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Wireless Spending To Increase 9.3% This Year, Report Says

Spending on wireless services in the U.S. will increase by 9.3 percent this year, reaching a total of $158.6 billion, according to predictions released Thursday by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). However, the group predicted the number of wireless subscribers will grow more slowly.

Overall spending will reach $212.5 billion by 2008 for a compound annual growth rate of about 10 percent, according to the trade group. The group counts spending on diverse goods and services ranging from cellular phones and cell service to WLAN equipment.

While overall spending will increase reasonably quickly, wireless phone subscribers will increase more slowly. The study noted that there were almost 174 million wireless subscribers in the U.S. in 2004 will grow at an annually compounded rate of little more than five percent through 2008, according to TIA. By contrast, the number of subscribers more tore than doubled between 1999 and 2004.

Instead of subscriber increases, the industry growth will be spurred by services such as Wi-Fi access, cellular data and various forms of messaging, according to TIA.