Washington D.C. - The wireless industry posted its first percentage drop in first-half net-new subscriber growth, according to a carrier survey conducted by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA).
Net-new subscriber growth slid 18.8 percent to 8,919,703 compared to a first-half 2000 gain of 55.3 percent to 10,988,922. Although net new subscriber growth fell, the total subscriber base expanded to 118,397,735, up from first-half 2000's 97,035,925. (see table).
First-half net subscriber growth rates have increased every year at double-digit rates except for 1996 and 1997, when the first-half gains were in the single digits.
The survey also found that:
- -the average June phone bill rose to $45.56 from $45.15 in June 2000.
- -the number of cell sites continued to grow as carriers scrambled to fill out their networks. In June 2001, there were 114,059 cell sites, up from the previous June's 95,733.
For its semiannual survey, CTIA received responses from 2,087 of the 2,433 cellular, PCS, and ESMR systems operating in the U.S. The association estimated statistics for the other systems.