CTIA Wireless Study Shows Need For More Spectrum

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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.


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.


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