in the standards-making process. Members also gain access to documents and other services.

Real-life stories

We interviewed three SME members, to find out how they benefit from being a member of ETSI:


View the video "Success through standards - How small companies can benefit from ETSI":

ETSI is a world leader in developing standards for information and communication technologies.

Founded to serve European needs we are officially recognized by the European Union and are highly respected worldwide.

ETSI is best known as the home of the GSM family of mobile phone standards but we cover fields as diverse as transportation, broadcast and internet technologies as well as fixed mobile and radio communications.

We are an independent not-for-profit association based in France.

Our seven hundred members from over 60 countries form a broad cross-section of the industry and represent all stakeholders.

Our consensus-based approach ensures that all members participate directly in our work.

A quarter of our members are small or medium-sized companies.

They participate with the same rights and level of access as the big ones and many are highly influential in our work.

Riccardo Genghini: “When I started in 1999 to participate here in ETSI with my small company of four people I would never have imagined the possibilities and opportunities. What came out is that in this environment everyone was open, even towards a small company like ours, and that gave us incredible access to knowledge and to people that would not have been obtained in any other place.

Our company - working here in ETSI - had the possibility to be seen on a global stage had the possibility to contribute with its knowledge and technology to the making of the European technical standard framework for electronic signatures.”

Peter Sanders: “One2Many may be a small company - in the sense of the definition of an SME - but in the world of cell broadcasts we are big and cell broadcast as a technology is mostly used in public warning services, and it's about saving people's lives so we want to be a thought leader of improving the service capabilities. In order to do that, we need to improve our products and extend the capabilities of our products, especially in LTE, and the way to do that - through open standards - is to come to ETSI, be a member of ETSI and bring contribution. It doesn't really matter if you're an SME or a big company you'll get your work done in ETSI.”

Nigel Wilson: “So as a SME working in the fascinating markets of wireless telecoms and wireline telecommunications it's important to stay aware of advances in technology and changes in the regulatory environment. We do that by our role in ETSI, that gives us a view of what's coming up in the marketplace which allows us to feed that knowledge into our product roadmap and offer timely and competitive solutions to our customers.”

Riccardo Genghini: “There is no other way that can give you equal benefits or more benefits than working here with the community of experts of ETSI with its global reach.”

Nigel Wilson: “I'm travelling around the world representing my company and I find that ETSI standards are held in very high regard. It's very beneficial being involved in the ETSI process because it allows me to explain to customers how standards have evolved and how things have come into being and that gives us quite an edge – a competitive advantage - compared to other companies who are not involved in the ETSI process.”

Join ETSI and help build the standards that you need.

You will gain advanced knowledge of upcoming standards and understand them better.

Your company's reputation and visibility will be enhanced so if you want to shape the future be ahead of your competitors, network with counterparts and build your reputation then the place to be is in ETSI.

End of Video Transcript

First steps in getting involved

  • Explore areas of interest to you on the technology pages of our website
  • Contact the Chairman or Technical Officer of a specific committee (see ETSI Portal) to find out more about your technical area
  • Come to one of our upcoming events to discover how we work and meet other participants who share your interests
  • Come to an ETSI Seminar – an intensive course on ETSI, its organization, structure, ways of working and other topics. Provided free twice a year
  • Test the benefits of membership before joining as a Guest participant in a technical committee for a limited time, at the discretion of the relevant committee Chairman
  • Find out more about becoming a member, including how to apply

Our Membership Team will be happy to answer any queries.