USA Wireless Providers Handled 3.2 Trillion Megabytes of Data Traffic in 2013

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USA based wireless providers handled more than 3.2 trillion megabytes (MB) of data in 2013, a 120 percent increase from the previous year. According to Cisco, Ericsson and other research firms, by 2018, data usage will increase eight times the 2013 figure, or be more than 383 times the traffic in 2008.

In order to handle this uptick in consumer usage in 2013, wireless carriers invested a record breaking $33.1 billion in capital expenditures, approximately $101 per subscriber, excluding the cost of spectrum.

Even though the U.S. has only five percent of the world's mobile users, American wireless providers invested 24 percent of the world's total expenditures. Since CTIA's Annual Industry Survey began in 1985, wireless providers reported investing more than $398 billion in infrastructure, not including the cost of spectrum.

The CTIA survey reveals continued significant annual growth in mobile subscribers, devices and network usage, and a comparison to 2010 figures further underscores the transformative and dramatic growth in the mobile ecosystem over the past three years alone.

"Our annual survey demonstrates just how dynamic and innovative the U.S. wireless industry continues to be, which ultimately benefits consumers. The continued remarkable growth in mobile broadband underscores the critical importance of the upcoming AWS-3 and broadcast incentive spectrum auctions to the future viability of the mobile ecosystem. We must all work together to ensure those auctions are successful," said Meredith Attwell Baker, President and CEO of CTIA. "As our nation's carriers invest billions of dollars every year to provide consumers with the world's best wireless networks, products and services, we need to redouble our efforts to work collaboratively to identify additional spectrum bands for mobile broadband use to meet future consumer demands. We need to start a new dialogue with all affected stakeholders to develop a long-term strategic spectrum vision for 2020 and beyond."

Mobile Trends in the United States, 2010-2013


2010 2013 The Delta
Subscribers 296 million 336 million +13%
Smartphones 78 million 175 million +124%
Tablets (CMRS only, not Wi-Fi) 14 million 25 million +86%
Total handsets available 630 790 +25%
Handset manufacturers 33 50 +51%
Data Traffic 388 billion MB 3.23 trillion MB +732%
Minutes of Use 2.24 trillion 2.62 trillion +17%
MMS traffic 57 billion 96 billion +70%
Video Traffic* 24 PB a month 189 PB a month +688%
Incremental Capital investment $25 billion $33 billion +33%
Cumulative Capex $310 billion $398 billion +29%

Sources: CTIA, *Cisco

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Tags: ctia  USA 

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