Ramping up for its upcoming extravaganza in New Orleans next month (and CT Reports will be coming to you live from that event), CTIA-The Wireless Association released its semi-annual report that says in part that the amount of wireless data transmitted by Americans continues to increase at “an impressive rate.”

According to CTIA’s survey results, annual U.S. wireless data traffic grew 123 percent from 2010 (388 billion megabytes) to 2011 (866.7 billion megabytes). In addition, CTIA noted a 43-percent increase in the number of active smartphones and wireless-enabled PDAs in 2011 (111.5 million) compared with 2010 (78.2 million).

“With almost 95 percent of these devices capable of transmitting wireless data, Americans’ voracious appetite for anywhere and anytime mobile access is why the wireless industry needs more spectrum,” it adds.

“Americans’ love for mobile products and services continue to grow. Our survey shows yet again that we are choosing to have more than one wireless device, including smartphones, tablets and e-readers, which is why the wireless penetration rate is almost 105 percent,” says CTIA President/CEO Steve Largent.

He continues, “Yet as the resident, bipartisan members of Congress, FCC Chairman and Commissioners and other policymakers have repeatedly advocated, the U.S. wireless industry must have access to more spectrum so we can continue to improve our nation’s economy and meet our consumers’ demands. While the spectrum identified in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation was a great start, there is much more work to be done.”

More From The Report

CTIA puts the wireless data traffic of 2010 compared with 2011 into perspective, putting it this way: If you were walking and listening to five songs per mile and each song lasted for four minutes:

>> In 2010, you would walk 77,601,961,033 miles, or the equivalent of 3,116,419 times around the world for 2,952,890 years and listen to 97 billion songs.
>> In 2011, you would walk 173,364,056,929 miles, or the equivalent of 6,962,132 times around the world for 6,596,806 years and listen to 216.7 billion songs.

In addition, here are some 2011 vs. 2010 statistics:

>> In 2011, wireless carriers reported $25.3 billion in capital expenditures, up 2 percent from 2010.
>> Since 2001, wireless providers invested $246 billion in capex to meet consumers’ demands for wireless access anytime and anywhere.
>> 2011 was the largest annual increase of operational cellsites, with 283,385 at year-end (30,299 more than 2010).
>> 2011 wireless subscriber connections: 331.6 million (104.6 percent penetration). Wireless subscriber connections as of December 2010: 311 million.
>> 2011 wireless network data traffic: 866.7 billion megabytes. 2010 wireless network data traffic: 388 billion megabytes.
>> 2011 active smartphones and wireless-enabled PDAs: 111.5 million. 2010 numbers: 78.2 million.
>> 2011 active data-capable devices: 295.1 million. 2010 numbers:  270.5 million.
>> 2011 wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems: 20.2 million. 2010 numbers: 13.6 million.
>> 2011 minutes of use (MOU): 2.296 trillion. 2010 numbers: 2.241 trillion.
>> 2011 SMS sent and received: 2.304 trillion. 2010 numbers: 2.052 trillion.
>> 2011 MMS sent and received: 52.8 billion. 2010 numbers: 56.6 billion.
>> 2011 average local monthly wireless bill (including voice and data): $47; 2010 average bill:  $47.21.

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