CTIA Report by the Numbers

The newly-released CTIA report on mobile networks reveals some interesting data.

Summing the revenue data, the report says that US carriers have invested $295B in capital equipment and billed $1.4T since 1985. The report doesn’t say anything about overall costs and profitability except to mention headcount, which now stands at 235,021 direct employees. In particular, it’s odd they don’t mention the license fees they pay for the use of spectrum or the usage fees they pay to lease space on towers and for backhaul expenses. Some figures on the volume of data moving through their networks would also have been interesting.

Two polar opposite responses to the CTIA report caught my eye today: The Forbes magazine Econ Matters blog presented the data somewhat inartfully, leading some bloggers to cry foul. According to GigaOm’s Stacey Higginbothman, Econ Matters wants us to believe that wireless operators are “some delicate flower whose profits are being crushed by a demand for data and consumers who selfishly want to pay the best price for their mobile service.”

That’s a peculiar way of looking at the Econ Matters post, which actually seems to praise competition. But they’re only blogs, so what did you expect?


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