U.S. Leading Smartphone Revolution

CTIA_TWA_K_BIG“You say you want a revolution
Well, you know 
We all want to change the world.”
‘Revolution’, The Beatles

Most of us want to make a difference in life, and the fact is we probably are having positive impacts on those with whom we live and work. But when it comes to the kind of global game changer John and Paul wrote about, there’s no question the device inspiring the ‘Smartphone Revolution’ is several touches and swipes ahead of us in truly changing the world, and the U.S. is leading the way. The most advanced wireless handsets are almost always launched here, operating on the world’s best networks and largely using American-originated software. U.S. consumers are the frontline beneficiaries of this technological convergence, but billions of other wireless users on the planet are drafting in this mobile slipstream, which many believe has the U.S. well-positioned to reap tremendous long-term economic rewards. (Watch MicroStrategy co-Founder and author of ‘The Mobile Wave’, Michael Saylor, talk about the link between mobile technology and American prosperity.

Learn about Explosive U.S. Smartphone Growth

When it comes to adopting new devices, America is clearly getting ‘smarter’. Cisco predicts in its Visual Networking Index that the number of smartphones in the U.S. will double to about 300 million by 2017, and that the percentage of smartphones operating on the most advanced wireless network technology today, fourth-generation (4G), will increase much more rapidly.

This highlights the symbiotic relationship between technology and devices, and, ultimately, delivering consumer value. The greatest device in the world is only as good as the network it runs on and the services it can provide.

America leads the way in combining those critical factors. For example, with 326 million subscribers, the U.S. has 5% of the world’s 6.326 billion wireless subscribers. At the same time, the U.S. has 50% of the world’s LTE subscribers.


Because wireless companies in the U.S. are aggressively deploying fourth generation LTE technology – testimony to their commitment to deploying the latest technologies to serve customers. LTE now covers almost 90% of the American people, and carriers continue to expand and deepen their coverage.

All of this has been done by using the spectrum carriers have purchased from the FCC over the past 25 years. But the U.S. risks falling behind if we don’t find more spectrum to keep building the broader ‘lanes’ we need to serve the demands customers and their cutting-edge devices will place on networks tomorrow.

European regulators recognize this. Other countries are making more licensed spectrum available for wireless service. As Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda said last year:

“There is, in theory, no limit to the innovation in the wireless industry. . . . But the fact is, if we don’t provide the spectrum, the networks, or the most up-to-date technology, then that innovation just won’t be possible: we would be blocking off tomorrow’s opportunities.”

The wireless industry is widely deploying the most-up-to-date technology. And when left to their own ‘devices’, Americans are taking advantage of that. Additional spectrum being made available for commercial use is vital to continue inspiring this communications revolution, and with appropriate and sensible spectrum planning, everything really is going to be all right.

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