More Wireless Devices than People
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There are now more wireless devices being used in the United States than there are people, and Americans have doubled the amount of Internet data traffic they generate on smartphones, according to the trade group CTIA. The number of mobile devices rose 9 percent in the first six months of 2011, to 327.6 million — more than the 315 million people living in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wireless network data traffic rose 111 percent, to 341.2 billion megabytes, during the same period.
How is this possible? Many adults have more than one wireless device, which include smartphones, tablets, and wireless cards. Analysts have also pointed to the shorter lifecycle of electronics in U.S. homes, a trend prompted mostly by the availability of high-speed wireless access and more affordable devices. The typical home of 2.6 people has an average of 24 gadgets, including at least one smartphone — double the number 15 years ago, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, a trade group.
CTIA’s data comes from a semi-annual survey that was relesaed Tuesday ahead of its fall business convention this week in San Diego. Tablets and laptops make up a small portion of those wireless network-connected devices at 15.2 million, up 17 percent from a year earlier.