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CELLULAR SPURTS 17.7 PERCENT DURING FIRST HALF OF 1992; SUBSCRIBER BILLS DECLINE; EMPLOYMENT JUMPS

 CELLULAR SPURTS 17.7 PERCENT DURING FIRST HALF OF 1992;
 SUBSCRIBER BILLS DECLINE; EMPLOYMENT JUMPS
 /ADVANCE/ WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The cellular telephone industry continued its record growth during the first six months of 1992, adding 1.3 million new users and pushing its national subscriber count to 8.9 million, according to the bi-annual survey of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association.
 The jump in subscribership amounted to the addition of 222,000 new cellular users every month, or roughly 7,300 every day.
 "This is the largest number of subscribers ever added during a six-month period and the equivalent of an almost 40 percent annual growth rate," commented Thomas E. Wheeler, CTIA's president and CEO.
 "This spectacular growth has been fueled by cellular's expansion into every one of the 734 license areas; new equipment options and the public's growing realization that cellular communications can make life safer, less stressful and more productive."
 Cellular's latest snapshot shows it swimming strongly against the sluggish economy with records in every category: subscribership, total revenues, capital investment and revenues from roaming (subscribers away from home).
 In the process, cellular operators created about 4,250 new jobs during the six-month period.
 Cellular's national subscribership count spiraled from 7.6 million as of Dec. 31, 1991, to 8.9 million as of June 30. Comparing the latest total to the same period a year ago, the industry added a whopping 2.5 million subscribers during the 12 months ending June 30, booming 39 percent from 6.4 million users to 8.9 million.
 The growth of 1.3 million subscribers during the first six months of 1992 sets a new all-time record for subscriber growth. The previous record was set during the final six months of 1991, when the industry added 1.2 million new subscribers. The latest figure is especially significant because the first half of every year is the industry's slowest, historically.
 The latest survey shows the industry set its 14th consecutive record for six-month revenues, with gross service revenues climbing 19 percent over 1991's last half to $3.6 billion. For the 12 months ended June 30, the industry's total revenues jumped 32 percent to $6.7 billion, compared to $5.1 billion for the 12 months ending June 30, 1991.
 Moreover, the average monthly bill of a cellular subscriber continued to drop, from $72.74 as of Dec. 31 to $68.51 as of June 30.
 Some additional details of the industry's growth:
 -- The actual subscriber count went from 7,557,148 as of Dec. 31, 1991, to 8,892,535 as of June 30, reflecting the addition of 1,335,387 new users.
 -- Roaming revenues -- cellular subscribers using their phones while away from home -- climbed 9 percent during the period, to $437 million for the first half of 1992. That represents a 45 percent increase compared to the first half of 1991, when roaming revenues totaled $302.3 million.
 -- The industry's cumulative capital investment climbed to more than $9 billion. (The precise total is still being tabulated.)
 -- Cellular carriers reported a 16.2 percent increase in employment in just six months, from 26,327 as of Dec. 31 to 30,595 as of June 30.
 -- The number of cellular systems activated across the country rose to 1,483 as of June 30, compared to 1,252 as of last December. The industry celebrated a major milestone in June when cellular service was activated in the last of the 734 U.S. markets.
 -- The number of cell sites grew 13.4 percent during the period to 8,901. A cell site is the basic building block of a cellular system.
 CTIA is the trade association of the cellular industry, representing carriers that serve more than 95 percent of America's cellular subscribers. The association conducts a nationwide canvass of cellular carriers every six months.
 -0- 8/8/92
 /CONTACT: Norman Black or Lynne Mallonee of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, 202-785-0081/ CO: Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU: ECO


DC -- DC001 -- 6757 09/07/92 09:00 EDT
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Date:Sep 7, 1992
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