Wireless Industry Capital Expenditures 2008-2010 was More Than $71 Billion

CTIA has released the latest edition of the CTIA Wireless Industry Indices report — an in-depth analysis of the semi-annual data survey conducted by CTIA since January 1985, updated through year-end 2010. 

With more than 117 tables and 72 charts, the 390-page CTIA Wireless Industry Indices report provides a comprehensive review of the survey results over time, and a detailed series of benchmarks for industry performance and productivity. The latest issue of the CTIA Wireless Industry Indices report updates comparisons between wireless services and selected data from wireline service markets. The report total service revenues, wireless data service revenues and toll and vertical service revenues. Among current and historical industry trends analyzed are subscriber usage (calls, minutes of use, messaging and total data traffic volumes), incremental capital investment, prepaid subscribership and subscriber-to-employee ratios. The report draws upon additional sources to include subscribership by state and by other “Economic Areas.” CTIA Wireless Industry Indices report provides a broad range of statistics for the wireless industry, including gross additions, disconnects and more.

As the wireless industry has evolved, the CTIA semi-annual data survey has also evolved. Because these benchmarks are not static measures, CTIA remains committed to keeping the benchmarks, definitions and instructions current with the changes in the industry.

While the report delivers an extensive overview, I thought it’d be helpful to pull some key facts about the industry. Today’s focus is on the industry’s capital expenditures.

By combining CTIA’s Semi-Annual Survey from 2008-2010, which captures partial industry capital expenditures (capex) data in operational systems with the U.S. Census’ Annual Capital Expenditures Survey, which captures more complete data from 2008- 2009, the U.S. wireless industry capex in 2008-2010 was more than $71 billion. 

This figure excludes the amounts paid to the federal Treasury for spectrum, focusing just on wireless structures, equipment and other capitalized expenses. Cumulative capital expenditures over time have amounted to more than $310 billion, excluding more than $35 billion in winning bids on spectrum in the last ten years.

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