Mobile Future

2011: The United States of Mobile

2011 was a banner year for mobile and wireless consumers. Among other things, this was the year when the number of mobile subscriptions surpassed the number of people. This is just one of the amazing developments highlighted in Mobile Future’s annual video recap, The Mobile Year in Review 2011, that just launched. The frenetic growth in the wireless industry brought consumers a vast array of applications, devices and services, all unimaginable just a few years ago. We are rapidly headed into an exciting future where everything from household appliances to clothing that monitors vital signs are connecting wirelessly and being controlled by mobile devices in the palm of our hands.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • In the U.S., mobile subscriptions now outnumber the nation’s population
  • One billion apps are downloaded worldwide each month
  • 103 million tweets are sent via mobile devices every day
  • There have been one billion check-ins on Foursquare to date
  • 26 photos are uploaded to Instagram every second
  • 8 trillion texts were sent in 2011
  • 1800% increase in traffic on U.S. networks in four years
  • 166% increase in Facebook Mobile users in the first half of 2011 alone
  • More smartphones are purchased than PCs in the United States
  • 2 billion networked mobile devices by 2015

Several trends that show no sign of abating are the significant choice and heated competition that continue to define every aspect of the wireless marketplace. This is clear from the number of carriers who debuted and expanded 4G services in 2011, the amazing innovation in mobile devices and the rise of the tablet wars. And our voracious appetite for all things wireless keeps growing as consumer enthusiasm for bandwidth-hungry tablets and smart phones drive forecasts that wireless data traffic will grow 21-fold from 2010 to 2015. In four years, its projected that U.S. wireless networks will move data at twice the volume of the entire global Internet in 2005.

The wireless sector continues to be a driving force of the U.S. economy, supporting 2.4 million American jobs- from engineers, to apps developers to retail workers. And answering President Obama’s call to build out an additional 500 MHz of spectrum for mobile will create 500,000 U.S. jobs and add $400 billion to U.S. GDP.

Already, there are 327 million mobile connections in the United States and the potential for wireless to improve virtually every aspect of modern life is staggering- from healthcare, to education to economic productivity to energy efficiency, participation in our government to connections to friends and family. While we can’t predict with precision what’s next, one thing is clear after a year of profound progress: The mobile future has arrived.

This article was originally published on Huffington Post.