CTIA: Net New Cellular Subscriber Growth Resumes



The number of net new cellular subscriptions grew in the first half for the first time after four consecutive years of first-half declines, CTIA statistics show.

Growth was driven presumably by the growing number of e-readers and other portable devices with embedded cellular, cellular data modems for laptops, machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, people who use both a personal cellphone and a company-provided model, and growing ownership by pre-teens.

For the January through June 2010 period, the number of net new cellular subscriptions grew 14.7 percent over the year-ago period to 7.2 million, expanding the total subscription base to 292.8 million, CTIA’s semiannual carrier survey shows.

The expansion drove up the penetration rate of cellular subscriptions to 94.6 percent of the U.S. population, up from the year-ago 90.1 percent, based on the Census Bureau’s population estimates as of July 1 of each year. The bureau’s population estimate as of July 1, 2010, was 309,629,415, a spokesman told TWICE.

In its survey, CTIA also found that the number of voice-calling minutes plateaued at 2.26 trillion minutes for the 12 months ending in June 2010 compared with 2.24 trillion minutes during the year-ago period and 2.23 billion in the 12 months ending June 2008. In contrast, the number of minutes used came to 1.26 trillion in the 12 months ending June 2005.

The number of messages sent, however, is growing at a fast clip, rising to 1.81 trillion messages in the 12 months ending June 30, up from the year-ago 1.36 trillion and 601 billion during the 12 months ending June 2008.

CTIA also found that the number of smartphones and wireless-enabled PDAs in use hit 61.2 million in June 2010, up from June 2009’s 40.7 million.

CTIA developed the statistics from a survey of carriers serving 95.5 percent of all wireless subscribers. Estimates were compiled for systems that did not respond.


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