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CTIA Wireless Study Shows Need For More Spectrum

3/22/2011 03:05:55 PM Eastern

Orlando,
Fla. - CTIA-The Wireless Association today released its biannual
survey, on wireless usage which shows the U.S. wireless industry needs more
spectrum so that service providers can continue to meet growing consumer
demand.

Steve Largent, CTIA's president/CEO, announced the findings
during his keynote speech during the opening of the International CTIA Wireless
2011at the Orange
County Convention Center, here.

The study tracks data submitted by carriers from January
through December
2010, documenting wireless trends in subscribership, usage,
revenue and capital investment.

The survey shows dramatic increases in smartphone adoption,
wireless data traffic, and SMS and MMS messaging, among other findings.

 The year-end 2010
wireless survey results are:

  • Wireless subscriber connections: 302.9 million, compared
    with year-end 2009's 285 million, for an increase of 6 percent.

  • Wireless penetration rate: 96 percent, compared with
    year-end 2009's 91.2 percent.

  • Minutes of Use (MOU): 2.241 trillion, compared with 2009's
    2.275 trillion.

  • SMS sent and received: 2.052 trillion, compared with
    2009's 1.563 trillion, for an increase of 31 percent.

  • MMS sent and received: 56.6 billion, compared with 2009's
    34 billion, for an increase of 64 percent.

  • Data traffic on wireless networks in the last six months of
    2010: 226.5 billion MB, compared with the last six months in 2009's 107.8
    billion MB, for an increase of 110 percent.

  • Average wireless bill (includes voice and data service): $47.21,
    compared with year-end 2009's $48.16.

  • Number of active smartphones: 78.2 million, compared with
    year-end 2009's 49.8 million, for an increase of 57 percent.

  • Number of active data-capable devices: 270 million,
    compared with year-end 2009's 257 million, for an increase of 5.3 percent.

  • Number of web-capable devices: 242 million, compared with
    year-end 2009's 238.4 million.

  • Wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems: 13.6 million,
    compared with year-end 2009's11.9 million, for an increase of 14.2 percent.

CTIA said that to meet "this tremendous demand by businesses
and consumers, the U.S. wireless industry continues to invest heavily" in its
networks and infrastructure.

Total annual capital investment in 2010 rose 22 percent to $24.9 billion, according to the trade group.

Since CTIA began tracking this data in 1985, the
cumulative industry investment has totaled more than $310
billion. Neither
one of these figures includes the spectrum that its members purchased during
the federal government auctions, the group said.

"Whether it's sending a text, making a phone call or
accessing the wireless Internet, the facts prove our industry continues to
offer innovative and competitive services and products that consumers love and
are using more than ever. This fact-based survey proves why our industry needs
more spectrum. In order to meet the demands by consumers and businesses, we
need more spectrum so our wireless ecosystem can keep fueling the ‘virtuous
cycle' of innovation and competition," said Largent.

Wireless annual service revenue increased 4.8 percent from a
year earlier to $159.9 billion. Wireless data revenue
grew to $50.1 billion, representing 31.4 percent of total service revenue.