From Columbus Business First:
The number of wireless phones in Ohio now outnumbers people as a growing segment of the population moves away from landlines, a new report says.
The Ohio Telecom Association’s wide-ranging 2012 report found that about 90 percent of Ohioans have a wireless phone, and a growing number of people have two or more. About 11.8 million wireless phones are operational in Ohio, or 3.5 wireless phones for every landline phone in the state.
That number has grown as households increasingly move to a wireless-only household. About a third of Ohio homes do not use a landline, the study found.
Growth among cell phone users has helped push wireless to an $8 billion-a-year industry in Ohio, where 11 carriers serve about 10.3 million customers. Nationwide, wireless has grown into a $165 billion annual industry.
Wireless revenue in Ohio represents more than a third of the $23.3 billion-a-year telecom industry, which also includes broadband Internet and long distance calls.
The rise of wireless technology and data plans, which account for about 30 percent of wireless revenue, has taxed the telephone network that acts as its backbone.
Local phone companies have invested billions to increase bandwidth and capacity of the network, according to the report.
“What we are seeing now is a network, the backbone of the industry, being pushed to the limits. We are responding through innovation and investment,” OTA President Charles Moses said in a release.