WASHINGTON-The number of people who use cellular telephones in the United States is nearing the 20 million mark, with more than 17,000 new cellular customers added daily.
In its semi-annual survey of industry growth, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association said the number of subscribers in the first six months of 1994 grew by 3.3 million, its largest half-year increase ever. For the 12-month period from July 1993 to June 1994, the industry reported six million more subscribers, a 48 percent increase from the previous year.
“Growth in the wireless telecommunications industry has been astounding,” said CTIA President Thomas Wheeler, noting that two out of every three new phone numbers go to wireless customers. “Wireless telecommunications enable people to communicate where and when they want. Increasingly, they also play an important role as a weapon against crime, saving lives and promoting public safety,” Wheeler continued. “Last year, more than a half million cellular phone calls per month were made to 911 and other emergency telephone numbers.”
While it took nine years for the cellular industry to reach the 10 million-customer mark in 1992, in less than two years the industry has added almost another 10 million customers, CTIA said.
Meanwhile, monthly bills continue to decline. The average monthly bill for subscribers dropped to $58.65 during the first half of the year, from $67.31 per month in June 1993.