Mobile broadband subscriptions surpassed the half a billion mark globally in 2010 and are on track to double before this year ends, according to a new report from Ericsson.
The greatest number of mobile broadband subscriptions, around 400 million, is expected to be in the Asia Pacific region, followed by North America and Western Europe with more than 200 million subscriptions each.
Ericsson says mobile broadband adoption has increased with the strong growth of smartphones, connected laptops and tablets, supported by the introduction of high-performance networks. Smartphones' users are increasingly using applications and internet services on the go. Global mobile data traffic continues to grow rapidly, with Ericsson announcing in August 2010 that it had tripled in just one year.
Last year was also a good one for Long-Term Evolution (LTE). To date, Ericsson has signed commercial LTE (core and/or access) contracts with 11 operators worldwide.
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 smartphones. According to 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.
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.