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Being able to access the internet via a mobile phone will become "a necessity" for consumers, one expert has said.

Reliance on mobile internet will increase over the next few years, explained Andrew Lim, mobile phones editor of industry magazine CNET.

He suggested that mobile internet is more of a convenience at the moment, although in the future consumers will rely on having internet access at any time of the day and in any location.

"Although it's not a necessity right now - and I'm sure people can survive without it – I think increasingly it will become one as we tie our lives more and more with the internet," Mr Lim said.

Linking the increase in mobile internet to the rise in popularity of social networking websites, he added: "When you want to go to an event you have to check on Facebook and the only way to do that is to have internet access, so having that on your phone is pretty useful."

Recent research from Vodafone found that 45 per cent of mobile phone users access the internet on their handsets at least once a day.

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