Mobile broadband subscriptions look set to surpass 1 billion in 2011, doubling the 500 million milestone achieved in 2009, telecoms equipment maker Ericsson has predicted.
"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," the company said in a statement.
"Ericsson estimates that this number will double before 2011 ends."
The predicted growth is expected to be fuelled by the surge in ownership of Internet connected mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, as well as the introduction of high-performance networks.
Ericsson said that global mobile data traffic has tripled in just one year.
The majority of subscriptions - around 400 million - are expected to come from the Asia Pacific region, with both North America and western Europe accounting for some 200 million each, the company claimed.
Ericsson predicts that, by 2015, mobile Internet subscriptions will top 3.8 billion.