U.S. wireless subscriptions top population

Oct. 12, 2011 at 12:04 AM
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SAN DIEGO, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- The number of wireless phone subscribers in the United States is greater than the nation's population, the wireless industry's trade association said Tuesday.

There are 327.6 million wireless subscribers in the United States and its territories, compared to a total population of 315.5 million people -- which CTIA-The Wireless Association said worked out to a penetration rate of nearly 104 percent, a 6 percent increase since June 2010.

"We're using wireless more every day, and the consensus of experts is that demand will continue to skyrocket by more than 50 times within the next five years," CTIA President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Largent said in a written statement.

Largent said the data released at CTIA's annual trade show in San Diego pointed out the need for the United States to free up more spectrum capacity for wireless devices.

"By making underutilized or unused spectrum available for auction, carriers will continue to invest billions of dollars in their infrastructure, generate hundreds of billions of dollars in benefit to our economy and create up to a half a million new jobs," Largent said.

The report noted significant increases in wireless data traffic and revenues in recent months. Data traffic jumped 111 percent as the number of smartphones and wireless PDAs grew 57 percent from the middle of 2010 until this summer.

Annual service revenues from mid-2010 through June 2011 were up 6 percent over the previous period to $164.6 billion.

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