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It’s a Wireless World

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CTIA, which has gone through several name changes, now says the initials stand for “The Wireless Association.” They are meeting in New Orleans this week, and talking wirelessly I assume about how annoying other peoples cell phones are in restaurants. They should also wonder aloud why people even want to “chat” by thumbing cell phone buttons. They issued the following press release in conjunction with the meeting:

CTIA-The Wireless Association™ released its semi-annual industry survey today showing that estimated wireless subscribership had grown by 21.7% in 2004. The total number of wireless subscribers in America now exceeds 180 million, a penetration rate of more than 60%.

“The wireless industry continues to grow because it has proven its worth to the consumer,” said CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent. “Wireless phones have become a lifestyle tool, allowing consumers to communicate and connect how they want, when they want and where they want.”

The data released this morning at CTIA WIRELESS 2005, the world’s largest wireless trade event, painted the picture of a vibrant and growing industry. Key indicators such as revenue, capital investment, employment, cell site construction and minutes of use registered impressive increases over the previous year.

2004 become the first year that Americans used more than 1 trillion wireless minutes, a jump of nearly 33%. At the same time, the average local monthly bill grew by only 1.5% to $50.64. In fact, the FCC recently reported that the real price of a wireless minute had fallen by 81% in the ten-year period ending in 2004.

“The wireless consumer continues to get more service for less money,” continued Largent. “These valuable consumer benefits are the byproduct of a commonsense wireless marketplace that to date has encouraged innovation and competition.”

The report also demonstrated the wireless industry’s continued commitment to network expansion and upgrade. Total capital investment in 2004 reached nearly $28 billion. This figure is more than the first ten years of wireless investment combined.

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About John Vinturella

Retired businessman and professor.
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