U.S. Mobile Phone Users Talking, Texting More

The number of people with cell phones in the United States is leveling off, but people are spending more time talking and delivering more text messages, a study reports.

At the close of 2007, the Wireless Association (CTIA) recorded 255 million wireless users, according to the semi-annual study. That’s an increase of five million or 2 percent over the number reported in November last year.

Over 84 percent of Americans have cell phones, according to Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA. While two trillion minutes were used in 2007, an 18 percent increase over 2006 talk times.

More than 48 billion text messages were sent in the month of December 2007, an average 1.6 billion messages per day. The rate of text messaging represented a 157 percent increase over December 2006 texting.

Time spent on non-voice activities means potential increased exposure to advertising messages.

Wireless subscribers sent more pictures and multimedia messages. Close to four billion multimedia messages (MMS) were sent in the second half of 2007. In all of 2006, a total of 2.7 billion MMS were sent.

Revenues increased for wireless services, according to the survey. The CTIA reported $71 billion for a six-month period ending in December 2007 for the wireless industry.

Data services for all of 2007 totaled $23 billion, a 53 percent increase over 2006 when data revenue equaled $15.2 billion. Wireless data revenues for 2007 accounted for 17 percent of all wireless service revenues in 2007.

The findings are part of a semi-annual survey conducted by the CTIA, an international association serving the wireless telecommunication industry, The association, which represents carriers, manufacturers, and wireless Internet providers, gathered data on the U.S. subscriber base from carriers and other sources, including the FCC.

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