More Mobiles than Landlines in the USA

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A report from the USA’s telecoms regulator, the FCC has suggested that cellphone ownership has now surpassed landline usage. The FCC said that at the end of 2004, end-user customers obtained local telephone service by utilizing approximately 145.1 million incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) switched access lines, 32.9 million competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) switched access lines – making for a total of 178 million landlines.


There were however a total of 181.1 million mobile service subscriptions at the same time.

Nationwide, mobile wireless telephone subscribers increased 8% during the second half of 2004 from 167.3 million to 181.1 million. For the full twelve-month period ending December 31, 2004, mobile wireless subscribers increased by 15%.

For purposes of the FCC report, carriers with at least 10,000 switched access lines, or at least 10,000 mobile wireless telephone service subscribers, in a state were required to file their subscriber numbers to the regulator.

“This significant milestone reflects consumers’ approval of a vibrant, ultra-competitive industry that lets us communicate how we want, where we want and with whom we want. Americans are on the go now more than ever and we like the versatility, mobility, and affordability unique to wireless communication,” said CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent.