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In a keynote speech at CES, in Las Vegas this week, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg predicted that mobile broadband users will top 5 billion by 2015. That’s up from 1 billion today. The total number of mobile users recently topped 6 billion in 2011.

The majority of new users will do it through mobile,” Vestberg said. “We believe that 91 to 92 percent of the population will have mobile coverage by 2015.”

Vestberg spoke about the network society and the potential of intelligent, real-time communication when devices begin to take real advantage of faster silicon, sensors, software and low-latency connectivity.

He demonstrated a “capacitive coupling” technology that can be used to transfer bits from one device to another using the human body as a conduit and showed a “connected tree” (@connectedtree) that sends Tweets.

Ericsson’s broadband growth projections are among the most aggressive, although the company is probably counting HSPA and EVDO as wireless broadband, which sometimes struggle to deliver 1 Mbps.

According to Ericsson, just 26 percent of the time people spend using their smartphones is spent making voice-to-voice calls, while nearly three-fourths of smartphone use involves surfing the Internet, watching media, playing games, and other non-voice activities.

Cisco has predicted that by 2014, the average mobile broadband connection will generate 7 GB of traffic per month. Clearwire’s mobile WiMAX subscribers use around 7 GB of data per month now, reports Fierce Wireless.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Data Subs: 5 Billion by 2016, 5 Billion Mobile Subscribers, Bluetooth: 5 Billion Served , Top Wireless Trends of 2011, 5 Billion!

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