U.S. marks new cell phone record in 2005

U.S. added 25.7 million new mobile phone users to its ranks last year

The U.S. added a total of 25.7 million new mobile phone users to its ranks last year, a record number for a single year, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) said Thursday.

The total number of cell phone users in the U.S. grew 14 percent year-on-year to 207.9 million as of the end of 2005, a figure representing 69 percent of the U.S. population, the group said in a survey studying the U.S. mobile phone market.

Six percent of U.S. households only use wireless handsets, CTIA said. Details of the survey results can be found at http://www.ctia.org/research_statistics/index.cfm/AID/10030.

Strong growth in the U.S. last year only brought its total number of mobile phone users to just over half of the figure in China, and not quite as many as China's largest mobile phone service provider.

The number of mobile phone users in China ended last year at 393 million, according to the Ministry of Information Industry, adding 58.6 million users in 2005. The country's largest mobile phone service provider, China Mobile (Hong Kong), added 42.36 million new subscribers last year, bringing its total to a whopping 246.7 million.

The nation broke the 400 million barrier in February, hitting a total of 404 million.

India is growing at the fastest rate for a nation its size. Last year, the country increased its total to 75.92 million mobile phone subscribers, up 58 percent, or 27.91 million people, over 2004, according to The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

The number of wireless subscribers worldwide reached two billion last year, according to industry researcher Informa Telecoms & Media, a division of Informa.

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