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Wireless and Landline Phones

Statistics on telephone subscribership in the U.S.

  • Two in every five American homes (41 percent) had only wireless telephones during the second half of 2013—an increase of 1.6 percentage points since the first half of 2013 and 2.8 percentage points since the second half of 2012. In addition, among households with both landline and wireless telephones, 33.6 percent received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones. (Source: Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July-December 2013, Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, July 2014.)
  • Approximately 39 percent of all adults (about 93 million adults) lived in households with only wireless telephones; 47.1 percent of all children (nearly 35 million children) lived in households with only wireless telephones. (Source: Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July-December 2013, Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, July 2014.)
  • The percentages of adults and children living without any telephone service have remained relatively unchanged over the past three years. Approximately 2.5 percent of households had no telephone service (neither wireless nor landline). Nearly 5.2 million adults (2.2 percent) and 1.8 million children (2.5 percent) lived in these households. (Source: Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July-December 2013, Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, July 2014.)
  • Adults living in poverty (56.2 percent) were more likely than adults living near poverty (46.1 percent) and higher income adults (36.6 percent) to be living in households with only wireless telephones. (Source: Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July-December 2013, Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, July 2014.)
  • Wireless subscriptions have risen from 55.3 million in 1997 to 326.4 million in December 2012. (Source: CTIA – The Wireless Association, Wireless Quick Facts, 2012.)
  • Wireless penetration for the U.S. population has increased from 19.8 percent in 1997 to 102.2 percent in December 2012. (Source: CTIA – The Wireless Association, Wireless Quick Facts, 2012.)
  • While U.S. consumers represent only 5 percent of the world’s wireless connections, they comprise 50 percent of the world’s 4G/LTE connections. This number is more than double the share of second ranking Japan and almost triple the share of third ranking South Korea. (Source: CTIA – The Wireless Association, Wireless Quick Facts, 2012.)
  • Wireless subscriber connections – active devices associated with subscriptions or prepaid accounts – totaled 326.4 million at the end of 2012. That’s equal to 102 percent of the total U.S. population. (Source: CTIA – Year-End 2012 Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey.)
  • More than 152 million subscriber connections in 2012 were smartphones. (Source: CTIA – Year-End 2012 Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey.)
  • Participating wireless carriers reported handling almost 1.5 trillion megabytes of data in 2012 – up 69.3 percent from 2011. (Source: CTIA – Year-End 2012 Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey.)

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