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4G/3G/WiFi

CTIA: US carriers invested $29.1B last year, a four-year high

WASHINGTON, D.C. – America's wireless providers invested $29.1 billion last year—a four-year high—to meet consumers' unprecedented demand for mobile data and continue to build out the 5G networks that will power the U.S. economy over the next decade, according to CTIA's Annual Survey.

This significant investment helped prepare U.S. wireless networks for the traffic spikes and shifts from COVID-19 this year and handle last year's 37 trillion MBs of mobile data, which represents a 30% increase from the year prior and is 96 times the amount of mobile data used in 2010.

CTIA's Annual Survey has tracked the trajectory of the wireless industry for 35 years. This year's key findings include:

  • Wireless investment continues to rise. Industry investment increased to $29.1 billion in 2019, marking a four-year high. This accounts for 18% of the world's spending on wireless, while the U.S. represents just 4.5% of the world's population.
  • Mobile traffic continues to grow. Mobile traffic increased by 30% year-over-year to 37 trillion MBs. That's 43% more than the industry's first four years of data traffic combined and a 96-fold increase from 2010 when 4G was first deployed in the U.S.
  • The 5G rollout intensifies. Last year, the wireless industry added over 46,000 more cell sites—more than the combined growth from 2015 to 2018—to reach 395,562 active sites across the country and continue building the backbone of U.S. 5G networks.
  • Voice minutes and text messages continue to increase. Voice minutes are up nearly 30% to 3.1 trillion and text traffic increased to 2.1 trillion—up 52 billion texts from the year prior.
  • Total wireless connections are at highest total ever. Wireless connections increased by over 20 million for a total of 442.5 million and data-only devices like smartwatches and connected cars grew more than 25% to 174.8 million.

CTIA

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