Skip to content USA Wireless Phone Stats (Thru End of 2009)

July 2, 2010

USA Wireless Phone Stats 2009
(and dramatic growth illustrated from 1995)

The growth from 1995 is mind-boggling.  Over 15 years, it’s gone from 13% of the population using a cell to 91%.  (The growth overseas is much more staggering than that.)  The fastest growing part of the revenue picture is the wireless data category:  that means the amount of internet surfing over cell fones is skyrocketing.  Also note the insane growth in text (“SMS”) messaging.

US Wireless Quick Facts
Year-End Figures

Topic Dec-09 Dec-05 Dec-00 Dec-95
Wireless Subscriber Connections 285.6M 207.9M 109.5M 33.8M
Wireless Penetration
% of total U.S. population
91% 69% 38% 13
Wireless-Only Households1
% of U.S. Households
22.7% 8.4% N/A N/A
Direct Carrier Jobs 249,247 233,000 184,000 68,000
Wireless Carrier Payroll2
Direct Carrier Wages
$13.8B $12.2B $1.8B $1.7B
Annualized Total Wireless Revenues $152.6B $113.5B $45.3B $19B
Annualized Wireless Data Revenues $41.5B $8.5B $211.2M N/A
Annualized Incremental Capital Investment $20.4B $25.2B $18.4B $5.1B
Annualized Minutes of Use 2.3T 1.5T 258.8B 37.8B
Monthly SMS Messages 152.7B 9.8B 14.4M N/A
Annualized Yearly SMS Messages 1.56T 81B N/A N/A
Cell Sites 247,081 183,689 104,288 22,663
E-911 Calls3
Per Day
>291K 260K 139K 55K

K=Thousand             M=Million                B=Billion                 T=Trillion
1Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-July
2009, National Center for Health Statistics,December 2009.

2BLS Series data, 2008.

3CTIA Wireless 9-1-1 and Distress Calls.


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