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Mobile broadband subscriptions are on track to surpass 1 billion in 2011 only months after reaching half a billion, telecom giant Ericsson said today. There were 763 million broadband wireless subscribers in the world by the end of 2010, figures InStat.

Mobile internet usage has soared in recent years, driven by cheap laptop computers, tablet computers and smartphones.

Asia Pacific is expected to account for the greatest number of subscriptions, around 400 million, followed by North America and western Europe with more than 200 million each, Ericsson said.

In 2008, mobile internet subscribers totaled around 200 million. The Swedish vendor expects mobile broadband customers to number more than 3.8 billion by 2015, 95% of which will be HSPA, CDMA and LTE connections. The trend has already started boosting operators’ revenues.

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