Mobile Communications in the United States - Statistics & Facts

With more than 250 million mobile phone users, the United States is one of the largest mobile communication markets in the world. Over 270 million Americans are projected to use a mobile phone by 2019 – about 86 of these mobile phone users are forecast to own a smartphone. The United States is also expected to account for around 10 percent of all smartphone shipments worldwide in 2019, only behind of the fast-developing markets India and China.


In line with increasing volume of smartphones in the country, the number mobile cellular subscription in the U.S has been growing as well, going from nearly 185 million in 2004 to just over 317 million in 2014. The number of mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants puts this total figure in perspective. In 2014, there were 98.41 mobile subscriptions registered for every 100 people, a significant increase from the 2004 figure, when this total amounted to 62.55. Between the top seven carriers in the country, the number of subscribers to wireless services in the United States, including both retail and whole sale, added up to around 395 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. AT&T holds 34 percent of the market share, closely followed by its main competitor Verizon, with 33 percent.

The mobile communication industry in the U.S. is dominated by giant multinational telecommunication companies. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular are the top names within the American industry, with Verizon and AT&T clearly leading the pack. Verizon Wireless has one of the highest ARPU – the average revenue generated by each user – amongst all wireless carriers in the U.S., and AT&T has one of the lowest. Both wireless telecom providers have the lowest churn rates in the American market, that is, the average percentage of subscribers that cease to use the company’s services per month. When looking beyond the U.S., AT&T and Verizon are distant leaders in the global industry as well; these two companies lead the rank of most valuable telecom brands in the world.

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