More Cell Phones Than People In US

There are now more cell phones than people in the US. According to the 2010 census, there are about 315 million people living in the US and its territories. In a survey done by the USA wireless industry trade association, the CTIA shows the number of mobile subscriber connections at 327.6 million.

The survey taken also shows an 111 percent increase in data traffic since January of this year to June of this year. Annual service was up a total of 6 percent, to $164.6 billion, for a 12-month period that ended in June 2011, over the same time period that ended in June of 2010.

The typical home of 2.6 people has an average of 24 gadgets, including at least one smartphone, double the number 15 years ago, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, a trade group.

“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. These are the reasons why our members need more spectrum,” said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA.

The survey also showed that the average monthly cell phone actually went down over the period ending in 2011 over the period ending in 2010. Consumers spent $47.23 on average per month for data and voice services on their mobile device. In mid 2010, the average monthly bill for the same services was $47.47.

While the monthly average cost went down, usage went up. By June 2011, 1.148 trillion minutes were used for a 12-month span. Over the same time period ending mid year in 2010 1.138 trillion were used.

The figures come amid big changes in the mobile phone industry. It is difficult to say how new data caps imposed by AT&T and Verizon Wireless are affecting consumers, and whether users are hitting their monthly limits. Users are expected to offload heavy data use onto Wi-Fi hot spots, analysts say.