Americans spent $208.4 billion on wireless communications technology in 2007, according to Grant Seiffert, president of Telecommunications Industry (TIA).
TIA will share the details Feb. 11 in its annual Telecommunications Market Review & Forecast, officials of the non-profit group in Arlington, Va. said.
The figure is about 10% higher than in 2006, which is consistent growth compared to the recent past. “Wireless is the fastest growth area for our membership,” Seiffert added.
It’s also a big contributor to the national growth of broadband access in general. In its own report released this week, Networked Nation: Broadband in America 2007, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said there were 82.5 million broadband Internet connections in the United States in December 2006, compared to 6.8 million lines in December 2000.
The full report is at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/reports/2008/NetworkedNationBroadbandinAmerica2007.pdf.
Officials of the TIA, NTIA and Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), in rare agreement, all said the growth is largely due to efforts by the Bush administration earlier in this decade to encourage network investments.
However, Seiffert tempered his enthusiasm. “I don’t dispute at all the growth in numbers; I still think that we’re going in the right direction,” he said. The FCC deserves much of the credit for changing its rules, he said. Also, “We believe there’s still a lot of work to do. There’s rural America still not connected like we’d like to see. I think that’s why this debate is important to have. Letting more sunshine in is better.”