CTIA-The Wireless Association® Announces Semi-Annual Survey Results

Mar 22, 2011, 10:30 ET from CTIA-The Wireless Association

Wireless Data Traffic Increased by 110%; MMS Increased by 64%; Texts Increased by 31%

Wireless Usage Highlights Need for Additional Spectrum for U.S. Wireless Industry  

ORLANDO, Fla., March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CTIA-The Wireless Association® today released its bi-annual survey, which tracks data submitted by carriers from January-December 2010, documenting wireless trends in subscribership, usage, revenue and capital investment. The survey results were announced by CTIA's President and CEO Steve Largent on the keynote stage during International CTIA WIRELESS® 2011 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. With dramatic increases in smartphone adoption, wireless data traffic and SMS and MMS messaging, the survey is yet another proof point that the U.S. wireless industry needs more spectrum so that service providers can continue to meet growing consumer demand.

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The year-end 2010 wireless survey results are:

  • Wireless subscriber connections: 302.9 million, compared to year-end 2009: 285 million for an increase of 6 percent.
  • Wireless penetration rate: 96 percent compared to year-end 2009: 91.2 percent.
  • Minutes of Use (MOU): 2.241 trillion compared to 2009: 2.275 trillion.
  • SMS sent and received: 2.052 trillion compared to 2009: 1.563 trillion for an increase of 31 percent.
  • MMS sent and received: 56.6 billion compared to 2009: 34 billion for an increase of 64 percent.
  • Data traffic on wireless networks in the last six months of 2010: 226.5 billion megabytes compared to the last six months in 2009: 107.8 billion megabytes for an increase of 110 percent.
  • Average wireless bill (includes voice and data service): $47.21 compared to year-end 2009: $48.16.  
  • Number of active smartphones: 78.2 million compared to year-end 2009: 49.8 million for an increase of 57 percent.
  • Number of active data-capable devices: 270 million compared to year-end 2009: 257 million for an increase of 5.3 percent.
  • Number of web-capable devices: 242 million compared to year-end 2009: 238.4 million.
  • Wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems: 13.6 million compared to year-end 2009: 11.9 million for an increase of 14.2 percent.

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. Since CTIA began tracking this data in 1985, the cumulative industry investment has totaled more than $310 billion. Neither one of these figures include the spectrum that our members purchased during the federal government auctions.

"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 Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association.

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.

A summary of the report is available online and the full report is available for purchase in the CTIA Research eStore. For more details, please visit: http://www.ctia.org/advocacy/research/index.cfm/AID/10316.

CTIA-The Wireless Association® (www.ctia.org) is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry's voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry's leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, DC.

SOURCE CTIA-The Wireless Association