Mobile broadband users to reach 1 bn globally in 2011: Ericsson

"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," the company said in a statement.

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, it added.

The equipment manufacturer signed commercial long term evolution (LTE), latest standard in the mobile network technology contacts with 11 operators worldwide in 2010.

The company cited growing acceptance of smartphones, laptops and tablets to be the reason behind rapid broadband adoption. Smartphone users are increasingly using applications and internet services on the go.

According to Swedish-Finnish telecom firm TeliaSonera's survey of its LTE users, about 23 percent of them now watch more online TV, and in excess of 46 percent surf the web more frequently when away from home.

Ericsson also believes that by 2015, mobile broadband subscriptions will top 3.8 billion.

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