US wireless subscriber connections exceeded the U.S. population for the first time, according to CTIA–The Wireless Association’s latest semi-annual survey. The number of wireless connections in the US and its territories totaled 327.6 million as compared to a total population of 315.5 million. That’s a 103.9% penetration rate.

CTIA’s latest semi-annual survey, which tracked trends in US wireless telecoms from January-June, 2011, also showed that wireless data traffic increased 111%.

The sharp increase in wireless penetration and the ongoing growth of subscriber connections, as well as other metrics tracked in the survey highlights the need of the telecoms industry to purchase more spectrum, according to the CTIA. That and make better use of existing spectrum.

Other key findings from CTIA’s latest semi-annual survey include:

  • Wireless subscriber connections: 327.6 million; mid-year 2010: 300.5 million (9 percent increase).
  • Wireless network data traffic: 341.2 billion megabytes; mid-year 2010: 161.5 billion megabytes (111 percent increase).
  • Average local monthly wireless bill (includes voice and data service): $47.23; mid-year 2010: $47.47 (less than 1 percent decrease).
  • Number of active smartphones and wireless-enabled PDAs: 95.8 million; mid-year 2010: 61.2 million (57 percent increase).
  • Number of active data-capable devices: 278.3 million; mid-year 2010: 264.5 million (5 percent increase).
  • Wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems: 15.2 million; mid-year 2010: 12.9 million (17 percent increase).
  • Minutes of Use (MOU): 1.148 trillion; mid-year 2010: 1.138 trillion (1 percent increase).
  • SMS sent and received: 1.138 trillion; mid-year 2010: 982.9 billion (16 percent increase).
  • MMS sent and received: 28.2 billion; mid-year 2010: 32.1 billion.

A summary of the report is available on CTIA’s website, and it’s available for purchase there as well.


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