CTIA announced today that the number of American wireless subscriber connections has officially exceeded the population the United States and its territories, which are Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. The total population is 315.5 million inhabitants, while the number of wireless subscriber connections is 327.6 million. That translates to a penetration of 103.9 percent.
Wireless usage has increased dramatically from 2010 in the U.S. and around the world as well. Subscriber connections were just over 300 million in mid-2010, seeing 9 percent gains this year. Network data traffic jumped from 161.5 billion megabytes to 341.2 billion megabytes — a 111 percent increase. The demand for smartphones is increasing at an enormous rate, and not only by data consumption but device activations too. There are now 95.8 million smartphones and wireless-enabled PDAs in America, which is up 57 percent from 61.2 million last year. The use of text messaging grew too, with now over one trillion sent and received. Oddly, people used multimedia messages less, with 28.2 billion sent and recieved this year down from 32.1 billion last year.
As of 2011, wireless-enabled tablets, laptops, and modems grew in popularity to 15.2 million active units. Last year, they accounted for 12.9 million devices. Apple is selling millions of iPads per quarter, and can take a fair chunk of the credit there.
President and CEO of CTIA Steve Largent said:
“CTIA’s semi-annual survey proves that Americans love wireless and continue to rely on the most cutting-edge and innovative devices and services in the world. Clearly, 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.”