CTIA Preview: US no longer a wireless wasterland


The big CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) goes into high gear today. The show is taking place in San Francisco, a good place to get maximum media coverage, since most of the tech publications and writers are based here. So what should you be expecting this week at CTIA? Wireless Data, and more Wireless Data. The show will also be the coming out party for USA. I think the show will show that US is no longer a wireless wasteland and has caught up Europe and Asia, though not completely. The penetration rates are up there with rest of the planet, and even the revenues and profits are increasing for the wireless carriers. Albert Lin, analyst with American Technology Research points out that US will account for about $300 million of the $4 billion market for ringtones – not great, but not bad either. Messaging – Email and SMS are growing rapidly in the US as well.

Three large wireless carriers reporting data growth being 116% Y/Y (Cingular), 145% Y/Y (AT&T Wireless, and about 150% (Sprint), there is little doubt that growth must be impacting people in new ways. These growth rates are not necessarily from tiny bases anymore. Sprint’s annualized wireless data revenue rate is north of $1BB in the just reported quarter. (Lin/American Technology Research)

MobileTracker: CTIA, the Wireless Association, today announced at its IT conference that the number of wireless subscribers in the US increased 14.5% during twelve-month period ending June 2004. Total subscribership is now estimated to be more than 170 million. Networks are also growing to keep up with demand. The survey showed that nearly 27,000 cell cites had been constructed in the previous year, an increase of 18%. Today there are more than 174,000 cell sites across the nation.”

More to follow….