Wireless Rates Down 50% Since 1999; 40% Use Mobiles Primarily

There's some interesting findings coming from a new report on the wireless industry in America this week. The analysis, which was published by the Government Accountability Office and is pointed at the U.S. Government, found that four major network operators control 90% of the entire U.S. wireless market. That's a huge chunk, and it looks even stranger when you consider that 60 mobile virtual network operators also operate in this space. 90% goes to 4 carriers (T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint); the other 60 carriers fight for that final 10%. Sounds like something else we've heard about lately...

The report also found that cellphone pricing on plans has fallen a whopping 50% since 1999, but we aren't so sure that apples are being compared to apples here. Today, people use far less minutes, which are drastically cheaper now than they were. But texting, messaging and mobile data use has risen dramatically, and we're guessing that the average cell user still pays more now than they did in 1999, when they were far less likely to even own a smartphone, let alone pay for a dedicated data plan.

Of course, coverage has improved since 1999 as well, and today the entire industry generates over $150 billion in annual revenue. That's a booming market, and it's not exactly slowing down. The data found that there are currently around 285 million U.S. wireless subscribers, and here's the real kicker: nearly 40% of those households rely primarily on wireless devices to communicate. The landline may not be dead just yet, but it's halfway in the grave for sure. Check out the link below for more fun facts about the current state of our wireless industry.