By the Numbers: U.S. Mobile Usage

We’re now into Day 3 of the big CTIA Wireless I.T. and Entertainment event in San Francisco, and CEO Steve Largent shed some bliding light on the industry’s subscriber growth: According to Largent, as of June 2007, the U.S. wireless consumer market surpassed the 243 million subscriber mark–representing roughly 81 percent of the overall national population. As a reference point, this beat Jupiter’s 2005 growth predictions by almost 3 years!

In addition, U.S. subscribers now send an average of 1 billion text messages every day–transmitting 28.8 billion messages in June alone–and are slowly-but-surely getting onto the mobile Web. Case in point, CTIA reported that wireless data service revenues for the first half of 2007 rose 63 percent year-over-year to $10.5 billion: now accounting for 15.5 percent of all wireless service revenues. (And most of these are BlackBerry and Treo subscriptions; so just think when the average guy with the RAZR starts surfing…).

Separately, the CTIA survey also found that wireless subscribers in the U.S. sent 2.6 billion MMS messages during the first half of 2007, which is nearly twice as much as last year. But that barely registers against our talk time: Wireless customers used more than 1.1 trillion minutes (yes, that’s with a “t”) in the first half of this year alone.

All of which, of course, leads me back to what I’ve been saying all along: Mobile is a fad. Just like the Internet. Why doesn’t anybody get that?