In 2020, U.S.wireless traffic grew only 14% by far the lowest rate at least in a decade. Growth in 2019 was only 30%. Traffic growth worldwide has been falling for years. 40% and 50% growth rates are now long gone.
Technology continues to advance rapidly, especially MIMO and Massive MIMO. Verizon and AT&T estimate a 40% annual improvement in capacity. The gap between what they can deliver and what they can sell is getting much wider.
Demand for new cells also plummeted. Only 22,000 were added in 2020, less than half the number in 2019. Nearly all were small cells. Very few towers are going up. Crown Castle, with the most small cells, just cut its 2021 plans from 10,000 to 5,000.
I've asked CTIA if they will share 2021 data. My guess is that demand is better because people get out more. But there's little data.