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Cellphone population in US surpasses humans, data use skyrockets

CTIA Subscribers vs Population
CTIA Subscribers vs Population

If you live in the United States, chances are pretty good you have a cell phone, maybe two — according to CTIA, cellphone penetration reached 103.8 percent this year (up from 93.2 percent last June) with 327.6 million active phones in a population of 315.5 million. This isn't the only country with that distinction — Brazil and other nations also break that one-to-one ratio. A 2010 survey by Mediamark Research and Intelligence found that only 36.1 percent of children age six to eleven owned cell phones, so apparently enough people have two or more phones to pick up the slack.

Among active cellphones, nearly a third were smartphones and 85 percent were data-capable, which certainly contributed to the 341.2 billion megabytes of data consumed over the year, more than double last year's 161.5 billion megabytes. With LTE rolling out and maturing on three major networks it doesn't look like this growth is going to slow down.