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Mobile Broadband To Reach 1 Billion Subscribers In 2011

January 11, 2011

Even though more of us are unplugging from the wall, we are still more connected than ever. 

Mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to surpass 1 billion in 2011 after reaching half a billion only a few months ago, broadband giant Ericsson Inc. said on Tuesday, highlighting a key growth driver for the telecom sector.

During the course of 2010, a significant milestone in terms of mobile broadband subscriptions was reached as their number surpassed the half-a-billion mark globally.

Ericsson estimates that this number will double before 2011 ends, and by 2015 mobile broadband subscriptions will top 3.8 billion. The greatest number of subscriptions, around 400 million, is expected to be concentrated in the Asia Pacific region, followed by North America and Western Europe with more than 200 million subscriptions each.

Users’ consumption of the internet and other media is changing as a result of the introduction of fast networks and the availability of various types of devices, including smart phones. According to TeliaSonera’s survey of its Long-Term Evolution (LTE) users, about 23% of them now watch more online TV, and in excess of 46% surf the web more frequently when away from home.

Due to increased speed and reduced latency, LTE networks enable video streaming which also attracts new professional users, for example TV broadcasters and public safety organizations. Internet use on-the-go has soared in recent years, driven by cheap laptop computers, tablet computers such as Apple Inc’s iPad and smart phones such as the iPhone and Google Inc’s. Android line of devices.

Growing data traffic is seen driving revenue for telecoms operators and leading to increased investment in networks, boosting revenues for gear suppliers like Ericsson.

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