For the first time in history, wireless subscriber connections have surpassed the population in the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), which means the wireless penetration rate in the U.S. is 103.9%, according to a survey connected by CTIA- the Wireless Association.
Wireless subscribers total 327.6 million, while the U.S. and its territories have a population of 315.5 million. The survey, which was released at the CTIA Enterprise and Applications show in San Diego, California, tracked U.S. wireless trends including subscribership, usage, revenue and investment from January 2011 to June 2011.
The survey also showed a 111% increase in wireless data traffic. According to the CTIA, the increase in data usage, wireless subscriber connections and other metrics from the survey underscore the industry's need to purchase more spectrum from the federal government to meet the significant demands by consumers and businesses.
The January 2011-June 2011 wireless survey results include:
- Wireless subscriber connections: 327.6 million; mid-year 2010: 300.5 million (9% increase).
- Wireless network data traffic: 341.2 billion megabytes; mid-year 2010: 161.5 billion megabytes (111% increase).
- Average local monthly wireless bill (includes voice and data service): $47.23; mid-year 2010: $47.47 (less than 1% decrease).
- Number of active smartphones and wireless-enabled PDAs: 95.8 million; mid-year 2010: 61.2 million (57% increase).
- Number of active data-capable devices: 278.3 million; mid-year 2010: 264.5 million (5% increase).
- Wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems: 15.2 million; mid-year 2010: 12.9 million (17% increase).
- Minutes of Use (MOU): 1.148 trillion; mid-year 2010: 1.138 trillion (1% increase).
- SMS sent and received: 1.138 trillion; mid-year 2010: 982.9 billion (16% increase).
- MMS sent and received: 28.2 billion; mid-year 2010: 32.1 billion.
From June 2010-June 2011, the annual capital investment increased by 28% to $27.5 billion. Since 2001, wireless companies have reported a cumulative total investment of $223 billion, according to the survey.