NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The U.S. Labor Department released a report on Sept. 25 saying that spending on phone services increased more than 4% in 2011 which was the fastest rate of growth since 2005. Customers want to stay connected and are activating cell phones like there's no tomorrow.According to a recent Wall Street Journal report titled, "Cell Phones are Eating the Family Budget," more than half of all U.S. cell phone owners carry a "smart-phone" like the iPhone or a Droid. It's becoming more common for families to spend $200-a-month or more on cell phone services, and that trend looks like it may continue in the months ahead.
Cell phone services are one of the household spending categories that actually accelerated since the beginning of the Great Recession. According to the Labor Department, spending on "telephone services" has increased by 10% for households in America since 2007. Although last quarter's revenue growth was less than 1% year-over-year for AT&T, that still means their trailing-12-months revenue-per-share was a whopping $21.57. Their operating cash flow (trailing 12-months) was $35.35 billion dollars and their levered free cash flow was $9.69 billion.