Communication service providers include phone companies, satellite companies, and internet service providers (ISP). The market in which a communication service provider specializes is often a function of the industry served. These industries can be divided into three categories: telecommunications, entertainment and media, and Internet/Web services. Some communication service providers have branched into multiple areas. Others provide communication services across all major categories. Costs vary widely and depend on the number of type of service provided.
Many communication service providers are also telecommunications providers. These companies can be sub-categorized into wire communications providers (e.g., local phone service providers) and cell phone service providers. A local phone service provider sells services in packages that include multiple features such as a special call services (e.g., call-waiting, call-forwarding, conference calling, solicitor screening, unlimited local use) along with fixed rates for long-distance calls. A local or regional phone company may double as DSL service provider in order to give its customers access to the Internet. DSL, an acronym for digital subscriber line, transmits high-bandwidth information over ordinary copper telephone lines. Like a local phone service provider, a cell phone service provider typically bundles product offerings into packages. Cell phone packages may include fixed and variable minute limits, unlimited long-distance and "anytime" minutes or "free air time", along with text-messaging, Internet access, and multimedia over feature-rich wireless phones.
Some communication service providers specialize in the delivery of entertainment and media. For example, a broadband service provider may offer satellite television or digital cable. Providers of such communication mediums typically offer packages to their customers that include a specific number of channels, brand-name movie channels, or other media packages such as music, sports, and interactive content.
The last major category of communication service providers is Internet/Web services. These services are sold by Internet service providers that provide customers with access to the World Wide Web. Wireless internet service providers set up wireless access points and enable wireless communications for individuals, small, and large businesses. Web hosting service providers implement servers and common software interfaces to facilitate domain registration and the development of Web pages and e-commerce applications for private and commercial customers.