Producer Price Index for Wireless Telecommunications Carriers — NAICS 51721

As part of an ongoing effort by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to expand Producer Price Index (PPI) coverage of the services sector of the U.S. economy, a price index for wireless telecommunications carriers was introduced into the PPI in June 1999. With the NAICS conversion in January 2004, two separate indexes were published for paging and for cellular and other wireless carriers. The index for Wireless telecommunications carriers, NAICS 51721 in the North American Industry Classification System, appears in table 5 of the monthly PPI Detailed Report and is available online through the BLS website.

The following industries are covered:

Paging-NAICS 517211: Establishments providing paging services provide average revenue and quantity data. These averages are calculated as national averages.

Cellular and other wireless carriers-NAICS 517212: To calculate the average revenue for cellular and other wireless voice-grade services, companies initially provide a user profile for each sampled market area. This profile is based on all service features provided across all rate plans in a given area. Features normally included in the user profile are averages of local air minutes, roaming minutes, and other recurring services. This profile becomes the fixed output being priced as the average number of minutes for each service, such as roaming, is held constant in subsequent months. Next, using the same features in the user profile, the company calculates an average revenue per access line for each feature. Each average revenue amount is then multiplied by the corresponding feature in the user profile to derive an average revenue for a wireless bill.

There are significant differences between the Wireless telecommunications index of the PPI and the Consumer Price Index (CPI):

  • The indexes published by the CPI are inclusive of retail taxes. The PPI does not include these taxes.
  • The CPI publishes indexes using urban data only, whereas the PPI includes data from rural as well as urban areas.


Last Modified Date: February 16, 2007