Las Vegas — The cellular industry gained more net new subscribers in 2005 than in any other year in the industry’s history, according to CTIA statistics released here at the association’s annual convention.
The subscriber base expanded by 25.7 million people, a gain of 18.4 percent over 2004’s 21.7 million net-new subscriber gain. The industry’s previous record was set in 2000, when the industry gained 23.4 million net new subscribers.
With the additions, the year-end subscriber base grew to an estimated 207.9 million, bringing the penetration rate to almost 70 percent, the association said. The gain marked the third consecutive year of double-digit percentage gains in new subscribers following declines in 2001 and 2002. The gains in the past three years were all double-digit percentage gains.
In 10 years, the subscriber base grew by 515 percent from 1995’s 33.8 million subscribers.
CTIA’s semi-annual carrier survey also found that carrier revenue from data services jumped more than 86 percent in 2005 to $8.58 billion and that subscribers spent almost 1.5 trillion minutes talking on their phones during calendar 2005, up almost 36 percent.
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