Wireless – A Vibrant and Growing Marketplace

Wireless is a vibrant world. I have been in this industry since 1992 and have never been bored with its rapid development.

My dad is 88 year old. Last year, I gave him my iPhone 4S so that we could do FaceTime. It has been a good experience which has made communication easier. Last month, his car was hit by another car. When I was notified, I rushed to the scene. He showed me the pictures he took with his phone. I was surprised that he remembered how to use the phone camera. Cell phones surely become a part of our everyday life.

My friend’s teen has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). He lost 3 trumpets this school year, but he didn’t lose his cell phone. We joked about it as I recalled that none of my three kids ever lost their phones either. Apparently, they were all intimately attached to their cell phones.

CTIA posted an analytics report last week that revealed some interesting data:

  • In 2014, the wireless industry generated $194.8 billion of domestic economic value (excluding imports and exports) in the US, up 34% from 2011.
  • In 2014, the wireless industry generated $282.1 billion in US GDP, up 44% from 2011.
  • The overall annual wireless consumer surplus in the US today is $640.9 billion.

There are 7 distinct groups of players in the industry according to the report:

  • Manufacturers that create, engineer and manufacture the devices
  • Wireless operators that sell and deliver services to users
  •  Retailers and third-party dealers that brings products to the public
  • Ad agencies that market products and services
  • Suppliers of equipment and services that provide hardware and know how
  • App providers that create a variety of apps engineered just for mobile devices
  • The on-demand economy

The wireless industry accounts directly for more than 4.6 million jobs and an induced employment of more than 7.0 million using the multiplier effect.

If you are interested in investing in the industry, check out this report “The Wireless Industry: Revisiting Spectrum, The Essential Engine of US Economic growth”  and familiarize yourself with the capacity and impact of this industry. If you are in your MBA program, the value chain model covered in the report could be an interesting case study.

[This was originally posted on Linkedin on 4-15-16]