American mobile users ate through 9.6 trillion MB of data last year, more than doubling the 4.1 trillion MB of data they consumed in 2014, according CTIA's latest annual report on the wireless industry.
The wireless consortium said 228.3 million users in the U.S. owned a smartphone in 2015, up nearly 10 percent from the previous year. Americans spent 2.8 million minutes on their mobile devices, up 17.4 percent year over year, and SMS and MMS traffic combined was up 17 percent.
Interestingly, incremental capital investment was essentially flat, dipping slightly to $31.9 billion from $32 billion in 2015. That figure may decrease further this year as carriers tighten their belts in advance of 5G buildouts.
CTIA said the mobile penetration rate climbed from 110 percent in 2014 to 115.7 percent last year, and annual wireless revenue came in at $191.9 billion, up slightly from $187.8 billion in 2014.
"Americans today have mobile-first lives," said CTIA CEO Meredith Attwell Baker in a prepared statement. "In 2014, we had a record amount of data on our 4G networks. Remarkably, the amount of traffic on mobile networks more than doubled last year and shows no signs of slowing down. I'm proud our industry invested more than $30 billion to keep up with our demand and support millions of jobs."
- see this CTIA press release
Cisco: Mobile data traffic to increase 800% within 5 years
Analysts question Cisco's mobile data traffic revisions
Cisco: N. American mobile users to each consume around 11 GB per month by 2019
Cisco: Wi-Fi, cellular data to make up 67% of all IP traffic in 2019