The average monthly bill for a wireless user in the U.S. dropped slightly (.4%) over the past 12 months to $49.30, according to a new survey released this week by CTIA, the association which represents the wireless industry. The average monthly wireless bill has held fairly steady over the past 4 years between $49.52 (June 2005) and $49.30 (June 2006). This is $9.42 higher per month than the record low of $39.88 set in June 1998. At the same time, wireless industry revenues have never been higher, according to the industry.
For the twelve-month period ending June 2006, the industry reported total revenues in excess of $118 billion. Based on CTIA's reported average bill of $49.30 ($591.60 per year), and its estimate of more than 219 million subscribers using in excess of 850 billion minutes of usage per month, TRAC calculates that the average minute of wireless communication costs consumers roughly 15¢.
Additional highlights from the report include the dramatic growth of revenue from data usage, which increased by 70% over the first half of 2005 to $6.5 billion, representing almost 11% of all wireless service revenues. Text-messaging continues to explode in popularity as well. Consumers sent more than 12.5 billion text messages in June, a 72% increase over the 7.3 billion messages sent in June 2005.