American telecom operators Capex up 2% to $25.3 billion in 2011

Telecom Lead America: In 2011, American mobile operators
reported $25.3 billion in Capex, which was up 2 percent from 2010. Main
investment of American telecom operators was in their infrastructure, from
upgrading networks from 3G to 4G to increasing the number of cell sites to
improve coverage and capacity.

Since 2001, wireless providers invested $246 billion in
capital expenditures. This number does not include the billions that wireless
companies paid the U.S. government to license spectrum.

2011 was the largest annual increase of operational cell
sites with 283,385 at year-end, which was 30,299 more than 2010.

The annual U.S. wireless data traffic grew 123 percent to
866.7 billion megabytes in 2011 from 388 billion megabytes in 2010.

A survey by CTIA-The Wireless Association said there was
a 43 percent increase in the number of active smartphones and wireless-enabled
PDAs to 111.5 million in 2011 from 78.2 million in 2010.

With almost 95 percent of these devices capable of
transmitting wireless data, Americans’ voracious appetite for anywhere and
anytime mobile access is why the wireless industry needs more spectrum.

With 7 percent increase, wireless subscriber connections
have gone up to 331.6 million from 311 million from December 2010.

Active smartphones and wireless-enabled PDAs grew 43
percent to 111.5 million from 78.2 million in December 2010.

The number of active data-capable devices was 295.1
million as compared 270.5 million in December 2010 with 9 percent increase.

Wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems have gone up
to 20.2 million from 13.6 million in December 2010.

Minutes of Use (MOU) grew 2 percent to 2.296 trillion
from 2.241 trillion in December 2010.

SMS (sent and received) increased 12 percent to 2.304
trillion as compared 2.052 trillion in December 2010.

MMS saw a decline at 52.8 billion from 56.6 billion in
December 2010.

Average local monthly wireless bill (includes voice and
data service) was almost steady at $47 in 2011 as compared with $47.21 in
December 2010.

“Americans’ love for mobile products and services
continue to grow. Our survey shows yet again that we are choosing to have more
than one wireless device, including smartphones, tablets and e-readers, which
is why the wireless penetration rate is almost 105 percent,” said Steve
Largent, president and CEO of CTIA.

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