United States Communications - 2022


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Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 101.526 million (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 31 (2020 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 442.457 million (2019)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 134.46 (2019)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the US telecom sector adapted well to the particular demands of the pandemic, which has led to strong growth in the number of mobile, mobile broadband, and fixed broadband subscribers since 2020; the level of growth is expected to taper off from late 2022 as the demand for working and schooling from home subsides; the pandemic also encouraged the Federal government to increase its investment in broadband infrastructure; of particular note was the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of November 2021, which provided $65 billion to a range of programs aimed at delivering broadband to unserved areas, providing fiber-based broadband to upgrade existing service areas, and subsidizing the cost of services to low income households; alongside these fiscal efforts have been the several spectrum auctions undertaken during the last two years, which have greatly assisted the main licensees to improve the reach and quality of their offers based on LTE and 5G; some of this spectrum, auctioned during 2021, was only made available to licensees from February 2022; the widening availability of 5G from the main providers has resulted in a dramatic increase in mobile data traffic; in tandem with the focus on 5G, operators have closed down their GSM and CDMA networks, and have either closed down 3G networks (as AT&T did in January 2022), or plan to in coming months; given the size of the US broadband market, and the growing demand for data on both fixed and mobile networks, there is continuous pressure for operators to invest in fiber networks, and to push connectivity closer to consumers; in recent years the US has seen increased activity from regional players as well as the major telcos and cablecos; although there has been considerable investment in DOCSIS4.0, some of the cablecos are looking to ditch HFC in preference for fiber broadband; the process of migrating from copper (HFC and DSL) to fiber is ongoing, but given the scale of the work involved it will take some years; some operators have investment strategies in place through to 2025, which will see the vast majority of their fixed networks being entirely on fiber; service offerings of up to 2Gb/s are becoming more widely available as the process continues (2022)

domestic: a large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites carries every form of telephone traffic; a rapidly growing cellular system carries mobile telephone traffic throughout the country; fixed-line just over 31 per 100 and mobile-cellular over 134 per 100 (2020)

international: country code - 1; landing points for the Quintillion Subsea Cable Network, TERRA SW, AU-Aleutian, KKFL, AKORN, Alaska United -West, & -East & -Southeast, North Star, Lynn Canal Fiber, KetchCar 1, PC-1, SCCN, Tat TGN-Pacific & -Atlantic, Jupiter, Hawaiki, NCP, FASTER, HKA, JUS, AAG, BtoBE, Currie, Southern Cross NEXT, SxS, PLCN, Utility EAC-Pacific, SEA-US, Paniolo Cable Network, HICS, HIFN, ASH, Telstra Endeavor, Honotua, AURORA, ARCOS, AMX-1, Americas -I & -II, Columbus IIb & -III, Maya-1, MAC, GTMO-1, BICS, CFX-1, GlobeNet, Monet, SAm-1, Bahamas 2, PCCS, BRUSA, Dunant, MAREA, SAE x1, TAT 14, Apollo, Gemini Bermuda, Havfrue/AEC-2, Seabras-1, WALL-LI, NYNJ-1, FLAG Atalantic-1, Yellow, Atlantic Crossing-1, AE Connect -1, sea2shore, Challenger Bermuda-1, and GTT Atlantic submarine cable systems providing international connectivity to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific, & Atlantic, and Indian Ocean Islands, Central and South America, Caribbean, Canada and US; satellite earth stations - 61 Intelsat (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean), 5 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions) (2020)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress toward 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

4 major terrestrial TV networks with affiliate stations throughout the country, plus cable and satellite networks, independent stations, and a limited public broadcasting sector that is largely supported by private grants; overall, thousands of TV stations broadcasting; multiple national radio networks with many affiliate stations; while most stations are commercial, National Public Radio (NPR) has a network of some 900 member stations; satellite radio available; in total, over 15,000 radio stations operating (2018)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 301,665,983 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 91% (2020 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 121.176 million (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 37 (2020 est.)

Communications - note

note 1: The Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA, claims to be the largest library in the world with more than 167 million items (as of 2018); its collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include materials from all parts of the world and in over 450 languages; collections include: books, newspapers, magazines, sheet music, sound and video recordings, photographic images, artwork, architectural drawings, and copyright data

note 2: Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, hosts one of four dedicated ground antennas that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system (the others are on Ascension (Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tistan da Cunha), Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory), and at Kwajalein (Marshall Islands)

NOTE: The information regarding United States on this page is re-published from the 2022 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of United States 2022 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about United States 2022 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 01 Dec 23, Copyright © 23 ITA all rights reserved.