May 24, 2022

New Data: Americans Used 4.1 Trillion Megabytes (MB) of Data in 2014, Up 26% vs. 2013

From CTIA–The Wireless Association (U.S. Wireless Industry Trade Group):

Today, CTIA–The Wireless Association released the results of its annual survey, which shows Americans used 4.1 trillion megabytes (MB) of data in 2014, a 26 percent increase over 2013.

Helping to drive the increase in data usage were smartphones and tablets, which now number more than 208 million and 35.4 million respectively, accounting for 68 percent of all mobile devices used on wireless networks.

According to the CTIA annual survey, every minute, Americans:

  • exchange 3.6 million text messages (SMS);
  • exchange almost 300,000 videos and photos (MMS); and
  • use 7.7 million MB of data.

One of the biggest trends in this year’s survey is the proliferation of multiple wireless devices in households. There are now more than 355 million total wireless subscribers, or 36 million more devices than Americans, a wireless penetration rate of 110 percent.

Top-Line results can be found in this 11 page PDF (Free). The full text report is fee-based. Purchasing info and methodology can be found here.

Data Tables and Video (Data via CTIA)

Year-End U.S. Figures from CTIA’s Annual Survey Report

Unless otherwise noted, facts are from CTIA-The Wireless Association,
CTIA’s Wireless Industry Summary Report, Year-End 2014 Results, 2015

 Dec. ’14  Dec. ’13
Dec. ’12
 Dec. ’08
Dec. ’03
Wireless Subscriber ConnectionsEquals # of active devices, including smartphones, feature phones, tablets, etc. Since users may have more than one wireless device, it is not equal to individual subscribers. 355.4M 335.6M 326.48M 270.3M 158.7M
Wireless Penetration Equals # of active units divided by the total U.S. and territorial population (Puerto Rico, Guam and the USVI) 110% 104.3% 102.2% 87.2% 53.6%
Wireless-Only Households1% of U.S. households 44.0% 39.4% 38.2% 20.2% 4.2%
Annual Wireless Data Usage (in MB)
4.06T 3.23T 1.468T N/A N/A
Monthly Wireless Data Usage (in MB)
338.4B 269.1B 122.3B N/A N/A
Annual Voice Minutes of Use 2.455T 2.618T 2.30T 2.20T 829.9B
Monthly Voice Minutes of Use
204.6B 218.2B 191.7B 183.8B 69.2B
Annual Text Messages 1.92T 1.91T 2.19T 1T N/A
Monthly Text Messages (at year-end) 169.3B 153.3B 171.3B 110.4B N/A
Annual Multimedia Messages 151.99B 96.1B 74.4B 14.9B N/A
Monthly Multimedia Messages (at year-end) 15.4B 10.1B 7B 1.6B N/A
Annual Wireless Revenue $187.8B $189.2B $185.0B $148.1B $87.6B
Cell Sites 298,055 304,360 301,779 242,130 162,986
911 Calls2 460K >400K >400K 260K 139K
Capital Investment $32.1B $33.1B $30.1B $264.76M $145.54M
K=Thousand M=Million B=Billion T=Trillion

1Figure is from the Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January – June 2014. National Center for Health Statistics, December 2014.
2CTIA Wireless 911 and Distress Calls.

Mobile Trends in the United States, 2010-2014



The Delta


296 million

355 million



78 million

208 million


Tablets (CMRS only, not Wi-Fi)

14 million

35 million


Data Traffic

388 billion MB

4.06 trillion MB


Minutes of Use

2.24 trillion

2.45 trillion


MMS traffic

57 billion

152 billion


Incremental Capital investment

$25 billion

$32 billion


Cumulative Capex

$310 billion

$431 billion


About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.