Wireless data traffic more than doubled in US in 2013

The average subscriber line carries 801 megabytes of data per month, said the CTIA.

The total amount of data handled by wireless carriers in the U.S. more than doubled in 2013, an increase driven in large part by video traffic.

U.S. carriers saw 3.2 exabytes of data traffic run across their networks, the CTIA said in its annual report on the U.S. wireless industry. An exabyte is 10x18 bytes or, put another way, a billion gigabytes.

The figure represents a 120 percent increase from the 1.5 exabytes carried in all of 2012, the group said on Tuesday. The CTIA is the Washington, D.C, -based lobbying group that represents the industry and it conducted the survey among its members. The data refers to traffic carried over licensed spectrum.

With 336 million subscriptions in the U.S., that figure works out to an average of 801 megabytes per subscriber line per month.

A large proportion of that data was video. While the CTIA didn't survey members on video traffic, Cisco recently said its networking data pointed to a total of 2.2 exabytes in video data being carried by mobile networks last year. That's an average of 563 megabytes per subscriber line per month.

U.S. customers spent 218 billion minutes per month talking on their wireless devices, which works out to an average of 650 minutes per month per line; sent 153 billion text messages per month, or 457 messages per line; and 10 billion multimedia messages, or 30 per line.

On the network side, carrier networks grew slightly as the roll out of 4G services continued apace across the country. At the end of 2013, the entire U.S. wireless network consisted of 304,360 cell sites, a rise of around 2,500 on the year. The CTIA put annual capital expenditure by wireless carriers at $33.1 billion.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Carrierstelecommunicationctia

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?