U.S. wireless carriers increased their annual network investments from $25.3 billion in 2011 to $30.1 billion in 2012 (up 19 percent), according to a just-released semi-annual survey from CTIA-The Wireless Association. The 2012 figure is the highest amount reported since the survey began in 1985, and it translates into approximately 25 percent of the world’s total wireless capex, even though U.S. carriers serve only 5 percent of the world’s wireless users. Since 2000, U.S. wireless providers invested more than $296 billion, not including the more than $35 billion in auction revenues paid to the U.S. government, the association notes. In addition, they invested approximately $94 per sub compared with $16 per sub for the rest of the world. More year-end 2012 annual survey results
- Wireless subscriber connections: 326.4 million (102-percent penetration), up from 315.9 million in 2011
- Wireless network data traffic: 1.468 trillion megabytes, up from 866.8 billion last year (69.3-percent increase)
- Active smartphones and wireless-enabled PDAs: 152.1 million, up from 111.5 million in 2011 (36.4-percent increase)
What’s surprising is that there weren’t outstanding increases year over year in the uptake of wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems; and minutes of use stayed almost the same.