It’s finally happened. The penetration rate of wireless devices in the United States – the number of connections per person – has passed 100 percent. The country now has more wireless subscriber connections than people, according to CTIA’s semi-annual survey.
There are now 327.6 million connections in the United States and its territories, surpassing the country’s population of 315.5 million people. That adds up to a penetration rate of 103.9 percent.
The survey tracked wireless trends in the United States between January and June of this year. The country now boasts 95.8 million smartphones, 278.3 million data-capable devices and 15.2 tablets, laptops and modems equipped with wireless technology.
As you might expect, the survey also reported marked rises in calls, texts and data.
Data traffic more than doubled from the first six months of 2010 to 341.2 billion megabytes sent during the same period this year. Voice minutes ticked up a notch to about 1.15 trillion and nearly 1.14 trillion text messages were sent or received during the first half of 2011.
The only category of mobile content to see any declines was MMS, which dipped slightly to 28.2 billion from 32.1 billion in 2010.
CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent said the survey highlighted the need to provide more spectrum for wireless operators.
“Clearly, we’re using wireless more every day, and the consensus of experts is that demand will continue to skyrocket by more than 50 times within the next five years,” he said in a statement. “These are the reasons why our members need more spectrum.”
Carriers are putting more money into their networks to support this growth. CTIA reports a 28 percent increase in its members’ annual capital investment, which reached $27.5 billion between January and June.