Tuesday, March 29, 2011

AT&T bringing 4G to Charlotte

Sprint and Verizon already have it in Charlotte. So does T-Mobile (though some debate it). Now AT&T says it, too, is bringing fourth-generation (4G) cellphone service to its Queen City customers. The company, now trying to merge with T-Mobile, sent out a press release this morning saying it would have Mayor Anthony Foxx joining AT&T and Charlotte Center City Partners folks at a 10:30 a.m. press conference at Marshall Park on Friday.

According to AT&T, the announcement will include "key network improvements planned for this year" in Charlotte, including "a focus on faster data speeds and extra mobile broadband capacity at key venues." They plan to have the new Motorola Atrix and HTC Inspire 4G phones on hand to demonstrate.

I guess with Verizon finally grabbing a share of the white-hot iPhone market this year and just now rolling out its first 4G phone, the HTC Thunderbolt, AT&T would be crazy to sit still.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cellphone usage rates exploding

We all know smartphone usage is rising. But when you see the industry data, you still can't help but be shocked at the numbers. CTIA, the trade association representing the major wireless companies, just released its bi-annual survey tracking 2010 data submitted by the carriers. The carriers raked in $159.9 billion in wireless service revenue, up 4.8 percent from a year earlier.

Check out these other stats to see just how much a nation of wireless addicts we've become:

  • Wireless subscriber connections: 302.9 million, compared to year-end 2009 total of 285 million, an increase of 6 percent.
  • Wireless penetration rate: 96 percent compared to year-end 2009 rate of 91.2 percent.
  • Minutes of Use : 2.241 trillion compared to 2.275 trillion in 2009.
  • SMS texts sent and received: 2.052 trillion compared to 1.563 trillion in 2009, an increase of 31 percent.
  • MMS texts sent and received: 56.6 billion compared to 34 billion in 2009, an increase of 64 percent.
  • Data traffic on wireless networks in the last six months of 2010: 226.5 billion megabytes compared to 107.8 billion megabytes in the last six months in 2009, an increase of 110 percent.
  • Average wireless bill (includes voice and data service): $47.21 compared to year-end $48.16 in 2009.
  • Number of active smartphones: 78.2 million compared to 49.8 million at year's end in 2009, an increase of 57 percent.
  • Number of active data-capable devices: 270 million compared to 257 million in 2009, an increase of 5.3 percent.
  • Number of web-capable devices: 242 million compared to 238.4 million in 2009.
  • Wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems: 13.6 million compared to 11.9 million in 2009, an increase of 14.2 percent.

Which of the numbers jumps out at you most?