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Press Release

Press Release

July 29, 2020

4G Wireless Transformed America’s Economy, New Study Shows .

10% of U.S. GDP Growth from 2011 – 2019 was due to the Wireless Industry

WASHINGTON, DC – 4G wireless networks powered remarkable economic growth and transformed the way Americans live and work, according to a new report by Recon Analytics and CTIA, the wireless industry association. The study shows the powerful impact of wireless on our economy as American providers begin to rollout next-generation 5G networks, which will create a new 5G economy over the next 10 years.

The report’s key findings include that nearly 10% of the GDP increase of the entire U.S. economy from 2011 to 2019 was due to the growth of the U.S. wireless industry, and that U.S. 4G networks support 20 million jobs, drove nearly $700 billion in economic contribution last year alone, and save consumers $130 billion each year.

“Our 4G success didn’t happen overnight: investment dollar by investment dollar, cell site by cell site, America’s wireless industry brought the benefits of high-speed mobile broadband to communities across America, creating  jobs, powering economic growth and spurring innovations that make our lives better,” said Meredith Attwell Baker, CTIA President and CEO. “Over the next decade, our emerging 5G economy will unleash even greater consumer benefits and maintain America’s position as the world’s innovation hub.”

Today, 4G networks are widely available and there are more 4G subscriptions in the United States than people. As the study shows, however, this was the result of ten years of gradual network improvements, industry investment, spectrum auctions and innovation.

Additional highlights include:

  • Between 2011 and 2019, U.S. wireless industry GDP grew 253%. In 2019, the industry contributed $690.5 billion to U.S. GDP, which would make America’s wireless industry the world’s 21st largest economy.
  • At the start of the decade, the wireless industry enabled 3.7 million U.S. jobs. By the end of the 4G decade, wireless-enabled jobs grew to 20.4 million—one out of every six U.S. jobs, which makes wireless the largest job contributor across all industries.
  • In 2010, an unlimited data, talk and text plan cost $113.87 on average for one line. By 2019, that same plan cost $64.95. That means U.S. subscribers now save $130 billion annually in wireless plan costs, without considering the added value of faster speeds, superior network availability and more powerful mobile devices available today.

“The report’s findings make clear that 4G’s impact in the U.S. can be felt across every meaningful measure, from job growth and network speeds to data traffic and GDP contribution,” said Roger Entner, Analyst and Founder of Recon Analytics. “The trajectory of U.S. 4G development should serve as a guide to consider—and to enable—the full transformational power of the coming 5G decade.”

To view the full report, click here.

About CTIA
CTIA® ( represents the U.S. wireless communications industry and the companies throughout the mobile ecosystem that enable Americans to lead a 21st century connected life. The association’s members include wireless carriers, device manufacturers, suppliers as well as apps and content companies. CTIA vigorously advocates at all levels of government for policies that foster continued wireless innovation and investment. The association also coordinates the industry’s voluntary best practices, hosts educational events that promote the wireless industry and co-produces the industry’s leading wireless tradeshow. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.

About Recon Analytics
The mission of Recon Analytics is to clear the clutter, help focus executives and policymakers on what is actually happening in the marketplace and what really matters, and make a positive impact on business and policy decisions. Founded and led by leading telecom analyst Roger Entner, Recon Analytics’ approach is bolstered by its industry-first executive advisory board, which helps us hone our strategy, improve our research, and provide unparalleled insights into the matters most relevant to the business and the public policies impacting it. With this foundation, Recon Analytics focuses on three core areas: Syndicated research, custom consulting, policy related data analysis, as well as white papers

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