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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 22, 2011 at 9:56 AM

U.S. nuts for wireless: 2.2 trillion minutes last year, data soars

Unbelievable stats for wireless usage were released today by the CTIA trade group at its conference in Orlando, Fla. It makes you wonder if Americans now have mobile phones grafted to their hands.

A sample of the 2010 survey results, thrown out by CTIA Chief Executive Steve Largent:

— Wireless companies had 302.9 million subscribers last year, up 6 percent from 285 million in 2009. That equates to a wireless pentration rate of 96 percent, up from 91.2 percent the year before.

— Subscribers used 2.241 trillion minutes, down from the 2.275 trillion minutes the year before.

— Instead of talking, they’re texting and browsing. Data traffic was 226.5 billion megabytes, up 110 percent from the 107.8 billion megabytes transmitted in 2009.

— SMS text messages jumped 31 percent — 2.052 trillion were sent last year, up from 1.563 trillion the year before. MMS messages rose 64 percent, to 56.6 billion.

— The average wireless bill fell to $47.21, down from $48.16 in 2009.

— The number of smartphones in active use jumped 57 percent, to 78.2 million.

— Wireless tablets, laptops and modems grew 14.2 percent, to 13.6 million.

To handle all of this, wireless companies spent $24.9 billion on capital projects last year, up 22 percent from 2009. That puts AT&T’s $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA in perspective.

The companies are making big money, too. Annual wireless service sales rose 4.8 percent, to $159.9 billion, and wireless data revenue grew 31.4 percent, to $50.1 billion.

A few charts from the report:

ctia-bills.jpg

subscriber connex.jpg

second half revenues.jpg

Comments | More in | Topics: Phones, Telecom

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