CTIA-The Wireless Association® Survey Shows Americans Used 26 Percent More Wireless Data in 2014

U.S. Consumers Use 243.5 Million Smartphones and Tablets, Accounting for 68 Percent of All Devices Used on Mobile Networks

Jun 17, 2015, 10:22 ET from CTIA-The Wireless Association

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, CTIA–The Wireless Association® released the results of its annual survey, which shows Americans used 4.1 trillion megabytes (MB) of data in 2014, a 26 percent increase over 2013. Helping to drive the increase in data usage were smartphones and tablets, which now number more than 208 million and 35.4 million respectively, accounting for 68 percent of all mobile devices used on wireless networks.

According to the CTIA annual survey, every minute, Americans:

  • exchange 3.6 million text messages (SMS);
  • exchange almost 300,000 videos and photos (MMS); and
  • use 7.7 million MB of data.

One of the biggest trends in this year's survey is the proliferation of multiple wireless devices in households. There are now more than 355 million total wireless subscribers, or 36 million more devices than Americans, a wireless penetration rate of 110 percent. 

To meet the constant increase in Americans' demand for mobile devices and services, the CTIA annual survey found wireless carriers invested more than $32 billion into the U.S. economy in 2014 capital expenditures. Over the last six years alone, wireless carriers invested $166 billion.

"Americans enjoy the best wireless experience in the world, from the fast 4G/LTE networks that are available to more than 98 percent of the country to the trend-setting devices and countless apps created every day. CTIA's annual survey demonstrates that wireless consumers rely and enjoy their mobile connectivity more than ever, and, to meet those needs, wireless carriers annually invest tens of billions into our world-leading wireless industry," said Meredith Attwell Baker, President and CEO of CTIA. "The year-over-year pressure of skyrocketing mobile data and device growth highlights the need for a long-term national spectrum plan so that Americans continue to enjoy new and innovative wireless offerings. That's why CTIA is working closely with our members, government and other stakeholders to identify additional spectrum to unlock the full economic potential of America's wireless industry."

Mobile Trends in the United States, 2010-2014



The Delta


296 million

355 million



78 million

208 million


Tablets (CMRS only, not Wi-Fi)

14 million

35 million


Data Traffic

388 billion MB

4.06 trillion MB


Minutes of Use

2.24 trillion

2.45 trillion


MMS traffic

57 billion

152 billion


Incremental Capital investment

$25 billion

$32 billion


Cumulative Capex

$310 billion

$431 billion


To view the video highlight and the report, please visit: http://ctia.it/1oV0XHF  

CTIA-The Wireless Association® (www.ctia.org) represents the U.S. wireless communications industry. With members from wireless carriers and their suppliers to providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products, the association brings together a dynamic group of companies that enable consumers to lead a 21st century connected life. CTIA members benefit from its vigorous advocacy at all levels of government for policies that foster the continued innovation, investment and economic impact of America's competitive and world-leading mobile ecosystem. The association also coordinates the industry's voluntary best practices and initiatives and convenes the industry's leading wireless tradeshow. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.

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SOURCE CTIA-The Wireless Association