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The U.S. Cellular Industry - Analysis and Forecasts: Manufacturers, Operating Systems and Carriers

  • November 2013
  • -
  • Information Gatekeepers

Summary

Table of Contents

This is the report that has it all about the US cellular industry. It not only provides overviews of current statistics, architecture descriptions and histories, and current comparisons, but its centerpieces of each major section are forecasts through 2019. There are forecasts for traffic, for active devices, for average Busy Hour traffic per device, for devices and traffic by carrier. There are also forecasts for device sales (very different from active devices) and for operating systems sales. Every forecast is also accompanied by an exhaustive analysis.

The cellular industry has sprung in the last thirty years from nothing to a major force in virtually everyone's lives. Along the way, it has toppled one of the longest lasing, most successful and most pervasive industries in the world - the wireline telephone industry. This report focuses on the cellular (mobile) market in the United States and provides comprehensive and consistent forecasts for that industry (devices, device sales by manufacturer, sales of operating systems, carriers, and traffic per device) in a completed consistent and unified manner for the period 2013-2019.

Cellular service as we know it today was introduced in the US in the mid-2005s, with the deployment of 3G, a digital service that used packet switching for the data. In the last few years (starting in about 2009) 4G has been introduced bring much higher speed data capabilities and an all IP based service. This service is known as LTE (Long Term Evolution) for most carriers and as WiMAX by Sprint.

Cellular service has become so popular that many residents are discontinuing their landline service entirely. The landline telephone companies (mainly Verizon and AT&T) are losing landline customers by around 5% a year as a result of this. Because this loss has major implications for the wireless business, this report will also investigate the causes and possible impacts of it.

The following are some facts about the US cellular market that will put its growth in proper perspective.

Wireless penetration at the end of 2012 was 102%.
Almost 40% of the households are wireless only.
There are over 300,000 cell sites.
There are over 2,000,000,000,000 text messages a year.
The industry invests capital of over $30,000,000,000 a year on growth.
The average American cell phone user owns three (3) or more expired cell phones.
The average US consumer only uses their current cell phone for 12 to 18 months.

Organization of the Report

This report will begin with a section devoted to developing fundamental forecasts that will be used throughout the report. These base forecasts will be for active devices (those actually connected to a carrier), traffic per device in the busy hour, and total traffic. The next section will be devoted to carriers and we will spend some time reviewing the basic architecture of the cellular network and a brief history of its development. The next section will discuss device sales by major manufacturer. The last section will be devoted to operating systems. The centerpieces of each section will be forecasts through 2019 for the material in the section. This report contains over 90 pages and over 45 charts and graphs.

The Appendixes will be devoted to providing the reader with material (listings of carriers, traffic terminology, history of major players, etc.) too bulky to place in the main section of the report.

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