Mobile broadband connections jumped by two thirds this year compared to last year, with Europe and Asia leading the way, an industry group said.
In a recent statement, the GSMA also said more than 9 million new HSPA connections are added every month; compared to 5.5 million connections every month last year.
The industry body said Europe and Asia Pacific each account for an estimated 3 million of these new connections, with North America contributing 1.3 million. The GSMA said the rise in demand for mobile broadband will continue to accelerate, with a further 27 million HSPA connections forecast to be added by the end of 2009, with Africa, Eastern Europe and the Americas set to experience the strongest growth.
In terms of networks and carriers, the GSMA said there are currently 321 HSPA networks across 120 countries worldwide.
Some 285 of these networks are commercially live, supporting more than 167.5 million connections, the GSMA further claimed.
In terms of devices, the GSMA added that these networks are being served by more than 1,600 HSPA-enabled devices, such as smartphones, netbooks and notebook PCs and dongles, delivering mobile broadband connectivity to users around the world, ” Dan Warren, director of technology at the GSMA said.
Warren further said the industry body sees a trend towards even faster mobile technologies.
“This expanding ecosystem also encompasses the next generation of GSM technologies, HSPA+ and LTE. These next generation network technologies will continue to deliver increased data speeds and enable mobile operators to constantly improve service experience by delivering the latest, feature rich multimedia applications to their customers,” Warren said.
As mobile operators around the world continue to see a huge growth in the amount of mobile data traffic across their networks, the GSMA predicted that mobile devices will send and receive more data in one month by 2014 than in all of 2008.
Three quarters of this traffic will be attributed to Internet access, while nearly all the remainder will be due to audio and video streaming, it said.
“This gives a clear indication of the significant changes that mobile broadband will be having on network usage over the coming years” Warren said.
GSMA reports surge in global mobile broadband connections