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Number of Cell Phones in the US

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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"Worldwide use of Cellular Telephones, 1999." World Almanac and Book of Facts. 2001: 571. "US 86.1 million. of subscribers, 32% of population." 86.1 million
McFarland, Deidre. Cell Phone Ownership Grows 29 Percent From 1999-2001. Scarborough Research. 18 March 2002. "The latest study from Scarborough Research, the nation's leader in local, regional and national consumer information, shows a 29 percent growth rate for cell phone ownership over the past two years with almost two-thirds (62 percent) of American adults owning a cell phone." 180 million
Tesar, Jenny. Lifestyles and Pastimes. Macmillan, 1983: 162. [see table 1 below] 7000
Tesar, Jenny. Lifestyles and Pastimes. Macmillan, 1983: 161. [see table 2 below] 340,000
Table 1: Sales of Cellular Phones
1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993
7,000 10,000 15,000 25,000 65,000 1 mil 2 mil 8 mil 11 mil 13 mil
Table 2: US Cellular Telephone Subscribership
1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
340,000 681,000 1 mil 2 mil 3 mil 5 mil 7 mil 11 mil 16 mil 24 mil 33 mil 44 mil 55 mil 69 mil

Over the past decade, cellular phones have been invading the United States. Cellular phones are owned by both adults and kids, who use this device as a device for creative communication. Cellular phones enable people to communicate over a wide area by using a network of radio antennas and transmitters arranged in small geographical areas called cells. Cells vary in size and number, based on the network's extent. Callers use a cellular telephone unit, which is actually a radio transmitter and receiver. The unit enables a user to make or receive voice calls, with a special equipment to send or receive computer and fax transmissions. Radio waves send the call to an antenna transmitter in the cell where the call is made. The transmit relays the message to a Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO). The MTSO transmits the message to a local telephone company, which sends the call to the receiver or to a long-distance company for completion. These simple facts lead us to a question, what is the number of cell phones in the US?

According to "Life Styles and Past Times" by Jenny Tesar, in 1984 only 40,000 people used cell phones comparing to the present year 2002, during which 180 million used this device. The Scarborough study present us with information for the year 2002, stating that almost 62% of American adults own cell phones. One of the biggest reasons why people own cell phones is that they are beneficial in dangerous situations. One simple phone call might save someone's life. Though cell phones are at the height of popularity, their number will increase as the new generation gets familiar with their purpose and usage.

Bogusia Grzywacz -- 2002