Some statistics provided by CTIA that I found interesting.
When the industry started, only 23 wireless phone conversations could occur simultaneously in the same service area. As demand grew, the FCC changed its position and promised the industry that “if the technology to build better mobile phone service works, we will increase the cellular phone frequencies allocation, freeing the airwaves for more mobile phones.”
In the late 1980s, it wouldn’t be uncommon for a monthly bill of 100 talk time minutes (or even fewer) would be $95. Today, the average cell phone bill is $50.64 with many consumers taking advantage of limitless talk time.
In 1985, just more than 900 cellular towers dotted the nation’s landscape making for spotty and frequently unreliable service. Today we have 175,725.
During the first 6 months of 2004, wireless consumers were on their phones 500 billion minutes. That converts to 8.3 billion hours and 347 million days. We ended up topping 2004 with 1.1 trillion minutes of talk time.
More than 180 million of us own cell phones today…that equates to more than 60 percent of the population. In 1985 there were just about 340,000.
In the early ’80s, we were lucky if our massive cell phones fit into a bag…today our phones are sleek, handheld mini computers and 37.4% of us use text messaging, 13.9% use mobile e-mail and 12.9% downloaded a ring tone (eMarketer).