WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new report published today by Mobile Future illustrates why wireless communications service in the United States is poised for increased growth as consumers and innovation continue to shape the sector’s rapid evolution. This growth will be sustained as policymakers strike a balance that protects consumers while, through the appropriate regulatory approach, fosters investment and robust competition in the marketplace.
The report, “Welcome to the Mobile Future: How Wireless Innovation is Transforming Our Economy & Our Lives,” shows how U.S. wireless innovation offers a model for the 21st century – demonstrating what a collaborative approach among consumers, policymakers and a competitive industry can achieve for the nation.
“The mobile future is here. It is poised to transform virtually every aspect of our modern lives. Our nation stands to reap extraordinary benefits-if we acknowledge what has worked and move forward in a progressive way,” said Mobile Future Chairman Jonathan Spalter. “We have so much to look forward to and so many benefits still to come, but we have to be careful stewards of the mobile future: continuing to nurture innovation, respecting consumer choices and preferences, so they can continue to guide the shape and direction of what is to come, and continuing a constructive role for government, rather than a restrictive one.”
The paper traces the 25-year development of commercial wireless service in the U.S., acknowledging the pro-investment stance of Congress, the FCC’s use of spectrum authority to assure a competitive industry, and the rivalry among carriers that has accelerated the drive to advanced technology platforms that support the national goal of ubiquitous broadband.
The results so far have been extraordinary:
- Nearly 90% of Americans have a mobile device
- Diverse market competitors have invested $325 billion in wireless infrastructure
- 95% of the population has a choice among three or more carriers
- More than 2.7 million Americans make their living in the wireless ecosystem
- The U.S. wireless sector contributes $100 billion annually to the nation’s GDP
- And, consumer value and choices have soared as mobile devices evolve well beyond phones to connected computers in the palms of our hands.
The continuing versatility of wireless communications is further demonstrated by the availability of nearly 100,000 mobile applications offered by manufacturers and carriers – a totally new industry – that is expected to exceed $25 billion in revenue in the next five years.
Looking ahead, the report outlines several key steps to help unleash the next wave of innovation including encouraging infrastructure investment; spurring consumer-driven innovation; promoting broadband deployment; and broadening the conversation to include critical areas such as health care, education, public safety and economic growth where wireless technologies play a significant role.